From his Agnostic religious views to 3,500 pages of personal thoughts open to the public at the Hebrew University, Albert Einstein was a rather complex and interesting individual. In this article, you will find more facts concerning the man, as well as his take on religion, as seen through his own words.
When taking a look at the religious thoughts of Albert Einstein, it is important to note that he took an Agnostic religious stance. Agnosticism takes a philosophical approach that views the truth value of various claims as impossible to prove or disprove. This system of belief especially focuses on metaphysical claims that involve theology, the afterlife, as well as whether or not spiritual beings, deities, or any ultimate end really exists.
In many circles, Agnostics are included in the same group as atheists (who don’t believe in God) or non-religious people. However, some followers have identified with a specific religion, but still hold true to the concepts of Agnosticism. It is common to find philosophers and great thinkers, such as Albert Einstein, gravitating to Agnostics. Other notable figures who have written about the viewpoints or identify with the thoughts include a handful of philosophers and thinkers (as well as religious teachers, including Thomas Henry Huxley, Peter Kreeft, Blaise Pascaland, Robert G. Ingersoll, and Bertrand Russell.
Einstein’s Words of Religious Wisdom
To learn more about the religious views of Albert Einstein, consider the following quotes:
“The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.”
“The fact that man produces a concept ‘I’ besides the totality of his mental and emotional experiences or perceptions does not prove that there must be any specific existence behind such a concept. We are succumbing to illusions produced by our self-created language, without reaching a better understanding of anything. Most of so-called philosophy is due to this kind of fallacy.”
“One has a feeling that one has a kind of home in this timeless community of human beings that strive for truth. ? I have always believed that Jesus meant by the Kingdom of God the small group scattered all through time of intellectually and ethically valuable people.”
When writing a letter to Rabbi Solomon Goldman of Chicago’s Anshe Emet Congregation, Einstein penned: “In the case of a Christian clergyman, the tragic-comical is found in this: that the Christian religion demands love from the faithful, even love for the enemy. This demand, because it is indeed superhuman, he is unable to fulfill. Thus intolerance and hatred ring through the oily words of the clergyman. The love, which on the Christian side is the basis for the conciliatory attempt towards Judaism is the same as the love of a child for a cake. That means that it contains the hope that the object of the love will be eaten up…”
“A man who is convinced of the truth of his religion is indeed never tolerant. At the least, he is to feel pity for the adherent of another religion but usually it does not stop there. The faithful adherent of a religion will try first of all to convince those that believe in another religion and usually he goes on to hatred if he is not successful. However, hatred then leads to persecution when the might of the majority is behind it.”