Last week I discussed Albert Einstein’s views on God. Today I’d like to address what others have stated about Einstein’s views on God.
This has been a topic of discussion in the world of science and religion for over 75 years. Many atheists, scientists, and naturalists have labeled Einstein as either an atheist or agnostic. Take this quote from the atheist evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, for example.
“Einstein sometimes invoked the name of God, and he is not the only atheistic scientist to do so, inviting misunderstanding by supernaturalists eager to misunderstand and claim the illustrious thinker as their own.”
So according to Dawkins, Einstein was an atheist. But according to biographer Walter Isaacson he wasn’t. When asked if he believed in God, he said:
“I’m not an atheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.”
From this quote we see that Einstein not only believed in God, he saw God as both the author of the laws of the universe and the arranger of the universe.
Israeli physicist Max Jammer was friends with Einstein, and in his book “Einstein and Religion” he quoted Einstein as saying:
“I am not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist.”
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for support of such views.”
“Every scientist becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men.” “The divine reveals itself in the physical world.” “My God created laws… His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking but by immutable laws.”
“I want to know how God created this world.… I want to know his thoughts.”
From these quotes we can see that Einstein expressed the belief in a supreme being who designed and created the universe and the laws of the universe. Dawkins got it wrong. In fact, Einstein was more tolerant of people of faith than he was of militant atheists.