Sunday, July 28, 2013

Einstein hits the mark, of course

Occasionally I am going to use quotes from famous agnostics/atheists to help understand that some of the brightest minds in history found believing in god to be trite and foolish. If these people are all infidels destined to spend eternity in hell, then it's going to be one, ahem, hell of a party when I get there.

Albert Einstein, likely the greatest mind ever to live, is obviously known for his contributions to science. He also was an atheist, despite the believers trying desperately to claim him as their own. One of the reasons for this was because he sometimes would use the word "god" as a metaphor and it would be misinterpreted. He often had to refute the claims that he believed in god, which was a shame because his time was of course better spent pondering the true mysteries of the universe. Here, in a New York Times piece from 1930, he really hits the mark with science and morality.

"It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept, which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere . . . Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

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