Favorite Einstein quotes about God and America

Einstein - His Life and UniverseEinstein: His Life and Universe is a treasury of Einstein stories and quotes. Einstein was a very quotable guy and this surely enhanced his popularity. Here are a few of my favorites:

In an interview shortly after his 50th birthday, a journalist named George Sylvester Viereck asked Einstein if he accepted the historical existence of Jesus. Einstein’s response: “Unquestionably. No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

I was just impressed that Einstein had taken the time to read the Gospels. In the same interview, Veireck asked him if he believed in God. He was asked this question or some version of it many times during his life; this was one of his best answers.

“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 this books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child 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.”

About America he most admired the freedom to express individual ideas, even unpopular ones, without fear. “From what I have seen Americans, I think that life would not be worth living to them without this freedom.”

Einstein’s appreciation of freedom, his natural tendency from birth, was greatly energized by his experience of living in Berlin and witnessing the rise of the Nazis. He publicly announced that he “would not live in a country where people were denied the freedom to hold and express their own thoughts.”

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About CJ

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Posted on January 19, 2016, in Books of the 21st century, Reading Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Because he was such a noted scientist, I always assumed Einstein would probably be an atheist. It’s great to discover that I was wrong. Thanks for educating me, Carol!

  2. I always find it interesting to see how scientists reconcile their religious and scientific beliefs. I once worked with a nun who taught evolution. She believed in both God and evolution and believed that somewhere in our evolution, God breathed a soul into humans.

    • Hi Marcy. The nun may have been right and in fact was almost certainly right on some level. It does seem that both evolution and God exist, and so do humans – as in animals with higher awareness. So…somewhere along the way the forces must have come together. Thanks so much for visiting my new blog!

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