Einstein was pretty much an atheist

In response to the comment on PZ sums it up for us:

Two thoughts.

1. Einstein was pretty much an atheist by modern standards although technically probably a deist. I agree with his notion of the mystery of it all and I don’t object to calling the mystery “god”, I just think it is a horrible name for it. Atheists are not like he describes us. We are mistaken for that because of…

2. Part of what you are feeling is that, once you accept atheism for what it truly is — a rejection of claims without proof — the coddling that religion enjoys seems utterly daft. I think religion is ridiculous. I am amazed at the number of highly intelligent people who do not reject its flawed, overblown and largely intolerant and unhelpful claims. Yes, religious people are capable of all sorts of great things. They are great people. Its just not their religion that makes them so. Often it is in spite of their religion that religious people are great people. The religion isn’t helping and according to some its hurting.

This is a painful observation to people who are spiritual. They don’t feel ridiculous and they are not happy with this characterization. I understand that. It doesn’t change the fact that I am not a radical by saying it. They are “radicals” because they believe a bunch of nonsense for reasons that, under scrutiny, are much more tenuous than they would like to believe.

Now add on top of this that religious people feel they have the moral high ground, that atheists are evil, immoral and will deservedly suffer for eternity in Hell and the fact that a large population in this country believes in creationism, a 6000 year old Earth and the Second Coming…it is we, the godless, who are force-fed the radicalism. And now that there are a few more percent of us speaking out, we take on criticism like this — that we are mean and hostile. It’s utterly fucking daft. We’re mean and hostile because we are surrounded by people who speak, as if fact, about how Jesus Christ entered their lives and speak of evolution, cosmology and physics as if they are bad lies made up by a conspiracy of evil scientists.

You’ll note that Einstein was solidly on the side of science. He was barely, if at all, on the side of the theists. He was uncomfortable with that last quantum leap, just like you.

Einstein was pretty much an atheist

2 thoughts on “Einstein was pretty much an atheist

  1. You’re not listening. Einstein is also used, incorrectly, by theists. He certainly wasn’t a theist. You should look up deist if you are not familiar with the word. It is essentially an non-personal God who winds up the clock and disappears.

    I don’t care, BTW, whether Einstein was a theist or not. We are emerging from a time when everyone was a theist. Newton, Galileo, etc. were all theists.

    Like I said, I do understand your point in quoting Einstein. I’ve posted similar thoughts about the mysteries we face. But I think Einstein’s views on this subject are dated and often misconstrued by theists wanting for his support.


  2. micadelic says:

    Hmmm, “pretty much an atheist” but “technically probably a deist?” Sounds like a “little bit pregnant” to me.

    Just want to pull out a couple of direct quotes from Einstein for anyone who didn’t read my entire post…

    I’m not an atheist.

    There are people who say there is no God, but what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.

    So, don’t know what to call him but Einstein was pretty much not an atheist.

    I kind of thought his writings and expressed views on the subject were quite beautiful.


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