Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Myth: Albert Einstein Believed in God

Claim: Albert Einstein Believed in God

I see this claim being propagated by some in the religious community (including, surprise, surprise, my old friend Ray Comfort). It's quite popular amongst apologists, especially ones of the Christian persuasion. It's also one that could so easily be discovered to be false by these people if they did 5 minutes of homework, assuming of course they don't already know and are just lying to lend some credence to their cause (not that it actually would, but appeals to authority are very popular amongst the religious crowd).

So, what's the real story?

Truth: Albert Einstein, did not, in fact, believe in a god.

Allow me to repeat myself:


When Einstein used the word god, he was describing the majesty of the natural world, the universe. He was a pantheist, meaning he was someone who DID NOT BELIEVE IN A PERSONAL, ANTHROPOMORPHIC, CREATOR GOD. He believed that the universe was all that existed, and it was to be regarded with the deepest of reverences.

Some quotes of his:
I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.
And, when people kept (yes, even in his day) trying to claim him as one of their own, so to speak, he had this to say:
It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
The definition of Pantheism:
Pantheism is the view that the Universe (Nature) and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Ancient Greek: πᾶν (pan) meaning "all" and θεός (theos) meaning "belief that God is all". As such, Pantheism promotes the idea that "God" is better understood as a way of relating reverentially to Nature and the Universe. Although there are divergences within Pantheism, the central ideas found in almost all versions are the Cosmos as an all-encompassing unity and the sacredness of Nature.
He denied being an atheist (hell, he even denied being a pantheist in 1950). He referred to himself as an agnostic on more than one occasion. His ignorance of the nuances of these terms aside, even if you take it at face value, him self identifying as an agnostic alone disproves the claim. Still, in the end, he was wrong. He was a pantheist (which really just strikes me as romanticized or poetic atheism, but I digress). No gods. Certainly not the god of the bible. So let it go. You already have Hitler, you don't need Einstein ;)

(yes, that was a cheap shot, but I'm only playing. In reality, Hitler's beliefs are not so easily determined. Many atheists claim him to have been a theist, and vice versa, but the truth will probably never be known, since he said so many contradictory things. Unlike Einstein, whose few little contradictions-of-a-sort were chronological, consistent with a malleable viewpoint, Hitler's were chronologically fucked up and woefully hard to sort through ).

You go, girl. Throw a wrench into their plans!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Good stuff. I was always skeptical when I heard people say he believed in God. Speaking of Einstein, you should do a post on your thoughts on neutrinos lol.


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