Monday, May 14, 2018


Albert Einstein seems to have held conflicting ideas about God. He maintained that God is a superior intelligence, but also, that He is not concerned about morality:

·       I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God. (Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas & Banesh Hoffman)

Why would Einstein believe that God is an “infinitely superior spirit” but lack a moral character? To be intelligent but not also to be moral and concerned about the welfare of humanity would make God into something that is little more than a highly sophisticated computer.

The cause(s) is always greater than its effect. A non-moral god would be less than the maximally glorious God who has instilled us with a moral, just, and compassionate nature. Consequently, such a God would be less than the creatures He had created.

Why would Einstein deny that God has a moral nature? I cannot answer this question definitively. However, many atheists have. They admit that they do not like the idea of a God sitting in judgment over them, and, therefore, resist believing in His existence. Nevertheless, Einstein did mention that he could not “conceive of a personal God who would…directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation.” Why not? Perhaps such a conception was repugnant to him.

In contrast, I am grateful that God will bring justice. It is one less thing that I will have to do. Meanwhile, I can concern myself with His mandate to love.

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