» » Einstein's God: Albert Einstein's Quest As a Scientist and As a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God

Download Einstein's God: Albert Einstein's Quest As a Scientist and As a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God epub

by Robert N. Goldman

This book reveals Albert Einstein's lifelong search for spiritual fulfillment - a fulfillment he sought in science and Jewish tradition - and adds to the growing literature concerning physicists and their relationships to religion and God. Robert N. Goldman has studied the vast library of Einstein's personal letters and other archival materials to uncover the legendary thinker's pursuit of spiritual understanding. Important philosophical influences are examined, and their integration with Einstein's theories regarding time and space are imparted by selections from his own writings. The author's thoughtful investigation of the sources further illuminates Einstein's thought processes and theology.
Download Einstein's God: Albert Einstein's Quest As a Scientist and As a Jew to Replace a Forsaken God epub
ISBN: 1568219830
ISBN13: 978-1568219837
Category: Other
Subcategory: Humanities
Author: Robert N. Goldman
Language: English
Publisher: Jason Aronson, Inc. (December 1, 1996)
Pages: 166 pages
ePUB size: 1174 kb
FB2 size: 1720 kb
Rating: 4.5
Votes: 859
Other Formats: rtf txt lit azw

Interesting read. Was buying it for my uncle, but took a quick read before I gave it to him. Had some interesting views on God and Art
Robert Goldman is "a pioneering computer scientist"; he wrote in the first chapter of this 1997 book, "Though he had scant regard for religious ritual, [Einstein] was fascinated by the word 'God' and used it often in casual conversation... one of Einstein's more thought-provoking lines about God, which he expressed to Leo Szilard, is known by very few: 'As long as you pray to God and ask him for SOMETHING, you are not a religious man.'" (Pg. 1-2)

Einstein said at a 1940 Jewish Theological Seminary Symposium, "In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests... After religious teachers accomplish the refining process indicated they will surely recognize with joy that true religion has been ennobled and made more profound by scientific knowledge." (Pg. 4)

He said, "Atheists are creatures who... cannot hear the music of the spheres." Goldman notes, "In his last year he said of himself, 'I am a deeply religious nonbeliever.' Though he rejected the idea of a personal God, he searched for what he believed transcended that idea, drawing from Jewish tradition in doing so." (Pg. 5) During the time when the Nazis were persecuting Jewish people under their power Einstein wrote, "I believe that it would be a real loss if the Jewish tradition as such went out of being. I find that the ideal of an openhearted humanness is better incorporated in our Jewish tradition than in the tradition of any other such community which brings together so many individuals. I believe too that by keeping our Jewish tradition, it serves the ideal of humanity." (Pg. 50)

He wrote in 1948, "I am closer to Spinoza than to the prophets. It is why there exists no sin for me." (Pg. 55) He later added, "I could not feel so close to Spinoza were I not myself a Jew." (Pg. 77) He told an inquiring rabbi that "he believed in Spinoza's God, 'who does not concern himself with the fate and actions of men.'" (Pg. 91) He also wrote, "Judaism is not a creed: the Jewish God is simply a negation of superstition... It is clear also that 'serving God' is equated with 'serving the living.' The best of the Jewish people, especially the prophets and Jesus, contended tirelessly for this." (Pg. 109)

This fine book should also be supplemented with Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology, for anyone wanting to explore more deeply Einstein's thoughts about religion.
Albert Einstein has become almost a symbol for the concept of human intelligence. But what I admire most about Einstein wasn't so much his intelligence but his wisdom. In Einstein's God, Robert Goldman displays that wisdom in a manner that those of us of lesser intelligence can understand.

Einstein's God is nothing less than the God of Spinoza, the 17th century Dutch Jew who was excommunicated by the Amsterdam rabbinate for his heretical views. Goldman fully acknowledges Einstein's love of, and indebtedness to, Spinoza. But Goldman also explains how Einstein was able to extend Spinoza's concepts through his own theory of relativity, which unifies the notions of "space" and "time" into a single "spacetime" continuum. Readers with an interest in exploring the concept of immortality should find Goldman's discussion fascinating on that point.

I was saddened to see that nine years after this wonderful little book was published, nobody had reviewed it on I can only blame that on the reality that Einstein's spirituality has failed to capture the public's imagination. What a shame. In an era where people become best selling authors by claiming to have "conversations" with God, we are neglecting our true geniuses who pursued God with the greatest of humility.

Descartes taught us that since we think, we must exist. But Einstein taught us that since we can contemplate the ultimate, the eternal, the infinite -- and since our own thoughts will never even approach that standard -- who are we to doubt its existence? And who are we to say that the word "God" shouldn't be used to describe such ultimacy?

Indeed, maybe the modern scientist doesn't "need" God. But no lesser a scientist than Einstein realized that we might still "want" God just the same.