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Einstein's thoughts concerning God, Jesus, Free-will

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posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 11:20 AM
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Hi everyone! I am currently reading an excellent biography about Einstein called Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson, and came to a chapter detailing Einstein's beliefs about God etc. I found his quotes to be fascinating, especially about Jesus- had never heard anything about what Einstein felt about Jesus before- so I thought I'd share with you all and see if you had any ideas about it.
Here's some of the more interesting quotes regarding Einstein's brand of theology. The interviewer, George Viereck's, questions are outside the quotes, and Einstein's response is given in quotes.

To what extent are you influenced by Christianity? "As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene."
You accept the historical existance of Jesus? "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."
Do you believe in God? "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 those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly 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."
Is this a Jewish concept of God? "I am a determinist. I do not believe in free will. Jews believe in free will. They believe man shapes his own life. I reject that doctrine. In that respect I am not a Jew"

Do you believe in immortality? "No. And one life is enough for me."

And finally, I leave you with a quote in which Einstein describes his relationship with religion:

"The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is something that our minds cannot grast, whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly: this is religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I am a devoutly religious man."

Wow. So, my friends, in which ways do you agree with the genius of Einstein? In which do you disagree?
For me, I have to disagree with Einsteins rejection of free will (although certain new studies of the brain, I believe, would contradict me).. I think that free will perfectly explains the presence of evil in this world. What does free will "look" like to me? Imagine a line, or road, extending off in every direction, for every single choice we make in life (the small and the big alike) and this is how I picture free will. Of course, each choice would include the potential for the most altruistic or depraved action. Each new choice builds off the old one, multiplying into infinity.

How about you? Any thoughts?




posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:07 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Einstein didn't believe in free will either. He was a deterministic, meaning that the hidden hand that wrote this virtual reality has written like a movie, all things are determined and we are merely riders on meat puppet buses. We observe, we learn, but we have no control.

Cheers - Dave



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: bobs_uruncle

Yeah, this surprised me! So murderers were born with their fates intact.. they had no choice but to kill.

Interesting concept but I humbly and respectfully disagree with the great man. On this matter, anyway.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:21 PM
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I believe that in every moment a being can choose to oppose negative indoctrination even if the whole reality thru probability fields are trying to make the being comply to the negative. But even if there is a potential to do this there at the same time can be a projection of what will happen that is perfect and takes in all the variables even that free will.

I agree with Einstein. Once is enough on this level of awareness.




No myth is filled with such life.


I think that is his personal preference. It is like having a favorite band or song. I like Yeshua but there are other blessed ones that I like more.
. Have your own favorite.
edit on 25-8-2016 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:22 PM
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originally posted by: bobs_uruncle
a reply to: zosimov

Einstein didn't believe in free will either. He was a deterministic, meaning that the hidden hand that wrote this virtual reality has written like a movie, all things are determined and we are merely riders on meat puppet buses. We observe, we learn, but we have no control.

Cheers - Dave


Sounds like someone didnt read the OP


..hopefully the ats scientists/atheists can chime in with their thoughts.. without downplaying the relevance of this great thinker..



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:23 PM
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originally posted by: LittleByLittle


I agree with Einstein. Once is enough on this level of awareness.


Yes, this was funny! (In a sad sort of way)



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:25 PM
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a reply to: LittleByLittle

I enjoy your take on free will. Interesting that you see the outside forces as negative.. agreed.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:27 PM
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originally posted by: zosimov
a reply to: LittleByLittle

I enjoy your take on free will. Interesting that you see the outside forces as negative.. agreed.


Does not have to be but I wanted to show the worst personal scenario.




Yes, this was funny! (In a sad sort of way)


It both is and is not sad since I am quite happy about it.

edit on 25-8-2016 by LittleByLittle because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:29 PM
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a reply to: zosimov




For me, I have to disagree with Einsteins rejection of free will (although certain new studies of the brain, I believe, would contradict me).. I think that free will perfectly explains the presence of evil in this world.


Many intellectuals of Jewish descent have opined of "god" as being "Law" by which all things are guided, not an anthropomorphic being meddling in human affairs, and have for centuries. Einstein is one of them, and his rejection of the Christian concept of "free will" is immortalize in his statement:
"As I have said so many times, God doesn't play dice with the world."

Believing that "God" opened the door for all the evil that exists because he granted Adam and Eve free will, is the same as declaring that "God" plays dice with humanity.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:33 PM
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a reply to: LittleByLittle

My own world-view supports this theory.. that we are contantly fighting or pushing back against demonic forces if you will (or the scientific idea of entropy). The alternative of course being submitting to or embracing the chaos.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:39 PM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: zosimov




For me, I have to disagree with Einsteins rejection of free will (although certain new studies of the brain, I believe, would contradict me).. I think that free will perfectly explains the presence of evil in this world.


Believing that "God" opened the door for all the evil that exists because he granted Adam and Eve free will, is the same as declaring that "God" plays dice with humanity.





The way I see it, in order to create beings that were not automatons, one would have to create them with entirely free will, which would include the worst possible scenario. And if there exists a worst possible scenario, well, I would assume that, eventually, that scenario will play itself out.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:47 PM
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Where did you get the quotes from?

I understand it is from an interview but where did you get the transcript.
edit on thThu, 25 Aug 2016 12:50:56 -0500America/Chicago820165680 by Sremmos80 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:48 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Do lions, tigers and bears have free will, or are they automatons?



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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So he's more of an agnostic. He doesn't believe specifically in God the way he's portrayed in religion but knows that neither he nor any other scientist knows how the universe was arranged. Honestly, I think this is the only real way for a scientist to approach religion. Kinda like Neil Degrasse Tyson refers to himself as agnostic, ruling things out without proof is unscientific but touting something as truth without proof is as well.

I wonder if he didn't believe in free will because of his study of space/time. Technically, everything that will happen or could happen has already happened so decisions, from a theoretical physics standpoint, are mostly an illusion.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:51 PM
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a reply to: Sremmos80

All quotes are from the 17th chapter of the book mentioned in the original post



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:54 PM
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a reply to: windword

Interesting question.. I'd say they are limited in scope but have a degree of freedom in choice. There are cases of certain species acting out of "compassion" for reasons other than survival.

What do you think?



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 12:59 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

Ah my mistake, I'll have to check that book out.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 01:05 PM
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a reply to: zosimov

I don't believe in "free will" as Christians see it, but I do believe in some sort of freedom of expression. I see life as a dance. The music has been selected, the steps have been plotted, but every dancer has their own special style.

The compassion that you see is called altruism, and is a vital part of evolution. We all have to live together, lean on each other, use each other. Life devours life, in order for life to persist. It's an eternal cycle, that is neither good nor evil.

edit on 25-8-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 01:07 PM
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a reply to: Slanter

Yes, I'd say agnostic is a good way to describe Einstein's religiosity. Interesting point about his concept of free will as it relates to his work in quantum physics.

It reminds me a bit of Calvinist predestination.



posted on Aug, 25 2016 @ 01:10 PM
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Love Einstein and of course all free thinkers.

He held his own view of life and death and this I respect.

In my opinion there isn't a right or wrong answer to, "Do we have free will".

What about this question... "Can we have free will to a certain extent".... I believe so. We create and have been since before our birth. We have a set goal/goals to accomplish while here and it's up to us to figure out such a purpose and fulfill it.




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