Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
US (German-born) physicist.............genius - vegetarian - devotee of God and Science
Einstein's Religious Theses
Comparing the famous physicist's concepts of God and soul to Hindu beliefs By Mark Hawthorne, California
Many people, mostly theologians, have accused Einstein of being an atheist; such a scientist, say his detractors, could hardly be religious. Einstein's view of religion did not include a personal God, which in the first half of the twentieth century was tantamount to saying he was atheistic. But no atheist spent so much time, and put so much thought, into celebrating God. And perhaps no physicist ever considered so deeply the link between science and religion. When asked how he accounted for being both a scientist and a man known for religious musings, Einstein replied: "Well, I do not think that it is necessarily the case that science and religion are natural opposites. In fact, I think that there is a very close connection between the two. Further, I think that science without religion is lame and, conversely, that religion without science is blind. Both are important and should work hand-in-hand. It seems to me that whoever doesn't wonder about the truth in religion and in science might as well be dead."
Then there are the theological issues raised by Einstein's scientific discoveries. For example, Hindu philosophers have frequently suggested that Einstein's famed equation, E=mc2 (that mass and energy are different manifestations of the same thing), is remarkably parallel to certain concepts in Hindu philosophy. Other aspects of his work, such as the mutability of time, have intriguing parallels in the philosophies of India. At the request of Hinduism Today who gave me the assignment despite my lack of philosophical credentials I ventured into the fascinating world of Albert Einstein's religious beliefs and the theological consequences of his scientific discoveries.
Born to Jewish parents in Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein's first education was at a strict Catholic school in Munich, where order and discipline were instilled in the students. The experience left him with a lifelong disdain of regimentation and a distrust of authority figures. Apparently to balance the Catholicism Albert was learning in primary school, his parents hired a distant relative to tutor him in the fundamentals of Judaism. These studies sparked a spiritual interest in young Albert, who began preparing for his bar mitzvah, the religious rite Jewish boys undergo when turning 13. He eagerly read the scriptures of his faith and even gave up eating pork. While other boys were dreaming of becoming soldiers and going to war, Einstein abhorred the thought of being in the military. "When I grow up, I don't want to be one of those poor people, " he told his parents. He would remain a devout pacifist throughout his life. He spent a lot of time deep in thought, and he credited his trait of profoundly wondering about things with helping him in his scientific endeavors. Einstein even believed his childlike curiosity, allowing him to think without boundaries, set the stage for his discovery of the relativity theory as an adult.
Einstein maintained a deep interest in his Jewish studies until a family friend lent him several books on natural science. Suddenly, he viewed the world through an empirical lens. He wrote in his autobiography: "Through the reading of popular scientific books, I soon reached the conviction that a lot in the Bible stories could not be true. The result was downright fanatical freethinking, combined with the impression that young people were being lied to by the state: it was a shattering discovery." Einstein turned his back on organized religion and refused to take his bar mitzvah; he was, therefore, not a proper member of the Jewish community something that might have later become an issue had he taken up Israel's 1952 offer to be the country's second president.
The young Einstein soon focused his attention on geometry, finding in Euclid's axiomatic-deductive method a clarity and certainty that he had not found in the Torah and Talmud of his Jewish instructions. From higher mathematics it was only a short and logical step to the world of philosophical thought. With an analytical mind and a passion for deep thinking, he was equal to the task of absorbing Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, a complex work addressing issues of human existence.
The influence of Spinoza
Einstein most admired the seventeenth-century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, whose writings he had discovered in his twenties. In Spinoza he found a kindred spirit. Both were solitary, pensive Jews who were eventually alienated by their religious heritage. Einstein was especially impressed by Spinoza's major work, Ethics, in which the philosopher uses Euclidean geometry to prove the validity of ethical ideas. Spinoza argued that "God, or substance, consisting of infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality, necessarily exists." According to Spinoza, infinite substance is indivisible. "God is One, hence, in the nature of things, only one substance is given, " Spinoza wrote in Ethics. Philosophically, his position that whatever exists is a part of a single substance is called, in Western philosophy, "monism." A similar concept exists within many forms of Hindu philosophy.
Spinoza believed in a form of pantheism, from the Greek pan and theos, meaning "everything is God." Adherence to monism specifically, his belief in pantheism has parallels with the tenets of several Hindu systems of thought, including Advaita Vedanta. The common scientific view is that there is nothing but the physical universe that we can see and measure with our instruments. What separates Spinoza, and later Einstein, from this is two-fold. One, that "what exists " likely extends far beyond our human ability to perceive and analyze it, and two, that "what exists " is divine, Godly and not inert matter.
Some place Spinoza's philosophy under the heading of modified pantheism, in which God is believed to be the reality behind nature. In this way his philosophy differs from Sankara's Advaita Vedanta, in which Brahman alone is reality and all else is illusion. In his Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion, William Reese calls Advaita Vedanta "Acosmic Pantheism, " the belief that God is in and beyond the manifest world, which does not enjoy true existence.
But Spinoza's view is similar to the view of Saiva Siddhanta and several others systems that the universe is the body and mind of God, while at the same time God transcends the universe. It's a difficult task to compare these Western and Eastern philosophies, not only because they use different terminology, but because the Western philosophies are generally reasoned out, while the Eastern philosophies rely more upon meditative experience and insight. One also has to keep in mind that from the 17th century onward, in Europe and America, Western religion was under full-scale attack from the emerging philosophy and discoveries of science. The relationship between science and religion in the West remains largely hostile. Not so in the East.
Spinoza's views on religion therefore provided something of a way around the hostilities, and they validated ideas that were already germinating in Einstein's mind. "I am fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism, " he said, "but admire even more his contribution to modern thought, because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things." Einstein viewed the human being as a single unit, and scoffed at the idea of a soul which transcended death.
"I am not an atheist."
Einstein's ideas on spirituality enjoyed some influence due to his revolutionary work in physics. Some theologians felt threatened by his scientific theories, and Einstein was frequently asked to contribute articles about religion, perhaps in part to demonstrate he was not an atheist attempting to disprove the existence of God or to demonstrate he was, since both sides interpreted Einstein's ideas to suit their own agenda. These articles, interviews and essays are some of the best evidence we have of Einstein's philosophy.
One, titled "Science and Religion, " presented at the 1940 Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in New York, became the center of controversy. "A person who is religiously enlightened, " he wrote, "appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings and aspirations to which he clings because of their superpersonal value." He then went on to define religion as "the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect."
Einstein concluded his paper with a statement about the conflict between science and religion, which he believed has its root in the concept of a personal God. Theologians attending the conference were in an uproar, misinterpreting Einstein's statement as a denial of God. He was asked straight out if he believed in God, and he replied: "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings." One faction took this to mean Einstein was a believer in God as they understood God. An opposing camp said Einstein's believing in Spinoza's nonpersonal God was the same as believing in no God at all.
In an attempt to define why and in what way he was "religious, " Einstein said, "Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious."
One person asked Einstein to define God. He replied in this fashion: "I'm not an atheist, and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. 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. Our limited mind grasps the mysterious force that moves the constellations."
Einstein was blunt in his rejection of the central tenets of Western religion. "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, " he said, "or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I, nor would I want to, conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."
An unusual aspect of Einstein's beliefs, again following Spinoza, was in "determinism, " the position that every event or occurrence is determined, that is, could not have happened other than it did. For Spinoza, the feeling of being free is simply the state of ignorance concerning the cause. Einstein's belief in determinism was in part behind his lack of acceptance of quantum mechanics, which held one could not deduce the future state of the universe from the present one. He famously said, "God does not play dice with the universe." However, despite his best efforts, he could not disprove quantum mechanics.
The "cosmic religion "
Einstein summarized his philosophy in what he termed the "cosmic religion, " which is characterized by a feeling of awe and an experience of the mysterious that he declared to be the source of his religiosity. In this experience, God does not punish or reward. Although his cosmic religion does not include a personal God (i.e., Ishvara), which he believed was devised due to fear of the unexplained, Einstein believed, "The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it." At this point, for Einstein, religion and science meet, for the cosmic religious experience "is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research."
In response to a question about whether or not modern science can offer spiritual insights where organized religion has failed, Einstein said, "Speaking of the spirit that informs modern scientific investigations, I am of the opinion that all the finer speculations in the realm of science spring from deep religious feeling, and that without such feeling they would not be fruitful. I also believe that this kind of religiousness, which makes itself felt today in scientific investigations is the only creative religious activity of our time." Einstein said that science cannot teach men the importance of ethics and morality, for the simple reason that science deals with what is, and ethics with what should be.
Among the most famous Einstein dialogues took place in 1930, when Rabindranath Tagore visited him in Germany. Einstein reserved the highest admiration for Tagore, as well as Mahatma Gandhi, and they, in turn, regarded him with esteem. They were united in their concern for the poor and the state of the human condition. Tagore and Einstein shared a love of music and the belief that religion is not found in rituals and tradition. But the poet and the physicist disagreed on at least one point. When Einstein said he agreed with Tagore's concept that beauty is inseparable from man, but that he did not agree that the same held true for truth, Tagore asked, "Why not? Truth is realized through man." After a long pause, Einstein replied simply, "I cannot prove that my conception is right, but that is my religion." Tagore finally declared, "If there be some truth which has no sensuous or rational relation to the human mind, it will ever remain as nothing so long as we remain human beings." To this Einstein replied, "Then I am more religious than you are!"
Relativity in the light of Vedanta
In Einstein's theory of relativity, E=mc2, he postulates that mass is equivalent to energy. Both space and time, deduced Einstein, are no longer absolutes. Consider his theory in light of the Vedanta system of Hindu philosophy. All matter throughout the universe is the outcome of one primal matter called akasha. Moreover, all force, whether gravitational or electromagnetic, is the outcome of one cosmic energy called prana. Prana acting on akasha is creating or projecting the universe. Einstein had thus proven mathematically what Vedantists had known for years. Some theologians have taken the theory of relativity one step further, speculating that Einstein's mass-energy equivalence also accounts for energy and matter as true functions of each other. A God of pure energy could thus become an avatar a doctrine held by some Hindus, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians.
Relativity may also be explored in terms of the system of 36 tattvas, or categories of existence, common to several systems of Hindu philosophy. These begin with shuddha maya, pure spiritual energy, the first evolutes, emanations or creations out of God. The first five tattvas are forms of consciousness, while the next seven are forms of spiritual-magnetic energy, including time (number 7, kala tattva). The final 24 consist of magnetic-gross energy, and include the mental faculties, organs of perception and action and finally the elements ether, air, fire, water and earth. The system of tattvas also regards matter as a form of energy. The major difference is that Einstein did not appear to speak in terms of consciousness as Hindus do, and his religious concepts seemed for the most part to deal with physical reality and not these higher realms of knowing or the subtle worlds spoken of in the Vedas.
The search for a unified field theory
In 1933, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and accepted a position in the United States at the new Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He spent the rest of his life as an American citizen in Princeton with his wife, Elsa. They lived in a simple house, and most mornings he walked a mile or so to the Institute to work on his unified field theory. He was attempting to link all known phenomena to explain the nature and behavior of all matter and energy in existence, work that caused some excitement among nonscientists then and now. Paramahansa Yogananada praised the physicist in his 1946 autobiography. "Reducing the cosmical structure to variations on a single law, " Yogananada wrote, "Einstein has reached across the ages to the rishis who proclaimed a sole fabric of creation: a protean maya."
More recently, Eknath Easwaran wrote in his commentary on the Bhagavad Gita that Einstein's quest is a theme found in Hinduism: "One of the most fervent hopes of Einstein was to find an overriding law of nature in which all laws of matter and energy would be unified. This is the driving question in some of the ancient Hindu scriptures, too. Mundaka Upanishad 1.1.3 asks, 'What is That by knowing which all other things may be known?' "
Einstein's search for proof of a unified field eluded him his entire
life, although his perception of existence seemed as clear to him as it
was to the rishis. He wrote, "A human being is a part of the whole, called
by us 'Universe,' a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself,
his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind
of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison
for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few
persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison
by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and
the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely,
but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation
and a foundation for inner security."
In the past it never occurred to me that every casual remark of mine
would be snatched up and recorded. Otherwise I would have crept further
into my shell.
-- Einstein to his biographer Carl Seelig (October 25, 1953)
Why Einstein is famous:
When a blind beetle crawls over the surface of a curved branch, it doesn't notice that the track it has covered is indeed curved. I was lucky enough to notice what the beetle didn't notice.
-- Einstein, in answer to his son Eduard's question why he is so famous, 1922
With fame I become more and more stupid, which of course is a very common
-- Albert Einstein (to Heinrich Zanger, Dec 1919)
Just as with the man in the fairy tale who turned everything he touched
into gold, with me everything is turned into newspaper clamor.
-- Albert Einstein (to Max Born, Sep 9, 1920)
From: Dr. Stuart Savory savory.pad#NoSpam.sni.de / savory.pad#NoSpam.sni-usa.com
"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?".
-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) [German physicist]
From: kitchse#NoSpam.mail.auburn.edu (Susan E Kitchens)
"Gravitation can not be held resposible for people falling in love"
-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) [German physicist]
The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.
-- Albert Einstein
From: Colin_Douthwaite#NoSpam.equinox.gen.nz (Colin Douthwaite)
Here are some more Einstein quotes:
When asked how World War III would be fought, Einstein replied that he didn't know. But he knew how World War IV would be fought: With sticks and stones!
"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity."
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
Einstein, Albert (1879-1955) *
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
_Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium_ (1941) ch. 13
Special Category: Albert Einstein
If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living,
I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather
choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree
of independence still available under present circumstances.
-- Albert Einstein, The Reporter, November 18 1954
From: boba#NoSpam.wwa.com (Bob Allison)
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The plumber Stanley Murray replied to this: "Since my ambition has always
been to be a scholar and yours seems to be a plumber, I suggest that as
a team we would be tremendously successful. We can then be possessed
of both knowledge and independence.
From: throopw#NoSpam.sheol.org (Wayne Throop)
Special Category: Albert Einstein
Special Category: Niels Bohr
Special Category: Stephen Hawking
traditional paraphrase sequence:
"God does not play dice with the universe." -- Einstein
"Who are you to tell God what to do?" -- Bohr
"God not only plays dice, but sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen." -- Hawking
From: "David C. Kifer" <dkifer#NoSpam.sky-access.com>
I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos. -- Albert Einstein,
in _Observer_, 1954 [or]
Jedenfalls bin ich überzeugt, dass _der_ nicht würfelt. [At any rate, I am convinced that _He_ [God] does not play dice.] ---Einstein, Letter to Max
Born, 4 December 1926 in _Einstein und Born Briefwechsel_ (1969) p. 130
God plays dice with the universe, but they're loaded dice."
-- Joseph Ford, physicist; personal quote acknowledged in "CHAOS; Making a
New Science," James Gleick; Viking Penguin Inc, NY; 1987 (p314)
It seems certain that Einstein was doubly wrong when he said "God does not play dice." Consideration of particle emission from black holes would seem to suggest that God not only plays dice but also sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen. -- Dr Stephen W. Hawking, NATURE, 1975 [no article by Hawking in Nature that year, but mentioned thus: Specifically, it is in Nature 257 (October 2, 1975), 352, an account of a conference written by Malcolm MacCallum. The account begins "God not only plays dice. He also sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen" This statement is made by S. W. Hawking (Cambridge University) in his recent work on black holes... The reference seems to be to two preprints circulated by Hawking. [also found in] Hawking concluded by reminding us that Albert Einstein once said "God does not play dice with the universe." "On the contrary," Hawking said, "it appears that not only does God play dice, but also that he sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen." --Jerry Pournelle, _Galaxy_ magazine article reporting on Hawking lecture at Cal Tech, October 1975, collected in the book _A Step Farther Out_ by Jerry Pournelle, cr. 1979
God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game
of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of the
players, (ie everybody), to being involved in an obscure and complex version
of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with
a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
-- "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
From: AXYG58A#NoSpam.prodigy.com (Kristian Jungen)
My favorite from Einstein
(forgive me if I paraphrase slightly:) Einstein was listening to a student of his when he stated: "Do not trouble me with your concerns with Mathematics. I assure you, mine are greater."
It is probably this:
To junior high school student Barbara Wilson, January 7, 1943:
Do not worry about difficulties in mathematics; I can assure you that mine are still greater.
From: goble#NoSpam.infonaut.com (Clark Goble)
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe. -- Albert Einstein
From: jr3000#NoSpam.aol.com (JR3000)
"The must incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible." --Albert Einstein
From: Colin_Douthwaite#NoSpam.equinox.gen.nz (Colin Douthwaite)
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.
- Albert Einstein
From: Colin_Douthwaite#NoSpam.equinox.gen.nz (Colin Douthwaite)
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet"
According to Alice Calaprice in the expanded quotable Einstein this is probably not by Albert Einstein (- comment by Joachim)
From: sue#NoSpam.dnai.com (Sue Reinhold)
"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother." - Albert Einstein
From: kharris#NoSpam.ozonline.com.au (Kevin Harris)
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind for the examinations, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect on me that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year.
...one of the strongest motives that lead men to art and science is escape from everyday life with its painful crudity and hopeless dreariness, from the fetters of one's own ever-shifting desires. A finely tempered nature longs to escape from the personal life into the world of objective perception and thought.
You're aware the boy failed my grade school math class, I take it? And not that many years later he's teaching college. Now I ask you: Is that the sorriest indictment of the American educational system you ever heard? [pauses to light cigarette.] No aptitude at all for long division, but never mind. It's him they ask to split the atom. How he talked his way into the Nobel prize is beyond me. But then, I suppose it's like the man says, "It's not what you know..." Karl Arbeiter: former teacher of Albert Einstein
From: ncmtbiker#NoSpam.aol.com (Eric Karp)
I never thought that others would take them so much more seriously then I did. - Albert Einstein about his theories
From: tdelling#NoSpam.eehpx13.cen.uiuc.edu (Timothy M Dellinger)
It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.
From: fcbaer#NoSpam.shentel.net (FRANK)
Subject: FRANK's Quotations for Mar 14
from Albert Einstein
FRANK's Quotations for Mar 14 from Albert Einstein
Foraging Quote: We should take care not to make intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
Reflecting quote: I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.
Adopting quote: A theory can be proved by experiment; but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.
Nurturing Quote: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Knuckling Down Quote: Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.
% Albert Einstein (1879-1955) born on March 14 Swiss-German-U.S. physicist; His theories of relativity revolutionized physics; famous for E = MC squared; won Nobel Prize, 1921.
From: John Beaderstadt <beady#NoSpam.together.org> Date: 1999/04/13
"I tried to imagine the easiest way God could have done it."
Special Category: Albert Einstein
I believe that every true theorist is a kind of tamed metaphysicist, no matter how pure a "positivist" he may fancy himsself to be.
-- Albert Einstein [On the generalized theory of Gravitation, Scientific American 182.4 (April 1954)
The dog is very smart. He feels sorry for me because I receive
so much mail; that's why he tries to byte the mailman.
-- Albert Einstein, regarding his dog Chico. [quoted in Ehlers, Liebes Hertz!]
From: Jesper Skovhus Thomsen <jesper#NoSpam.jst1.anat.au.dk> "If
the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts." -- Albert Einstein
(1879-1955) (Alice Calaprice puts this in "The Expanded Quotable Einstein"
in the section
"Probably not by Einstein" - Joachim)
Special Category: Famous last words
From: Ian Ellis <ian#NoSpam.iglou.com>
Q. What were Einstein's last words?
A. No-one knows!
Albert Einstein's last words were spoken in German. The only other person in the room was a nurse who didn't speak or understand German, so Einstein's "last words" remain a mystery.
[source "Poor Charlie's Almanac©" by Charles Suitt] More from Einstein in the physics section
He [Albert Einstein] has a quiet way of walking, as if he is afraid of alarming the truth and frightening it away.
-- The Japanese cartoonist Ippei Okamoto on Einstein's visit
1922 [Einstein Archive 36]
Nobody in *football* should be called a genius. A genius is a
guy like Norman Einstein.
-- Football commentator and former player Joe Theisman.
During our crossing, Einstein explained his theory to me every day, and by the time we arrived I was fully convinced he understood it.
-- Chaim Weizmann, 1921 after he escorted Einstein to the United
Einstein's [violin] playing is excellent, but he does not deserve his
world fame; there are many others just as good.
-- A Berlin music critic on an early 1920s performance, unaware that
Einstein's fame did not derived from music.
An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem
science has with God, The Almighty.
He asks one of his new students to stand and.....
Prof: So you believe in God?
Student: Absolutely, sir.
Prof: Is God good?
Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to God to heal
him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But God didn't.
How is this God good then? Hmm ?
Student: (Student is silent.)
Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is
Prof: Is Satan good?
Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it?
Student : Yes .
Prof : And God did make everything. Correct?
Prof: So who created evil?
Student: (Student does not answer.)
Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness?
All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Student: Yes, sir.
Prof: So, who created them?
Student: (Student has no answer.)
Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe
the world around you. Tell me, son...Have you ever seen God?
Student: No, sir.
Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your God?
Student: No , sir.
Prof: Have you ever felt your God, tasted your God, smelt your God?
Have you ever had any sensory perception of God for that matter?
Student: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.
Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science
says your GOD doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Student: Nothing. I only have my faith.
Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.
Student: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Student: And is there such a thing as cold?
Student: No sir. There isn't.
(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)
Student: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.
(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)
Student: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?
Student: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something.
You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light....But
if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness,
isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to
make darkness darker, wouldn't you?
Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?
Student: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.
Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?
Student: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it.
Student : Now tell me, Professor , do you teach your students that they
evolved from a monkey?
Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Student: Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?
(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Student: Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at
work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour,
are you not teaching your opinion, Sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher
(The class is in uproar.)
Student: Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's
(The class breaks out into laughter.)
Student: Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?.....No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir ?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unfathomable.)
Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Student: That is it sir.. The link between man & God is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive
The student was.......... "Albert Einsten"
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