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Albert Einstein: Belief In God "Childish Superstition"

Belief in God 'childish,' Jews not chosen people: Einstein letter

May 13 08:24 AM US/Eastern

Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London this week, an auctioneer said Tuesday.
The father of relativity, whose previously known views on religion have been more ambivalent and fuelled much discussion, made the comments in response to a philosopher in 1954.

As a Jew himself, Einstein said he had a great affinity with Jewish people but said they "have no different quality for me than all other people".

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

"No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this," he wrote in the letter written on January 3, 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, cited by The Guardian newspaper.

The German-language letter is being sold Thursday by Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, said the auction house's managing director Rupert Powell.


In it, the renowned scientist, who declined an invitation to become Israel's second president, rejected the idea that the Jews are God's chosen people.

"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions," he said.

"And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people."

And he added: "As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."

Previously the great scientist's comments on religion -- such as "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" -- have been the subject of much debate, used notably to back up arguments in favour of faith.

Powell said the letter being sold this week gave a clear reflection of Einstein's real thoughts on the subject. "He's fairly unequivocal as to what he's saying. There's no beating about the bush," he told AFP.

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Added: May-22-2008 
By: TalkingMonkey
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  • Religion is a curse upon mankind, and children should not be indoctrinated. Maybe then we could all get along with each other?

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • so who should control education? it seems no matter who, there is always indoctrination into some sort of bias or ideology, be it state, church, parent... some authority. for most in the U.S., there is a lot of nationalistic indoctrination. it starts young with myths of christopher columbus and thanksgiving.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • ...'cause after all, Religion = Superstition

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • i belong to the cult of.... be good

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • the jews are the chosen people? lol

    chosen for what? greed?

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • Always a pleasure to be in the company of fellow bright LLers who like to bash religious nutters. Give them one from me to, brothers and sisters!

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • Huuhhh, your basically just another human being. Apparently, it runs in the basic family.

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • At last we see things from a similar perspective, my fellow primate:

    "it's like talking to someone with nothing more to
    say than all pompous heresay"

    Once again, you DON'T respond to the argument because you have been SHUT DOWN.


    Let's try this again...

    From the first sentence of the article:

    "Albert Einstein described belief in God as 'childish superstition...' "


    Einstein:
    Religious belief in God = childish superstition

    You:
    No Einstein, you're wrong because of <s More..

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • This blew my mind, so I posted the conversation between myself and HYPRTCKR here:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a88_1211510487

    ...and sent him a message disclosing that I had.

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • What are your thoughts about agnostics that believe science is the key of understanding God? Do you hate them as well for not conforming to your radical belief?

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • This includes mostly towards atheist.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • Let us talk about Atheist like Mao and Stalin, who never feared god, and killed more people than Hitler (who I suspect was an atheist as well), than any other god fearing dictator.....

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • An atheist is an agnostic who thought about it.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • I'm sorry, but I don't see whats radical about defining reality through the tested method of logic, reason, and objectivly verifiable evidence.

      ...as opposed to the lense of subjective unverifiable supernatural belief.

      Agnostic theists, like you just described, at the very least can sort out knowledge from beleif. I have little to no problem with that. It's still a HUGE step up over allowing fundamental unverifiable beliefs to trump factual knowledge in ones perception of reality.

      The More..

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • please, an athiest is a believer in "no god" which cannot be proven. atheism is a superstition.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • Comment of user 'HYPRTCKR' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • that's funny. you say his childish superstition is inaccurate and then prove it with childish superstition.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • "the true existential God is really
      a collection of all Gods watching over all of us
      in our own special ways. The true God is all of
      existential life, not only on this Earth, &
      not only in our finite space-time."

      This is what Einstein would have refered to as "childish supestition," in case you hadn't realized the point.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • Comment of user 'HYPRTCKR' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Comment of user 'HYPRTCKR' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
    • Sure bro, I can be more specific in making my point.

      1) Combining "true" and "God" is a childish superstition.

      2) Saying "Gods watching over us" is a childish superstition.

      3) Saying there is a god outside of "our finite space-time" is a childish superstition.

      4) Adam and Eve are characters in a story that is a product of a childish superstition.

      5) I am simply echoing Einstein's words back at you in making:

      ...my point.

      Your ENTIRE validation for w More..

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • good man. he recognizes human nature is the same, not matter what classification.

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • cleverest thing he's ever said!

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • believing in a religion is "childish", meaning that most religious people are thought, shown, and or lived in a religious manner as child. believing in god is like wishing to live a better life.

    "Wonder what
    Albert would have said about Scientology." i think he would accept alot of its "beliefs", that the brain can do many wonderful things and can alter life.

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • Too bad scientology is also a religion, and as such also childish to Einstein.

      I think he would have had a problem accepting thetans, Xenu, that we are all alien sprits that used to be trapped in volcanoes, and generally realize that L Ron Hubbard was only creating another series of supernatural superstitions out of his ass.

      Just a thought.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • exactly, a pointless thought. read and at least try to comprehend before you quote someone.

      Posted May-24-2008 By 

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    • Lol -

      Scientology = religion.

      Einstein: religion = childish belief.

      Therefore, according to Einstein: Scientology = childish belief.

      You: Einstein would have appreciated Scientology.

      Me: No, Einstein would have thought it was a childish belief.

      My reading comprehension is just fine.

      Posted May-24-2008 By 

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    • still you did not comprehend a thing i said...so you have a fucken belief that your comprehending but your not. LMFAO

      NOT ONCE DID I MENTION EINSTEIN WOULD APPRECIATE OR ACCEPT SCIENTOLOGY...FOR YOUR INFORMATION SCIENTOLOGY WAS MORE OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT KNOW THAT THE BRAIN CAN HEAL ITSELF THREW TRAUMATIC MOMENTS AND NOW MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE LEARNING ABOUT THAT AND APPRECIATING WHAT IT BRINGS TO THEM THAT THEY PRACTICE IT ON A DAILY BASIS THUS CONSIDERING IT A RELIGION.... it is just li More..

      Posted May-25-2008 By 

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    • So, basically what you're saying is that Einstein would NOT have accepted scientology (since he would have considered it childish beliefs) but WOULD have accepted any of it's findings relating to the brain?

      No, Einstein would more likely have waited for answers from SCIENCE, not answers who assumptions are tied to supernatural BS.

      Scientology is no more science than ID is science, get over it.

      You're making the same argument HYPRTCKR did, except replacing specific Christian/god beliefs More..

      Posted May-27-2008 By 

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  • What makes you think Religion is soley dependant on a Super natrual God. There are plenty of comments in here that Religion is not just a Belief in the Super Natrual but could and does also include some sort of Faith. Like Richard Dawkins said He has Faith that Evolution has happened, and is own his way to proving that it did.

    Evolution, Creationism, Christian, Agnostic, Atheists, None of these can escape the Realm of Faith in something through some sort of Religous practice.

    Any type of H More..

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • Noone says relgions requite a belief in god, but all religons have supernatural elements to them: reincarnation & karma for example.

      Do you intend to define any and every belief system as a religion? If I believe my toaster toasts toast is that a faith baised rleigon? Sorry, but not all belifs are faith based. Science is based on evidence.

      Read Richard Dawkins' article "Is Science a Religion?" where he pretty much explains just that.

      It seems you're confusing "trustin More..

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • " Science is based on Evidence "

      Correct but not all Science is backed by Evidence. All Thoeries require Faith in the unknown until the known is known.

      BTW, Do you ever get tired of being a Troll ? I don't follow you around quoting you and offering my objective point.

      Seriously, it's just Childish.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • Acctually I fail to see the objectivity in your points, which is why I feel the need to ask what you're talkig about. You seem to be arguing your subjective opinion as opposed to the esstablished fact. From where I'm sitting you seem to be muddling the definiiton ofwords to suit your views, as opposed to looking how those words are used in their proper context and what they actually mean.

      Theory: a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for observable facts. More..

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

      (2) | Report

    • Comment of user 'Matticus493' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • OKay and on the day he met his maker he was

    E=Mc2 Fucked.

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • SMART MAN.

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • Comment of user 'HYPRTCKR' has been deleted by author (after account deletion)!
  • Now that's funny. Answersingenesis ?

    Whatever you need to convince yourself to stay in your shell of scientific ignorance is up to you.

    I gave you an online forum/debate where you can bring ANYTHING you got up for questioning, but if your unwilling to put your beliefs to the test and would rather stay in a comment box then by all means do so.

    BTW Rarely does anyone there ever quote an Apologetic Website. They deal with Science.

    There's a Few Atheists, some Agnostics, some YEC's and O More..

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • "Let me comment but don't comment on my response?"

      If you don't want to debate or discuss just move on.

      Thank you for providing a source for further information, but just as you have the right to comment we have the right to explain if we believe your source is invalid.

      I don't think that anyone is "following" you around. In fact, it sounds pretty paranoid and/or self-involved, but I'm not in the position to make a call on that. Just how it sounds.

      Have a good we More..

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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  • Perhaps b/c it's not a Forum. It's a Comment section.
    Comments or opinions. This isn't some sort of debate.

    Although I would love to see you try and debate your Evolutionary Beliefs. When real Science is applied Evolution crumbles.

    Try if you want, I'm interested in what you consider fact, what Science is, and what evidence interprets itself.

    http://www.evolutionfairytale.com

    Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • The very fact that you are not joking, and the people on the website linked aren't joking either... is some scary shit.

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • The site you linked gets it's information from Answersingenesis. One has to question how an inherantly biased Biblical world view could ever be considered objective.

      This calls into question your lack of understanding of the terms "fact" and "objective" as clearly the Bible is neiter.

      I also don't need to prove evolution to you, it's the current established working theory for over 150 years. If you're looking to shake that applecart then I'd be more than willing to ent More..

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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    • lol your sources are REAL credible... lol! Religions is losing the battle, so they are fighting hard to stay afloat... good riddance

      Posted May-22-2008 By 

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