Prof. Vasant Natarajan tells us that Einstein called belief in God “childish superstition”. The actual quote is: “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a CHILDLIKE [NOT CHILDISH] one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervour is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”In fact, Einstein’s humility comes through in that his own attitude is childlike, which is indeed the attitude human beings must have in relation to God. (I will justify the use of the term ‘must’ because the scriptures of all religions enjoin on us an attitude of humility, and not pride, before the majesty of God.)
Let me quote Einstein further: “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”
So that was the position of Einstein. It’s understandable that those inclined not to believe in God or religion misplace their anger against violence done in the name of religion, against religion itself — But, it is, in fact a misjudgment.
A cursory study of history reveals an exponential increase in the scale of violence in modern times, which began with the so-called “enlightened” Europeans, corresponding with the rapid decline of religion in the West. Also, is it a coincidence that it is the continuation of this same tendency that has led to the most disastrous crises — humanitarian and ecological?
There are many parents with children who’ve died of cancer, but they would not deny the mercy of God … and their faith will not be in vain.
(T he writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org )