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Is Einstein Right? Is Belief in God a Childish Superstition?


In a letter to be auctioned off this week, Albert Einstein called believing in God a "childish superstition." He wrote:

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.

Einstein, a Jew who rejected the offer to be Israel's second president, also wrote in the letter that he does not believe that the Jews are the chosen people. About his fellow Jews he wrote:

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 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.

This letter may come as a surprise to the faithful who have used another Einstein quote — "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind" — to support the notion that faith and science can coexist and complement each other. Does this unequivocal letter quell any reckonings that Einstein was a spiritual man?

Do Einstein's opinions about religion impact your own? Do you agree that belief in God is a childish superstition? Or, do Einstein's own statements contradict his contention, revealing that religion is an issue worthy of more consideration than a childish superstition?

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