Albert Einstein and the Modern Atheists

John ArmstrongApologetics

Albert Einstein was clearly a brilliant man. He was once asked if he believed in God. He said: "I'm not an atheist. I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. 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."

Einstein was asked other questions about his beliefs over the years. He tried to express his feelings as clearly as possible. In the summer of 1930, amid his sailing and time for thinking in Caputh [Germany], he composed a credo titled: "What I Believe." This credo was recorded for a human-rights group and later published. It concluded with an explanation of what he meant when he called himself religious, which he often did: "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 grasp, 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."

No one who reads these words would think of Einstein as a Christian. He was not even a traditional theist. But this much is clear—Albert Einstein would find the popular writings of best-selling critics like Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins utterly ridiculous.

We cannot “prove” the existence of God, if by prove you mean provide an equation or a scientific proof. But the reality of God is so obvious that people who do believe are anything but foolish knaves for their sense of the mystery we call God. I think Albert Einstein offered some pretty good evidence of this simple truth.