Religion is a familiar term to many people living in the West, and the belief in God has become a basis of their spirituality. However, many people think that believing in God is superstitious and that it goes against modern science.
Is this true? Does God actually exist, after all? The greatest scientist of the 20th century, Albert Einstein, gave his opinion about this matter in many interviews and letters.
As a world-renowned theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein, stated his views on the existence of God in an interview.
It is recorded that, once, Einstein had just sent off a friend when a reporter came over. Einstein, then, pointed to a plate of sweets, cakes, and coffee mugs on the table and asked the reporter: “Sir, do you know who has placed the coffee mugs and cakes on the table?”
The reporter replied: “Of course it was you!”
To that, Einstein responded: “Even something as tiny as a cup of coffee needs arranging, just think about it. In this universe, there are countless planets, and each of them follows an orbit while revolving around their axis. God reveals Himself in the orderly manner of what exists!”
Shortly after that, he continued: “You may say that you have never heard of or seen God before. Under those premises, how could you believe that God exists? It’s true, you have five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. However, there is a limit to your senses. For instance, humans can only hear sounds in the range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, while other animals have a wider range.”
“It also holds true with sight,” he continued. “Humans can only see objects emitting light wavelengths that are observable to the human eye. However, the light that the naked eye can see is only a limited spectrum of the many wavelengths that are included in the electromagnetic waves.”
In another interview, Einstein said: “Some people think that religion is not compatible with science. As a scientific researcher, I understand that today’s science is limited in determining whether something exists or not.”
The scientist continued by giving another example, saying, “Thousands of years ago, we could not prove the existence of the nucleus of an atom. If we had just recklessly concluded that the atomic nucleus does not exist, and then proceeded to discover it today, wouldn’t we have made a big mistake by denying its existence in the first place?”
“Therefore, science today cannot prove the existence of God, because science is not yet developed enough,” he added. “It is not because God does not exist.”
Einstein identified himself as a follower of Baruch Spinoza – a 17th-century Dutch-Jewish pantheist philosopher who saw God in every aspect of existence as well as extending beyond what we can perceive in the world. He used logic to deduce his fundamental principles, and he believed that God is indifferent to individuals.
Albert Einstein’s last wish
Perhaps, since Einstein believed in the existence of a God that permeated every aspect of existence, he always had an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of humans’ understanding of nature and their own being. This belief deeply influenced his point of view about life – which was evident throughout his life, and even in his last wish before he passed away.
In 1955, Albert Einstein suffered from internal bleeding due to the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and was had to be taken to the hospital. While he was in the doctor’s care, Einstein was fully conscious – he was aware that he did not have much time left. Therefore, he told his family and close friends two things.
First, he asked them not to turn his residence into a memorial or commemorative museum for people to visit and worship his mind and achievements. Secondly, he expressed the wish that his office would go to someone else after his death.
From these two wishes, it can be concluded that Einstein hoped that his scientific achievements and reputation in society would join him and disappear from the world after his passing.
Even right before his death, he did not forget to remind his relatives and friends not to hold a funeral nor build a monument for him multiple times. Due to this wish, the great scientist’s funeral was as simple as those of ordinary people.
(The cover photo from Shutterstock)