Einstein’s God Letter – A translation, a fool, the truth.

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Main articles list / Religion & Science UnificationThe limits of science

Introduction

One could say that this article is about a letter and a translation. But it is much more. It is about how atheists tend to use data in a distorted way in order to support their views. And how they tend to ignore important parts of a story simply because they do not fit into their agenda. So yes, the article will start from a simple letter. Sure, it will move on to clarify some mistakes regarding its translation. But at the end, the most important lesson to be learned is that one should be overall honest if he wishes to be anywhere close to what we call “the truth”…

Related Articles

  • If you wish to go directly into finding arguments against atheism, then just skip the article and go to “How to debate atheists” article.
  • If you wish to read an overview article on how science and religion are correlated read Religion & Science unification article.
  • The “Limits of Science” article will provide you a good overview of the inherent limitations of science (something very important in today’s era of scientism)

Don’t forget to go to the Harmonia Philosophica Facebook community page to discover more of science and religion philosophy articles!

Chapter 1: The letter

In the newly “resurfaced” Einstein’s “God Letter” (again, due to an auction selling the letter – money is behind everything in this world…), a trend is developing in the Internet.

Once more people try to establish their beliefs as “truer” than others, simply by quoting a “great” man.

Atheists like Dawkins claim that the letter sheds light into Einstein’s view on God. They claim that Einstein was an atheist and this letter “proves” it. (see here)

The infamous letter was sent on Princeton University letterhead, to Eric B. Gutkind, on January 3, 1954, a year before Einstein passed away, sent as response to Gutkind’s book “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt”.

Einstein is quoted to use rough language against the belief in God.

In particular, the noted physicists says…

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. 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 also 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.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolization. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e; in our evaluations of human behavior. What separates us are only intellectual ‘props’ and ‘rationalization’ in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.”

(quote taken from the auction seller’s site here)

Crystal clear, right? Not.

A more careful examination reveals the truth…

[Harmonia Philosophica Facebook Community]

Chapter 2: The translation

A truth which is out there, harsh and cold for everyone who meets it.

First of all, Einstein for decades had been clear and unequivocal about believing in “Spinoza’s God,” and that he did not believe in the “personal” God of the Bible, or that the Bible was divine in origin.

His views were consistent over many years and there no other evidence of any departure from such views. And sure Einstein’s beliefs like the “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” tells us all we need to know about how that great mind thought: surely not in “boxes” of “yes” and “no” as most people would like him to…

The context of the letter appears to be Gutkind’s elevation of Jewish “Monotheism,” that is a personal God. So it appears reasonable to conclude that in using the word “God” Einstein may have simply referred to the concept of a Monotheistic Personal God, which he had already repudiated. [1]

What is more, the translation presented is not accurate. And this is more serious.

The word “childish” does not seem to actually exist in the original letter (!!!) as an analysis of the images of the letter reveals.

The widely circulated English translation, which the Guardian newspaper and the sellers attributed to an otherwise unidentified “Joan Stambaugh,” was analyzed by Steven H. Cullinane from early 2009: see here.

The detail photograph above is taken from the current sellers’ website image of the letter. The highlighted area shows the end of the “Bible” sentence, and the beginning of the next. The handwriting seems to read:

“die Bibel eine Sammlung ehrwurdiger, aber doch reichlich primitiver Legenden. Keine noch so feinsinnige Auslegung…”

which would be translated as:

“the Bible, a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends. No matter how subtle an interpretation…”

where the second sentence’s opening in the above is consistent with the next sentence in the sellers’ translation. There appears to be nothing like the provocative alleged parenthetical remark “which are nevertheless pretty childish” in the text.
Later in the same paragraph, Einstein is translated as describing the Jewish religion as “an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.” The word childish there appears to correspond with a form of the same German word used to describe legends in the passage mentioned above, which is often translated more plainly as “primitive” (as it was actually translated in the above-mentioned instance). A close-up photo confirming that Einstein wrote “primitiven Aberglaubens”(and not “kindischer Aberglaube”) appears in the second article in this series (see right below the highlighted rectangle in the second photo). [2]

Here is how the letter sounds if you restore the original meaning:

“The word God for me is nothing more than the product and expression of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection full of honorable but still primitive legends.

No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change it (for me). These refined interpretations are naturally highly diverse and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me, the unadulterated Jewish religion, like every other religion, is an incarnation of primitive superstitions.

And the Jewish people, to whom I gladly belong, and whose mentality I have deep affinity for, has for me however no different kind of dignity than any other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, while a lack of power saves them from the worst excesses. So I can not perceive anything “chosen” to them.” [3]

We should be less arrogant when we claim something and more careful when we read the Internet…

A wise man like Dawkins should know that…

Epilogue: A conclusion and a lesson

The conclusion is much more about a mistake (deliberate or not) in the translation. It is about the way people tend to search for the truth and make it fit their own beliefs. Atheists and theists alike tend to do that. And we should all try to be more honest in how we structure our arguments.

Einstein did write this letter. This is a fact. However the idea of “primitive” does not necessarily mean something negative in the senses atheists want to believe it does. Modern man has many misplaced beliefs which have alienated him from his true nature. One can read articles in Harmonia Philosophica related to “primitive” keyword to see why being primitive can be sometimes better – especially when it comes to being in touch with our true nature and place in the cosmos.

“Primitive” related articles

What is more, Einstein said many more things. So focusing on only one letter is simply wrong. One should draw conclusions based on the whole picture; relying on selected parts always results in distorted conclusions…

Last but certainly not least, what matters is not what Einstein said. Because Einstein was a physicist. Not a theologian and certainly not a philosopher. Read Einstein to understand the theory of relativity. But do not rely too much on him to understand religion, Christianity or God. At the end, Einstein was just a man. As we all are.

Search for the truth on your own.

The path to knowledge is a lonely one…

Related article: Religion & Science unification.

Appendix – The letter

For future reference, the full letter is attached below.

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been the Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. Spiros has a diploma in Chemical Engineering, an MSc in Advanced Materials' Technology, an MBA in Decisions' Science, a phD in the use of conductive polymers in PCB industry and is still learning. He also worked as a technical advisor and a researcher in the Advanced Materials sector for many years in the past. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs ever that is perfect for educational purposes. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy, as well as the philosophy of the irrational. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. Since our thought is dictated by our assumptions, the only way to free it and know cosmos as it is, is to think irrationally and destroy everything we have built. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans. We should stop thinking in order to think. Credo quia absurdum!

32 thoughts on “Einstein’s God Letter – A translation, a fool, the truth.”

  1. “Read Einstein to understand the theory of relativity. But do not rely too much on him to understand religion, Christianity or God. At the end, Einstein was just a man.”

    Somehow I can’t agree on this statement. Nobody is qualified to understand God. Christianity… religion…. sure. One can study that and the effects of it. But not God. There is no person alive today that can attest to the understanding of God.

    When someone tells me “God told them xyz” I immediately discard it as nonsense. The fact is, man has made God into his image. We mold this thing we don’t understand into manageable pieces so that we can make sense of it all.

    As a previous commenter stated, he died and experienced the essence of God. What can this possibly mean? There is very little proof of experiencing God other than people’s own interpretations and feelings. That isn’t proof of God. For anyone interested, Google what happens when we die. What science observes as our brain dies. Oxygen deprivation in the brain does funny things.

    Nevertheless, I am not the one with the burden of proof because I didn’t make the statement about experiencing God when I died.

    Then, how sure are we that people don’t continue in another form after death? Can we prove it? No. But neither could some guy, living in the middle east 2000 years ago.

    At the end of it all, it is precisely people such as Einstein that we need to look to, to see what their understanding was of God. I’m not saying that we must believe what they say as the truth, but merely see it for what it is. An interpretation by someone who thinks about the universe in a different way than almost anyone else.

    Hearing about how good the shoes are from the shoemaker is short-sighted. I would rather want to hear about the everyday person’s experience wearing the shoes. Just the same, hearing about God from a religious man or woman is quite one-sided and will never be accurate as long as dogmatic beliefs have them.

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      You are opening many different and very interesting discussions. I can start answering to your points briefly and perhaps we can open different lines of debate for each one of them. You are right that all opinions are important to be heard. However that does not mean that all opinions have the same importance. Einstein was a good physicist, not a philosopher. So his opinions on philosophy (or theology) must be treated with care, that is all I am saying.

      Also regarding the things we know for life and death, I would agree that we do not know much. But we do know some. And the things we know do point towards a non-materialistic view of the cosmos. No, science does not prove anything regarding the existence of a spirit in man, but that’s because by default it adheres to the dogma of materialism (which again needs to be proved and the ones who believe it have that burden). There are many evidence (e.g. NDEs, quantum mechanics and the observer problem) that support the idea that there is something more than matter in the cosmos. Also all existing data are perfectly compatible with the idea of the brain functioning as a receiver of consciousness rather than a producer (see “Consciousness and the end of materialism”).

      Last but not least, indeed the burden of proof lies with whoever supports an opinion. So atheists have the burden to prove how consciousness and free will stem out of inanimate matter, how life is created from lifeless matter, how the cosmos came to be out of nothing and for no reason and so on and so forth…

      Would be more than happy to engage with you in these discussions…

      Thanks for the interesting comment!

      1. @skakos “Last but certainly not least, what matters is not what Einstein said. Because Einstein was a physicist. Not a theologian and certainly not a philosopher. Read Einstein to understand the theory of relativity. ”

        By your same reasoning, we should never ever listen to any creationist or Christian theologian who speaks about biology to biologists like Richard Dawkins, physicists like Steven Hawking, or geologists, or evolutionary psychologists. Such non-scientists should be laughed out of the room. All they can do is assert ideas without evidence and hope you don’t notice they’re wearing no pants.

        “No, science does not prove anything regarding the existence of a spirit in man, but that’s because by default it adheres to the dogma of materialism”

        The only dogma is the stone age idea that there is a soul. There is no difference between mind and personality–if you get brain damage your personality changes, and you can lose memories and forget who you are. It’s your brain that makes you who you are, and when your brain dies you die forever. There has never been any evidence that what makes you you will survive after death. So what is dogmatic are the spiritual claims about souls, which have never existed, and no philosophical gibberish will change the fact that you have zero evidence of an afterlife.

  2. like Cristiano and Trigun fanatic said… this changes nothing…. good job of giving your time for doing that great unnecessary work, except ok, not childish but primitive.. thanks.

    1. “You feel like an old animal under God’s never-ending sky, and you are pierced by the futility of human efforts and hopes.”

      Was this written by an atheist or someone that believes in God ?

      There is no “middle” here. It’s one or the other.

      1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
        skakos says:

        The belief in God is something well beyond the details of a specific text.

    2. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      Well, it seems that something I wrote did hit a sensitive chord or else you would not bother to write all these comments… 🙂

    3. Einstein whom I greatly admire was a truly brilliant person. After a careful read of his letter to express his views on existence of God I come to the reasoned conclusion that this man. Was speaking based solely on his own experience in what he concludes is just random acts.
      For me I person who died and was brought back to life. I have a difference experience. I was in a major auto accident in 2013 on February 1. I was just traveling a short distance from my home up the market for some food for my pet. It was winter and I failed to see the black ice on the road. I slide head on into a tree. I died at the scene. Luckily, I was very quickly taken to hospital there with 30 minutes I was brought back to life meaning heart beat and brain activity by registered device. However over the next few days I died again a 2nd then 3rd time. During these moments outside of our normal time I experienced the essence of existence where I clearly was exposed to a eternal God. By Gods grace I was restored to life and now 5 years later am writing to attempt to open Einstein’s thoughts to what now I am sure he knows that God is real as always. Einstein repeatedly states «to me» in his letter. I find this comment revealing. Being a great mind his only limit from my view was understanding that personal experience with God. Now I am sure he knows as I do of Gods existence and he is with our lord likely enjoying a great conversation about this young KY man 50 after Einstein’s death with the chutzpah to discuss Einstein’s short comings in his lack of understand about Gods existence which is so clear to me as I was returned to life after death.

      1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
        skakos says:

        Thanks for the comment my friend. Indeed the experience of God is a very personal experience. Words and logical arguments have little to say upon such experience.

  3. I don’t see how this translation changes anything. The spirit of the letter is still clearly a strong condemnation of cavemen superstition, which would be primitive or childish in his eyes. Either word wiuld have offended the Jewish recipient of the letter in those days.

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      But is did change a lot. The whole meaning actually.

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      Indeed it does. And it is an excellent example on why you must always go to the source instead of listening to what others say about a subject… 🙂

  4. نامه‌ی آلبرت آینشتاین به اریک گوتکیند
    Einstein-Gutkind letter
    این بحث در مورد نامه آلبرت آینشتاین به فیلسوف یهودی «اریک گوتکیند» ‌است. نامه‌ای که در آن نوشته شده: «خدا صرفاً یک اصطلاح است که ساخته ضعف‌های جنس بشر می‌باشد» آینشتاین خدا را رد یا اثبات نمی‌کند. چرا؟ چون اصلاً چنین چیزی ممکن نیست. تأکید وی بیشتر بر بی‌اعتبار دانستن دین رسمی است و او به مثابه یک دانشمند حق دارد آن را به چالش بگیرد، بویژه وقتی صاحبان زر و زور، دین را به خرافه و جنایت و تزویر آلوده‌اند.

    http://www.hamneshinbahar.net/article.php?text_id=260

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJRJyzXuopg

    با کمال احترام: همنشین بهار

    http://www.hamneshinbahar.net

    hamneshine_bahar@yahoo.com

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      I do not understand much, but I did understand it is somehow related to the topic. 🙂 Thanks for the comment anyway! 🙂

  5. What fascinates me is how we are so keen on the thought that Einstein was either so close to “God” or the complete opposite. That yearning to know is so powerful. I will never know his true conviction because I did not personally know the man. It is all situated in speculation on written context ( a lot in German) and second hand accounts of meeting him. In his writing, exists a strong belief in morality and compassion, i.e. the “tie of sympathy” that binds us together. Where does that sense of morality come from? Why is morality necessary to Einstein? Does not the current trend in “Atheism” support morality as well as spiritual belief and religious value?

    His belief affects me personally in that he wrote of a duty of morality and in that it seems that I am left to my choice to believe in whatever will get me to be an honest and kind person.

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      After all, what really matters is just being a nice person… 🙂

  6. It seems to me Einstein simply stated that to believe in “God” does not need labeling.It is not necessary to limit God in such ways as naming God or speaking of any religion as superior to the next in the liking of God.It seems that Einstein viewed religious as a means to dis-concern individuals with who they are by defining them within limits of a monopolized religion.He believed in principles of nature and saw no benefits of religion to his purpose. Aira

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      Your comments hits the heart of the issue. All too many people try to get Einstein in their “side”, trying to present him as a believer or as a non-believer with extreme views he never had. I really think Einstein was far too smart for all these. I would suggest to just say that he believed in “something more” than what the human eye can catch…

  7. I think Einstein was saying that God is much bigger than a monotheistic “personal” God, and that the Bible’s modern interpretation serves this simple belief. If I understand Einstein I would suggest understanding we are all made of the same matter that makes up everything in the Universe.. wouldn’t that include God as well?

    I would like to read the entire letter…Where might I find the translation in it’s entirety? Thanks MP

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      I know the Einstein archives have been recently public at http://www.alberteinstein.info/. I do not know however if those archives include the letter we discuss here…

  8. You need to read the german original to fully understand what Einstein is writing in this letter. The english translation is incorrect, as much as any translation of Shakespeare into other then english and Sigmund Freud in other then german. The german language , on the contrary to english is very precize , accurate and does not leave any gaps for interpretations. That is why we Germans are often misunderstood and described as arrogant, non empathetic, although we gave the world the most renowed scientists, phylosophers and technitians. Almost everything you use in the modern, contemporary life in the western world has been invented in Germany, by Germans or is rooted down to German technology, science or phylosophy. I did not say everything, but almost everything:-), including your car you drive every day to work:).Albert Einstein is in this letter very clearly distancing himself from any kind of religion, and describing the picture of God as a product of human weaknesses and insecurities. There is no other interpretation to this, and especially not if you read his similar statements in original German, not in English!!.

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      I agree that translations always bring problems. Imagine how many problems our philosophy today has simply because many people have not read ancient Greek philosophers in the original text…

  9. Pingback: Albert Einstein’s “God Letter” | Ashkan's blog
  10. This is not a translation, but an article or essay on one translation. The entire document is not translated here verbatim, only portions are provided. Displaying a low resolution image of the original document does little good but ornamentation.

    1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
      skakos says:

      This is an analytical comment of the most important parts of the letter.
      No one claimed it was a full translation of “everything”…

      Your point being?

  11. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
    skakos says:

    It seems that today most things happen for a reason and one reason only: Money…

    1. No buddy money is not everything . If u think money is everything then you are mistaken. So say something after you think and keep believe in the Almighty Creator he certainly will bring you to the right path.

      1. skakos – Athens, Greece – Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. In the past he has worked as a senior technical advisor for many years. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community [Codeproject]. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs. He has also worked as a phD researcher in the Advanced Materials sector studying the use of PPy in the PCB industry. He likes reading and writting, not only philosophy but also in general. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans... Credo quia absurdum!
        skakos says:

        Yes, I agree with you. I mentioned that everything is made for money today in a bad sense. I do not agree with that nor do I think that money is everything. Please read my Religion and Science Unification article…

  12. Leandro Arndt – Brasil – Marido da Vanessa, historiador e estudante de teologia. Veja meu blog em <a href="http://www.caritasinveritate.teo.br/">www.caritasinveritate.teo.br</a>
    Leandro Arndt says:

    Finally a fair translation of the so commented letter! In Portuguese one can find only the most polemic fragments, translated from the seller’s English version and cut to create an internet trend so as to increase it’s price. To me, it seems that not only Einstein, a Jew not converted to Christianity, could not be called the best “authority” on the Bible (he would certainly and promptly say he doesn’t believe it), but also that he is still very impressed by the then recent WWII and nazism. This might help understanding, e.g., his words on the chosen people. This letter seems to me an expression of religious pessimism more than of atheism.

    On the non-believer question, it’s important to say that the “authority” argument, in the specific case of religious beliefs, can only preserve it’s weak validity among the sharers of the authority’s religion, because a religious opposition will always be a full opposition of the other’s belief, specially if there the debate involves a monotheist (and thus exclusive) religion.

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