Friday, March 11, 2011

Albert Einstein on Jewish Religion

Anti-Semitism and Academic Youth

It is clear also that "serving God" was equated with "serving the living". The best of the Jewish people, especially the Prophets and Jesus, contended tirelessly for this. 

Judaism is thus no transcendental religion; it is concerned with life as we live it and as we can, to a certain extent, grasp it, and nothing else. It seems to me, therefore, doubtful whether it can be called a religion in the accepted sense of the word, particularly as no "faith" but the sanctification of life in a supra-personal sense is demanded of the Jew. 

But the Jewish tradition also contains something else, something which finds splendid expression in many of the Psalms, namely, a sort of intoxicated joy and amazement at the beauty and grandeur of this world, of which man can form just a faint notion. This joy is the feeling from which true scientific research draws its spiritual sustenance, but which also seems to find expression in the song of birds. To tack this feeling to the idea of God seems mere childish absurdity. (Albert Einstein, 1934)

In this case, as in many mental disorders, the cure lies in a clear knowledge of one's condition and its causes. We must be conscious of our alien race and draw the logical conclusions from it. It is no use trying to convince the others of our spiritual and intellectual equality by arguments addressed to the reason, when the attitude of these others does not originate in their intellects at all. (Albert Einstein, 1934)

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