Did you know that Albert Einstein believed in an infinite, necessary and uncaused, indivisible God? The God who Baruch Spinoza(1632-1677) believed? He did though not believe(rejected) in personal God(as Christians do), by-and-large because of the problem of evil and suffering.
When Einstein was asked by Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein’s (Institutional Synagogue in New York): Do you believe in God? He answered(cabled back):
“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”
A short introduction of who Spinoza was, can be found in Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion by C. Stephen Evans. Evans record Baruch Spinoza(1632-1677) as:
One of the most important philosophers of the rationalist tradition, Spinoza was expelled from the Jewish synagogue in Amsterdam for his unorthodox views. Spinoza was a monist who held that fundamentally only one substance exists, known through its two attributes of mind and extension and correctly designated as God or Nature. When we understand the nature of God, we understand that all that happens does so with necessity.
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has great articles summering Spinoza’s philosophy , I believe worth reading, if you wish to get familiar with Spinoza’s God to who Einstein believed.
It is also interesting to know Albert Einstein view on atheism. He said:
“I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. 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 arrangements 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.”
G. S. Viereck, Glimpses of the Great (Macauley, New York, 1930), quoted by D. Brian, Einstein: A Life , p. 186.)
And to atheists, in his time, who quoted him as supporting their view, he said:
“In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”
(Prinz Hubertus zu Lowenstein, Towards the Further Shore: An Autobiography (Victor Gollancz, London, 1968), p. 156.)
I could not help it but end with one of Spinoza’s quote I love the most:
Knowledge of God is the mind’s greatest good: its greatest virtue is to know God.
N.B: I do not agree completely with whole concept of Spinoza’s God. I think Spinoza err in rejecting God free will to create and that God is personal.
Drawing by Roberto Bizama deviantArt