Ateisti
Ateisti
BorisVM GEORGE CARLIN ON RELIGION (warning: strong language) the following is extracted from George Carlin's HBO special, "You Are All Diseased", recorded live at New York City's Beacon Theater on February 6, 1999) In the Bullshit Department, a businessman can't hold a candle to a clergyman. 'Cause I gotta tell you the truth, folks. When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major league bullshit, you have to stand in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims, religion. No contest. No contest. Religion. Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told. Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshit story. Holy Shit! But I want you to know something, this is sincere, I want you to know, when it comes to believing in God, I really tried. I really, really tried. I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is f**ked up. Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed. Results like these do not belong on the r#233;sum#233; of a Supreme Being. This is the kind of shit you'd expect from an office temp with a bad attitude. And just between you and me, in any decently-run universe, this guy would've been out on his all-powerful ass a long time ago. And by the way, I say "this guy", because I firmly believe, looking at these results, that if there is a God, it has to be a man. No woman could or would ever f**k things up like this. So, if there is a God, I think most reasonable people might agree that he's at least incompetent, and maybe, just maybe, doesn't give a shit. Doesn't give a shit, which I admire in a person, and which would explain a lot of these bad results. So rather than be just another mindless religious robot, mindlessly and aimlessly and blindly believing that all of this is in the hands of some spooky incompetent father figure who doesn't give a shit, I decided to look around for something else to worship. Something I could really count on. And immediately, I thought of the sun. Happened like that. Overnight I became a sun-worshipper. Well, not overnight, you can't see the sun at night. But first thing the next morning, I became a sun-worshipper. Several reasons. First of all, I can see the sun, okay? Unlike some other gods I could mention, I can actually see the sun. I'm big on that. If I can see something, I don't know, it kind of helps the credibility along, you know? So everyday I can see the sun, as it gives me everything I need; heat, light, food, flowers in the park, reflections on the lake, an occasional skin cancer, but hey. At least there are no crucifixions, and we're not setting people on fire simply because they don't agree with us. Sun worship is fairly simple. There's no mystery, no miracles, no pageantry, no one asks for money, there are no songs to learn, and we don't have a special building where we all gather once a week to compare clothing. And the best thing about the sun, it never tells me I'm unworthy. Doesn't tell me I'm a bad person who needs to be saved. Hasn't said an unkind word. Treats me fine. So, I worship the sun. But, I don't pray to the sun. Know why? I wouldn't presume on our friendship. It's not polite. I've often thought people treat God rather rudely, don't you? Asking trillions and trillions of prayers every day. Asking and pleading and begging for favors. Do this, gimme that, I need a new car, I want a better job. And most of this praying takes place on Sunday His day off. It's not nice. And it's no way to treat a friend. But people do pray, and they pray for a lot of different things, you know, your sister needs an operation on her crotch, your brother was arrested for defecating in a mall. But most of all, you'd really like to f**k that hot little redhead down at the convenience store. You know, the one with the eyepatch and the clubfoot? Can you pray for that? I think you'd have to. And I say, fine. Pray for anything you want. Pray for anything, but what about the Divine Plan? Remember that? The Divine Plan. Long time ago, God made a Divine Plan. Gave it a lot of thought, decided it was a good plan, put it into practice. And for billions and billions of years, the Divine Plan has been doing just fine. Now, you come along, and pray for something. Well suppose the thing you want isn't in God's Divine Plan? What do you want Him to do? Change His plan? Just for you? Doesn't it seem a little arrogant? It's a Divine Plan. What's the use of being God if every run-down shmuck with a two-dollar prayerbook can come along and f**k up Your Plan? And here's something else, another problem you might have: Suppose your prayers aren't answered. What do you say? "Well, it's God's will." "Thy Will Be Done." Fine, but if it's God's will, and He's going to do what He wants to anyway, why the f**k bother praying in the first place? Seems like a big waste of time to me! Couldn't you just skip the praying part and go right to His Will? It's all very confusing. So to get around a lot of this, I decided to worship the sun. But, as I said, I don't pray to the sun. You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Two reasons: First of all, I think he's a good actor, okay? To me, that counts. Second, he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesn't f**k around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with. For years I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbor with the barking dog, Joe Pesci straightened that cocksucker out with one visit. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a simple baseball bat. So I've been praying to Joe for about a year now. And I noticed something. I noticed that all the prayers I used to offer to God, and all the prayers I now offer to Joe Pesci, are being answered at about the same 50% rate. Half the time I get what I want, half the time I don't. Same as God, 50-50. Same as the four-leaf clover and the horseshoe, the wishing well and the rabbit's foot, same as the Mojo Man, same as the Voodoo Lady who tells you your fortune by squeezing the goat's testicles, it's all the same: 50-50. So just pick your superstition, sit back, make a wish, and enjoy yourself. And for those of you who look to The Bible for moral lessons and literary qualities, I might suggest a couple of other stories for you. You might want to look at the Three Little Pigs, that's a good one. Has a nice happy ending, I'm sure you'll like that. Then there's Little Red Riding Hood, although it does have that X-rated part where the Big Bad Wolf actually eats the grandmother. Which I didn't care for, by the way. And finally, I've always drawn a great deal of moral comfort from Humpty Dumpty. The part I like the best? "All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again." That's because there is no Humpty Dumpty, and there is no God. None, not one, no God, never was. In fact, I'm gonna put it this way. If there is a God, may he strike this audience dead! See? Nothing happened. Nothing happened? Everybody's okay? All right, tell you what, I'll raise the stakes a little bit. If there is a God, may he strike me dead. See? Nothing happened, oh, wait, I've got a little cramp in my leg. And my balls hurt. Plus, I'm blind. I'm blind, oh, now I'm okay again, must have been Joe Pesci, huh? God Bless Joe Pesci. Thank you all very much. Joe Bless You!
BorisVM Noam Chomsky Chomsky, the founder of modern Linguistics, is also among the leading leftist thinkers in the world. Some of his quotes: "The Bible is probably the most genocidal book ever written." "You can see that in the polls too. I was just looking at a study by an American sociologist (published in England) of comparative religious attitudes in various countries. The figures are shocking. Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that -- it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population." "Just a couple of years ago, there was a study of what people thought of evolution. The percentage of the population that believe in Darwinian evolution at that point was 9% -- not all that much above statistical error. About half the population believed in divinely-guided evolution, Catholic church doctrine. About 40% thought the world was created a few thousand years ago." --- From ZNet's ChomskyChat (www.lbbs.org): 1998 May 17 Reply from [Noam Chomsky], to Darrenn Bills, on "Definition of God." How do I define God? I don't. Divinities have been understood in various ways in the cultural traditions that we know. Take, say, the core of the established religions today: the Bible. It is basically polytheistic, with the warrior God demanding of his chosen people that they not worship the other Gods and destroy those who do -- in an extremely brutal way, in fact. It would be hard to find a more genocidal text in the literary canon, or a more violent and destructive character than the God who was to be worshipped. So that's one definition. In the Prophets, one finds (sometimes) a different conception, much more humane. That's why the Prophets (the "dissident intellectuals" of their day) were persecuted, imprisoned, driven into the desert, etc. -- other reasons included their geopolitical analysis, unwelcome to power. The intellectuals who were honored and privileged were those who centuries later were called "false prophets." More or less a cultural universal. There were different conceptions of divinity associated with these tendencies, and Greek and Zoroastrian influences are probable causes for later monotheistic tendencies (how one evaluates these are a different matter). Looking beyond, we find other conceptions, of many kinds. But I have nothing to propose. People who find such conceptions important for themselves have every right to frame them as they like. Personally, I don't. That's why you haven't found my "thoughts on this [for you] criticaI question." I have none, because I see no need for them (apart from the -- often extremely interesting and revealing -- inquiry into human culture an history). As for "First Principles," basing them on divinities is, I think, a very bad idea. That leaves anyone free to pick the "first principles" they choose on other grounds, and to disguise the choices as "what God commands." If its the warrior God of the Bible, the First Principles are horrendous (in the basic texts) and often uplifting -- in Amos, for example; but recall that he made it clear that he was no intellectual (no "prophet," as the obscure Hebrew word is translated), but an ordinary farmer. If you like Maslow's choices, fine, then say so. But nothing is gained by investing them with divinity, and a great deal is lost: specifically, the opportunity to question, elaborate, modify, or reject them. But these are basic elements of decent human life and thought, I believe. If you want to use the word "God" to refer to "what you are and what you want" -- well, that's a terminological decision, not a substantive one. And a bad terminological decision, I think, for the reasons just mentioned. Is "reality an accident"? Could the laws of nature have been other than what they are? Maybe one can make some sense of such questions, but bringing divinity into the story helps not at all. It only adds confusion and deflects serious thought and inquiry. Is it "possible that the nature of reality could be a living urge towards freedom"? As Bakunin put it, is an "instinct for freedom" part of human nature, maybe part of organic nature? Could be. I hope so. But we don't know. But again, bringing divinity in just adds confusion and bars serious inquiry and action, in my opinion. Others feel differently. They feel they need to ground their beliefs and hopes in something they call "God." OK. I don't legislate for others, but if they want my advice (no reason why they should), it's more or less as above. On the linguistic work, it bears on these issues only tangentially, by seeking to explore some aspects of our essential and distinctive human nature. An exciting enterprise, I think, but these questions are barely touched.
BorisVM Isaac Asimov Isaac Asimov (1920 - 1992) was a science-fiction writer and science popularizer who wrote an enormous number of books about a wide variety of subjects, including history, Shakespeare, and the Bible. [I]f I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul. -- Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov: A Memoir I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I'm a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally I am an atheist. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time. -- Isaac Asimov, in "Free Inquiry", Spring 1982, vol.2 no.2, p. 9 Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism. --Isaac Asimov, "On Religiosity," Free Inquiry When I die I won't go to heaven or hell, there will just be nothingness. -- Isaac Asimov, interviewed in Bill Moyers' television series "A World of Ideas"
BorisVM Albert Einstein Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a famous physicist who made several important discoveries. He explained some puzzling features of the "photoelectric effect" by proposing that light energy is quantized, a hypothesis previously introduced to explain a completely different phenomenon. For that, he won the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics. He explained "Brownian motion" as being the result of being knocked about by colliding molecules. He modified Newtonian mechanics to make it fit with Maxwellian electrodynamics, making s"pecial relativity" and resolving some serious physical paradoxes. He took on gravity, proposing that it was due to space-time being curved, coming up with "general relativity". And he went on to there to try to construct a Grand Unified Theory of all the physical interactions, but he failed. In fairness, this task has proved extremely difficult. He had been raised Jewish, "the religious son of irreligious parents", but he deconverted in childhood. He lived in Germany and Switzerland, fleeing for the US when the Nazis came to power. Once there, he helped convince President Roosevelt to work on a nuclear bomb, out of fear that Nazi Germany would do so. He would have been very unwelcome in Nazi Germany; some Nazis called relativity "Jewish physics", and therefore an Evil Thing. Quotes: If this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him? [Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950), p. 27.] If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed. [Albert Einstein] I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. [Albert Einstein, as quoted in a memoir by Life editory William Miller in Life, May 2, 1955] It has not done so up to now. [Einstein's reply to a reporter's question if religion will promote peace] A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. [Albert Einstein, Religion and Science, New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930] During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution, human fantasy created gods in man's own image who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate influence, the phenomenal world... The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old conception of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes... In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vase power in the hands of priests. [Albert Einstein, reported in Science, Philosophy and Religion: A Symposium, edited by L. Bryson and L. Finkelstein. Quoted in: 2000 Years of Disbelief. by James Haught] I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. [Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, and published by Princeton University Press.] The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action. [Albert Einstein] I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiratation of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God. [Albert Einstein, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press, p.66] ...a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests.... The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge. [Albert Einstein, address at the Princeton Theological Seminary, May 19, 1939, published in Out of My Later Years, New York: Philosophical Library, 1950.] The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery-- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds -- it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. [Albert Einstein,The World as I See It] The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning. [Albert Einstein, letter of 5 February 1921] I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. [Albert Einstein,The World as I See It] A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. [Albert Einstein] It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. [Albert Einstein, 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press] What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. [Albert Einstein] Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being. [Albert Einstein, 1936, responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray. Source: Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann] I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos. [Albert Einstein, published after his death in 1955 in the London Observer, 5 April 1964, on his problems with quantum mechanics and not, as popularly misinterpreted, an expression of religious belief.] The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer become his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am convinced that such behavior on the part of representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task... [Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium, published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941] I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms. [Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955] The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them. [Albert Einstein, letter to Sigmund Freud, 30 July 1932] I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet. [Albert Einstein, letter, 1954] You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religiosity of the naive man. For the latter, God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands, so to speak, in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe. But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation... There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection... It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages. [Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934] I received your letter of June 10th. I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist. [Albert Einstein to Guy H. Raner Jr, July 2, 1945, responding to a rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism. Article by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997] I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being. [Albert Einstein to Guy H. Raner Jr., Sept. 28, 1949, from article by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic magazine, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1997] The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously. [Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946] The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it. [Albert Einstein] The religious feeling engendered by experiencing the logical comprehensibility of profound interrelations is of a somewhat different sort from the feeling that one usually calls religious. It is more a feeling of awe at the scheme that is manifested in the material universe. It does not lead us to take the step of fashioning a god-like being in our own image-a personage who makes demands of us and who takes an interest in us as individuals. There is in this neither a will nor a goal, nor a must, but only sheer being. For this reason, people of our type see in morality a purely human matter, albeit the most important in the human sphere. [Albert Einstein, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press, pp 69-70] [My] deep religiosity... found an abrupt ending at the age of twelve, through the reading of popular scientific books. [Albert Einstein, as quoted in Einstein, History, and Other Passions, p. 172] It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which [I] lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the 'merely personal,' from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. [Albert Einstein, as quoted in Einstein, History, and Other Passions, p. 172] The idea of a Being who interferes with the sequence of events in the world is absolutely impossible.[Albert Einstein] The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism.... [Albert Einstein] The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events... He has no use for the religion of fear and equally little for social or moral religion. [Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions] 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. [Albert Einstein, in a letter to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein]