Happy Birthday, Albert

Albert Einstein was born 132 years ago today, in Ulm in the then German Empire. He has been a hero of mine since I was a child and my admiration for him, as a physicist, philosopher and humanist, grows with each new quote that I read.

Apparently some religious people try to claim Einstein as one of their own, misrepresenting his views in the process. Certainly this example of quote mining to imply Einstein’s supernatural belief is pretty pathetic.

(It strikes me as ironic that this feeble attempt at an appeal to authority is made in support of the supposed Ultimate Authority).

Make no mistake, Einstein’s views on the existence of God are clear.

The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.

If there are arguments for the existence of God then believers must state those arguments honestly. Attempting to recruit a dead non-believer to the cause does that cause no favours.

At the end of his life Einstein reportedly refused surgery that may have saved him, saying. “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”