CLIO FINAL - page 5

of human morality. However, it must be argued
that religion is not based solely on morality, but it
also extends to the world of cosmological thought.
Some religious scientists argue that whilst science
holds the facts of the world, religion is the truth and
purpose behind it; perhaps suggesting God instigat-
ed the scientific happenings in the world, and that
religion is the foundation which supports the sphere
of science. In this case, one could interpret Ein-
stein's use of the word 'lame' as 'without purpose’.
Furthermore, Einstein also claims in his quote that
“the aspiration toward truth and understanding…
springs from the sphere of religion”, or more sim-
ply, Einstein deemed religion to be the curiosity
that inspires an individual to actively learn about
the universe. However, he certainly did not see
religion as the vehicle to which most people under-
stand the world; he implies curiosity is religion.
So what were Einstein’s views on religion?
Einstein made clear in a letter that he did not
believe in conventional monotheism - “The word
God is for me nothing more than the expression
and product of human weakness…” Therefore, he
did not hold faith in religious terms, but instead he
placed his faith in reason and rationality, clarify-
ing that we use reason to discover more about the
universe. However, it is also arguable that knowl-
edge only feeds curiosity. In some circumstances, it
would be better to have an incomplete understand-
ing, especially when truth about health or personal
relationships can entail pain and regret. This is
where religion helps, and deals with Einstein’s view
on human values, like peace, freedom and hope.
Undeniably, religion acts as an emotional resource
- to know that ‘God is on your side’ despite all odds
acting against oneself. Although it is ‘false knowl-
edge’, it powers believers through the hardest of
times.
In reality, Einstein provides little comfort
to theists, for he did not see “religion” as theistic,
but instead his form of religion concerns curiosity
supplementing scientific understanding. However,
it must be asserted that science fuels much reli-
gious and non-religious debate, thus triggering the
discussion of Einstein’s religiosity.
Saumiya Paheerathan 10LT
4
“The word God is for me
nothing more than the
expression and product of
human weakness…”
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