Friday, June 08, 2007

A Scientist's Religion

As mentioned in my earlier post, I am in the presence of a great mind these days. Its in the form of a essays and articles written or spoken by Albert Einstein on various subjects. This one is on how a scientist looks at religion.

“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 na├»ve 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. The future, to him, is every whit as necessary and determined as the past. 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. This feeling is the guiding principle of his life and work, in so far as he succeeds in keeping himself from the shackles of selfish desire. It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.”

The book like any other thing I appreciate has become an obsession. Whatever spare time I get in between my busy schedule, even if its a 15 minutes break, I end up making a quick visit to one of the many rooms of the man’s mind to return happier than before. Have you picked up the book yet?

7 comments:

Vikas said...

excellent excerpt. would like to know if there is more on the subject. the travails of modern air transport led to the unexpected windfall of a 4 hour limbo in my existence and led me to pick up camus after a long time. read the first essay from the myth of sisyphus and was fascinated by his commentary on the meaning or "meaninglessness" of existence. would be great to compare the views of both these geniuses 'if available' and hope u do it

meraj said...

thats a nice suggestion. even i have been meaning to talk about one of my favorite subjects, 'existentialism' and its interpretations by Sartre & Camus. will also throw in AEs point of view.

finally, you joined in...eh?

meraj said...

in fact, last i got this moved and obsessed by somebody's thoughts/writings was while reading Camus's essays on various subjects...some link there...

Hemisha said...

For me this one was a Bouncer.

Squeek

Smiling Dolphin said...

thanks for visiting. your blog is a visual delight. with lots of 'stuff'. will find time to visit it from now on. Lynn

Smiling Dolphin said...

thanks for the musical accompaniment idea. many famous musicians have set cut cd's using whale songs, perhaps now you can get yourself a copy. will definitely pass on your suggestion to WSPA. meanwhile do visit this link
http://wspa.org.uk/news.asp?newsID=438&type=0

WhiteMoonWatching said...

ni-ice....must check it out...
btw have u read angels and demons?
quite along these lines but in a more layman form...not too much detail but i tink u'l enjoy it...while ur at it pick up the illustrated edition...that baby's one of my treasures....