Who cares about an Einstein letter written so long ago (1954, to be exact)? It turns out, a lot of people are interested!
In this very expensive letter (for which the owners are asking $3 million!!), Einstein postulates that the idea that there is some omniscient, all-powerful God lording above us high in the clouds is simply a sign of human weakness. As an Agnostic myself, this has definitely caught my attention. If you aren’t sure what an Agnostic believes, it is this: we do not deny or confirm the existence of supernatural and/or God-like creatures. We simply want PROOF that such beings exist. If we are presented with such proof (REAL proof), then an Agnostic would accept the finding as fact. Now, back to my post.
Are we supposed to believe all of the fantastical events that unfolded in the Bible? Or, should we view them with a healthy dose of skepticism? Personally, I choose the latter. Take the case of one popular guy from the Bible, the hero Moses.
Are there people in this world who believe that a person, in this case, Moses, was really able to part the Red Sea? An entire sea at his command?!?! I think not. What about, then, that famous burning bush? Likely just struck by lightning, not an act of God (that’s my humble opinion, of course).
Einstein goes a step further in his analysis, stating that the Bible is “a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.” I wholeheartedly agree with this conclusion. One should not forget that when the Bible’s stories were being written, mankind believed in all sorts of things that we now know to be untrue, such as Gods punishing humans with floods and disease. Recall the ancient Romans? They believed the Gods ruled every aspect of human life, from war to climate to agriculture to love. As time progresses, however, science steps in to prove such old school thought as erroneous. I believe the same holds true for the Bible.
Finally, what about the fact that there are, literally, hundreds of unique religions around the world? If there was only one God who created everything that we see, wouldn’t he (or she!) have made sure there was also only one religion and one God? If he is as powerful and vengeful as many believe, I think he would have quickly done away with all the impostors, right?
Take a moment to consider your personal views on religion. Right now. Do it. Do you believe in a God or Gods? If so, what exactly leads you to believe so strongly? Or, are you a skeptic like myself? If so, at what point in your life did you become such a naysayer? For me personally, I began drifting away from religion at about the same time I began to understand that I was gay. As I watched the world around me lash out against homosexuals in every conceivable way, I began to ask myself: “If there is a God out there, why would he allow people to punish others for simply not conforming to their own twisted world view? Why punish those of us who are born this way?” Weren’t we also created in God’s image?
One last tidbit for you: If, in the past, God took out his vengeance on humans here on Earth (recall the great flood, swarms of locusts, etc), why has he all of sudden stopped doing so? Does anyone out there recall the last verifiable act of God? It seems that history is littered with accounts of humans being punished by their Gods. Yet, in today’s age, it looks like God only punishes those evil doers AFTER they have died. Which, let’s be honest, is very convenient for people to believe. I can’t prove that God DOESN’T exist, so that must mean he does? That’s some shaky logic if you ask me.
If you are interested in purchasing this letter, the auction is open until October 18. Get out your checkbooks!! Oops, that last comment really shows my age. What I meant to say was, “Get out your debit cards!!”. lol