“Contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive, and try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature.”
“Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations.”
Albert Einstein was quoted in The New York Times, November 9, 1930, saying: “I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research.”
As recorded by Helen Dukas in Albert Einstein, The Human Side (Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 66), Einstein stated: “My religiosity consists in a humble admiration 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.”
Walter Isaacson quoted Einstein in the article “Einstein and Faith,” Time 169, April 5, 2007, 47): “The fanatical atheists…are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who – in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’ – cannot bear the ‘music of the spheres’.”
According to Prince Hubertus (Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, New York: World Publishing Company, 1971, p. 425), Einstein said: “In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views.”
Einstein wrote to M. Berkowitz, 1950, (William Hermanns, Einstein and the Poet. In Search of the Cosmic Man, Brookline Village MA: Branden Books, 1983, p. 60): “‘God’ is a mystery. But a comprehensible mystery. I have nothing but awe when I observe the laws of nature. There are not laws without a lawgiver, but how does this lawgiver look? Certainly not like a man magnified.”
“I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the universe a friendly place?’ This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.
“For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.
“If we decide that the universe is neither friendly nor unfriendly and that God is essentially ‘playing dice with the universe’, then we are simply victims to the random toss of the dice and our lives have no real purpose or meaning.
“God does not play dice with the universe.”