Einstein’s Science and Religion

The reading “Science and Religion” consists of two articles written by Albert Einstein. They both argue science and religion are interdependent. ¬†Einstein wrote that science could not exist without the questioning of one’s surroundings and pushing the boundaries of knowledge and fact, which are fundamental principles accompanying any religion. Likewise, religion could not exist without knowledge and fact, as knowledge lays the groundwork for ethics and rules.

Throughout the reading, Einstein made a couple of references to the Church. At the end of the second article segment, Einstein wrote why he believes a priest must become a teacher in order to get his message across. As Einstein was Jewish, I found it very interesting how he offered examples from the Catholic religion instead of Judaism. I thought of a reason this might be. My thought is that Einstein was a self-loathing Jew. He experienced the rise of Nazi Germany first hand, and was fortunately saved and allowed to immigrate to America because of his scientific work. He won the Nobel Prize in 1921, and moved to American in 1933. The Nazis burned his books and put out a hit on him in spite of all of his accomplishments. From the reading, it is obvious that Einstein believed that religion is important to incorporate into society and into one’s life, but is it possible he hated his own religion? Was he hiding his Judaism to be taken more seriously, as anti-Semetism was running rampant at this time? Or was he just appealing to the public and the majority?

3 thoughts on “Einstein’s Science and Religion

  1. I think Einstein’s decision to use Christianity in his examples is more representative of the fact that Christianity was the more popular religion. Also, maybe his suggestion that priests should be teachers could be interpreted as an insult towards the level of education within the Christian Church? I believe that your suggestion that Einstein was a self-loathing Jew is a little extreme, and at most he might have been an atheist, or non-practicing Jew. After all, it was normal for many German Jews to consider themselves as Germans first before the rise of Hitler.

  2. I agree that Christianity was more widely know, and therefore served as a better example to Einstein’s audience. Interesting theory about Einstein being a “Self-loathing Jew”, but it may be too extreme. He may have wanted to hide the fact that he was Jewish, because even in American, andy-semitism was alive and well during the 1930s. To say that he hated himself for being Jewish is a little much without more evidence. Anyway, you did a good job of explaining how Einstein meshed science and religion together, stating that they must go hand in hand.

  3. By using Catholicism rather than Judaism, Eisenstein is able to reach a wider audience. Due to anti-semitism, Eisenstein chose to use another religion to convey his point. After all, how seriously would he be taken if, as a Jew, he mentioned his own religion versus trying to communicate his ideas using his audiences’ religion?

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