Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Einstein and Religion

Andrew Sullivan posts a great quote from Einstein on the relationship between science and religion that is very insightful and very comforting, in a way. It gives religion the respect I think it deserves when considered in the cosmic magnitude in which it is properly placed. In other words, it characterizes religion as something vastly larger than abject devotion to some old guy with a long, white beard. God is beyond comprehension, but also necessary to understand "what it all means." Why is there anything? The God that is discussed in popular religion is dramatically inadequate to what we ascribe his/her role in existence.

This is my favorite sentence in the longer quote:

[I]t seems to me that science not only purifies the religious impulse of
the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes to a religious
spiritualization of our understanding of life.

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