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Religion and Science [Kindle Edition]

Albert Einstein
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Religion and Science
by Albert Einstein

The following article by Albert Einstein appeared in the New York Times Magazine on November 9, 1930 pp 1-4. It has been reprinted in Ideas and Opinions, Crown Publishers, Inc. 1954, pp 36 - 40. It also appears in Einstein's book The World as I See It, Philosophical Library, New York, 1949, pp. 24 - 28.

Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain. One has to keep this constantly in mind if one wishes to understand spiritual movements and their development. Feeling and longing are the motive force behind all human endeavor and human creation, in however exalted a guise the latter may present themselves to us. Now what are the feelings and needs that have led men to religious thought and belief in the widest sense of the words? A little consideration will suffice to show us that the most varying emotions preside over the birth of religious thought and experience. With primitive man it is above all fear that evokes religious notions - fear of hunger, wild beasts, sickness, death. Since at this stage of existence understanding of causal connections is usually poorly developed, the human mind creates illusory beings more or less analogous to itself on whose wills and actions these fearful happenings depend. Thus one tries to secure the favor of these beings by carrying out actions and offering sacrifices which, according to the tradition handed down from generation to generation, propitiate them or make them well disposed toward a mortal. In this sense I am speaking of a religion of fear. This, though not created, is in an important degree stabilized by the formation of a special priestly caste which sets itself up as a mediator between the people and the beings they fear, and erects a hegemony on this basis. In many cases a leader or ruler or a privileged class whose position rests on other factors combines priestly functions with its secular authority in order to make the latter more secure; or the political rulers and the priestly caste make common cause in their own interests.

Product Details

  • File Size: 78 KB
  • Print Length: 12 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047Y0FVE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,409 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chapter 2 is missing from the Kindle Edition October 19, 2013
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The book is brilliant - coming from the mind of Einstein, could have expected nothing less. The evolution of religion, to manage fear then to manage morality and finally to manage cosmic wonder is beautifully explained in Chapter 1 as only a genius like Einstein could. But Chapter 2 is entirely missing from the Kindle edition. I looked at other reviews and only one other person has mentioned this. Wonder why ! The rest of you, in case you have got Chapter 2 in your Kindle edition, please let me know. Unfortunate that because of this flaw - attributable to the publisher, I am sure, I have to give 3 stars. The other 2 chapters (1 and 3) clearly deserve 5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By DaleO
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It was intetlligent and thoughtfully crafted, as you might expect from Albert Einstein. He was a great humanist as well as a great scientist, and his thoughts on the connections between religion and science were quite fascinating. Those of us who peer through a telescope for fun probably feel some experiences akin to what he talks about.

That being said, the publisher really should have included a bit more. Even though the price was only 99 cents, 3000 or so words is still pretty thin.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genuis that can Write May 29, 2013
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Excellent short and cogent handling of a classic topic by one of the best thinkers that ever lived. I will read more of his writings that are off the subject of theoretical physics. Eventually might get to his "Theory of Relativity".
Honestly and seriously, well thought out on the topic of God, religion, and science by a very intelligent man - who does not throw his beliefs or un-beliefs into the discussion. Try it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A review of Albert Einstein's essay Religion & Science January 25, 2014
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As a writer and publisher I was surprised to find Einstein's essay, "Religion & Science," significantly confusing. At least in this era of his career, Einstein's writing seems overly lofty and wordy, studiously debating each side of the proposed issue without a clear message of his own conclusion. In my view, that gives his essay a feeling of emptiness. In fact, his debate seems to be as much with himself as his intended readers. And it certainly is wide ranging and thought provoking, well worth studying intensely. We know that a great many, if not most, who consider themselves scientists claim to be aetheists or agnostics, feeling, perhaps, that they are able to create the universe and all that's in it with scientific education. We also know that many others are persons of faith, believing that scientific education studies an already existing intelligent, amazingly intricate, design. In a debate of this magnitude, it is always meaningful - in our own quest - to share the thoughts of an Einstein on such a vital part of our humanity. There is a hint of his conclusion when he says that man creates religion in his own mind to buffer life's fears, dangers, and mysteries. Nevertheless, what I wanted to know when I found this essay of Einstein's a scientist, what do you think of God? I couldn't find that answer in Einstein's essay. Maybe you will.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful writer! August 9, 2013
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Einstein makes complex ideas almost understandable. I encourage anyone with an interest in cosmology, science and faith to read this material
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science vs Religion January 20, 2014
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I couldn't understand how such a great scientific mind could have religious thoughts. "God doesn't play dice with the universe. ", always came to my mind.

But now I think I understand what Einstein had in his own mind. This got me to think of a different perception of what God has to do in a scientific realm.

Not too easy a read, but should be read by anyone who wants to get a different perspective of science and religion.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the privilege. October 8, 2013
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Einstein's capacity to see the human behavior from his unique concatenation of ideas (and ideals) is our highest gift we can accept.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Provocative January 6, 2013
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Succinctly written, with concise and careful analyses of the social and contextual relationship between religion and the pursuit of knowledge gives this brief read considerable depth and clarity for the experienced and thoughtful reader. It is not for those of unprepared intellectual capacity, but rather for those who have considered religion and deism in evolving ways for many years of personal contemplation. Packed with meaningful thoughts and explanations, the relatively brief treatment of the subject is of particular value if considered carefully and without prejudicial biases.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting point of view, and to be considered
Published 6 days ago by sp
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
It's a good book but the second chapter is still missing I just wanted to let you all know hopefully Amazon will fix this soon
Published 1 month ago by alvin carthon jr
4.0 out of 5 stars good
There's no debate in the genius of Albert, but I expected more out of this booklet. But this read certainly sparked my interest in knowing more about his philosophy on human... Read more
Published 1 month ago by gagan uppal
5.0 out of 5 stars Versatile
Open minded. Albert Einstein was both a scientist and a believer in God. There are other writings which support this statement.
Published 1 month ago by docjrfree
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Although the book is missing the second chapter it gave me a more prominent view on the relations of science and religion,respectively.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Illuminating
Coming from a man of s vBulletin since AND thought these short illumination of the consistency between the spirit and the search for meaning is made clear.
Published 2 months ago by Ted W
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as smart as he thinks
Interesting prattle that suggests scientists who discover worthy knowledge have some higher level of cosmic spirit that drives them discover difficult stuff! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Hawkeye
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It is ok but Albert is not a book writer.
Published 4 months ago by Chuckie B.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Anything Einstein is worth reading.
Published 5 months ago by PEP
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Very interesting reading. Some of the statements that he made I actually question but other than that it was a fascinating read.
Published 5 months ago by Jeffrey A. Harrell
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