Agnostic What?

How’s this for a ‘statement of faith’:

…Now, even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind…

Although here Einstein was clearly ignoring the power of a scientific method over the purported truth claims of religion; though he was clearly putting emphasis on the aspiration toward truth and understanding; though clearly he chose here to define a sort of “religion” quite different from religion as it is actually invented and actually practiced; though we see consistently that, in fact, religion never determines any goal but merely follows the lead of the culture; nevertheless, smarmy idiots everywhere love to quote the last sentence, stripped of context, and exclaim, “You see?! Einstein thought religion is great! Take that, you atheists!

Or some such foolishness.



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