Monday, April 23, 2007

Einstein and God

There was a great article in Time magazine about Einstein and God last week.

Einstein is cited by theists because he believed in God, though in his time, he was denounced by organized religion because Einstien himself refused to believe in any God that "meddles" in human affairs.

He seems to articulate my own view pretty well. That humility requires us to be awed and wonderfilled at the possibility that something greater exists.

He also shares my basic view that the world is deterministic and that free will is an illusion, or actually a useful delusion on which human ethics is based on, but like other mathematical abstractions like gausian surfaces or magnetic lines of force, not really there.


James said...

If God predetermined everything, doesn't that mean he's meddling in human affairs? Or did He just create a deterministic universe simulator without knowing what the outcome would be? Einstein didn't really believe in quantum physics either, and yet doesn't that conflict with determinism?

BTW, you might be interested in this weblog post from one of my coworkers:

HoBs said...

So Einstein believes in the first mover God (from my reading of the Time article), but not the God that will answer your prayers. (Though you could still take a Calvinist view, who are also determinists because God is all knowing, but you pray anyway, because God made you a good person and good people pray. Or if you don't pray, that means you are a bad person and you will pay for it.) Yeah, so the article discussed the critique from Max Born who said that quantum effects explain free will. But that is sort of unsatisfying. That free will depends on weird affects happening at sub atomic levels.

That's an amusing post. Of course you'd think that this creator would have made something that didn't crash. Or that in the infinite worlds hypothesis, there are tons of universes, we just got the stable one. Hasn't crasehd for 15 billion years, so we should be pretty safe.