Now here is a longer but I think more revealing quote from Einstein.
It may be too long for the FAQ, but it is clearer than the reference
to Spinoza's god. I have found that few people I know have read Spinoza.
This could be editted down, but since I don't think it has appeared
in alt.atheism before I'll quote a couple of paragraphs without
I point out that this clearly shows that Einstein did not believe
in a personal God. I show this not as an appeal to Einstein as an
authority to prove atheism, which is silly, but to show how wrong
theists who quote him are. Second to those who say Einstein was
a physicist and had no special knowledge of theology, I say that
if anyone can be said to be an expert in theology, or to have opinions
which carry more weight than anyone else's, then Einstein was an
expert. He thought and wrote a lot about religion. Finally this
quote argues for the position that ethics and value in life need
not depend upon a god, contrary to some theists claims, and getting
into other FAQs. On that I quote Einstein not for his authority,
but for his eloquence.
No one who has actually read Einstein as I have can seriously
question his belief in determinism or point to him as an example
of a theist.
The following is from Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium,
published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in
Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941.
"The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events
the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side
of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him
neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an
independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a
personal God interfering with natural events could never be
*refuted* [italics his], in the real sense, by science, for this
doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific
knowledge has not yet been able to set foot.
"But I am convinced that such behavior on the part of representatives
of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine
which is to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark,
will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm
to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers
of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal
God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past
placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they
will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable
of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity
itself. This is, to be sure, a more difficult but an incomparably
more worthy task..."