Religious and philosophical views of Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein’s religious views have been widely studied and often misunderstood. Einstein stated that he believed in the pantheistic God of Baruch Spinoza. He did not believe in a personal God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings, a view which he described as naïve. He clarified however that, “I am not an atheist”, preferring to call himself an agnostic, or a “religious nonbeliever." When asked if he believed in an afterlife, Einstein replied, "No. And one life is enough for me.”
Einstein responded to a question about whether or not he defined himself as a pantheist. He explained:
Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza’s pantheism, but admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things
He also stated
I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.