It is a good discussion indeed. Once again, thanks for sharing.
I align with these thoughts. I have written in several places that God is not in the business of day to day management of life. I cite Sura Rahman verses 5-11, that he/she/it created everything in balance and harmony – all things run precisely in the way they are ‘programmed. The planets, sun and the moon run their course, the earth tilts at a certain degree to create seasons, A grain of wheat is perfectly programmed to reproduce a grain of wheat, one drop of semen is a capsule of the entire life of a new human. Even our body is programmed to function normally with the right food, liquids, and air. The only thing that is not programmed is our will – the free will. I will write a full article, What will God do? Essentially nothing. It will not be for public but a few friends.
The following was shared by Mohammed Imran.
Apparently, when Einstein attended some conferences in the numerous universities of the USA, the recurring question that the students asked him was:
– Do you believe in God?
And he always answered:
– I believe in the God of Spinoza.
For the ones who haven’t read Spinoza
hope this shall give them an idea.
Baruch De Spinoza was a Dutch philosopher, of Portuguese Jewish origin, considered one of the great rationalists of his time along with the French philosopher Rene Descartes. Spinoza was born in Amsterdam in the 17th century of a businessman father who was successful but not wealthy.
This is the nature of the God of Spinoza:
God would have said:
“Stop praying and giving yourselves blows on your chests, what I want you to do is to go out into the world to enjoy your life. I want you to enjoy, you sing, have fun and enjoy everything I’ve done for you.
Stop going to those gloomy, dark and cold temples that you built yourself and that you call my home.
My house is in the mountains, in the forests, the rivers, the lakes, the beaches. That’s where I live and express all my love for you.
Stop blaming me for your miserable life; I never told you that you were a sinner.
Stop being so scared. I do not judge you, nor criticize you, nor ever is angry with you, nothing bothers me, nor do I devise punishment. I am pure love.
Stop asking me forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. If I made you… I filled you with passions, limitations, pleasures, feelings, needs, inconsistencies… of free will, how can I blame you if you do or say something out of that what I put in you? How can I punish you for being as you are, if I’m the one who made you? Do you think I could create a place to burn all my children who misbehave, for the rest of eternity?
What kind of God can do that?
Forget about any kind of commandments, of any kind of laws; those are wiles to manipulate you, to control you and only to create guilt in you.
Respect your peers and don’t do to others what you don’t want for you. The only thing I ask is that you pay attention in your life, that your alert status is your guide. This life is the only thing there is, here and now and the only thing you need.
I have made you absolutely free, there are no prizes or punishments, there are no sins or virtues, no one carries a marker, no one carries a record.
You are absolutely free to create in your life a heaven or hell.
I couldn’t tell you if there’s anything after this life, but I can give you a tip. Live as if there wasn’t.
As if this was your only chance to enjoy, to love, to exist.
So, if there is nothing, then you will have enjoyed the opportunity I gave you. And if there is, be sure that I will not ask you if you behaved well or not, I will ask you. Did you like it?… did you have fun ?..What did you enjoy the most? What did you learn?…
Stop believing in me; believe is to assume, guess, imagine. I don’t want you to believe in me, I want you to feel me when you kiss your beloved, when you play with your little girl when you love your dog when you bathe in the sea.
Stop praising me. What kind of egotistical God do you think I am?
I’m bored of your praise, I’m fed up with thanks. Do you feel grateful? Prove it taking care of yourself, your health, your relationships, the world around you. Do you feel overwhelmed?… Express your joy! That’s the way to praise me.
The only thing sure is that you are here, that you are alive, that this world is full of wonders.
What do you need more miracles for?
Why so many explanations?
Don’t look for me outside, you won’t find me. Find me inside… there I’m beating in you.”
Baruch De Spinoza
Religious and philosophical views of Albert Einstein
In his book Ideas and Opinions (1954) Einstein stated, “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 December 1922 Einstein said the following on the idea of a saviour, “Denominational traditions I can only consider historically and psychologically; they have no other significance for me.
Pantheism and Spinoza’s God
Einstein had explored the idea that humans could not understand the nature of God. In an interview published in George Sylvester Viereck‘s book Glimpses of the Great (1930), 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 am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I do not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza’s Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.
Einstein stated, “My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems.”
On 24 April 1929, Einstein cabled Rabbi Herbert S. Goldstein in German: “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.” He expanded on this in answers he gave to the Japanese magazine Kaizō in 1923:
Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect. Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality and intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order. […] This firm belief, a belief bound up with a deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God. In common parlance, this may be described as “pantheistic” (Spinoza).