Becoming a Freethinker and a Scientist

Religious Concepts


The Meaning of Life

Purpose in Nature

The Soul

On Ego, Consciousness, and “Eternal Life”


No Personal God

Short Comments on God


Science and Religion

The Mysterious

The Religiousness of Science

The Development of Religion

Science and Religion

Religion and Science: Irreconcilable?

A Conversation with Gustav Bucky

Short Comments on Religion


Morals and Emotions

On Good and Evil


The World As I See It

My Credo

Einstein's Faith

Short Comments on Einstein's Faith

Spinoza and Einstein

Einstein's Last Thoughts


Belief Breeds Intolerance

Miscellaneous Comments


Web einsteinandreligion.com

To take those fools in clerical garb seriously is to show them too much honor.

—Einstein's comment
when a rabbi was expelled from the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, because he did not believe in a personal God; Goldman, p. 51

Belief Breeds Intolerance

Should the material on this page be included be part of the Einstein Science and Religion website? It was a difficult decision. Throughout most of this website we see Einstein as a kind of "secular saint"; he expounds his views on God and religion objectively and unemotionally, but with a great deal of compassion.

In the present material we encounter a different Einstein — more human and less of a saint — an Einstein, caught up in the passions of the moment, but with his emotions nevertheless a product of his deep beliefs and concerns — he is antiauthoritarian, angry at perceived injustice, passionate in defense of the Jewish people.

In reading this material you should remember that Einstein is writing during an era of very widespread antisemitism. He is deeply affected by the record of Nazi cruelties against Jewish people. He writes in a world darkened by the shadow of the Holocaust.

The following is taken from a letter to Rabbi Solomon Goldman; see Goldman p. 51.

A man who is convinced of the truth of his religion is indeed never tolerant, and he is unable to be tolerant. At the least, he is to feel pity for the adherent of another religion but usually it does not stop there. The faithful adherent of a religion will try first of all to convince those that believe in another religion and usually he goes on to hatred if he is not successful. However, hatred leads to persecution when the might of the majority is behind it.

In the case of a Christian clergyman the tragi-comical is found in this: that the Christian demands love from the faithful, even love for the enemy. This demand, because it is indeed superhuman, he is unable to fulfill. Thus intolerance and hatred ring through the oily words of the clergyman. The love, which on the Christian side is the basis for the conciliatory attempt towards Judaism is the same as the love of a child for cake. That means that it contains the hope that the object of love will be eaten up.

Einstein is moved here by the long history of the persecution of Jews by Christians. - ed.

You can find much more on this difficult topic at this surprisingly objective Catholic website..