In the first post of the series, we stressed the fact that religious thought is engendered by feeling alone, and thus isn’t vulnerable to logical detractors. In the second, we concluded that religion, though produced by feeling, can be interpreted and communicated by reason. Here, we make the claim that religious thought can actually be produced by reason alone.
That Albert Einstein – the great physicist of the 20st century – was a religious man surprised many. Einstein’s views were nuanced: the scientist described himself, alternatingly, using terms ranging from “agnostic” to “religious nonbeliever”. “I believe in Spinoza’s God,” Einstein said, in his perhaps most-quoted explication of his own views, “who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.” 
The last article in this series seems to have predicted accurately. Einstein’s religious sentiments appear more aligned with feeling than with thinking.
But should we be unsettled – as many were – that the greatest scientist of perhaps all time embraced beliefs which seem so, well, unscientific? To what extent must religious believers such as Einstein, in embracing feeling over thinking, do so at the expense of their own scientific stature? Can we scientifically validate religious experience? Continue reading
Yuri Gagarin, Russian cosmonaut and the first man in outer space, is credited with the quote above. It’s probably a misattribution, but the idea stands. *
A neurosurgeon, upon opening the cranial cavity, sees no God in the throbbing, pulsing mass of tissue that fills it. A physicist finds no God in the atom.
In the face of the bare, undeniable reality of the natural sciences, there’s little room for superstition. It seems that the advancement of the sciences and of knowledge itself comes at the direct expense of God. But must this be the case? Should it be?