Michio Kaku spoke with Fred Jerome, author of the Einstein File: J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret War Against The World’s Most Famous Scientist. Jerome is a former student of Albert Einstein. Einstein’s science-based belief in God was a major focus of the discussion.
Fred Jerome studied physics at Princeton, graduating in 1943. Fred lived within a block of Albert Einstein’s house. Jerome knew Einstein, if not as a personal friend, at least as an adept student. Fred Jerome also obtained J. Edgar Hoover’s file on Albert Einstein through the Freedom of Information Act to use as a reference for his book.
Whenever Albert Einstein spoke, Fred Jerome says he hung on Einstein’s every word. Michio Kaku, a great admirer of Einstein, was likewise highly attentive to Fred Jerome’s words as he talked about Albert Einstein’s belief in God.
Michio Kaku said the concept of God was something Albert Einstein often spoke of, compared to most physicists. Michio Kaku, however, differentiates Einstein’s and Spinoza’s God from the biblical God. Is Michio Kaku correct in relegating Albert Einstein’s God to the God of Spinoza?
Bento Spinoza was likely an inspiration of Albert Einstein’s spiritual beliefs about God, as well as those of Michio Kaku. Spinoza was a philosopher born in 1632. Bento Spinoza explained God as the “only substance” in the Universe.
“Everything else that is, is in God.” Bento Spinoza wrote about God as “infinite” in this quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
“By God, I understand a being absolutely infinite, i.e., a substance consisting of an infinity of attributes, of which each one expresses an eternal and infinite essence.”
Michio Kaku quotes Albert Einstein, who said he found religion and science tied so that one is useless without the other. Einstein described science without religion as “lame,” adding that “religion without science is blind.”
Fred Jerome explained Albert Einstein had little belief in the effects of praying to God. Einstein saw God as an impersonal “force,” which mankind would never fully understand, according to Michio Kaku and Fred Jerome.
According to Fred Jerome, Albert Einstein believed no human being could begin to fully understand God or the universe. Michio Kaku suggested that perhaps Albert Einstein came close to defining God, or at least evidence of him when he constructed the Universal Field Theory.
Still, Albert Einstein had no doubt there was a God, and his belief in God grew with the study of science. Einstein is quoted in the video.
“The More I study science, the more I believe in God.”
Albert Einstein’s point is one Michio Kaku is likewise focused upon. When studying the universe, Professor Michio Kaku has often remarked it is impossible to conceive something so meticulously structured could have happened by accident. Therefore, there must be a creator.
Michio Kaku made the point that Albert Einstein did not believe in a personal God that answers prayers. Belief in Spinoza’s God is not the same as a theologian’s biblically-based beliefs. Einstein’s statements put a bit of clarity into this statement that seems so far from theology. He is quoted in the video.
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.”
Albert Einstein’s quote on the Michio Kaku video continues, explaining the restrictive personal point of view that all humans have. The human perception he says falls victim to the false perception that each “self” is separate. By default, humanity would perceive God as the instrument of the individual, and not the other way around.
“The delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection from a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Perhaps Albert Einstein’s point was not that God doesn’t know or care about individuals, rather, God is in a position to encompass the bigger picture. As mankind struggles to widen his circles of compassion, God encircles all.
Albert Einstein could be speaking against the division. Man’s religions are often used to support rather than break down these divisions.
Still, Fred Jerome and Michio Kaku put forth the idea that Albert Einstein’s belief in God was not a theological one, but one based completely on the scientific evidence. Michio Kaku believes there is far too much order in the universe to support a random genesis, and so there must be a God.
Fred Jerome and Michio Kaku both related their ability to identify with Albert Einstein’s reported departure from traditional theology to a large, impersonal, and universal God.
Albert Einstein said that no one can fully comprehend God, but it is everyone’s right, and maybe even their responsibility, to try. It seems an important question, one that each person must answer in their own way.
While both science and theology put forth ideas, those ideas may or may not be applicable or correct, because neither science nor theology has any way of expressing the complexity of the nature of God. Yet, Albert Einstein noted few had the capacity to even observe.
“Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.”
Are Spinoza’s infinite God and theology’s personal God mutually exclusive, as Michio Kaku and Fred Jerome seem to indicate? Could it be a misconception of human perception that says God cannot be infinitely huge and minutely small at the same time? Couldn’t the same force that orders the universe help individuals as well? After all, in the universe, the macrocosm of space is echoed in the smallest of microscopic particles. Couldn’t God be both infinite and personal?
Even Albert Einstein admitted he couldn’t fully understand God. Michio Kaku and Fred Jerome ponder their questions about God, and so must every individual. These are not easy questions to answer.
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Albert Einstein, Michio Kaku, and Fred Jerome, each intellectually gifted, admitted they were unable to fully comprehend God.
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