Einstein did not believe in God, as many [mistakenly] claim.
Albert Einstein said, “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic.” He clarified with, “I am convinced that the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”
Atheist don’t believe in God, either. Not any god/s. Ever. Unlike Agnostics, open to the possibility of a ‘higher power,’ or ‘collective, sentient being,’ Einstein believed in neither.* Agnostic is politically correct, less threatening, especially during his time, born a Jew, and existing on federal and university funding.
I am an Atheist. I do not recognize the Old/New Testament, and related works illuminating the adventures, reprimands or absolution of a divine being as anything more than fiction—parables by some wise, some ignorant, but guaranteed partisan scribes with an agenda to dominate and control human behavior. (The defense that organized religion was necessary for our development when we were still running around in small, warring tribes is seriously laughable.)
So, when I need money, why don’t I go rob someone. Or shoplift?
When I’m attracted to my neighbor’s husband, why don’t I just hit on him, get intimate if he’s into it?
When I get pissed off at the driver on their cellphone that just cut me off, why don’t I shoot her?
Snatch & Run, even drive-by’s these days, and the odds of getting caught for either crime is somewhat nominal if I’m discreet. Fear of being busted, going to jail is not the main motivation that prevents me from committing these, and ‘lesser’ crimes like lying, cheating and most others would agree, religious or not, are moral infractions.
If I believe I answer to no higher power, where do I get my morality, much of which is similar (often seemingly the same) to that of Judeo/Christian doctrine?
Einstein said, “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.”
Believer or not, what is your ‘Moral Obligation?’
Mine, as an Atheist and a Human, is to support our continued evolution. It is my Moral Obligation to nurture reproduction—to extend the magnificent, wondrous, glorious feelings of being alive to someone else, as it has been gifted to me.
I am born owing Humanity that existed before me, and this planet that supports us.
We all are. My moral conscience asserts we all must work at insuring life continues long after our own time, and that humans evolve to our spectacular potential of creativity, ingenuity, kindness, and learn to fully embrace our amazing capacity to love.
Murder rates are actually lower in more secular nations and higher in more religious nations where belief in God is deep and widespread (Jensen 2006; Paul 2005; Fajnzylber et al. 2002; Fox and Levin 2000).
Within America, the states with the highest murder rates tend to be highly religious, such as Louisiana and Alabama, but the states with the lowest murder rates tend to be among the least religious in the country, such as Vermont and Oregon (Ellison et al. 2003; Death Penalty Information Center, 2008).
Rates of most violent crimes tend to be lower in the less religious states and higher in the most religious states (United States Census Bureau, 2006).
The top 50 safest cities in the world, nearly all are in relatively non-religious countries, and of the eight cities within the United States that make the safest-city list, nearly all are located in the least religious regions of the country (Mercer Survey, 2008).
* “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.” —Albert E.