Einstein Cosmic Religion Review and Commentary
(Dover Publications) Einstein Cosmic Religion With Other Opinions & Aphorisms
Copyright©2015-2021 — updated February 08, 2021
Source: Cosmic Religion : With Other Opinions and Aphorisms, Albert Einstein, Covici-Friede, 1931. Reprint: Einstein on Cosmic Religion — And Other Opinions & Aphorisms, With an Appreciation by George Bernard Shaw, 2009, Dover Publications, Mineola, New York.
This review of Einstein's Cosmic Religion is part one of a series of reviews that focus on books by and about Albert Einstein. At present the series is planned to have no fewer than seven books.
Cosmic Religion has five prominent features:
 The theme of Cosmic Religion is generally divided into two sections, with the second section's opinions frequently contradicting the first section's opinions. It is unknown whether the publishers purposefully arranged the opinions so as to present Albert Einstein in a bad light, or if the publishers perhaps did not cross-light what they printed, or if there was a different cause. Regardless of the causes, the book's perpetual contradictions are highly frustrating.
 The original publisher, Covici, is reported to have been a Romanian Jew who immigrated to the USA around 1897 at the age of twelve. It would be a worthwhile project for an individual to research the publisher's personal background history (including Friede's) so as to determine what his possible motives may have been for publishing the book (i.e. a Zionist slant).
 The book's chapters are I- Cosmic Religion, II- Pacifism, III- The Jews, and IV- Opinions and Aphorisms. The first chapter gives a few vague references of 'Cosmic Religion', while the following chapters progressively increase their anti-European, anti-religion, pro-atheist, and pro-Zionist rhetoric (the re-establishment of the Israeli nation). Cosmic Religion gives very little reference to the 'Cosmic Religion' topic itself.
 Most of Einstein's opinions originated in the German which were later translated into English. The original opinions, therefore, may not have been translated well into the English. I am not fluent in German, so my review is solely on the available English translations.
 I verified that several of the book's opinions have been taken out of context from their original sources, and the opinions were then rearranged to create the message that the publishers chose. The book's opinions, therefore, may appear to say one thing, but may have implied something different when Albert Einstein first presented the opinions.
Albert Einstein is admired by many, and he has been hated by many. Regardless of what a reporter or publisher might claim, their words do not make gospel, and just because words are printed in a book, there is no reason to believe that the words must be perfectly true. Einstein was a mathematician, not an orator, not a language professor, nor so much as familiar with the nuances of the early twentieth century American English language. The book's words cannot be accepted at face value alone.
My aim is to generally (usually) ignore the individual words while giving attention to the overall concept of the sentences and paragraphs. People frequently use wrong words, but the concepts usually sum close to what the individuals intended. My reviews of the books about Einstein are book reviews, merely the pointing of attention to specific concepts that are worthy of being noticed, and it is the reader's responsibility to decide whether the books' individual words are true or misleading.
The three axioms that I use to judge the books' topics are:
 Memorizing another man's words never results in an understanding of, nor an expertise within any topic outside the act of memorizing words. No quantity of education can instill an understanding of any topic related to firsthand experience.
 Three-dimensional matter is the product of more than the three dimensions of height, width, and depth (matter does not magically create itself from nothing and for no reason). It is grossly irrational for any theory to claim that no dimension exists outside of the three, and it is no less irrational to claim that a fourth dimension is three-dimensional with height, width, and/or depth.
 All mathematical interpretations of Reality that do not include all dimensional references must therefore be incomplete and incorrect interpretations that — at best — only have a vague relevance to one-dimensional points. Regardless of whatsoever any mathematician might claim, it is not possible to place a one-dimensional point on a four-dimensional field, and thus, mathematics cannot measure a fourth dimension, nor any other beyond the three.
Until recent months I personally had no interest in Albert Einstein's opinions and theories because — to my knowledge — all of his opinions and theories were rooted within one or more of the popular ideologies that believe an education of words is equal to or superior to that of firsthand experience: the ideologies fail the first three axioms, and therefore I had previously chosen to not waste my time investigating Einstein's ideas.
Nevertheless, due to Einstein having described a firsthand observation of his own manner of 'thinking' (as noted in the Consciousness article), I was sufficiently curious to determine how well his thinking processes might have been developed. If it had not been for the one reference of his 'feeling' thoughts, I would have continued ignoring all topics about Albert Einstein.
In the first chapter of Cosmic Religion Einstein praised Spinoza as being among the individuals Einstein believed were 'religious geniuses' with a "cosmic religious sense", which is sufficient evidence to suggest that Einstein had read Spinoza's works, and it was therefore not surprising that Einstein's learned beliefs were influenced by some of Spinoza's learned beliefs.
I have not read Spinoza's works, nor do I wish to (especially not after glancing at A Theological-Political Treatise), but I did take the time to read several sentences in his Ethics. Three quick quotes are sufficient:
"VI. By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite--that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.
...PROP. XI. God, or substance, consisting of infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality, necessarily exists.
Proof.--If this be denied, conceive, if possible, that God does not exist: then his essence does not involve existence. But this (Prop. vii.) is absurd. Therefore God necessarily exists."
Spinoza used two-dimensional terms while apparently believing that his two-dimensional thoughts and an invented two-dimensional argument should somehow be an accurate interpretation of what a god should be. The definitions given by Spinoza verify absolutely that the fellow failed all three primary axioms. (Humorously, the phrase "put a spin on it" now has additional meaning to me.)
Albert Einstein's opinions — as presented in the book — were similarly limited to the common use of two- and three-dimensional thoughts. Einstein allegedly stated himself in the On Science chapter: "The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions." Einstein may have been correct that he could not think beyond three dimensions, but he was wrong that no one else could. It appears to be a justified interpretation that if Einstein admitted he could not think four-dimensionally, then he could not have applied four-dimensional thoughts to his theories, and therefore his theories could not have been valid beyond two- and three-dimensional frames.
My interest in Einstein is not of his theories, nor so much as related to the public's opinion of the man, but rather my interests are in his thought patterns as well as my observing the heuristics of how an individual may have arrived at his opinions. More can be known of a theory itself — as well as the men and women behind the theory — by observing the evolving patterns rather than by only looking at the final sum. Final sums mean nothing if there is no supporting base of reasoning.
Between the books' translations of different languages, plus the use of synonyms that may be applicable in casual conversation but not be applicable within a theory, plus the natural maturing of one's ideas throughout life, plus the original wording itself likely not having been perfectly recorded, plus the editors having assembled Einstein's opinions out of context, there is always the need to allow a degree of leniency towards Einstein's opinions. The goal, therefore, is to merely glean a usable reference of general concepts that Einstein applied at specific points in life, and to then use the known patterns of Einstein's opinions to judge whether he used similar patterns while assembling his mathematical theories.
As I stated previously, for myself I have no interest in Einstein's mathematics, nor of his opinions, but I do have an interest in observing how humans tend to assemble thoughts, and since Einstein is popularly believed to be the greatest Science thinker of the twentieth century, then it is useful to at least glance at his work so as to gather an idea of what the general public deems to be a genius intellect.
The one unwavering pattern within almost all of Albert Einstein's opinions is that of his  presenting a topic,  inventing supporting evidence that was obviously false, and then occasionally following with  an attempt to appease and sway the insulted audience through his use of empty flattery. The mental pattern within the book's opinions is so prevalent and unmistakable that it provides the reader a solid model of what to look for in Albert Einstein's mathematical theories.
Since almost all of Albert Einstein's opinions followed the same patterning, I will only reference a few to be examples of all others.
Everything that men do or think concerns the satisfaction of the needs they feel or the escape of pain. This must be kept in mind when we seek to understand spiritual or intellectual movements and the way in which they develop. For feeling and longing are the motive forces of all human striving and productivity — however nobly these latter may display themselves to us."
The opinion follows the pattern of:
[1 — topic] Everything that men do or think
[2 — false] concerns the satisfaction of the needs they feel or the escape of pain.
[2 — false] This must be kept in mind when we seek to understand spiritual or intellectual movements
[2 — false] and the way in which they develop.
[2 — false] For feeling and longing are the motive forces of all human striving and productivity
[3 — flattery] however nobly these latter may display themselves to us."
Almost universally, all of Einstein's invented explanations revolved around what he had read in books — other men's opinions — and almost no explanation presented in the book arrived solely from firsthand experience (the possible exceptions being those of his own personal nationalist and racist views). I will touch on this pattern with greater depth in the book review of Ideas and Opinions.
By listening to Einstein's speeches it is possible to glean a small idea of his emotional toning of words, and though his words were heavily accented with the German (which is a language that is not well-suited for expressing intricate emotional content) as well as his era's cultural emphasis on artificial showmanship (fake emotional toning of words), the varying patterns of octaves and emphases appear to suggest that he may have been a thoughtful individual who did care about the topics he spoke about, but the patterns also suggested that he stumbled on topics that he was unfamiliar with. Of importance relative to the Cosmic Religion book's topics, and of the recorded speeches I listened to, Einstein stumbled most on the topics of religion. The book's words are suggestive of a man who voiced opinions about a topic of which he held little knowledge, and the audio recordings of his speeches appear to substantiate the book's words. Regardless of the differences caused by translations between the German and the English, and regardless of the differences of cultures and eras, the one sum continues to suggest that Einstein's social opinions were exactly that: his own personalized opinions and nothing more.
Another item that stands apparent was Einstein's use of pseudo-authoritative phrases that were patterned similarly as Boris Sidis', William Sidis', and Ayn Rand's. The presence of the Einstein opinion of 'Everything that men do or think' suggests that Einstein may have assumed himself qualified to speak on topics that he held no knowledge of beyond what he imagined must be true: what he had memorized from books written by men of whom themselves knew nothing of the topics.
Having glanced at Spinoza's works while I proof-read this article, I recognized the patterning of Spinoza's 'pain and feelings' to be the mirror of Einstein's opinions. It is not worth my time to research the question further, but on the surface there appears to exist evidence that some of Einstein's opinions may have merely been the parroting of what he had read in Spinoza's books.
"A second source of religious development is found in the social feelings.
Fathers and mothers, as well as leaders of great human communities, are fallible and mortal. The longing for guidance, for love and succor, provides the stimulus for the growth of a social or moral conception of God. This is the God of providence, who protects, decides, rewards, and punishes."
Einstein simply invented the opinions, perhaps based upon what he had read, but the claims are not so much as plausible or rational. No known human who knows firsthand of religions and the nature of love would phrase an opinion similarly. All of Einstein's other opinions share similar ingredients of having formed conclusions upon an education of words, sans an education of firsthand empirical observation, which rendered all of the opinions false.
"In primitive peoples it is, first of all, fear that awakens religious ideas… religion of fear… A second source of religious development is found in the social feelings. …transformation of the religion of fear into the moral religion. ...Only exceptionally gifted individuals or especially noble communities rise essentially above this level; in these there is found a third level of religious experience, even if it is seldom found in pure form. I will call it the cosmic religious sense. This is hard to make clear to those who do not experience it, since it does not involve an anthropomorphic idea of God; the individual feels the vanity of human desires and aims, and the nobility and marvelous order which are revealed in nature and in the world of thought. He feels the individual destiny as an imprisonment and seeks to experience the totality of existence as a unity full of significance. …The cosmic element is much stronger in Buddhism, as, in particular, Schopenhauer's magnificent essays have shown us.
The religious geniuses of all times have been distinguished by this cosmic religious sense, which recognizes neither dogmas nor God made in man's image. Consequently there cannot be a church whose chief doctrines are based on the cosmic religious experience. It comes about, therefore, that precisely among the heretics of all ages we find men who were inspired by this highest religious experience; often they appeared to their contemporaries as atheists, but sometimes also as saints. Viewed from this angle, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are near to one another."
The 'explanations' were simply invented and give no evidence of the speaker knowing anything whatsoever of the topics. Albert Einstein placed his own personal spin on the topics, and though the explanations may appear rational to individuals who know nothing of the topics, the explanations were fully false.
To briefly comment on the opinion, no individual knowledgeable of organized 'church-religions' and different forms of conscious awareness would ever speak of there only being three levels of religious experience, and also never claim that their present level of experience is the ultimate. Lumping the religious experience of Jews' to be identical to the religious experience of Christian Protestants' to be identical to the religious experience of Christian Catholics' to be identical to Muslims' to be identical to Buddhists' to be identical to Wiccans' to be identical to Scientists', and to everyone else's, such a claim is careless and quite ignorant of what a 'religious' experience is itself. Individuals who claim theirs to be the ultimate path are individuals who — aside from their tiny insignificant personal experience — know absolutely nothing of the topic, period.
Regardless of what the scientists, philosophers, and the academias might claim, humans are not identical. Academia and Science repeatedly claim that all consciousness is identical among all living beings, that experiences like awe are the same identical experience for all humans, as well as all emotions and all religious experiences being identical, but the claims are fully and utterly false.
Einstein's claims for cosmic religion are not based on an understanding of, nor so much as a respectable knowledge of the topic. Einstein's opinion was an opinion, a personal opinion, nothing more, and most emphatically not an accurate interpretation of how his own personal experiences might relate to other humans'.
Too, the man who devotes himself to a Christian denomination will grow to only be capable of thinking within that specific Christian point of view, a view that may appear to be bizarre and irrational to individuals who do not share the same beliefs. The same pattern holds true in all other known fields, including philosophy and mathematics. Philosophers like Spinoza and Schopenhauer may have appeared to be brilliant to other individuals who believe that a philosophical sophism is an accurate form of reasoning, but to the outsider the philosophies are abhorrently insane. Mathematicians appear to sincerely believe that their math is above reproach, but any intelligent child can hold an apple and an orange in their hands and tell you that the fruits do not sum to 2. Mathematics can attempt special pleadings throughout eternity, but mathematics will never be the truth that mathematicians claim.
Einstein's opinion of Buddhism was presented — in part — as a knowledge gleaned from having read another man's essay, which immediately and permanently nullifies the opinion while exposing the speaker to correction, as did William James' opinions of religious experience expose him to ridicule, as were Schopenhauer's claims grossly ignorant.
While proof-reading this article I also glanced at Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung II:
"In any case it must be a satisfaction to me to see my teaching in such close agreement with a religion which the majority of men upon the earth hold as their own; for it numbers far more adherents than any other. This agreement, however, must be the more satisfactory to me because in my philosophizing I have certainly not been under its influence. For up till 1818, when my work appeared, there were very few, exceedingly incomplete and scanty, accounts of Buddhism to be found in Europe, which were almost entirely limited to a few essays in the earlier volumes of "Asiatic Researches," and were principally concerned with the Buddhism of the Burmese. Only since then has fuller information about this religion gradually reached us, chiefly through the profound and instructive essays of the meritorious member of the St. Petersburg Academy, J. J. Schmidt, in the proceedings of his Academy, and then little by little through several English and French scholars, so that I was able to give a fairly numerous list of the best works on this religion in my work…"
The man who will not participate in his own life is an empty shell; an imbecile. Schopenhauer, like Spinoza and all the other philosophers, prided himself in the belief that all understanding of a topic is possible through the reading of books and by inventing explanations: no personal participation required. The men were apparently so deeply self-hypnotized within the philosophical frame of mind that the men could not so much as spark a thought that all of their words combined still summed to a zero understanding, and yet Einstein referred positively to Schopenhauer's opinions.
"The ethical behavior of man is better based on sympathy, education, and social relationships, and requires no support from religion."
Parallel to Ayn Rand's pseudo-authoritative tones, the presented Einstein opinion simply invented its claims of ethics while adding pseudo-qualifiers. Ethics are created things, and as such are created by other things; ethics are not singularities that magically pop into existence all by themselves, and Einstein's manner of expressing his opinions only verified that his knowledge of the topic was no greater than any other common uneducated man's. If Einstein had omitted the word "ethical", the sentence would then have been far more rational and meaningful, but by having inferred correctness through 'ethics', his sentence then contradicted itself while placing a fallacious argument against religion. If a man cannot describe and define what he implies by the use of 'ethics', then he should not use to the word to qualify his opinions.
"It is, therefore, quite natural that the churches have always fought against science and have persecuted its supporters. But, on the other hand, I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research."
It is an almost certain ploy by the sophist and liar to claim that their kind have been persecuted by their enemies: all racist and nationalist groups have claimed the same things of all opposing groups. All humans persecute all other humans to one degree or another, and no one sect or race has been singled-out to be the one and only victims of intolerance.
The topic of perceived persecution further expands later in the book, but for the moment the item of importance is the growing shift of focus of Einstein promoting Science while demonizing religion. I am not defending religion nor am I attacking Einstein's opinions, I am merely demanding that a claim or accusation be backed with plausible evidence and summed through a rational logic that is based upon firsthand experience and not upon the absurdities of having memorized another man's words.
"Anyone who only knows scientific research… Only those who have dedicated their lives to similar ends can have a living conception of the inspiration which gave these men the power to remain loyal to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is the cosmic religious sense which grants this power.
A contemporary has rightly said that the only deeply religious people of our largely materialistic age are the earnest men of research."
Almost universal within the faith of Science is the false belief, false claim, and totalitarian insistence that all research of all kinds must only be possible in Science: Science steals the credit for all things that all men create. Man has come to worship his false religion of Science so deeply and utterly that he now cannot discern where his religion starts and stops, and he truly does believe that there can only be one omniscient omnipresent omnipotent god: Science. Einstein apparently did not recognize that his Science was but one of the countless ideologies that have made the same claims of themselves throughout history.
Not unlike western philosophy, Einstein's reported opinions are a tangled mess of countless contradictions and assumptions that held no foundation beyond that of wishful beliefs.
And so, therefore, what exactly was Einstein's "Cosmic Religion"? I honestly do not know, and I have not yet convinced myself to endure the agony of mental distress to learn more of the undefined and undefinable concept. On the surface it appears that Cosmic Religion infers an individual's passion to philosophically toy with academic topics while the individual accepts an unfounded 'religious-like' belief that the topics' findings must never stray outside of what is already Scientific dogma: generally very similar to western philosophy's method of debating the same topics over and over with circular reasoning while refusing to accept the obviousness that there might exist more information about the topics outside of philosophy.
…during war times… by those who at great personal sacrifice have refused to do war service."
What sacrifice? Seriously; what sacrifice? Organized pacifists militantly march on streets built by citizens who are free to build streets because the citizens are protected by the military. Everything a pacifist does was made possible by the military.
It is reported that Einstein signed a paper urging the USA president to develop atomic bombs so as to prevent Nazi Germany from being the first to have nuclear weapons. A pacifist will lay down his life rather than harm another living being; Einstein was not a pacifist. There exist other technologies that could also be converted into weapons, but the technologies are not made known to the public for that specific reason. Pacifists do not build nor promote weapons of mass destruction, regardless of the consequences. Einstein was never a pacifist as it is often claimed.
"The second method which I suggest appears less illegal. I believe that international legislation should be advocated to the effect that those who declare themselves as war resisters should be allowed during peace times to take up different kinds of strenuous or even dangerous work, either for their own countries or for the international benefit of mankind. This would prove that they do not oppose war for their own private comfort or because they are cowards or because they do not want to serve their own country or humanity.
If, in order to prove this, we burden ourselves with these various strenuous and dangerous occupations, we shall have gone far forward toward achieving the pacification of the world. I am convinced that such legislation can be brought about."
And what strenuous and dangerous occupation did Einstein choose? None? Must a law exist before a man will act upon his own convictions? There is no conviction if a man must be forced by law to obey the ideal. The opinion's tone is among those of Einstein progressively calling for all men to resist military participation while Einstein simultaneously called for military support of an Israeli nation.
"My final word to you is that those who are ambitious and sincerely dedicated to the cause of universal peace must have the courage to start, to initiate, and to carry on so fearlessly that the whole world will be forced to consider what they are doing!"
Hateful men laugh at, ridicule, and then kill sophists. If an individual wants world peace, then the person must devise a philosophy of peace that all men want to follow, or else let all men first die so no man is left to wage war against another man. Forming pacifist organizations is absurd. If Einstein's 'ethic' had been of a caring for life, then no quantity of political influence could have changed his 'ethic', and he would not have changed his opinions to adapt to the current social behaviors.
I am even inclined to go a step further by the assertion that, under present day conditions any one state would incur no appreciable risk by undertaking to disarm — wholly regardless of the attitude of the other states.
If such were not the case it would be quite evident that the situation of such states as are unarmed or only partially equipped for defense would be extremely difficult, dangerous, and disadvantageous — a condition which is refuted by the facts."
Wow. Yes, the above quote is literally in the book.
"I hold that mankind is approaching an era in which peace treaties will not only be recorded on paper, but will also become inscribed in the hearts of men."
"It is our sacred duty; for they are sacrificing themselves for the soul and the repute of the entire Jewish people."
"…The publication of my book in the language of our fathers fills me with particular delight. …This revival of our tongue constitutes an important factor in our struggle for independence."
To state "our tongue", it is not an academic statement of 'the tongue' of a language, but rather a personal statement given by an individual who feels he is a member of a group that uses that language. Einstein was obviously strongly biased in favor of an Israeli race and an Israeli nation, which is fine and good to give allegiance and honor to one's country, but I myself would have been much happier if the national patriotism did not include the cost of ignoring the wellbeing of all other life.
"The Jewish people — free of petty chauvinism and of the evils of European nationalism, living peacefully side by side with the Arabs, who enjoy equal rights — should be enabled to lead its national life in its ancient homeland, so that it may again assume a dominant role in the civilization of the world."
Chauvinism? And what is not the exaggerated and aggressive patriotism of what Einstein placed upon the Jewish nationalism of Zionism? From where I stand, my current point of view is to ask for a clarification of why Einstein believed that European nationalism was as an evil while he appeared to infer that Israeli nationalism was 'sacred'. Hopefully the answer here was in the then-current aggression between European nations, and I will choose to assume — and hope — that Einstein's use (or the translator's use) of the word "nationalism" was meant to imply violent radical movements (e.g. Nationalsozialistische: Nazi Socialism). Meanings of words too easily get twisted over time, and what might have appeared obvious in the early 1900s may hold a fully different meaning to a different culture living in the different era of today.
The acceptance of an opposing culture into one's own culture can only have one result: one or both cultures will die. There can be no peace for as long as the Arabs and Israelis hold to their opposing cultures; not until one of the cultures finally dies.
The opinions of Einstein's gave the appearance that he wanted peace and handouts from everyone on earth while his race would assume a "dominant role" while not being expected to suffer any inconvenience. Surely he did not mean what the words said, but then, perhaps he did.
"But the chief point is that Zionism must tend to strengthen the dignity and self-respect of Jews in Diaspora. I have always been annoyed by the undignified assimilationist cravings and strivings which I have observed in so many of my friends."
For any people that refuses to live under the same rules as the host people, the guest people should not be permitted to stay, and never should the guest people be given special treatment. As the book's wording stands, the dream of Einstein's appeared to not merely be hypocritical and chauvinistic, but also quite ignorant. Never in my life have I studied the history of modern Jews, but now I am with a curiosity of what manner of behavior the Jews may have committed to create for themselves such hatred from the many host nations.
Relative to this topic is the patterning of words by each culture. The patterns of wording are very similar and noticeable among Boris Sidis, Sarah Sidis, William Sidis, Ayn Rand, and Albert Einstein, all of which were of the Jewish culture. The patterning is as obvious as the differences of musical patterns, and as some cultures tend to prefer one style of music while not feeling comfortable with other styles of music, so is the published Jewish pattern of speech uncomfortable (obnoxious) to some cultures. In my own culture there are some languages that are far more beautifully emotioned than my own, while some other languages are emotioned within a tone that insinuates hatefulness and deceit relative to my own language. Most humans apparently are not conscious of many emotional tones of speech (look at the lying politicians they elected as proof), but most humans do subconsciously recognize the emotional content, and I wonder if the Jews may have been hated by their host nations because of the Jewish culture's emotional toning that conflicted with the other cultures' patterns of socially acceptable emotions.
I myself had great difficulty reading Einstein's books, not because of the content, but because of how the content was phrased and patterned. I feel comfortable with several European languages, as well as the Native American and some Asian, but there is no comfort for me in the normal use of languages from the sub-European regions. The differences may merely be cultural and do not necessarily infer differences of personal intent, but all humans are different, and all humans interpret all other humans' words differently.
Nevertheless, people are always and in all ways more important than nations, and I do not care what William Sidis and Albert Einstein said and wrote, nationalist ideals that arrive at the cost of innocent human life are fully and in all ways unacceptable.
"We aim at creating a people of workers, at creating the Jewish village in the first place, and we desire that the treasures of culture should be accessible to our laboring class, especially since Jews in all circumstances, as we know, place education above all things."
Disagreed. Einstein spoke many opinions, none of which were based upon an education of the topics. Memorizing another man's words from books is not an act of intelligence. If education were indeed placed above all other things, or even so much as high on the list, then Einstein would have held a knowledge of the topics and he would not have given the invalid opinions recorded in the book.
"Science and investigation recognize as their aim the truth only."
Of all the hype of how Science is allegedly as if a cosmic greatness, here the contradictions exceed a polite response.
"For what could be more characteristic of the level of political morality and righteousness than the attitude of the nations toward a defenseless minority whose peculiarity it is to preserve its ancient traditions of culture?"
But is not a "defenseless minority" the result of pacifism and disarmament? Why did Einstein bemoan his receiving what he asked for? If the opinions were truly stated as recorded in the book, then did Einstein intend for Europeans and other nations to maintain their militaries so as to protect the Jews while the Zionists sang peace songs? Any individual who cries for pacifism and the refusal to go to war should not cry because he is then "defenseless".
The man takes one step and then says "I am a pacifist." He takes another step and says "I am a nationalist." On his third step he says "Nuke the nationalists." On the fourth step he says "Never assimilate." At the fifth step he says "All nations should disarm." And with each step he contradicts every word he spoke before: it is not the behavior of a rational mind. Surely Einstein meant to say something else, or perhaps the translator did not adequately convey the message, but as the words stand today, I was not pleased with what appeared to me to be one individual's feel-good opinions that were never cross-lighted to recognize that the opinions were contradictory. But what if Einstein had been told what to say by nationalist organizations? What if he had been the mouth-piece for Zionism? Could this be a reason for the continuous contradictions? Everyone makes mistakes, and never can language adequately express a fullness of one's thoughts, but the contradictions in the book are too numerous to ignore.
I believe in intuition and inspiration. …At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason. …Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research."
"The basis of all scientific work is the conviction that the world is an ordered and comprehensible entity, which is a religious sentiment. My religious feeling is a humble amazement at the order revealed in the small patch of reality in which our feeble intelligence is equal."
"Science exists for Science's sake, like Art for Art's sake, and does not go in for special pleading or for the demonstration of absurdities."
Since this review is being made public on the Internet, I will be lazy and quote from Wikipedia to show a publicly-accepted opinion of what special pleading implies: "Special pleading is a form of fallacious argument that involves an attempt to cite something as an exception to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exception."
The three axioms stated near the first of this article are about as basic and simplistic as axioms can be, but all of Einstein's opinions failed to meet the axioms' requirements: Einstein's opinions of Science, pacifism, militantism, and Zionism were as special pleadings, little different than any other religion's special pleadings that claim a thing to be true regardless of the obviousness that the claim is false.
"Most mistakes in philosophy and logic occur because the human mind is apt to take the symbol for the reality."
That is reasonably correct, as does man popularly believe Science is a real thing — the thinking god — while the real living human researchers are deemed to be little more than mere ants in the sugar bowl. In my world all praise is given to the human individual who achieves great things, and never is the praise given to any religion, including Science. Men's actions are verbs, Science is a noun; a symbol.
"The human mind is unable to conceive of the four dimensions. How can it conceive of a God, before whom a thousand years and a thousand dimensions are as one?"
Einstein was wrong, some humans can think four-dimensionally. The item of importance here is that the comment adds additional weight that mathematics cannot be a valid measurement of a four-dimensional thing because there were no four-dimensional equations, which simply means that Einstein's theory of relativity is known from the beginning — without so much as a need to first view the math — that the sums must be incorrect. Even Einstein admitted — in a round-about way — that his theories could not relate to Reality.
(And yes, I am aware of the countless special pleadings used by mathematicians, but the math is still wrong.)
"Imagine a bedbug completely flattened out, living on the surface of a globe. This bedbug may be gifted with analysis, he may study physics, he many even write a book. His universe will be two-dimensional. He may even intellectually or mathematically conceive of a third dimension, but he cannot visualize it. Man can imagine a fourth dimension mathematically, but he cannot see it, he cannot visualize it, he cannot represent it physically. It exists only mathematically for him. The mind cannot grasp it."
Fully wrong. Man cannot create and measure a thing that he does not know to first exist. The 'four-dimensional' mathematics alluded to by Einstein is merely a three-dimensional math with an added dimension of one of the three. The common tesseract is popularly believed to represent four-dimensional space ('space' is a three-dimensional term that does not relate to anything outside of three dimensions), and some individuals who claim to think four-dimensionally use the tesseract as an alleged demonstration of their ability to think four-dimensionally (a fraudulent claim). The tesseract is a three-dimensional concept that relies wholly on the three dimensions of height, width, and depth: the tesseract does not possess any other dimension. A fourth dimension must be a dimension that is not height, not width, not depth, nor dependent on any of the three's existence.
Believe it or not, the universe did not pop into existence as a solid three-dimensional Reality. There exists no rational reason whatsoever to assume that the three-dimensional existence could ever come into existence without there first being numerous other dimensions. Man's three-dimensional Reality is a subset of other dimensions, a product of many others, and it is outrageously absurd for man to claim that his three-dimensional mathematics is a true measure of Reality.
Minkowski space-time adds time to the three spatial dimensions, and it is then believed by mathematicians that a four-dimensional equation has been created. Time, however, does not exist except as a concept, a mental construct of three-dimensional space combined with the memory of previous space-states: a human invention. Time is related to and wholly dependent on the three spatial dimensions, and thus, though the mathematical equations may indeed sum to usable numbers (relative to what three-dimensional thinking humans perceive), there exists no rational reasoning whatsoever that time is itself a dimension, which negates the claim of there existing four-dimensional mathematics. Too, the three dimensions are themselves mental constructs, which negates all mathematics entirely.
Yes man can use the man-measure of mathematics to do really cool stuff like send rovers to Mars and to build farm machinery, but the mathematics still remain to be mental constructs — analogies — and are not a true representation of Reality. When I comment on the relativity books I will delve further into this topic, but meanwhile it is enough to simply state that the words attributed to Einstein illustrate a mind that is stunted in the pit of believing mathematics to be real.
In summary, it is my opinion that Einstein's passion was mathematics, which would naturally result in his not having high talent in expressing his thoughts through worded languages. I want to believe that Einstein was a bright fellow who would agree that the book's arrangement of words did not present his thoughts in a good light, and if pressed for answers I am hopeful that he could have better explained why he held the conflicting desires for both pacifism and nationalist defense. No man's thoughts can be adequately conveyed through words, and especially not through written words.
For myself, I will not judge Einstein beyond the observation that he lacked firsthand experience in most of the book's topics, and that he was not careful to discover and to then hold firm a single truth which could then be the triangulation point for judging his own thoughts. Philosophers enjoy repeatedly debating the same unknowns for thousands of years, and mathematicians enjoy placing one-dimensional points on objects: though none of the enjoyments approach an understanding of the topics themselves, still the individuals ought to be free to pursue the pastimes they enjoy.
I only touched on a small percentage of the topics, and I believe that it would be worthwhile for anyone interested in Einstein and his theories to take the time to investigate his personal beliefs. If an individual has not read the opinions of Einstein's, then upon what reasoning can the person claim that they know whether Einstein was bright or dull?
Another item that is always worthy of keeping in mind is that Einstein's speeches and comments were too often given while under the influence of others' guidance. A question that begs for an answer is to ask if he had been a puppet for someone else's opinions. As I mentioned previously, another question needing answered is to ask why the book was so conveniently divided into two general themes, with the latter section being an obvious contradiction of the first. Did the translator and publisher intentionally assemble Einstein's opinions for the purpose of promoting Zionism, or for some other purpose?
Nevertheless, after writing this article I found Einstein's About Zionism which confirmed the Zionist quotes in Cosmic Religion to likely be valid, and upon my glancing over the Zionist book, I am currently of the opinion that I will keep my opinion to myself until the end of the last book review.