Friday, 31 December 2010

"...A God who is but a reflection of human frailty"

An interesting quote I came across, attributed to Albert Einstein, in a column for the New York Times Nov 9, 1930:: “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.”

I've always found the worship of God a strange thing to do.  I did not choose to be created, and I have only very limited control over my destiny.  Why would God expect my praise for His creation? Why would he want it?


  1. I've never seen worship as directed AT God. It's more FOR God and his universe. It's the same response that I feel when contemplating a Van Gogh - a humble joy and gratitude that he existed and could do what he did.

    I am entirely in sympathy with scientific explanations for life, but sense God as a creative force. When witnessing the amazing beauty of, for example, a coral reef - I feel a welling up of thankfulness. That's what worship's about, I think.

  2. Thanks for that Sophie.
    Whether 'at' or 'for' isn't it ultimately the same thing? Worship surely implies praising something or someone. I also feel a sense of wonder but I don't then make the connection with God.

  3. It's a mystery: I feel a surge of gratitude but whether this means there's anyone to feel grateful to I have no way of ascertaining. I think there is - well almost two things - a God which instigates and Nature which carries it forward. Father and mother, perhaps?

    As I've said before, I believe in God because I "feel" God, in the same way I feel affection or toothache. It's a real feeling, but whether it's caused by a real thing is another matter. I tend to believe it is because my feelings are so clear. However this gut level feeling is not a theory, it's quite apart from thought or philosophy. I am also prepared to accept that it may be a delusion. May well be, but as it doesn't cause me or anyone else an atom of harm it makes no odds.

    Do you know this poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins?

    As king fishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
    Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
    Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
    Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
    Selves -- goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
    Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

    I say more: the just man justices;
    Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
    Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is --
    Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
    Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
    To the Father through the features of men's faces.