Einstein and the existance of Evil

This is an account of a classroom encounter between young Albert Einstein and a professor who was arguing that the Christian faith is a myth.Einstein argues that evil is the absence of God in the same way that darkness is the absence of light and cold is the absence of heat. The Truth: There is no evidence that this exchange ever took place. This eRumor has circulated without Einstein’s name and someone added it to a version that started circulating in the summer of 2004.Also, it is not likely that young Einstein would have presented this argument.In his Autobiographical Notes, he states that even though his Jewish family was not religious, he developed a “deep religiosity” as Jewish child that came to an end when he was 12.He says he developed a skeptical attitude that never left him.He made reference to “God” on many occasions but also said he did not believe some of the stories in the Bible and did not believe in a personal God.Last updated 8/25/04A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:This has a thought provoking message no matter how you believe. Does evil exist?The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists?A student bravely replied yes, he did!””God created everything?” The professor asked.”Yes, sir,” the student replied.The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil.”The student became quiet before such an answer.The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?” “Of course”, replied the professor. The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?””What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Everybody and every object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have too little heat.The student continued. “Professor, does darkness exist?”The professor responded, “Of course it does”.The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”Finally the young man asked the professor. “Sir, does evil exist?”Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. “These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love, that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”The professor sat down.The young mans name — Albert Einstein

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