John O. Campbell
This is an excerpt from the introduction to a new book titled Einstein's Enlightenment.
many writers treated Shakespeare's works as a secular equivalent or replacement to the Bible
Our models suggest that Einstein may still have been right, when he objected against the conclusions drawn by Bohr and Heisenberg. It may well be that, at its most basic level, there is no randomness in nature, no fundamentally statistical aspect to the laws of evolution.
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion.
In other words he prophesied that a new religion based on both scientific and spiritual understanding would arise. To many of us this is precisely the tonic which humanity currently lacks. Religion can unite us as no other force and we sorely need social cohesion to effectively confront the many hurdles which face our species. Success in meeting these challenges will depend largely on science-based solutions. A religion which would unite us in the pursuit of an evidence-based approach would appear to be just what we need.· of or relating to the cosmos, the extraterrestrial vastness, or the universe in contrast to the earth alone
· of, relating to, or concerned with abstract spiritual or metaphysical ideas
A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.
There is only one mode of explanation I know of, developed by science, to explain why a system has parameters that lead to much more complexity than typical values of those parameters. This is natural selection.
be clear, I am using ‘enlightenment’ in a very strong sense similar to the
state which Buddha experienced and claimed as the true understanding of
reality. In several of his writing Einstein describes his subjective experience,
for instance in a 1939 letter to the Queen Mother of Belgium (10):
Still, there are moments when one feels free from one's own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments, one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable: life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only being.
The only Jewish school in Munich had been closed in 1872 for want of students, and in the absence of an alternative Einstein attended a Catholic elementary school. He also received Jewish religious education at home, but he did not see a division between the two faiths, as he perceived the "sameness of all religions." Einstein was equally impressed by the stories of the Hebrew Bible and the Passion of Jesus. According to biographer Walter Isaacson, Einstein immensely enjoyed the Catholic religion courses which he received at the school.
the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment—an attitude that has never again left me
Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation, and I soon noticed that many a man whom I had learned to esteem and to admire had found inner freedom and security in its pursuit. The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our capabilities presented itself to my mind, half consciously, half unconsciously, as a supreme goal.
What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand. Were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable themselves to spend years of solitary labor in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics! Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is the cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength.
the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought
Our capacity to construct conceptual and mathematical models is central to scientific explanations of the world around us. Neuroscience is unique because it entails models of this model making procedure itself. There is something quite remarkable about the fact that our inferences about the world, both perceptual and scientific, can be applied to the very process of making those inferences: Many people now regard the brain as an inference machine that conforms to the same principles that govern the interrogation of scientific data.