Field of Science

Einstein on evil?

In this little video Albert Einstein refutes the argument from evil against God's existence by saying that, like cold and darkness do not exist except as the absence of heat and light, so does evil not exist except in the absence of good. Evil is what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart.

What a load of utter bullshit!

Of course a God who created everything is equally responsible for good and evil. Evil is not the absence of good. That would be neutrality. Evil deeds are done, and isn't automatically what's there when no good is done.

Albert, methinks you were a bit daft at times.

Update 10/21: Please see James' comment below on the question of the origin of this quote.

Update 11/2: While the quote attributed to Einstein is apparently a hoax (see comments), the argument falls all on its own, and... I still think Einstein was daft at times.

Update February 1st, 2010:
This comment below has now earned tsharp811 the inaugural "Best Apologetic of the month" January 2010. Congratz!


  1. even Einstein (in case he actually said that) was a relative noob at some point in time...

    Cheers Arend

  2. I suppose it would be a good idea to authenticate and date that quote.

  3. Totally, utterly, completely false.

    Einstein made it clear again and again and again that he believed in Spinoza's God, i.e. an abstract, impersonal, philosophical metaphor. I mean, we don't have to guess because he explicitly said as much!

    "I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind."

    And any righteous Christian false witnessing about Einstein believing in anything more than that should have been thoroughly debunked in 1954 when he wrote:

    "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

    And as far back as 1949, he wrote:

    "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one."

    Not that it matters -- as you point out, Einstein was a great physicist, not a great philosopher. And even great influential philosophers have been known to be dead wrong now and again.

    Typical theist propaganda: Commit the argument from authority fallacy, while lying at the same time. Classy.

  4. In regards the specific argument, I'd add to what you said: Even if we accept the dubious premise that good cannot exist without evil, it is the striking amount of suffering in the world that makes the Argument from Evil so convincing. In what way do the parasitic habits of Ichneumonidae give humans the opportunity to know good and make good choices?!

  5. James, thanks for the links. Nice to have that cleared up.

    I have - exceptionally - opted to change the title of the post by adding a questionmark.

  6. This story is almost certainly a complete fabrication and even if it isn't Einstein's name was only added to this story, which was a viral email, in 2004. So double bullshit.

  7. Proving Evil exists doesnt mean anything. Yes God created Evil but without it human life could not exist.

    Good cannot exist without Evil, aka you cant know one thing without knowing its opposite and thats why human life could not exist without Evil. God created Evil knowing that it is the only possible way human life could exist.

    So in the end - Evil is in itself Good, because without it we could not exist in this world at all.

    Seeing as probably nobody will believe or understand that u can email me if u want and i'd be happy to explain further.

  8. Congratulations to tsharp811!

    You hereby receive the Pleiotropy's inaugural "Best Apologetic of the month" January 2010. With the reward comes your own blog-post, soon to follow.

    Again, congratz to you, sir/madam, and thanks for you input.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS