But Einstein’s was a God of philosophy, not religion. When asked many years later whether he believed in God, he replied: ‘I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.’ Baruch Spinoza, a contemporary of Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz, had conceived of God as identical with nature. For this, he was considered a dangerous heretic, and was excommunicated from the Jewish community in Amsterdam.
Einstein’s God is infinitely superior but impersonal and intangible, subtle but not malicious. He is also firmly determinist. As far as Einstein was concerned, God’s ‘lawful harmony’ is established throughout the cosmos by strict adherence to the physical principles of cause and effect. Thus, there is no room in Einstein’s philosophy for free will: ‘Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control … we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.’Jim Baggott, “What Einstein meant by ‘God does not play dice’” at Aeon
At that point, the wheels come off. We are as aware of free will as we are of consciousness. Some say free will is an illusion but then some say consciousness is an illusion. But then science is an illusion too, as are rationality and human reason.
Einstein’s God is best kept in a glass case except during lectures.
Note: Jim Baggott is the author of The Quest for the Real Meaning of Quantum Mechanics – a Game of Theories
Can physics prove there is no free will? No, but it can make physicists incoherent when they write about free will. It’s hilarious. Sabine Hossenfelder misses the irony that she insists that people “change their minds” by accepting her assertion that they… can’t change their minds.
Does “alien hand syndrome” show that we don’t really have free will? One woman’s left hand seemed to have a mind of its own. Did it? Alien hand syndrome doesn’t mean that free will is not real. In fact, it clarifies exactly what free will is and what it isn’t.
But is determinism true? Does science show that we fated to want whatever we want? Modern science—both theoretical and experimental—strongly supports the reality of free will.
How can mere products of nature have free will? Materialists don’t like the outcome of their philosophy but twisting logic won’t change it
Does brain stimulation research challenge free will? If we can be forced to want something, is the will still free?
Is free will a dangerous myth? The denial of free will is a much more dangerous myth
Also: Do quasars provide evidence for free will? Possibly. They certainly rule out experimenter interference.
Can free will even be an illusion? Michael Egnor reiterates the freeing implications of quantum indeterminacy
Also, by Baylor University’s Robert J. Marks: Quantum randomness gives nature free will Whether or not quantum randomness explains how our brains work, it may help us create unbreakable encryption codes