Friday, February 11, 2005

Four Great Men

Last night I went to one of Aish's famous "Discovery" seminar. There was free food and a bunch of my friends were going, so why not? Pretty much typical kiruv type arguments. Half-truths, false dilemmas, and straw men were the common themes.

But anyway I thought it was interesting that the rabbi mentioned the book "The Jewish Mystique" where the author mentions the four most influential men of the last 200 years. So he mentions Einstein, Freud, Marx and Darwin. And lo and behold three of the four are Jewish and thus it is proven that Jews are the light unto the nations, the Torah is real and God is looking out for us.

But do you know what else these guys have in common?

Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever.
-- Sigmund Freud

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.
-- Karl Marx

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.
-- Albert Einstein

But I own that I cannot see ... evidence of design and beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created that a cat should play with mice.
-- Charles Darwin

They were all skeptical of religion. Freud and Marx were outright atheists. Einstein kinda wobbled in his pantheism and Darwin was really an agnostic. But none of these four great influences of the past 200 years were one of the faithful.


Anonymous said...

Darwin was NOT Jewish.

Orthoprax said...


Um...yeah. Your point? When did I say he was?