Boundary Condition: Of God & Man
No historian or fan of rock music would deny that Jimi Hendrix was one of the genre’s greatest guitarists. If he said, for instance, that a particular riff, chord structure or sub-dominant pattern was good or necessary in a composition, most musicians in their right minds would think twice about disputing it.
Even if he opined on the percussion acoustics of an open-air stage where he would be performing, post-doctoral sound engineers would take notes. But if he were to make a public comment on, say, the effects of micro-banking on Third World GDP, chances are polite economists would ignore him while those who were brought up by gentler hooligans would tell him to put a sock in it.
Unfortunately, over the years, that’s what’s happened with Albert Einstein too. Again, no one denies the man was arguably the greatest scientist who’s ever lived and that it’s okay to treat his views on the physics of the universe and cosmology in general almost on par with the gospel. But when the man speaks on the gospel of religion itself, should the same reverence be bestowed?
For, the big news right now is that there’s a letter written by him that’s up for grabs at auction for millions of dollars in which he says God is “nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive, legends that are nevertheless pretty childish.” And elsewhere, “I do not believe in a personal God and have never denied it.” It’s about time we realised this is nothing more than one man’s opinion. Like Hendrix on micro-banking.