Recently a letter has surfaced which seems to put the debate to rest. Einstein unmistakeably denies the existence of the Judeo-Christian personal god, and goes on to characterize belief in such a thing as childish.
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." is a statement often attributed to Einstein.
To anyone who actually studied science as an amateur or professional and understands the definition of "lame" and "blind", the preceeding statement is absurd. No scientific theory has ever been strengthened by any religious belief or tenet. No theory or postulation begins in any religion. Science can, on the contrary, be made lame and blind by religion, and has been on many occasions throughout history. Religion has gone to great lengths to pull funding for science that contradicts it, or block the study of it as heresy, and has punished many great scientists with torture and execution.
On the same token, religion is actually damaged by science. The more people study and find out about their world, the more ridiculous belief in god appears. This is directly demonstrated by the fact that the more educated a society is, the less religion plays a role. It is a direct relationship. Educated people are generally not religious, or at least relegate religion to a small, dusty corner of their lives regarding it as largely allegory at best, and all out illusory fabrication as the norm. Religion is quite literally, blindness.
While it is entirely possible Einstein did utter those words, it is illogical and inconsistent with his life of science and numerous contrary statements, so its likely he made it under some kind of duress, was misquoted, or didn't make it at all.
Of course there is the famous "student vs university teacher" story often misquoted by Einstein, again based on a simple logical fallacy that Evangelicals clinged to until it was proven a hoax.
One great statement I'll finish with here was one by zomgitscriss on youtube.
in that video she made an interesting observation. "If we have a sinful nature as a result of our rebellion against god" (and that supposedly explains why 1 billion people live without clean water today, "then in order for us to have rebelled against god we must have had a sinful nature to rebel in the first place, which means god created us that way." I paraphrase: "So if god really does exist, he is one sick ******." The particularly intense example is babies born with harlequin disease who are born, live a few weeks in unimaginable misery and then die. How exactly is that justified by "free will" ?
"We are designed by nature, which is flawed and unfair. Which is why we are flawed and unfair."
She is wise beyond her years and I really appreciate her insights. Thanks Zomgitscriss!