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Albert Einstein Copypasta, also known as “Malice of Absence,” is a fictional account of a philosophical debate on the benevolence of God between a religious-skeptic professor and a student of faith, the latter of whom is revealed to be the world-renowned scientist Albert Einstein. Online, the last line in the story is often referenced in discussion threads and comments to mock hyperbolic statements or tall tales.
According to Snopes, an early version of the copypasta began circulating via e-mail as early as 1999. In the story, a college professor asserts that God must be evil if evil exists in the world, to which a student responds that “evil is simply the absence of God.” The final line reveals the student’s identity as Albert Einstein.
Does evil exist?
The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”
“God created everything? The professor asked.
“Yes sir”, the student replied.
The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil”. The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.
Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”
“Of course”, replied the professor.
The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”
“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.
The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”
The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”
The professor responded, “Of course it does.”
The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”
Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”
Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”
To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”
The professor sat down.
The young man’s name -- Albert Einstein.
Snopes determined that the copypasta was fictitious based on biographical information about Einstein and his expressed views on the subject of religion which have been described as “agnostic.”
According to About.com, a similar version of the story began spreading via email in 2004. On April 14th, 2008, the story was posted on the yoga blog Sahaja Power. On November 10th, 2009, Hyperacusis Network Forums member DanMalcore submitted the copypasta in a thread titled “Misphonia, 4S and Albert Einstein.” On April 14th, 2012, Facebook user Cory Jones posted a variation of the story, which gained over 402,600 shares in the next three years.
On October 21st, 2013, Redditor i_forget_my_userids submitted a joke in which science professor Carl Sagan is revealed to be Albert Einstein to the /r/circlejerk subreddit, where it accumulated more than 1,400 upvotes and 75 comments prior to being archived.
“‘Neil Degrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins agonized for years over how to wear a fedora. it was Carl Sagan who came up with the answer: God isn’t real. That Sagan’s name? Albert Einstein.’ --Michael Scott”
Liberal Muslim Homosexual ACLU Professor
According to Rational Wiki, a parody of the Einstein copypasta about a “liberal Muslim homosexual ACLU” professor who asks his class to pray to Karl Marx originated on 4chan sometime in 2011. On November 15th, 2011, the story was posted by Tumbler user Tossiblog, gathering more than 3,600 notes in the next three years.
A liberal Muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor and abortion doctor was teaching a class on Karl Marx, known atheist
“Before the class begins, you must get on your knees and worship Marx and accept that he was the most highly-evolved being the world has ever known, even greater than Jesus Christ!”
At this moment, a brave, patriotic, pro-life Navy SEAL champion who had served 1500 tours of duty and understood the necessity of war and fully supported all military decision made by the United States stood up and held up a rock.
“How old is this rock?”
The arrogant professor smirked quite Jewishly and smugly replied “4.6 billion years, you stupid Christian”
“Wrong. It’s been 5,000 years since God created it. If it was 4.6 billion years old and evolution, as you say, is real… then it should be an animal now”
The professor was visibly shaken, and dropped his chalk and copy of Origin of the Species. He stormed out of the room crying those liberal crocodile tears.
The students applauded and all registered Republican that day and accepted Jesus as their lord and savior. An eagle named “Small Government” flew into the room and perched atop the American Flag and shed a tear on the chalk. The pledge of allegiance was read several times, and God himself showed up and enacted a flat tax rate across the country.
The professor lost his tenure and was fired the next day. He died of the gay plague AIDS and was tossed into the lake of fire for all eternity.
On April 16th, 2012, Redditor Waja_Wabit submitted a screenshot of the copypasta to the /r/atheism subreddit, where it received upwards of 6,000 upvotes and 690 comments prior to being archived. In the comments section, Redditor wolfchimneyrock referenced the original Albert Einstein story.
Marine Todd is a similar copypasta story about a United States marine who violently assaults a college professor for challenging the existence of God. While numerous variations of this story have been circulating for over a decade, the meme resurged in April 2014 after Twitter users began parodying the original story in satire of various American conservative and right-wing ideologies.
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