German scientist Albert Einstein’s most famous letter about his views on God and religion, written just a year before his death, has been sold for a whopping USD 2.89 million at an auction here. The letter was expected to fetch up to USD 1.5 million, Christie’s said in a statement. The two-page letter, dated January 3, 1954, was written to German philosopher Eric Gutkind, who had sent Einstein a copy of his book ‘Choose Life: The Biblical Call To Revolt’.
“The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of venerable but still primitive legends,” Einstein wrote in the letter. “The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends,” Einstein wrote. “No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this,” he wrote. “For me the unadulterated Jewish religion is, like all other religions, an incarnation of primitive superstition. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong, and in whose mentality I feel profoundly anchored, still for me does not have any different kind of dignity from all other peoples,” he wrote.
“As far as my experience goes, they are in fact no better than other human groups, even if they are protected from the worst excesses by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot perceive anything ‘chosen’ about them,” the letter says.Einstein wrote in response to Eric Gutkind’s 1952 book, ‘Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt’, which he read at the behest of Dutch mathematician and philosopher LEJ Brouwer (1881-1966).
Though Einstein was unequivocal in his critique of Gutkind’s work, he sought to establish a common ground between them, noting that they still agreed on “the essentials”.
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