This week, a handwritten letter by Albert Einstein, outlining his views on God, will be put up for auction on eBay. The scientist, who identified as Jewish, wrote the letter in German in 1954, a year before his death. It was a private correspondence with the author Eric B. Gutkind, whose book “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt,” Einstein had just read. The text includes the scientist's thoughtful remarks on religion and higher power, after a lifetime exploring questions of existence.
An excerpt of the letter reads:
... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish...For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them...
The letter goes up for auction October 8, and starting at a cool $3 million, you may just be able to get your hands on the document that reveals whether Einstein thought science and religion were mutually exclusive. Or you could just follow the bidding on eBay.
Photo via Wikipedia