Missive that calls the Bible ‘a collection of primitive legends’ was expected to fetch only half that much
A handwritten missive by Albert Einstein known as the “God letter” fetched almost $3m at auction on Tuesday.
Einstein says: “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.”
He articulates his disenchantment with Judaism. “For me the Jewish religion like all others 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 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 was written in response to a book by Gutkind, called Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt.
He said he believed in “Spinoza’s God” – referring to Baruch Spinoza, a 17th-century Dutch thinker – “who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind”.