A letter by Albert Einstein, in which he calls God the “product of human weakness” and the Bible a collection of “primitive legends,” is to be sold for between $1 million and $1.5 million.
The letter, dated to January 1954, a year before the famous German theoretical physicist’s death, is to be sold at Christie’s auction house in New York City on Dec. 4, the Antiques Trade Gazette reported.
Expressing his thoughts to religious philosopher Erik Gutkind, Einstein wrote: “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. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this.”
As a Jewish person, he also questioned the biblical narrative that Jews are God’s “chosen people.”
“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 said.
“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.”
Peter Klarnet, senior specialist books and manuscripts at Christie’s, explained that the letter “concerns themes that have been central to human enquiry since the dawn of human consciousness, and it is one of the definitive statements in the Religion vs Science debate.”