Einstein letter doubting God auctioned for a record-breaking $2.89 mln

2018-12-06 02:01:09 GMT2018-12-06 10:01:09(Beijing Time) Sina English

A handwritten letter by Albert Einstein in which the physicist doubts the existence of God was auctioned Tuesday for 2.89 million U.S. dollars.

The so-called “God Letter” was written by Nobel physicist Albert Einstein in German in 1954, one year before his death. It was addressed to philosopher Eric Gutkind, in which Einstein said he did not believe in God.

"The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses," Einstein wrote, "The Bible, a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends."

Auctioneer Jeff Hayes raises his hand to sell "The God Letter" written by Albert Einstein in a Christie's auction in New York City, U.S., December 4, 2018. /VCG Photo  Auctioneer Jeff Hayes raises his hand to sell "The God Letter" written by Albert Einstein in a Christie's auction in New York City, U.S., December 4, 2018. /VCG Photo

“No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this,” the scientist wrote.

Einstein did not exclude Judaism, saying he admired and loved his people, but that he did not believe they were chosen above others.

“For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition,” he wrote, adding “I cannot see anything ‘chosen' about them.”

The letter is regarded as a key manuscript in the debate over science and religion. It is Einstein's clearest statement of his views on the universal search for the meaning life.

According to the Christie's auction, 2.89 million dollars was a record for an Einstein letter and far surpassed its estimated value of 1.0-1.5 million dollars. A 1939 letter in which Einstein warned then president Franklin D. Roosevelt about Germany's atom bomb preparations was auctioned for 2.1 million dollars in 2002.

The letter was last sold in 2008 to a private collector for 404,000 dollars.

Source(s): AFP, Reuters

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