Albert Einstein’s famous handwritten 'God letter' is expected to be put up for auction in New York on December 4. According to reports, the letter where the Nobel Prize physicist is supposedly believed to have penned down his battle of conscience surrounding the concept of religion and his own Jewish faith is reported to fetch somewhere around $1.5 million.
The 1-1/2 page letter, written in German to philosopher Eric Gutkind, is regarded by many as Einstein’s clearest account that flips and turns his views in the universal search for the meaning of life.
Christie’s auctioneers said on Thursday that the so-called God Letter, which was sold by a private collector would be placed on public exhibit in San Francisco and New York ahead of the December 4 auction.
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In the letter, Einstein did not exclude the religion to which he was born into-Judaism. But, he, at the same time also wrote that he did not believe in the radical claim that Judaism was chosen above others, like most religion themselves claim.
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. 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.”
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“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,” Einstein wrote.
Peter Klarnet, a books and manuscripts specialist at Christie’s, said 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.”
Christie’s placed a $1 million to $1.5 million estimate on the letter.