Belief in God a 'product of human weaknesses': Einstein letter
Renowned scientist Albert Einstein dismissed the Bible as a collection of â€œpretty childishâ€ legends and belief in God as a â€œproduct of human weaknesses,â€ according to a letter to be auctioned this week.
Einstein, who was Jewish, also rejects the notion that Jews were Godâ€™s chosen people.
The letter was written in German in 1954 to philosopher Eric Gutkind.
It is to be auctioned in London, England, on Thursday by Bloomsbury Auctions, and is expected to fetch between $12,000 and $16,000 US.
Einstein writes "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."
Born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1879, he also adds that "for me, the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."
He also wrote "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.
â€œAs 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."
Einstein 'rather quirky about religion': expert
Many have speculated about the religious or spiritual beliefs of the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, whose theory of relativity revolutionized the study of physics.
Some have pointed to Einsteinâ€™s quote that God "does not play dice" with the universe (his rejection of the randomness of the universe) as proof of his belief in a higher being.
Others have said that the quote does not advocate a belief in God and have referred to other letters written by Einstein.
"I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly,â€ he wrote in another letter in 1954. "If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
John Brooke, professor emeritus of science and religion at Oxford University, told the Associated Press that the letter lends weight to the notion that "Einstein was not a conventional theist" â€” although he was not an atheist, either.
"Like many great scientists of the past, he is rather quirky about religion, and not always consistent from one period to another," Brooke said
Brooke said Einstein believed "there is some kind of intelligence working its way through nature. But it is certainly not a conventional Christian or Judaic religious view."
Bloomsbury spokesman Richard Caton said the auction house was "100 per cent certain" of the letter's authenticity.
It is being offered at auction for the first time by a private vendor.
With files from the Associated Press
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Einstein is one of my all time favorite people. He's a hero to me. His story is actually rather interesting and his intelligence is highly admirable. Had i 16k to throw away i'd buy that letter.
"The greatest obstacle to knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge." -Barry Marshall, Nobel Laureate
Funny, I have come to very similar conclusions.
I think God is just a concept people hold onto to satiate their fear of the unknown. Generally people strive to know everything. When they don't, they make something up. I don't see how a belief in God and religion is any different than a belief that lightning is a magical display of anger from the gods.
wow I never met an athiest in my life and on the internet theres so many of them.
There are just way too many possibilities in the universe to conclude we know the means to creation or reality, way too many intangibles.
The fact that people claim to know these things is laughable and extremely ridiculous.
wat are u trying to say? r u tying to remix a jay z song?
wtf is everyone on this site athiest
Hail our Lord Satan.
im a bible thumper i guess. i go to church someties. like 1-2x a month
what is the never ending desire for science and religion to fight? why must they be looked at as mutually exclusive? And if any one needs to look at anecdotal quotes from a dead scientist to prove their belief, or lack thereof in God doesn't that just show an inner weakness to make up ones own mind?
Believing others are mindless sheep doesn't mean one thinks they are any better than someone else, I sure don't. The idea is only as pessimistic or negative as your own spin on it.
Besides, how can that be called a fallacy? There is no way to prove it either way.
The way he treated women was a product of human indecency.
John Defendis has AMAZING stories to tell but he hides them with a code - send him a fanmail or something to get it if you wish
Bench form Charles Poliquin When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. Lao-Tzu
Hey I've always believed that the creator was a male, had a male offspring, and had an ego problem that held eternal grudges and forgets that he knew how everything was going to turn out before creating anything.
Ban 2 1/2 's !!!!!!
Some Oooold Pics. All Natural. More to come soon...Still all natural
Ron Paul 2012
No gym for home, work out floor with 30, but is it for 20 like 30 lb when you no lift it to be for men, for 30 lbs instead? or half is 10 for 20 pounds?