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God is an expression of human weakness - Albert Einstein in a letter written a year before his death

"The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses," Albert Einstein writes. "The Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends." The handwritten letter by Einstein in which he expresses clearly his views on religion and faith was sold for nearly $2.9m at an auction in New York on 4th December.

Albert Einstein, then 74, wrote this one-and-a-half page note to German philosopher Eric Gutkind.

Albert Einstein was clear about his view on religion and the belief in God, and did not hesitate to express it in different occasions. Making it clearer, he even accepted an invitation from the legendary British organisation Rationalist Press Association (RPA, now Rationalist Association) to be it's Honorary Associate.


In the letter auctioned now, written in his native German, Einstein takes issue with the belief in God. "This remarkably candid, private letter was written a year before Einstein's death and remains the most fully articulated expression of his religious and philosophical views," a statement from Christie's says.


"The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses," he writes in this letter.


It continues: "No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can [for me] change anything about this."

Albert Einstein

Einstein writes about the Bible - "The Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends."


Einstein also muses on his own Jewish identity, writing that it is "like all other religions, an incarnation of primitive superstition". He continues: "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."


The "God letter" was sold alongside a number of other letters from Einstein, including a 1928 note that went for $103,000, in which he set out his thoughts for his third stage of the theory of relativity.

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