Einstein's Letter to God
The purpose of this brief document is to make readily available the
translated full text of what has become known as Einstein's Letter to God. We are also making
available a link to an image of the original letter in German.
The famed Einstein's Letter to God
(1a) (1b) (1c)
really is a letter written by A. Einstein on January 3, 1954, to Eric
Gutkind, after reading his book: "Choose
Life: The Biblical Call To Revolt" (2)
If we were to assign a name to said letter we would have called it:
Einstein's Letter About God. In his
letter, Einstein summarily passes judgment on the Holy Scriptures and
on what we believe to be God.
His qualifications? Outside of being a brilliant physicist, nothing
else. He was even a failure as a human being, as may be discerned from
any of his biographies, yet arrogant enough to dismiss God as just
"nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses"; and
the Holy Scriptures as "a collection of honourable but still
exceedingly primitive legends".
Translation from Source (1a):
Princeton, 3 January 1954
Inspired by Brouwer's repeated
suggestion, I have been reading a great deal in your book in the last
few days, and I thank you for sending it to me.
What particularly struck me was this.
With regard to our actual attitude to life and to human society we are
broadly similar: an ideal beyond the personal that strives for freedom
from self-centred desires, strives to make existence more beautiful and
enriched, with an emphasis on the purely humane, where inanimate things
are only seen as a means to which no dominant role should be granted. (It is this attitude in particular
that unites us as a truly "un-American attitude")
Still, had it not been for Brouwer's
encouragement, I would never have brought myself to delve into your
book in any way, as it is written in a language that is inaccessible to
me. For me, the word God is
nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses,
the Bible a collection of
honourable but still exceedingly
No interpretation, however
subtle, could change that
(for me). These rarefied interpretations are by their nature
extremely manifold and are in almost no way related to the original
text. For me, the
unadulterated Jewish religion, like all other religions, is an
incarnation of primitive superstition. And the Jewish people, to
whom I gladly belong and whose mentality I am deeply embedded in, for me, possess no dignity
distinct from all other peoples'. In my experience, they are also no
better than other human groups, although they are protected from the
worst excesses by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot discern anything "chosen"
In general, I find it painful that
you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of
pride, an external one as a human being and an internal one as a Jew. As a human, you claim to a certain
extent a dispensation from otherwise accepted causality, as a
Jew a privilege for monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a
causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza was the first to
incisively recognise. And the animistic conception of nature religions
is, as a matter of principle, not nullified by monopolisation. Such
walls will only lead us to certain self-deceit; but our moral efforts
are not advanced by them. Rather the contrary.
Now that I have quite openly
expressed our differences in intellectual considerations, it is still
clear to me that we are
quite close to each other in what is essential, i.e. in our evaluations
of human conduct. What separates us is only intellectual
embellishment or "rationalisation" in Freudian language. Therefore, I
think we would get along quite well when discussing concrete matters.
With kind thanks and best wishes,
Yours, A. Einstein
As brilliant as Einstein thought himself to be, it never occurred to
him, as we pointed out to Professor Richard Dawkins and other Evolution
that if any form of religion and spirituality, and the adoration of
deities, were part of primitive man, how come man did not evolve out of
such "primitive state" during the last million years? On the contrary,
religion and spirituality have been enriched and the deities have
coalesced into one single Creator of all.
Such reality flies on the face of the Evolution proponents, (4) who are in desperate
need of our prayers.
Text of book
(3) The New Atheism - No
Heaven, No Hell, Just Science - Our letter to about Dawkins & Co.
(4) Creation vs Evolution
- They only make sense when they are merged into one Theory.
Published on November 1st and
2nd, 2012 - All Saints Day and All Souls Day
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