A handwritten letter from Albert Einstein in which he deals with the concept of religion has been sold for almost $ 2.9 million (roughly Rs. 20 million rupees) crushing predictions.
Written in 1954, the so-called “Letter of God” was expected to obtain $ 1.5 million (approximately Rs. 10 million) at the Christie’s Rockefeller Center auction here.
The Nobel Prize-winning scientist, then 74, wrote the one-and-a-half-page note to the German philosopher Eric Gutkind in response to one of his works.
It is seen as a key statement in the debate between science and religion.
“This remarkably frank, private letter was written a year before Einstein’s death and remains the most articulate expression of his religious and philosophical views,” says a statement from Christie’s.
It reached almost twice the expected price of the auction house of up to 1.5 million.
In the letter, written in his native German, Einstein disagrees with the belief in God.
“The word God is for me only the expression and the product of human weaknesses,” he writes. “The Bible is a collection of venerable but even more primitive legends.”
He continues: “No interpretation, however subtle, can [for me] change anything about this.”
The physicist also reflects on his own Jewish identity, writing that he is “like all other religions, an incarnation of primitive superstition.”
“The Jewish people to whom I belong willingly, and in whose mentality I feel deeply anchored, for me still have no dignity different from that of all other peoples,” he writes.
It is not the first time that Einstein’s cards have been auctioned.
In 2017, a written note to an Italian chemistry student who had refused to meet with him was sold for $ 6,100 (approximately Rs. 4.3 lakhs).
It was sold along with other letters from Einstein, including a 1928 note worth $ 103,000, in which he laid out his thoughts for his third stage of the theory of relativity.
In 2017, again, a note in which he gave advice on a happy life was sold for $ 1.56 million in Jerusalem. Composed of a single phrase, it reads: “A quiet and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness it entails.”