Einstein: The word God is the product of human weakness

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In January of 1954, just a year before his death, Albert Einstein wrote the following letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind after reading his book, ‘Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt,’ and made known his views on religion. Apparently Einstein had only read the book due to repeated recommendation by their mutual friend Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer.

Albert Einstein’s “God Letter” was sold on Oct 18, 2012 for $3,000,100 to an anonymous online bidder. (eBay)

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Princeton, 3. 1. 1954

Dear Mr Gutkind,

Inspired by Brouwer’s repeated suggestion, I read a great deal in your book, and thank you very much for lending it to me … With regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common. Your personal ideal with its striving for freedom from ego-oriented desires, for making life beautiful and noble, with an emphasis on the purely human element … unites us as having an “American Attitude.”

Still, without Brouwer’s suggestion I would never have gotten myself to engage intensively with your book because it is written in a language inaccessible to me. The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. … For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong … have no different quality for me than all other people. As 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.

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 man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision…

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e. in our evaluation of human behavior … I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.

With friendly thanks and best wishes,

Yours,

A. Einstein

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Saturno

Aunque Saturno es cláramente un diós romano, con el tiempo su historia cambia por influencia de la mitología griega. Crono y Saturno se entrelazan.

Saturno, el más joven de la primera generación de Titanes, castra y asesina a Urano; su padre y diós primordial del Cielo. Usurpa el poder y se convierte en el regente del firmamento, pero el oráculo, le hace saber que uno de sus hijos llegará un día a destronarlo.

Casado con Ops tuvo varios hijos, a quienes devoraba al nacer para evitar el fatídico final. Cuando dió a luz a los gemelos, Júpiter y Juno. Entregó sólo a Juno para ser devorado y logró salvar a Júpiter.

Júpiter/Zeus, una vez adulto, venció a su padre, lo destronó y lo expulsó del cielo para llevar una vida de simple mortal.

A Saturno debémos el nombre del sábado, el sexto dia de la semana, y del sexto planeta de nuestro sistema solar, el segundo gigante de gas mas grande del sistema y su luna mayor, Titán.

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Saturno devorando a su hijo, Francisco de Goya, 1823

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