Monday, December 3, 2018

The Einstein God Letter is for sale

An auction is selling an Einstein letter that says:
The word God is for me nothing but the expression of and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends,” the message reads. “No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can (for me) change anything about this. ...

For me the unadulterated Jewish religion is, like all other religions, an incarnation of primitive superstition. And 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. As far as my experience goes, they are in fact no better than other human groups, even if they are protected from the worst excesses by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot perceive anything ‘chosen’ about them.
In spite of these opinions, being a Jew was very important to Einstein, and he was involved in Zionist causes all his life.

Judaism is funny that way. Many Jews identify with Judaism and Jewish culture very strongly, even tho they do not seem to believe in any of the religious aspects.
“Einstein often uses the word God — ‘God does not play dice with the universe,’” Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, who teaches philosophy and wrote “Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away,” said in an interview. “A lot of physicists do this. It misleads people into thinking they’re theists, they believe in God. It’s a metaphorical way of talking about absolute truth. Einstein used it metaphorically and playfully.”

She said he had been religious when he was a child but “lost his religion and science took over.”
This is confusing to non-physicists. Saying that "science took over" is not right either, as Einstein had his share of unscientific beliefs.


  1. Most Jews are ignorant of teachings of the Torah for various historical reasons, but are still proud to be Jewish. Einstein was one of them.

    I found this last night:

  2. Nice review. I find Rebecca Newberger Goldstein to be annoying.