Einstein Called Faith 'Childish Superstition'

1954 letter, headed for auction, sheds new light on scientist's view
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2008 3:22 PM CDT
A statue of Albert Einstein in Washington. A letter headed for the auction block offers a new perspective on the scientist's view of religion.   ((c) chrisbb@prodigy.net)
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(Newser) – A relatively unknown letter by Albert Einstein, offered at auction Thursday in London, offers new details on the scientist's tangled relationship with religion, the Guardian reports. While believers often consider Einstein a scientist who maintained his religious faith, the 1954 letter calls the Bible "primitive legends," and "the word god … nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness."

Einstein writes that, although he is a member of the "Jewish people," Judaism for him is, like other religions, "an incarnation of the most childish superstitions." The letter, sent to a philosopher and written in German, does not appear in the authoritative book Einstein and Religion, and at least one expert on the topic admitted he was unaware of it.