EINSTEIN "GOD LETTER" IN ENGLISH. EINSTEIN, ALBERT. 1879-1955. Typed Letter Signed ("A. Einstein") to Guy Raner directly addressing the question of God's existence,

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 1252
EINSTEIN "GOD LETTER" IN ENGLISH.
EINSTEIN, ALBERT. 1879-1955.

US$ 100,000 - 200,000
£ 80,000 - 160,000
Amended

Treasures from the Eric C. Caren Collection

Online only

14 Mar 2019 ended at 17:00 EDT

New York

EINSTEIN "GOD LETTER" IN ENGLISH.
EINSTEIN, ALBERT. 1879-1955. Typed Letter Signed ("A. Einstein") to Guy Raner directly addressing the question of God's existence, 1 p, 4to (216 x 279 mm), Knollwood, Saranac Lake, NY, July 2, 1945, on his blindstamped Mercer Street letterhead, old folds, light stains at margins.

EINSTEIN ON GOD — A REMARKABLE LETTER CONTAINING ONE OF HIS MOST ELOQUENT, AND QUOTED, STATEMENTS ON GOD: "We have to admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of this world — as far as we can grasp it. That is all." On June 14th, 1945, stationed on the USS Bougainville in the Pacific, Ensign Guy Raner wrote to Einstein of an encounter with a Jesuit educated Catholic officer, who related a story about a conversation Einstein once had with a Jesuit priest, who presented him with three syllogisms, and unable to disprove the series, Einstein "became a believer in a supreme intellect which governs the universe." Though not particularly reticent on the question, Einstein was usually cagey in response, speaking in broad metaphorical terms often susceptible to ambiguous interpretation. His response to Ramer, while completely consistent with his more complex statements on the subject, is likely the most succinct and eloquent that he ever wrote, in part:

"... I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me ... From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist ... It is always misleading to use anthropomorphical concepts in dealing with things outside the human sphere—childish analogies. We have to admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of the world—as far as we can grasp it. And that is all."


Footnotes

  • "We have to admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of the world — as far as we can grasp it. And that is all."

Saleroom notices

  • Please note this lot includes an 8 x 10 inch vintage portrait of Einstein by Philippe Halsman.
Contacts
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $3,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $3,000 up to and including $400,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $4,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.