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Albert Einstein Quotes

albert einstein quotes


"I want to know God's thoughts, the rest are details."

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"I should've been a plumber."
- Albert Einstein

 

 


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Famous Albert Einstein Quotes

"God does not play dice with the universe."

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
"What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck," for the October 26, 1929 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
Quoted on pg. 289 of Adventures of a Mathematician, by S. M. Ulam(Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1976).

"Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love"

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."

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Science/Mathematics

"Science is the century-old endeavour to bring together by means of systematic thought the perceptible phenomena of this world into as thorough-going an association as possible. To put it boldly, it is the attempt at a posterior reconstruction of existence by the process of conceptualisation. Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgements of all kinds remain necessary."

"I maintain that cosmic religiousness is the strongest and most noble driving force of scientific research."

"Why does this applied science, which saves work and makes life easier, bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: Because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it."

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium (1941) ch. 13

"The process of scientific discovery is, in effect, a continual flight from wonder."

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. "

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking."

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"

"Where the world ceases to be the scene of our personal hopes and wishes, where we face it as free beings admiring, asking and observing, there we enter the realm of Art and Science"

"When the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large scientific method in most cases fails. One need only think of the weather, in which case the prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible. Neverthess, noone doubts that we are confronted with a causal connection whose causal components are in the main known to us. Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact perdiction because of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lack of order in nature."

"Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being."
[Albert Einstein, 1936, responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray. Source: "Albert Einstein: The Human Side", Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann]

"In the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them hither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes. Were an angel of the Lord to come and drive all the people belonging to these two categories out of the temple, the assemblage would be seriously depleted, but there would still be some men, of both present and past times, left inside"

"I think that a particle must have a separate reality independent of the measurements. That is an electron has spin, location and so forth even when it is not being measured. I like to think that the moon is there even if I am not looking at it."

"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."

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Relativity

"Relativity teaches us the connection between the different descriptions of one and the same reality".

"I sometimes ask myself how it came about that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity. The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought about as a child. But my intellectual development was retarded,as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up."

"Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity."

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Himself

"When a blind beetle crawls over the surface of the globe, he doesn't realize that the track he has covered is curved. I was lucky enough to have spotted it."

"I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive."

"It's not that I'm so smart , it's just that I stay with problems longer ."

"If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber."

"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. ... I get most joy in life out of music."
"What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck," for the October 26, 1929 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

"What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck," for the October 26, 1929 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

"My life is a simple thing that would interest no one. It is a known fact that I was born and that is all that is necessary."

"As far as I'm concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue."

This is a story I heard as a freshman at the University of Utah when Dr. Henry Eyring was still teaching chemistry there. Many years before he and Dr. Einstein were colleagues. As they walked together they noted an unusual plant growing along a garden walk. Dr. Eyring asked Dr. Einstein if he knew what the plant was. Einstein did not, and together they consulted a gardener. The gardener indicated the plant was green beans and forever afterwards Eyring said Einstein didn't know beans . I heard this second hand and I don't know if the story has ever been published...
-S K Franz-

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge."

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God/Religion

"True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness."

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
_Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium_ (1941) ch. 13

"I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe." or sometimes quoted as "God does not play dice with the universe."

"When the solution is simple, God is answering."

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. The religion which based on experience, which refuses dogmatic. If there's any religion that would cope the scientific needs it will be Buddhism...."

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."
[Albert Einstein,_The World as I See It_]

"We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."

"The highest principles for our aspirations and judgements are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition. It is a very high goal which, with our weak powers, we can reach only very inadequately, but which gives a sure foundation to our aspirations and valuations. If one were to take that goal out of out of its religious form and look merely at its purely human side, one might state it perhaps thus: free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind. ... it is only to the individual that a soul is given. And the high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule, or to impose himself in any otherway."

"Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelationship of means and ends. But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to form in the social life of man."

"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
[Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930]

"The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning."

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."
[Albert Einstein, 1954, from "Albert Einstein: The Human Side", edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press]

"I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet."

I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiratation of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God."
[Albert Einstein, from "Albert Einstein: The Human Side", edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press]

"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."

"The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties - this knowledge, this feeling ... that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men."

"The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exist as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with the natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am persuaded that such behaviour on the part of the representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress .... If it is one of the goals of religions to liberate maknind as far as possible from the bondage of egocentric cravings, desires, and fears, scientific reasoning can aid religion in another sense. Although it is true that it is the goal of science to discover (the) rules which permit the association and foretelling of facts, this is not its only aim. It also seeks to reduce the connections discovered to the smallest possible number of mutually independent conceptual elements. It is in this striving after the rational unification of the manifold that it encounters its greatest successes, even though it is precisely this attempt which causes it to run the greatest risk of falling a prey to illusion. But whoever has undergone the intense experience of successful advances made in this domain, is moved by the profound reverence for the rationality made manifest in existence. By way of the understanding he achieves a far reaching emancipation from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and thereby attains that humble attitude of mind toward the grandeur of reason, incarnate in existence, and which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be religious in the highest sense of the word. And so it seems to me that science not only purifies the religious imulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contibutes to a religious spiritualisation of our understanding of life."
[Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium", published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941]

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Knowledge/Imagination/Creativity

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods."

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge."

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

"The only source of knowledge is experience"

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
"What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck," for the October 26, 1929 issue of The Saturday Evening Post.

"We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

"Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who read too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."

"Intelligence makes clear to us the interrelationship of means and ends. But mere thinking cannot give us a sense of the ultimate and fundamental ends. To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to form in the social life of man."

"During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief. The opinion prevailed amoung advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed. According to this conception, the sole function of education was to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people's education, must serve that end exclusively."
Quoting Newton

"We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organised that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man's actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us. Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much aloke in them and in us. The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolical devices. Thought is the organising factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions. In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts. But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts."

"Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. If one asks the whence derives the authority of fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justifed merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as powerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgements of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence. They come into being not through demonstration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities. One must not attempt to justify them, but rather to sense their nature simply and clearly."

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Life

"The devil has put a penalty on all things we enjoy in life. Either we suffer in health or we suffer in soul or we get fat."

"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."

"A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy."

"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."

"The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle."

"Without deep reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people ."

"A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of others ."

"Only a life lived for others is a life worth while ."

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The Universe/The Mysterious/Nature

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions"

"Two things inspire me to awe -- the starry heavens above and the moral universe within ."

"It is a magnificent feeling to recognize the unity of complex phenomena which appear to be things quite apart from the direct visible truth."

"Watch the stars, and from them learn. To the Master's honor all must turn, each in its track, without a sound, forever tracing Newton's ground."
-- translation by Dave Fredrick

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."
Quoted on pg. 289 of Adventures of a Mathematician, by S. M. Ulam(Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1976). Apparently these words also occur somewhere in What I Believe (1930).

"The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible."

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

"The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books---a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects."

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

"What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism"

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People/Mankind

"The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self."

"Understanding of our fellow human beings...becomes fruitful only when it is sustained by sympathetic feelings in joy and sorrow."

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet"

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Einstein was attending a music salon in Germany before the second world war, with the violinist S. Suzuki. Two Japanese women played a German piece of music and a woman in the audience exclaimed: "How wonderful! It sounds so German!" Einstein responded: "Madam, people are all the same."

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
[Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930]

"Man tries to make for himself in the fashion that suits him best a simplified and intelligible picture of the world; he then tries to some extent to substitute this cosmos of his for the world of experience, and thus to overcome it. This is what the painter, the poet, the speculative philosopher, and the natural scientists do, each in his own fashion. Each makes this cosmos and its construction the pivot of his emotional life, in order to find in this way peace and security which he can not find in the narrow whirlpool of personal experience."
Ideas and Opinions, (Dell, Pinebrook, N.J., 1954).

"It is only to the individual that a soul is given."

"In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself."

"The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them."
[Albert Einstein, letter to Sigmund Freud, 30 July 1932]

"Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions."

"I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."
["Albert Einstein: The Human Side", edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, and published by Princeton University Press.]

"A human being is part of a whole, called by us the "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. "

"The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man."
Quoted in: Freeman Dyson, Disturbing the Universe, ch. 5 (1979).

"We all know, from what we experience with and within ourselves, that our conscious acts spring from our desires and our fears. Intuition tells us that that is true also of our fellows and of the higher animals. We all try to escape pain and death, while we seek what is pleasant. We are all ruled in what we do by impulses; and these impulses are so organised that our actions in general serve for our self preservation and that of the race. Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation. At the same time, as social beings, we are moved in the relations with our fellow beings by such feelings as sympathy, pride, hate, need for power, pity, and so on. All these primary impulses, not easily described in words, are the springs of man's actions. All such action would cease if those powerful elemental forces were to cease stirring within us. Though our conduct seems so very different from that of the higher animals, the primary instincts are much aloke in them and in us. The most evident difference springs from the important part which is played in man by a relatively strong power of imagination and by the capacity to think, aided as it is by language and other symbolical devices. Thought is the organising factor in man, intersected between the causal primary instincts and the resulting actions. In that way imagination and intelligence enter into our existence in the part of servants of the primary instincts. But their intervention makes our acts to serve ever less merely the immediate claims of our instincts."

"All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom."

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War

When asked how World War III would be fought, Einstein replied that he didn't know. But he knew how World War IV would be fought: With sticks and stones!

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable loce-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding."

"Since I do not foresee that atomic energy is to be a great boon for a long time, I have to say that for the present it is a menace. Perhaps it is well that it should be. It many intimidate the human race into bringing order into it's international affairs, which without the pressure of fear, it would not do."

"Nor do I take into account a danger of starting a chain reaction of a scope great enough to destroy part or all of the planet...But it is not necessary to imagine the earth being destroyed like a nova by a stellar explosion to understand vividly the growing scope of atomic war and to recognize that unless another war is prevented it is likely to bring destruction on a scale never before held possible, and even now hardly conceived, and that little civilization would survive it." (1947)

"Unless Americans come to realize that they are not stronger in the world because they have the bomb but weaker because of their vulnerability to atomic attack, they are not likely to conduct their policy at Lake Success [the United Nations] or in their relations with Russia in a spirit that furthers the arrival at an understanding. " (1947)

"The discovery of nuclear chain reactions need not bring about the destruction of mankind any more than did the discovery of matches. We only must do everything in our power to safeguard against its abuse. Only a supranational organization, equipped with a sufficiently strong executive power, can protect us." (1953)

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Education/School

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs."

"Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty ."

"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge ."

"The real difficulty, the difficulty which has baffled the sages of all times, is rather this: how can we make our teaching so potent in the motional life of man, that its influence should withstand the pressure of the elemental psychic forces in the individual?"

"The school has always been the most important means of transferring the wealth of tradition from one generation to the next. This applies today in an even higher degree than in former times, for through modern development of economic life, the family as bearer of tradition and education has become weakened.The continuance and health of human society is therefore in a still higher degree dependent on school than formally."
New York Times, October 16, 1936

"The point is to develop the childlike inclination for play and the childlike desire for recognition and to guide the child over to important fields for society. Such a school demands from the teacher that he be a kind of artist in his province. "
Out of My Later Years

"To me the worst thing seems to be a school principally to work with methods of fear, force and artificial authority. Such treatment destroys the sound sentiments, the sincerity and the self-confidence of pupils and produces a subservient subject."
Ideas and Opinions

"One should guard against preaching to young people success in the customary form as the main aim in life.The most important motive for work in school and in life is pleasure in work, pleasure in its result, and the knowledge of the value of the result to the community."
"On Education"

"With the affairs of active human beings it is different. Here knowledge of truth alone does not suffice; on the contrary this knowledge must continually be renewed by ceaseless effort, if it is not to be lost. It resembles a statue of marble which stands in the desert and is continuously threatened with burial by the shifting sands. The hands of science must ever be at work in order that the marble column continue everlastingly to shine in the sun. To those serving hands mine also belong."
"On Education"

"During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief. The opinion prevailed amoung advanced minds that it was time that belief should be replaced increasingly by knowledge; belief that did not itself rest on knowledge was superstition, and as such had to be opposed. According to this conception, the sole function of education was to open the way to thinking and knowing, and the school, as the outstanding organ for the people's education, must serve that end exclusively."

"One should guard against inculcating a young man {or woman} with the idea that success is the aim of life, for a successful man normally receives from his peers an incomparibly greater portion than than the services he has been able to render them deserve. The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving. The most important motive for study at school, at the university, and in life is the pleasure of working and thereby obtaining results which will serve the community. The most important task for our educators is to awaken and encourage these psychological forces in a young man {or woman}. Such a basis alone can lead to the joy of possessing one of the most precious assets in the world - knowledge or artistic skill."

| Science and Math | Relativity | Himself | God/Religion | knowledge |
| Life | Universe | People | War | Education |
| Misc/Advice | Famous Quotes |


Advice/Misc.

"Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love"

"Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler."

"Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift."

"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."

"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18.

"Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them."

"Strange is our Situation Here Upon Earth"

"Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts."

"If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor."

"An empty stomach is not a good political advisor."

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

"I never think of the future. It comes soon enough."

"Force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels."

"If A equals success, then the formula is: A=X+Y+Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut."

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value."

"Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age."

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

"The faster you go, the shorter you are."

"Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race."

"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."

"If my theory of relativity is proven successful, Germany will claim me as a German and France will declare that I am a citizen of the world."

"The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat. "

"The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action."

"Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves." (1929)

"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."

"Perfections of mean and confusion of goals seem -in my opinion- to characterize our age. "

"Politics is a pendulum whose swings between anarchy and tyranny are fueled by perpetually rejuvenated illusions."

"All our lauded technological progress -- our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal."

"Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person."

"Desire for approval and recognition is a healthy motive, but the desire to be acknowledged as better, stronger or more intelligent than a fellow being or fellow scholar easily leads to an excessively egoistic psychological adjustment, which may become in jurious for the individual and for the community. "
"On Education," Address to the State University of New York at Albany, in Ideas and Opinions

"We have penetrated far less deeply into the regularities obtaining within the realm of living things, but deeply enough nevertheless to sense at least the rule of fixed necessity ..... what is still lacking here is a grasp of the connections of profound generality, but not a knowledge of order itself.

"(1) Those instrumental goods which should serve to maintain the life and health of all human beings should be produced by the least possible labour of all.
(2) The satisfaction of physical needs is indeed the indespensible precondition of a satisfactory existence, but in itself is not enough. In order to be content men must also have the possibility of developing their intellectual and artistic powers to whatever extent accord with their personal characteristics and abilities."

"If the possibility of the spiritual development of all individuals is to be secured, a second kind of outward freedom is necessary. The development of science and of the creative activities of the spirit in general requires still another kind of freedom, which may be characterised as inward freedom. It is this freedom of the spirit which consists in the interdependence of thought from the restrictions of authoritarian and social prejudices as well as from unphilosophical routinizing and habit in general. This inward freedom is an infrequent gift of nature and a worthy object for the individual."



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