The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions.
The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.
I cannot accept any concept of God based on the fear of life or the fear of death, or blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him I would be a liar.
Every day, man is making bigger and better fool-proof things, and every day, nature is making bigger and better fools. So far, I think nature is winning.
When I was still a rather precocious young man, I already realized most vividly the futility of the hopes and aspirations that most men pursue throughout their lives.
There is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person than the knowledge that he has devoted his best energies to the service of the good cause.
I know what it's like to see one's mother go through the agony of death and be unable to help; there is no consolation. We all have to bear such heavy burdens, for they are unalterably linked to life.
The wing structure of the hornet, in relation to its weight, is not suitable for flight, but he does not know this and flies anyway.
In scientific thinking are always present elements of poetry. Science and music requires a thought homogeneous.
America is today the hope of all honorable men who respect the rights of their fellow men and who believe in the principle of freedom and justice.
The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost, not the acquisition of special knowledge.
There two things that are infinite, human stupidity and the universe, I don't know about the universe.
The normal objective of my thought affords no insight into the dark places of human will and feeling.
I came to America because of the great, great freedom which I heard existed in this country. I made a mistake in selecting America as a land of freedom, a mistake I cannot repair in the balance of my lifetime.
I live my daydreams 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.
My feeling is religious insofar as I am imbued with the consciousness of the insufficiency of the human mind to understand more deeply the harmony of the Universe which we try to formulate as laws of nature.
All meaningful and lasting change starts first in your imagination and then works its way out. Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Don't second guess the mistakes you've made, others will do that for you. Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.
Yes, we now have to divide up our time like that, between politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.
I have come to know the mutability of all human relationships and have learned to insulate myself against both heat and cold so that a temperature balance is fairly well assured.
I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime, but I prefer not to take tea with him.
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.
Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen.
The conscientious objector is a revoultionary. On deciding to disobey the law he sacrifices his personal interests to the most important cause of working for the betterment of society.
For the most part, I do the thing which my own nature prompts me to do. It is embarrassing to earn so much respect and love for it.
Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.
There is one ray of hope. It seems to me that today the responsible leaders of the several peoples have, in the main, the honest will to abolish war.
The highest principles for our aspirations and judgments are given to us in the Jewish-Christian religious tradition.
You can't solve your problems by using the same thinking
that got you into those problems in the first place.
Even though the realms of religion and science in themselves are clearly marked off from each other, nevertheless there exist between the two strong reciprocal relationships and dependencies.
It is open to every man to choose the direction of his striving; and also every man may draw comfort from Lessing's fine saying, that the search for truth is more precious than its possession.
You are right in speaking of the moral foundations of science, but you cannot turn around and speak of the scientific foundations of morality.
Empathy is patiently and sincerely seeing the world through the other person's eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime.
Only in mathematics and physics was I, through self-study, far beyond the school curriculum, and also with regard to philosophy as it was taught in the school curriculum.
The future is an unknown, but a somewhat predictable unknown. To look to the future we must first look back upon the past. That is where the seeds of the future were planted. I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.
I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.
The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.
Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals.
Except in mathematics, the shortest distance between point A and point B is seldom a straight line. I don't believe in mathematics.
My comprehension of God comes from a deeply felt conviction of a superior intelligence that reveals itself in the knowable world.
Some men spend a lifetime in an attempt to comprehend the complexities of women. Others pre-occupy themselves with somewhat simpler tasks, such as understanding the theory of relativity!
When the Special Theory of Relativity began to germinate in me, I was visited by all sorts of nervous conflicts... I used to go away for weeks in a state of confusion.
I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know God's thoughts, the rest are details.
A man's value to the community primarily depends on how far his feelings, thoughts, and actions are directed towards promoting the good of his fellows.
I have not eaten enough of the tree of knowledge, though in my profession I am obligated to feed on it regularly.
That which is impenetrable to us really exists. Behind the secrets of nature remains something subtle, intangible, and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.
Our schoolbooks glorify war and conceal its horrors. They indoctrinate children with hatred. I would teach peace rather than war, love rather than hate.
The dog is very smart. He feels sorry for me because I receive so much mail; that's why he tries to bite the mailman.
What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion.
What is the meaning of human life, or, for that matter, of the life of any creature? To know the answer to this question means to be religious. You ask: Does it make any sense, then, to pose this question? I answer: The man who regards his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unhappy but hardly fit for life.
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.
The wonder of nature does not become smaller because one cannot measure it by the standards of human moral and human aims.
Personally, I experience the greatest degree of pleasure in having contact with works of art. They furnish me with happy feelings of an intensity that I cannot derive from other sources.
A world government with powers adequate to guarantee security is not a remote ideal for the distant future. It is an urgent necessity if our civilization is to survive.
There is no salvation for civilization, or even the human race, other than the creation of a world government.
Do not grow old, no matter how long you live.
Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.
It would be my greatest sadness to see Zionists (Jews) do to Palestinian Arabs much of what Nazis did to Jews.
How vile and despicable war seems to me! I would rather be hacked to pieces than take part in such an abominable business.
Academic chairs are many, but wise and noble teachers are few; lecture-rooms are numerous and large, but the number of young people who genuinely thirst after truth and justice is small.
Human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life. Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth.
This has been done elegantly by Minkowski; but chalk is cheaper than grey matter, and we will do it as it comes.
Man's will, sustained by an indominable conviction, is much more powerful than material forces that seem insurmountable.
Physics is essentially an intuitive and concrete science. Mathematics is only a means for expressing the laws that govern phenomena.
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.
The special theory of relativity owes its origins to Maxwell's equations of the electromagnetic field.
What lead me more or less directly to the special theory of relativity was the conviction that the electromotive force acting on a body in motion in a magnetic field was nothing else but an electric field.
The scientist is activated by a wonder and awe before the mysterious comprehensibility of the universe which is yet finally beyond his grasp. In its profoundest depths it is inaccessible to man.
The life of the individual has meaning only insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful. Life is sacred, that is to say, it is the supreme value, to which all other values are subordinate.
Galileo had already made a significant beginning toward a knowledge of the law of motion. He discovered the law of inertia and the law of bodies falling freely in the gravitational field of the earth.
They come into being not through demonstration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities.
Belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science.
But there is another reason for the high repute of mathematics: it is mathematics that offers the exact natural sciences a certain measure of security which, without mathematics, they could not attain.
Behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.
How many people are trapped in their everyday habits: part numb, part frightened, part indifferent? To have a better life we must keep choosing how we are living.
As to science, we may well define it for our purpose as methodical thinking directed toward finding regulative connections between our sensual experiences.
What a person thinks on his own without being stimulated by the thoughts and experiences of the other people is even in the best case rather paltry and monotonous.
We must begin to inculcate our children against militarism by educating them in the spirit of pacifism. Our schoolbooks glorify war and conceal it's horror. I would teach peace rather than war.
Nationalism, on my opinion, is nothing more than an idealistic rationalization for militarism and aggression.
Violence sometimes may have cleared away obstructions quickly, but it never has proved itself creative.
The Bible is a collection of honorable, but primitive legends which are still nevertheless pretty childish.
A society's competitive advantage will come not from how well its schools teach the multiplication and periodic tables, but from how well they stimulate imagination and creativity.
Even if only 2 percent of those assigned to perform military service should announce their refusal to fight, governments would be powerless, they would not dare send such a large number of people to jail.
My relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became fully aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world.
All the fifty years of conscious brooding have brought me no closer to answer the question, What are light quanta? Of course today every rascal thinks he knows the answer, but he is deluding himself.
I didn't arrive at my understanding of the fundamental laws of the universe through my rational mind.
The quantum theory reminds me a little of the system of delusions of an exceedingly intelligent paranoiac.
There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.
Political leaders or governments owe their position partly to force and partly to popular election. They cannot be regarded as representative of best elements, morally or intellectually, in their respective nations.
Betterment of conditions the world over is not essentially dependent on scientific knowledge but on the fulfillment of human traditions and ideals.
Scientific research can reduce superstition by encouraging people to think and view things in terms of cause and effect.
Qualities I sought in a scientific theory were naturalness, inner perfection and logical simplicity from an aesthetic approach.
Human beings are not condemned, because of their biological constitution, to annihilate each other or to be at the mercy of a cruel, self-inflicted fate.
Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation.
The series of integers is obviously an invention of the human mind, a self-created tool which simplifies the ordering of certain sensory experiences.
Curiosity is a delicate little plant that, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.
I believe in standardizing automobiles. I do not believe in standardizing human beings. Standardization is a great peril which threatens American culture.
I am fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism, but admire even more his contributions to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and the body as one, not two separate things.
Those who have an interest in keeping the machinery of war going will stop at nothing to make public opinion subservient to their murderous ends.
If I had my life to live over again, I would elect to be a trader of goods rather than a student of science. I think barter is a noble thing.
God has given me a mule-like stubbornness to stick with a difficult problem and the intuitive powers to conceptualize complex hypothetical situations in my mind.
On quantum theory I use up more brain grease (rough translation of German idiom) than on relativity.
Considered logically this concept is not identical with the totality of sense impressions referred to; but it is an arbitrary creation of the human (or animal) mind.
Formerly, people thought that if matter disappeared from the universe, space and time would remain. Relativity declares that space and time would disappear with matter.
The harmony of natural law reveals an Intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.
Body and soul are not two different things, but only two different ways of perceiving the same thing. Similarly, physics and psychology are only different attempts to link our experiences together by way of systematic thought.
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.
The Press, which is mostly controlled by vested interests, has an excessive influence on public opinion.
Beyond the realms of what we see, into the regions or the unexplored limited only by our imaginations.
It is characteristic of the military mentality that non-human factors ... are held essential, while the human being, his desires and thoughts-in short, the psychological factors-are considered as unimportant and secondary.
From a certain temperature on, the molecules 'condense' without attractive forces; that is, they accumulate at zero velocity. The theory is pretty, but is there some truth in it.
Strenuous intellectual work and the study of God's Nature are the angels that will lead me through all the troubles of this life with consolation, strength, and uncompromising rigor.
An attempt at visualizing the Fourth Dimension: Take a point, stretch it into a line, curl it into a circle, twist it into a sphere, and punch through the sphere.
Life is a great tapestry. The individual is only an insignificant thread in an immense and miraculous pattern.
I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws.
We must learn the difficult lesson that the future of Mankind will only be tolerable when our course, in world affairs as in others, is based upon justice and law rather than the threat of naked power.
Although words exist for the most part for the transmission of ideas, there are some which produce such violent disturbance in our feelings that the role they play in the transmission of ideas is lost in the background.
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.
When I was young I found out that the big toe always ends up making a hole in a sock.
So I stopped wearing socks.
Humiliation and mental oppression by ignorant and selfish teachers wreak havoc in the youthful mind that can never be undone and often exert a baleful influence in later life.
A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires will sooner or later always lead to bitter disappointment.
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life. All that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But there is no doubt in my mind that the lion belongs with it even if he cannot reveal himself to the eye all at once because of his huge dimension.
Man, surrounded by facts, permitting himself no surprise, no intuitive flash, no great hypothesis, no risk, is in a locked cell. Ignorance cannot seal the mind and imagination more securely.
To get to know a country, you must have direct contact with the earth. It's futile to gaze at the world through a car window.
Long hair minimizes the need for barbers; socks can be done without; one leather jacket solves the coat problem for many years; suspenders are superfluous.
I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.
The truth of a theory can never be proven, for one never knows if future experience will contradict its conclusions.
One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for what one can just barely achieve through one's greatest efforts.
The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.
Since the mathematicians have invaded the theory of relativity I do not understand it myself any more.
It is best, it seems to me, to separate one's inner striving from one's trade as far as possible. It is not good when one's daily break is tied to God's special blessing.
Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.
Overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organise peace on this planet.
The value of a man resides in what he gives.
The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.
It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.
Whether or not you can observe a thing depends upon the theory you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed.
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