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Einstein, Albert

  • God is subtle, but he is not malicious.

  • If men as individuals surrender to the call of their elementary instincts, avoiding pain and seeking satisfaction only for their own selves, the result for them all taken together must be a state of insecurity, of fear, and of promiscuous misery.

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

  • 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.

  • When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.

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

  • The man of science is a poor philosopher.

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

  • One may say the eternal mystery of the world is its incomprehensibility.

  • A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend 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.

  • A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.

  • 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.

  • A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

  • A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?

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

  • After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are always artists as well.

  • All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field.

  • All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike-and yet it is the most precious thing we have.

  • All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.

  • All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.

  • All these constructions and the laws connecting them can be arrived at by the principle of looking for the mathematically simplest concepts and the link between them.

  • An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.

  • An oligarchy of private capital cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society because under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information.

  • Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius-and a lot of courage-to move in the opposite direction.

  • Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.

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

  • 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.

  • Before God we are all equally wise - and equally foolish.

  • Concern for man and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.

  • Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.

  • Do you believe in immortality? No, and one life is enough for me.

  • During the last century, and part of the one before, it was widely held that there was an unreconcilable conflict between knowledge and belief.

  • Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.

  • Every kind of peaceful cooperation among men is primarily based on mutual trust and only secondarily on institutions such as courts of justice and police.

  • Everyone should be respected as an individual, but no one idolized.

  • Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for insects as well as for the stars. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance.

  • Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.

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

  • 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.

  • Force always attracts men of low morality.

  • Formal symbolic representation of qualitative entities is doomed to its rightful place of minor significance in a world where flowers and beautiful women abound.

  • God always takes the simplest way.

  • God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.

  • God does not play dice.

  • God may be subtle, but he isn't plain mean.

  • Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.

  • Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

  • He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.

  • How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.

  • How vile and despicable war seems to me! I would rather be hacked to pieces than take part in such an abominable business.

  • Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.

  • Humanity has every reason to place the proclaimers of high moral standards and values above the discoverers of objective truth. What humanity own to personalities like Buddha, Moses, and Jesus ranks for me higher than all the achievements of the of the inquiring constructive mind.

  • 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.

  • I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.

  • I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and the noblest driving force behind scientific research.

  • I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best both for the body and the mind.

  • I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.

  • I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.

  • I do not know with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.

  • I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves - such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

  • I have no special talent. I am only ionately curious.

  • I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism have brought me to my ideas.

  • I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

  • I made one great mistake in my life-when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atom bombs be made but there was some justification-the danger that the Germans would make them.

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

  • I never think of the future - it comes soon enough.

  • I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.

  • 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.

  • I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details.

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

  • If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith.

  • If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies... It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it.

  • 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. Should my theory prove untrue, France will say I am a German and Germany will declare that I am a Jew.

  • If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts.

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

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

  • Imagination is more important than knowledge.

  • In matters of truth and justice, there is no difference between large and small problems, for issues concerning the treatment of people are all the same.

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

  • Information is not knowledge.

  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  • Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.

  • It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.

  • It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.

  • It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

  • It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man.

  • It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.

  • It is not so very important for a person to learn facts. For that he does not really need a college. He can learn them from books. The value of an education is a liberal arts college is not learning of many facts but the training of the mind to think something that cannot be learned from textbooks.

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

  • It is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely.

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

  • It should be possible to explain the laws of physics to a barmaid.

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

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

  • Keep on sowing your seed, for you never know which will grow - perhaps it all will.

  • Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.

  • Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.

  • Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.

  • Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

  • Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

  • Love is a better teacher than duty.

  • Memory is deceptive because it is colored by today's events.

  • Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God.

  • Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.

  • Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.

  • My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

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

  • Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.

  • 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.

  • No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.

  • No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

  • Not until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries - not until then shall we, with a certain degree of justification, be able to speak of humankind as civilized.

  • Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than ing laws which cannot be enforced.

  • Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact prediction because of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lack of order in nature.

  • Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.

  • 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.

  • Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

  • 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.

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

  • Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of comion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.

  • Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.

  • People love chopping wood. In this activity one immediately sees results.

  • Politics is for the present, but an equation is for eternity.

  • Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury - to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for every one, best both for the body and the mind.

  • Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.

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

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

  • Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

  • Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one's living at it.

  • Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.

  • Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.

  • Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature.

  • Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men.

  • Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.

  • That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.

  • The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while.

  • 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 difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.

  • The distinction between the past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

  • The environment is everything that isn't me.

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

  • 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.

  • The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

  • The grand aim of all science is to cover the greatest number of empirical facts by logical deduction from the smallest number of hypotheses or axioms.

  • The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.

  • 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.

  • The important thing is not to stop questioning.

  • The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.

  • 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.

  • The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.

  • The more success the quantum theory has, the sillier it looks.

  • The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.

  • 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.

  • The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.

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

  • The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  • The opinion prevailed among 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.

  • The pioneers of a warless world are the young men (and women) who refuse military service.

  • The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.

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

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

  • The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.

  • The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.

  • The release of atomic energy has not created a new problem. It has merely made more urgent the necessity of solving an existing one.

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

  • The strength of the Constitution lies entirely in the determination of each citizen to defend it. Only if every single citizen feels duty bound to do his share in this defense are the constitutional rights secure.

  • The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.

  • The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

  • The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.

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

  • 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 world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

  • There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

  • There comes a time when the mind takes a higher plane of knowledge but can never prove how it got there.

  • There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.

  • There was this huge world out there, independent of us human beings and standing before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partly accessible to our inspection and thought. The contemplation of that world beckoned like a liberation.

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

  • To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty... this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.

  • To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.

  • True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.

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

  • Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.

  • Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

  • Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.

  • We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.

  • We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart.

  • We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

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

  • 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 any talent for abstract, positive thinking.

  • When the solution is simple, God is answering.

  • Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.

  • Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.

  • 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.

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

  • You ask me if I keep a notebook to record my great ideas. I've only ever had one.

  • You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.