His name synonymous with genius, Albert Einstein's theories shaped the course of science for much of the 20th Century. Born in Germany in 1879, Einstein studied to be a teacher and worked at the Swiss Patent Office before gaining fame for his theoretical work. He is famous for his theory of relativity, as well as his contributions to theories of gravity, radiation, and quantum physics.
Related Links: Einstein Archives Online, Time Person of the Century
Showing 1 through 36 of 80 quotations by Albert Einstein.
"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."
"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us "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 to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
"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."
"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."
"I don't know what will be used in the next world war, but the 4th will be fought with stones."
"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."
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence."
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge."
"Under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights."
"The World is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything."
"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."
"Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity."
"Members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population."
"If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut."
"I do not believe that a man should be restrained in his daily actions by being afraid of punishment after death or that he should do things only because in this way he will be rewarded after he dies."
"Why do you write to me "God should punish the English"? I have no close connection to either one or the other. I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him."
"My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality."
"Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding."
"I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws. ... In essence, my religion consists of a humble admiration for this illimitable superior spirit that reveals itself in the slight details that we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds."
"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeeded be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
"True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness."
"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls."
"In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep."
"I came-- though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents -- to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve."
"The pioneers of a warless world are the youth who refuse military service."
"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education."
"We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality."
"Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -- how passionately I hate them!"
"It is not enough for a handful of experts to attempt the solution of a problem, to solve it and then to apply it. The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment."
"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."
"Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career."
"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thoughts in clear form."
"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."
"Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
"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."