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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index E > Albert Einstein Quotes > War

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Albert Einstein
(14 Mar 1879 - 18 Apr 1955)

German-American physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize for Physics for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.



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.
— Albert Einstein
'Moral Decay', Out of My Later Years (1937, 1995), 9.
Science quotes on:  |  Freedom (56)  |  Science And Art (146)  |  Science And Religion (239)

As for the search for truth, I know from my own painful searching, with its many blind alleys, how hard it is to take a reliable step, be it ever so small, towards the understanding of that which is truly significant.
— Albert Einstein
Letter to an interested layman (13 Feb 1934). In Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Albert Einstein: The Human Side: New Glipses From His Archives (1981), 18.
Science quotes on:  |  Blind Alley (2)  |  Reliability (10)  |  Search (62)  |  Significant (14)  |  Small (59)  |  Truth (634)  |  Understanding (307)

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. Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up. But science can only be created by those who are thoroughly imbued with the aspiration toward truth and understanding. This source of feeling, however, springs from the sphere of religion. To this there also belongs the faith in the possibility that the regulations valid for the world of existence are rational, that is, comprehensible to reason. I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
— Albert Einstein
From paper 'Science, Philosophy and Religion', prepared for initial meeting of the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, New York City (9-11 Sep 1940). Collected in Albert Einstein: In His Own Words (2000), 212.
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I do not believe that a moral philosophy can ever be founded on a scientific basis. … The valuation of life and all its nobler expressions can only come out of the soul’s yearning toward its own destiny. Every attempt to reduce ethics to scientific formulas must fail. Of that I am perfectly convinced.
— Albert Einstein
In 'Science and God: A Dialogue', Forum and Century (June 1930), 83, 374. Einstein’s dialogue was with James Murphy and J.W.N. Sullivan. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 230. The book introduces this quote as Einstein’s reply when Murphy asked, in the authors’ words, “how far he thought modern science might be able to go toward establishing practical ideals of life on the ruins of religious ideals.”
Science quotes on:  |  Attempt (65)  |  Belief (270)  |  Destiny (18)  |  Ethic (10)  |  Expression (63)  |  Failure (90)  |  Formula (43)  |  Life (693)  |  Moral (64)  |  Nobler (3)  |  Philosophy (179)  |  Reduction (31)  |  Science And Religion (239)  |  Soul (85)  |  Yearning (5)

I do not think words alone will solve humanity’s present problems. The sound of bombs drowns out men’s voices. In times of peace I have great faith in the communication of ideas among thinking men, but today, with brute force dominating so many millions of lives, I fear that the appeal to man’s intellect is fast becoming virtually meaningless.
— Albert Einstein
In 'I Am an American' (22 Jun 1940), Einstein Archives 29-092. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 470. It was during a radio broadcast for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, interviewed by a State Department Official. Einstein spoke following an examination on his application for American citizenship in Trenton, New Jersey. The attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war on Japan was still over a year in the future.
Science quotes on:  |  Appeal (20)  |  Bomb (10)  |  Brute (11)  |  Communication (52)  |  Drown (6)  |  Faith (101)  |  Fear (80)  |  Force (131)  |  Humanity (74)  |  Idea (362)  |  Intellect (145)  |  Life (693)  |  Meaningless (10)  |  Million (62)  |  Peace (44)  |  Problem (270)  |  Solve (12)  |  Sound (43)  |  Thinking (218)  |  Today (50)  |  Voice (26)  |  War (108)  |  Word (177)

I was sitting in a chair in the patent office at Bern when all of a sudden a thought occurred to me: “If a person falls freely he will not feel his own weight.” I was startled. This simple thought made a deep impression on me. It impelled me toward a theory of gravitation.
— Albert Einstein
Lecture in Japan (1922). The quote is footnoted in Michael White, John Gribbin, Einstein: a Life in Science (1995), 128, saying the talk is known as the 'Kyoto address', reported in J. Ishiwara, Einstein Koen-Roku (1977).
Science quotes on:  |  Chair (8)  |  Deep (37)  |  Falling (5)  |  Feeling (74)  |  Free (28)  |  Gravity (81)  |  Impelling (2)  |  Impression (40)  |  Occurrence (27)  |  Patent Office (3)  |  Person (87)  |  Simplicity (118)  |  Sitting (5)  |  Startling (5)  |  Sudden (14)  |  Theory Of Gravitation (6)  |  Thought (266)  |  Weight (54)

In my opinion there is no other salvation for civilization and even for the human race than the creation of a world government with security on the basis of law. As long as there are sovereign states with their separate armaments and armament secrets, new world wars cannot be avoided.
— Albert Einstein
Interview comment reported in 'For a World Government: Einstein Says This is Only Way to Save Mankind', New York Times (15 Sep 1945), 11.
Science quotes on:  |  Armament (3)  |  Avoidance (9)  |  Basis (42)  |  Civilization (135)  |  Creation (190)  |  Government (68)  |  Human Race (38)  |  Law (359)  |  New (224)  |  Opinion (123)  |  Salvation (2)  |  Secret (75)  |  Security (18)  |  Sovereign (2)  |  State (59)  |  War (108)  |  World (461)  |  World War II (7)

It was my good fortune to be linked with Mme. Curie through twenty years of sublime and unclouded friendship. I came to admire her human grandeur to an ever growing degree. Her strength, her purity of will, her austerity toward herself, her objectivity, her incorruptible judgement— all these were of a kind seldom found joined in a single individual... The greatest scientific deed of her life—proving the existence of radioactive elements and isolating them—owes its accomplishment not merely to bold intuition but to a devotion and tenacity in execution under the most extreme hardships imaginable, such as the history of experimental science has not often witnessed.
— Albert Einstein
Out of My Later Years (1950), 227-8.
Science quotes on:  |  Marie Curie (29)  |  Radioactivity (24)

My scientific work is motivated by an irresistible longing to understand the secrets of nature and by no other feeling. My love for justice and striving to contribute towards the improvement of human conditions are quite independent from my scientific interests.
— Albert Einstein
In Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Albert Einstein, the Human Side: New Glipses from his Archives (1971) 18. In Vladimir Burdyuzha, The Future of Life and the Future of Our Civilization (2006), 374.
Science quotes on:  |  Contribution (38)  |  Feeling (74)  |  Human Condition (3)  |  Improvement (54)  |  Independence (25)  |  Interest (127)  |  Irresistible (5)  |  Justice (14)  |  Longing (8)  |  Love (111)  |  Motivation (18)  |  Nature (814)  |  Scientific (112)  |  Secret (75)  |  Understanding (307)  |  Work (321)

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. One seeks the most general ideas of operation which will bring together in simple, logical and unified form the largest possible circle of formal relationships. In this effort toward logical beauty spiritual formulas are discovered necessary for the deeper penetration into the laws of nature.
— Albert Einstein
In letter (1 May 1935), Letters to the Editor, 'The Late Emmy Noether: Professor Einstein Writes in Appreciation of a Fellow-Mathematician', New York Times (4 May 1935), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Beauty (141)  |  Deep (37)  |  Discovery (517)  |  Formula (43)  |  Idea (362)  |  Law Of Nature (46)  |  Logic (168)  |  Necessity (110)  |  Penetration (12)  |  Poetry (85)  |  Pure Mathematics (26)  |  Seeking (30)  |  Spirit (81)

Science has gone a long way toward helping man to free himself from the burden of hard labor; yet, science itself is not a liberator. It creates means, not goals. It is up to men to utilize those means to achieve reasonable goals.
— Albert Einstein
In 'I Am an American' (22 Jun 1940), Einstein Archives 29-092. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 470. The British Library Sound Archive holds a recording of this statement by Einstein. It was during a radio broadcast for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, interviewed by a State Department Official. Einstein spoke following an examination on his application for American citizenship in Trenton, New Jersey. The attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war on Japan was still over a year in the future.
Science quotes on:  |  Achieve (10)  |  Burden (16)  |  Creating (7)  |  Freedom (56)  |  Goal (55)  |  Labor (34)  |  Liberator (2)  |  Means (52)  |  Reasonable (13)  |  Science (1278)  |  Utilization (4)

The conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semireligious trappings. The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed.
— Albert Einstein
Address he was writing, left unfinished when he died (Apr 1955).
Science quotes on:  |  Atomic Bomb (95)  |  War (108)

The efforts of most human-beings are consumed in the struggle for their daily bread, but most of those who are, either through fortune or some special gift, relieved of this struggle are largely absorbed in further improving their worldly lot. Beneath the effort directed toward the accumulation of worldly goods lies all too frequently the illusion that this is the most substantial and desirable end to be achieved; but there is, fortunately, a minority composed of those who recognize early in their lives that the most beautiful and satisfying experiences open to humankind are not derived from the outside, but are bound up with the development of the individual's own feeling, thinking and acting. The genuine artists, investigators and thinkers have always been persons of this kind. However inconspicuously the life of these individuals runs its course, none the less the fruits of their endeavors are the most valuable contributions which one generation can make to its successors.
— Albert Einstein
In letter (1 May 1935), Letters to the Editor, 'The Late Emmy Noether: Professor Einstein Writes in Appreciation of a Fellow-Mathematician', New York Times (4 May 1935), 12.
Science quotes on:  |  Acting (5)  |  Artist (35)  |  Beautiful (45)  |  Bound (11)  |  Contribution (38)  |  Derivation (12)  |  Development (186)  |  Early (24)  |  Endeavor (14)  |  Experience (200)  |  Feeling (74)  |  Fortunately (6)  |  Fruit (55)  |  Generation (87)  |  Genuine (14)  |  Humankind (6)  |  Inconspicuous (2)  |  Individual (104)  |  Investigator (25)  |  Kind (52)  |  Life (693)  |  Minority (12)  |  Emmy Noether (6)  |  Outside (20)  |  Recognition (58)  |  Satisfaction (43)  |  Successor (5)  |  Thinker (10)  |  Thinking (218)  |  Value (113)

The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.
— Albert Einstein
Telegram (24 May 1946) sent to prominent Americans. Quoted in New York Times (25 May 1946). In Robert Andrews Famous Lines: a Columbia Dictionary of Familiar Quotations (1997), 340. Variations exist due to different translations from the original German.
Science quotes on:  |  Atom (213)  |  Atomic Bomb (95)

When men are engaged in war and conquest, the tools of science become as dangerous as a razor in the hands of a child of three. We must not condemn man because his inventiveness and patient conquest of the forces of nature are being exploited for false and destructive purposes. Rather, we should remember that the fate of mankind hinges entirely upon man’s moral development.
— Albert Einstein
In 'I Am an American' (22 Jun 1940), Einstein Archives 29-092. Excerpted in David E. Rowe and Robert J. Schulmann, Einstein on Politics: His Private Thoughts and Public Stands on Nationalism, Zionism, War, Peace, and the Bomb (2007), 470. The British Library Sound Archive holds a recording of this statement by Einstein. It was during a radio broadcast for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, interviewed by a State Department Official. Einstein spoke following an examination on his application for American citizenship in Trenton, New Jersey. The attack on Pearl Harbor and America’s declaration of war on Japan was still over a year in the future.
Science quotes on:  |  Child (149)  |  Condemnation (12)  |  Conquest (12)  |  Dangerous (25)  |  Destruction (70)  |  Development (186)  |  Exploitation (5)  |  False (55)  |  Fate (29)  |  Force Of Nature (4)  |  Hand (65)  |  Hinge (2)  |  Inventiveness (5)  |  Mankind (158)  |  Moral (64)  |  Patience (28)  |  Purpose (106)  |  Razor (2)  |  Science (1278)  |  Tool (52)  |  War (108)

You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world that objectively exists, and which I, in a wildly speculative way, am trying to capture. … Even the great initial success of the quantum theory does not make me believe in the fundamental dice-game, although I am well aware that our younger colleagues interpret this as a consequence of senility. No doubt the day will come when we will see whose instinctive attitude was the correct one.
— Albert Einstein
Letter to Max Born (7 Sep 1944). In Born-Einstein Letters, 146. Einstein Archives 8-207. In Albert Einstein, Alice Calaprice, Freeman Dyson, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein (2011), 393.
Science quotes on:  |  Belief (270)  |  Completion (14)  |  Dice (10)  |  Existence (207)  |  God (313)  |  Law (359)  |  Objective (30)  |  Order (106)  |  World (461)


See also:
  • 14 Mar - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Einstein's birth.
  • Albert Einstein - My Theory - The Times (1919).
  • Geometry and Experience - Address by Albert Einstein to the Prussian Academy of Sciences (27 Jan 1921).
  • Even Einstein's Little Universe Is Big Enough - New York Times article (2 Feb 1921).
  • Large color picture of Albert Einstein (850 x 1000 px).
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “God … integrates empirically” quote - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “Laws of mathematics refer to reality” quote
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “Laws of mathematics refer to reality” quote - with Large image (800 x 600 px).
  • Albert Einstein - Context of “God … integrates empirically” quote - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Mathematics…a product of human thought - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Mathematics…a product of human thought - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Politics is more difficult than physics” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Politics is more difficult than physics” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote The Lord God is subtle - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote The Lord God is subtle - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Imagination is more important than knowledge - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Imagination is more important than knowledge - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote A theory can be proved by experiment - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote A theory can be proved by experiment - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote That is relativity - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote That is relativity - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “One thing I have learned in a long life” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote One thing I have learned in a long life - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Why is the electron negative?” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Why is the electron negative?” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “The formulation of a problem is often far more essential than its solution” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “The formulation of a problem is often far more essential than its solution” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Our exalted technological progress” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “Our exalted technological progress” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “There exists a passion for comprehension” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “There exists a passion for comprehension” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “An equation is for eternity” - Medium image (500 x 350 px)
  • Albert Einstein - context of quote “An equation is for eternity” - Large image (800 x 600 px)
  • Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein, by Abraham Pais. - book suggestion.
  • Booklist for Albert Einstein.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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