Albert Einstein

Albert
Einstein
1879
1955

German-born American Physicist, Humanitarian, Philosopher

Author Quotes

If you ask for the purpose or goal of society as a whole or of an individual taken as a whole the question loses its meaning. This is, of course, even more so if you ask the purpose or meaning of nature in general. For in those cases it seems quite arbitrary if not unreasonable to assume somebody whose desires are connected with the happenings.

In responding to this poignant cry for help, Einstein offered no easy solace, and this very fact must have heartened the student and lightened the lonely burden of his doubts. Here is Einstein's response. It was written in English and sent from Princeton on 3 December 1950, within days of receiving the letter:

It is worth mentioning that this letter was written a decade after the advent of Heisenberg's prin ciple of indeterminacy and the probabilistic interpretation of quantum mechanics with its denial of strict determinism.

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

Nevertheless we all feel that it is indeed very reasonable and important to ask ourselves how we should try to conduct our lives. The answer is, in my opinion: satisfaction of the desires and needs of all, as far as this can be achieved, and achievement of harmony and beauty in the human relationships. This presupposes a good deal of conscious thought and of self-education. It is undeniable that the enlightened Greeks and the old Oriental sages had achieved a higher level in this all-important field than what is alive in our schools and universities.

Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the actions 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.

Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seems to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.

The misunderstanding here is due to a faulty translation of a German text, in particular the use of the word "mystical." I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic.

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.

Your imagination is the preview to life

You never fail until you stop trying.

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother.

You make experiments and I make theories. Do you know the difference? A theory is something nobody believes, except the person who made it. An experiment is something everybody believes, except the person who made it.

You can be nothing or everything is a miracle. I believe everything is a miracle.

You believe in the God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order in a world that objectively exists.

You are right in speaking of the moral foundations of science, but you cannot turn around and speak of the scientific foundations of morality.

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

Working on the final formulation of technological patents was a veritable blessing for me. It enforced many-sided thinking and also provided important stimuli to physical thought. [Academia] places a young person under a kind of compulsion to produce impressive quantities of scientific publications; a temptation to superficiality.

Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our 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.

Women marry men hoping they will change. Men marry women hoping they will not.

Work is the only thing that gives substance to life.

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

With fame, I become more and more stupid, which of course is a very common phenomenon.

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

Why is it that nobody understands me and everybody likes me?

Author Picture
First Name
Albert
Last Name
Einstein
Birth Date
1879
Death Date
1955
Bio

German-born American Physicist, Humanitarian, Philosopher