I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
- 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. It is no mere chance that our older universities
developed from clerical schools. Both churches and universities —
insofar as they live up to their true function — serve the ennoblement
of the individual. They seek to fulfill this great task by spreading
moral and cultural understanding, renouncing the use of brute force.
The essential unity of ecclesiastical and secular institutions was lost during the 19th century, to the point of senseless hostility. Yet there was never any doubt as to the striving for culture. No one doubted the sacredness of the goal. It was the approach that was disputed.
- "Moral Decay" (1937); Later published in Out of My Later Years (1950)
Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.
- Statement on the occasion of Gandhi's 70th birthday (1939) Einstein archive 32-601, published in Out of My Later Years (1950).
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
- Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen, professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, defending the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position (19 March 1940).
- The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.
One cannot help but be in awe when contemplating the mysteries of
eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough
if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. The important thing is not to stop questioning; never lose a holy curiosity.
- Statement to William Miller, as quoted in LIFE magazine (2 May 1955)
- Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.
- As quoted by LIFE magazine (2 May 1955)
Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem—in my opinion—to characterize our age. "The Common Language of Science", a broadcast for Science, Conference, London, 28 September 1941. Published in Advancement of Science, London, Vol. 2, No. 5. Reprinted in Ideas and Opinions (1954),