The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is at all comprehensible.
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.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex... It takes a touch of genius --- and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.
The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.
We have penetrated far less deeply into the regularities obtaining within the realm of living things, but deeply enough nevertheless to sense at least the rule of fixed necessity... what is still lacking here is a grasp of the connections of profound generality, but not a knowledge of order itself.
In the temple of science are many mansions, and various indeed are they that dwell therein and the motives that have led them hither. Many take to science out of a joyful sense of superior intellectual power; science is their own special sport to which they look for vivid experience and the satisfaction of ambition; many others are to be found in the temple who have offered the products of their brains on this altar for purely utilitarian purposes. Were an angel of the Lord to come and drive all the people belonging to these two categories out of the temple, the assemblage would be seriously depleted, but there would still be some men, of both present and past times, left inside.
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. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.
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.
My life is a simple thing that would interest no one. It is a known fact that I was born and that is all that is necessary.
Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet
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.
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the 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 us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead. To know that what is inpenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms--this knowledge, this feeling, is at the center of true religiousness. In this sense, and in this sense only, I belong to the rank of devoutly religious men.
As far as I'm concerned, I prefer silent vice to ostentatious virtue.