Monday, July 28, 2014

Ideas and Opinions by Einstein (A must read book)

To every individual, either from science or technical background or any other background, I recommend to read Einstein’s “Ideas & Opinions” at least once (if not read yet!!) in his/her lifetime as early as possible.

“The world was promised freedom from fear, but in fact fear has increased tremendously since the termination of the war. The world was promised freedom from want, but large parts of the world are faced with starvation while others are living in abundance. The nations were promised liberation and justice. But we have witnessed, and are witnessing even now, the sad spectacles of “liberating” armies firing into populations who want their independence and social equality, and supporting in those countries, by force of arms, such parties and personalities as appear to be most suited to serve vested interest.” (Written by Einstein in 1950)

“One has to realize that powerful industrial groups concerned in the manufacturing of arms and doing their best in all countries to prevent the peaceful settlement of international disputes, and that rulers can only achieve this great end if they are sure of the vigorous support of the majority of their people. In these days of democratic governments the fate if the nations hangs on the people themselves; each individual must always bear that in mind.” (Written by Einstein in 1934)

“Previous generations were able to look upon intellectual and cultural progress as simply the inherited fruits of their forebears’ labors, which made life easier and more beautiful for them. But the calamities of our time show us that this was a fatal illusion.
We see now that the greatest efforts are needed if this legacy of humanity’s is to prove a blessing and not a curse. For whereas formerly it was enough for a man to have freed himself to some extent from personal egotism to make him valuable member of society, today he must also be required to overcome national and class egotism.” (Written by Einstein in 1934)

Some more,

“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”

“It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”

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