K. Sreeman Reddy

Quotes

These are some quotes which I liked. I removed the quotes which are given as misattributed in Wikiquote. Quotes which I strongly disagree with are struckthrough.

Physicists

“The scientist does not study nature because it is useful to do so. He studies it because he takes pleasure in it, and he takes pleasure in it because it is beautiful. If nature were not beautiful it would not be worth knowing, and life would not be worth living. I am not speaking, of course, of the beauty which strikes the senses, of the beauty of qualities and appearances. I am far from despising this, but it has nothing to do with science. What I mean is that more intimate beauty which comes from the harmonious order of its parts, and which a pure intelligence can grasp.”

Henri Poincaré

“Spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime how to curve.”

It from bit. Otherwise put, every it — every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself — derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely — even if in some contexts indirectly — from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom — at a very deep bottom, in most instances — an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and that this is a participatory universe.”[1990]

John Archibald Wheeler

“Mathematics was not sufficiently refined in 1917 to cleave apart the demands for “no prior geometry” and for a geometric, coordinate-independent formulation of physics. Einstein described both demands by a single phrase, “general covariance”. The “no prior geometry” demand actually fathered general relativity, but by doing so anonymously, disguised as “general covariance”, it also fathered half a century of confusion.”

MTW

“I worked horribly strenuously, strange that one can endure that.”1

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

“Imagine my joy at the feasibility of general covariance and the result that the equations give the perihelion motion of Mercury correctly. For a few days I was beside myself with joyous excitement.”

“At present I occupy myself exclusively with the problem of gravitation and now believe that I shall master all difficulties with the help of a friendly mathematician here (Marcel Grossmann). But one thing is certain, in all my life I have never labored nearly as hard, and I have become imbued with great respect for mathematics, the subtler part of which I had in my simple-mindedness regarded as pure luxury until now. Compared with this problem, the original relativity is child’s play.” [After nearly ten years of hard work, in a letter to A. Sommerfeld]

“Who would have thought around 1900 that in fifty years time we would know so much more and understand so much less.”

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

“I believe with Schopenhauer: We can do what we wish, but we can only wish what we must. Practically, I am, nevertheless, compelled to act as if freedom of the will existed. If I wish to live in a civilized community, I must act as if man is a responsible being. I know that philosophically a murderer is not responsible for his crime; nevertheless, I must protect myself from unpleasant contacts. I may consider him guiltless, but I prefer not to take tea with him.”

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

“I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modelled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbour such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”

I claim credit for nothing. Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible player.”

“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.”

“At this point an enigma presents itself which in all ages has agitated inquiring minds. How can it be that mathematics, being, after all, a product of human thought which is independent of experience, is so admirably appropriate to the objects of reality? Is human reason, then, without experience, merely by taking thought, able to fathom the properties of real things?”

“One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts.”

“A theory is the more impressive the greater the simplicity of its premises, the more different kinds of things it relates, and the more extended its area of applicability. Therefore the deep impression that classical thermodynamics made upon me. It is the only physical theory of universal content which I am convinced will never be overthrown, within the framework of applicability of its basic concepts.”

“The world needs new moral impulses which, I’m afraid, won’t come from the churches, heavily compromised as they have been throughout the centuries. Perhaps those impulses must come from scientists in the tradition of Galileo, Kepler and Newton. In spite of failures and persecutions, these men devoted their lives to proving that the universe is a single entity, in which, I believe, a humanized God has no place. The genuine scientist is not moved by praise or blame, nor does he preach. He unveils the universe and people come eagerly, without being pushed, to behold a new revelation: the order, the harmony, the magnificence of creation! And as man becomes conscious of the stupendous laws that govern the universe in perfect harmony, he begins to realize how small he is. He sees the pettiness of human existence, with its ambitions and intrigues, its “I am better than thou” creed. This is the beginning of cosmic religion within him; fellowship and human service become his moral code. And without such moral foundations, we are hopelessly doomed.”

“Although I have been prevented by outward circumstances from observing a strictly vegetarian diet, I have long been an adherent to the cause in principle. Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence a lot of mankind.”[1930]

“Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.”

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

“In my opinion the only salvation for civilization and the human race lies in the creation of a world government, with security of nations founded upon law. As long as sovereign states continue to have separate armaments and armament secrets, new world wars will be inevitable.”

“Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.”

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” [Einstein’s response to firing Russell]

“Being a Jew myself, perhaps I can understand and empathize with how black people feel as victims of discrimination.”

“I do not intend to be quiet about it [racism].”

“I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state.”

“In order to put his system into mathematical form at all, Newton had to devise the concept of differential quotients and propound the laws of motion in the form of total differential equations—perhaps the greatest advance in thought that a single individual was ever privileged to make.”

Albert Einstein

“Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature flows equably without regard to anything external, and by another name is called duration: relative, apparent and common time, is some sensible and external (whether accurate or unequable) measure of duration by the means of motion, which is commonly used instead of true time …”

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”

“To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. ‘Tis much better to do a little with certainty, & leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things by conjecture without making sure of any thing.”

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”

“I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses; for whatever is not deduced from the phenomena is to be called a hypothesis, and hypotheses, whether metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical, have no place in experimental philosophy.”

“Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.”

“I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the madness of the people.”

“I have studied these things — you have not.”2

Isaac Newton

“Being myself a remarkably stupid fellow, I have had to unteach myself the difficulties, and now beg to present to my fellow fools the parts that are not hard. Master these thoroughly, and the rest will follow. What one fool can do, another can.

Silvanus P. Thompson

“The black holes of nature are the most perfect macroscopic objects there are in the universe: the only elements in their construction are our concepts of space and time. And since the general theory of Relativity provides only a single unique family of solutions for their descriptions, they are the simplest objects as well.”3

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

“I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling.

But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can’t for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit.

Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins.”4

“It seems clear that the present quantum mechanics is not in its final form. Some further changes will be needed, just about as drastic as the changes made in passing from Bohr’s orbit theory to quantum mechanics. Some day a new quantum mechanics, a relativistic one, will be discovered, in which we will not have these infinities occurring at all. It might very well be that the new quantum mechanics will have determinism in the way that Einstein wanted.”

“There was difficulty reconciling the Newtonian theory of gravitation with its instantaneous propagation of forces with the requirements of special relativity; and Einstein working on this difficulty was led to a generalization of his relativity—which was probably the greatest scientific discovery that was ever made.”

“The underlying physical laws necessary for the mathematical theory of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty is only that the exact application of these laws leads to equations much too complicated to be soluble. It therefore becomes desirable that approximate practical methods of applying quantum mechanics should be developed, which can lead to an explanation of the main features of complex atomic systems without too much computation.”

“Einstein was always rather hostile to guantum mechanics. How can one understand this? I think it is very easy to understand, because Einstein had been proceeding on different lines, lines of pure geometry. He had been developing geometrical theories and had achieved enormous success. It is only natural that he should think that further problems of physics should be solved by further development of geometrical ideas. How, to have a x b not equal to b x a is something that does not fit in very well with geometrical ideas; hence his hostility to it.”

P.A.M Dirac

“Most of us do elementary-particle physics neither because of the intrinsic interestingness of the phenomena that we study, nor because of the practical importance of what we learn, but because we are pursuing a reductionist vision. All of the properties of ordinary matter are what they are because of the principles of atomic and nuclear physics, which are what they are because of the rules of the Standard Model of elementary particles, which are what they are because…well, we don’t know, this is the reductionist frontier, which we are currently exploring.”

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. Without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

“I think the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief; and anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done, and may in fact be our greatest contribution to civilization.

“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”

“The steady state theory is philosophically the most attractive theory because it least resembles the account given in Genesis.”

“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”

“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things which lifts human life a little above the level of farce and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.”

“Despite the weakness of the early experimental evidence for general relativity, Einstein’s theory became the standard textbook theory of gravitation in the 1920s and retained that position from then on, even while the various eclipse expeditions of the 1920s and 1930s were reporting at best equivocal evidence for the theory. … Perhaps all of us were just gullible and lucky, but I do not think that is the real explanation. I believe that the general acceptance of general relativity was due in large part to the attractions of the theory itself—in short, to its beauty.”

Steven Weinberg

“He [Sidney Coleman] was a giant in a peculiar sense, because he’s not known to the general populace. He’s not a Stephen Hawking; he has virtually no visibility outside. But within the community of theoretical physicists, he’s kind of a major god. He is the physicist’s physicist.”

Sheldon Glashow

“The career of a young theoretical physicist consists of treating the harmonic oscillator in ever-increasing levels of abstraction.”

“Quantum gravity is notoriously a subject where problems vastly outnumber results.”

“Not only God knows, I know, and by the end of the semester, you will know.”

Sidney Coleman

“It happened that one semester [around 1970] I was teaching GR, and I noticed that the formula in gauge theory for the field strength and the formula in Riemannian geometry for the Riemann tensor are not just similar – they are, in fact, the same if one makes the right identification of symbols! It is hard to describe the thrill I felt at understanding this point..”

Yang Chen-Ning

“Black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole, both to the outside, and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up. There’s a way out.”

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”

“The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit. That would be like saying that you would disappear if I closed my eyes.”

“There ought to be something very special about the boundary conditions of the universe and what can be more special than that there is no boundary?”

“I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first … I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

“I used to think that information was destroyed in black holes. But the AdS/CFT correspondence led me to change my mind. This was my biggest blunder, or at least my biggest blunder in science.”

“[on the possibility of contact with an alien civilization]: I think it would be a disaster. The extraterrestrials would probably be far in advance of us. The history of advanced races meeting more primitive people on this planet is not very happy, and they were the same species. I think we should keep our heads low.”

“Einstein is the only figure in the physical sciences with a stature that can be compared with Newton. Newton is reported to have said “If I have seen further than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants.” This remark is even more true of Einstein who stood on the shoulders of Newton. Both Newton and Einstein put forward a theory of mechanics and a theory of gravity but Einstein was able to base General Relativity on the mathematical theory of curved spaces that had been constructed by Riemann while Newton had to develop his own mathematical machinery. It is therefore appropriate to acclaim Newton as the greatest figure in mathematical physics and the Principia is his greatest achievement.”

“Isaac Newton was not a pleasant man. His relations with other academics were notorious, with most of his later life spent embroiled in heated disputes. Following publication of Principia Mathematica – surely the most influential book ever written in physics – Newton had risen rapidly into public prominence. He was appointed president of the Royal Society and became the first scientist ever to be knighted.”

“Although we now know that Newton discovered calculus years before Leibniz, he published his work much later. A major row ensued over who had been first, with scientists vigorously defending both contenders. It is remarkable, however, that most of the articles appearing in defense of Newton were originally written by his own hand – and only published in the name of friends! As the row grew, Leibniz made the mistake of appealing to the Royal Society to resolve the dispute. Newton, as president, appointed an “impartial” committee to investigate, coincidentally consisting entirely of Newton’s friends! But that was not all: Newton then wrote the committee’s report himself and had the Royal Society publish it, officially accusing Leibniz of plagiarism. Still unsatisfied, he then wrote an anonymous review of the report in the Royal Society’s own periodical. Following the death of Leibniz, Newton is reported to have declared that he had taken great satisfaction in “breaking Leibniz’s heart.””

Stephen Hawking

“General relativity is certainly a very beautiful theory, but how does one judge the elegance of physical theories generally?

“One is left with the uneasy feeling that even if supersymmetry is actually false, as a feature of nature, and that accordingly no supersymmetry partners are ever found by the LHC or by any later more powerful accelerator, then the conclusion that some supersymmetry proponents might come to would not be that supersymmetry is false for the actual particles of nature, but merely that the level of supersymmetry breaking must be greater even that the level reached at that moment, and that a new even more powerful machine would be required to observe it!”

Roger Penrose

“The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics.”

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”

Galileo Galilei

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the masses.”

Johannes Kepler

“It is of great advantage to the student of any subject to read the original memoirs on that subject, for science is always most completely assimilated when it is in the nascent state…”

James Clerk Maxwell

“I had no need of that hypothesis.” [When Napoleon said “Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator”]

“Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.”

Pierre-Simon Laplace

“It is a great pity that human beings cannot find all of their satisfaction in scientific contemplativeness.”

“Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.”

“It is wrong to think that the task of physics is to find out how nature is. Physics concerns what we can say about nature…”

“Every sentence I utter must be understood not as an affirmation, but as a question.”

“I am absolutely prepared to talk about the spiritual life of an electronic computer: to state that it is reflecting or is in a bad mood… The question whether the machine really feels or ponders, or whether it merely looks as though it did, is of course absolutely meaningingless.”

Niels Bohr

“I have done a terrible thing, I have postulated a particle that cannot be detected.”

“I cannot believe God is a weak left-hander.” [After discovery of parity violation in 1956.]

“This isn’t right. This isn’t even wrong.”

“Against all the retrogressive endeavors (Bohm, Schrödinger etc. and in some sense also Einstein) I am sure that the statistical character of the ψ-function and hence of nature’s laws – on which you insisted from the very beginning against Schrödinger’s resistance – will define the style of the laws at least for some centuries. It may be that later, e.g. in connection with the living processes, one will find something entirely new, but to dream of a way back, back to the classical style of Newton-Maxwell (and these are just dreams these gentlemen are giving themselves up to) seems to me hopeless, digressive, bad taste. And, we could add, it is not even a beautiful dream.”

“Einstein’s conception [on God] is closer to mine. His God is somehow involved in the immutable laws of nature. Einstein has a feeling for the central order of things. He can detect it in the simplicity of natural laws. We may take it that he felt this simplicity very strongly and directly during his discovery of the theory of relativity. Admittedly, this is a far cry from the contents of religion. I don’t believe Einstein is tied to any religious tradition, and I rather think the idea of a personal God is entirely foreign to him. But as far as he is concerned there is no split between science and religion: the central order is part of the subjective as well as the objective realm, and this strikes me as being a far better starting point.”

Wolfgang Pauli

“General relativity is the greatest feat of human thinking about nature, the most amazing combination of philosophical penetration, physical intuition, and mathematical skill.”

Max Born

Nirvana is a state of pure blissful knowledge… It has nothing to do with the individual. The ego or its separation is an illusion. Indeed in a certain sense two “I”’s are identical namely when one disregards all special contents — their Karma. The goal of man is to preserve his Karma and to develop it further… when man dies his Karma lives and creates for itself another carrier.”

“In itself, the insight is not new. The earliest records, to my knowledge, date back some 2500 years or more… the recognition ATMAN = BRAHMAN (the personal self equals the omnipresent, all-comprehending eternal self) was in Indian thought considered, far from being blasphemous, to represent the quintessence of deepest insight into the happenings of the world. The striving of all the scholars of Vedanta was after having learnt to pronounce with their lips, really assimilate in their minds this grandest of all thoughts.

Again, the mystics of many centuries, independently, yet in perfect harmony with each other (somewhat like the particles in an ideal gas) have described, each of them, the unique experience of his or her life in terms that can be condensed in the phrase: DEUS FACTUS SUM (I have become God).To Western ideology, the thought has remained a stranger…”

Erwin Schrödinger

“A great deal more was hidden in the Dirac equation than the author had expected when he wrote it down in 1928. Dirac himself remarked in one of his talks that his equation was more intelligent than its author. It should be added, however, that it was Dirac who found most of the additional insights.”

Victor Weisskopf

“We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up to now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.”

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it …”

Max Planck

“While it is never safe to affirm that the future of Physical Science has no marvels in store even more astonishing than those of the past, it seems probable that most of the grand underlying principles have been firmly established and that further advances are to be sought chiefly in the rigorous application of these principles to all the phenomena which come under our notice. It is here that the science of measurement shows its importance — where quantitative work is more to be desired than qualitative work. An eminent physicist remarked that the future truths of physical science are to be looked for in the sixth place of decimals.”

Albert A. Michelson [1894]

“I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.”

“I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there.”

“What one fool could understand, another can.”

“From a long view of the history of mankind — seen from, say, ten thousand years from now — there can be little doubt that the most significant event of the 19th century will be judged as Maxwell’s discovery of the laws of electrodynamics. The American Civil War will pale into provincial insignificance in comparison with this important scientific event of the same decade.”

“It doesn’t seem to me that this fantastically marvellous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil — which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.”

“God was always invented to explain mystery. God is always invented to explain those things that you do not understand. Now when you finally discover how something works, you get some laws which you’re taking away from God; you don’t need him anymore. But you need him for the other mysteries. So therefore you leave him to create the universe because we haven’t figured that out yet; you need him for understanding those things which you don’t believe the laws will explain, such as consciousness, or why you only live to a certain length of time — life and death — stuff like that. God is always associated with those things that you do not understand. Therefore I don’t think that the laws can be considered to be like God because they have been figured out.”

“Einstein was a giant. His head was in the clouds, but his feet were on the ground. But those of us who are not that tall have to choose!”

Richard Feynman

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”

Marie Curie

“In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.”

“If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether the electron’s position changes with time, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say ‘no’; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ‘no’. The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of a man’s self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth century science.”

“Einstein is also, and I think rightly, known as a man of very great goodwill and humanity. Indeed if I had to think of a single word for his attitude towards human problems, I would pick the Sanskrit word Ahimsa, not to hurt, harmlessness.”

J. Robert Oppenheimer

“The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.”

Arthur Eddington

“It is just as foolish to complain that people are selfish and treacherous as it is to complain that the magnetic field does not increase unless the electric field has a curl. Both are laws of nature.”

“Young man, in mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.”

“If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realize how complicated life is.”

John von Neumann

“A possible explanation of the physicist’s use of mathematics to formulate his laws of nature is that he is a somewhat irresponsible person. As a result, when he finds a connection between two quantities which resembles a connection well-known from mathematics, he will jump at the conclusion that the connection is that discussed in mathematics simply because he does not know of any other similar connection.”

“The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve.”

“I have known a great many intelligent people in my life. I knew Planck, von Laue and Heisenberg. Paul Dirac was my brother in law; Leo Szilard and Edward Teller have been among my closest friends; and Albert Einstein was a good friend, too. But none of them had a mind as quick and acute as Jancsi [John] von Neumann. I have often remarked this in the presence of those men and no one ever disputed.

But Einstein’s understanding was deeper even than von Neumann’s. His mind was both more penetrating and more original than von Neumann’s. And that is a very remarkable statement. Einstein took an extraordinary pleasure in invention. Two of his greatest inventions are the Special and General Theories of Relativity; and for all of Jancsi’s brilliance, he never produced anything as original.”

Eugene Wigner

“When I meet God, I am going to ask him two questions: Why relativity? And why turbulence? I really believe he will have an answer for the first.”

“We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.”

Werner Heisenberg

“This work contains many things which are new and interesting. Unfortunately, everything that is new is not interesting, and everything which is interesting, is not new.”

“The theory of gravitational fields, constructed on the basis of the theory of relativity, is called the general theory of relativity. It was established by Einstein (and finally formulated by him in 1915), and represents probably the most beautiful of all existing physical theories. It is remarkable that it was developed by Einstein in a purely deductive manner and only later was substantiated by astronomical observations.”

Lev Landau

“Niels Bohr brain-washed a whole generation of physicists into believing that the problem had been solved fifty years ago [comment on the Copenhagen interpretation].”

“I thought of killing myself but soon decided that I could always try MIT and then kill myself later if it was that bad but that I couldn’t commit suicide and then try MIT afterwards. The two operations, suicide and going to MIT, don’t commute…”

Murray Gell-Mann

“The answer to the ancient question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” would then be that ‘nothing’ is unstable.”

“Intelligent creatures that evolved to live deep within the atmosphere of a gas giant planet could be deluded, for eons, into thinking that the Universe is an approximately homogeneous expanse of gas, filling a three-dimensional space, but featuring anisotropic laws of motion (which we would ascribe to the planet’s gravitational field). Are we human scientists comparably blinkered?”

“To put it crudely, theorists can be tempted to think along the lines “If people as clever as us haven’t explained it, that’s because it can’t be explained – it’s just an accident.” I believe there are at least two important regularities among standard model parameters that do have deeper explanations, namely the unification of couplings and the smallness of the QCD θ parameter. There may well be others.”

“It is delightful in itself when we are able to interpret features of the present as signs confirming our understanding of the past.”

Frank Wilczek

“Remarkably, the building of the Standard Model — the theory of how particles and forces interact — was the success of the conservatives. It required no revolution at the foundational level. Normal physics, the kind that goes on experiment after experiment, produced the Standard Model.”

“The most important [reason] is that there are no other good ideas around. That’s what gets most people into it. When people started to get interested in string theory they didn’t know anything about it. In fact, the first reaction of most people is that the theory is extremely ugly and unpleasant, at least that was the case a few years ago when the understanding of string theory was much less developed. It was difficult for people to learn about it and to be turned on. So I think the real reason why people have got attracted by it is because there is no other game in town. All other approaches of constructing grand unified theories, which were more conservative to begin with, and only gradually became more and more radical, have failed, and this game hasn’t failed yet.”[1987]

David Gross

“On your way towards becoming a bad theoretician, take your own immature theory, stop checking it for mistakes, don’t listen to colleagues who do spot weaknesses, and start admiring your own infallible intelligence.”

Gerard ‘t Hooft

“Physics is that subset of human experience which can be reduced to coupled harmonic oscillators”

Michael Peskin

“I don’t think that any physicist would have been clever enough to have invented string theory on purpose… Luckily, it was invented by accident.”

“String theory is extremely attractive because gravity is forced upon us. All known consistent string theories include gravity, so while gravity is impossible in quantum field theory as we have known it, it is obligatory in string theory.”

“It’s been said that string theory is part of the physics of the twenty-first century that fell by chance into the twentieth century. That’s a remark that was made by a leading physicist about fifteen years ago. …String theory was invented essentially by accident in a long series of events, starting with the Veneziano model… No one invented it on purpose, it was invented in a lucky accident. …By rights, string theory shouldn’t have been invented until our knowledge of some of the areas that are prerequisite… had developed to the point that it was possible for us to have the right concept of what it is all about.”

“Generally speaking, all the really great ideas of physics are really spin-offs of string theory… Some of them were discovered first, but I consider that a mere accident of the development on planet earth. On planet earth, they were discovered in this order [general relativity, quantum field theory, superstrings, and supersymmetry]… But I don’t believe, if there are many civilizations in the universe, that those four ideas were discovered in that order in each civilization.”

Edward Witten

“Interestingly, both quantum entanglement and wormholes date back to two articles written by Albert Einstein and his collaborators in 1935. On the surface, the papers seem to deal with very different phenomena, and Einstein probably never suspected that there could be a connection between them. In fact, entanglement was a property of quantum mechanics that greatly bothered the German-born physicist, who called it “spooky action at a distance.” How ironic that it now may offer a bridge to extend his relativity theory to the quantum realm.”

Juan Maldacena

“Elegance requires that the number of defining equations be small. Five is better than ten, and one is better than five. On this score, one might facetiously say that String Theory is the ultimate epitome of elegance. With all the years that String Theory has been studied, no one has found even a single defining equation! The number at present count is zero. We know neither what the fundamental equations of the theory are nor even if it has any.”

Leonard Susskind

“[Smolin] is mistaking an aspect of the mathematical language being used for one of the physics being described. New physical theories are often discovered using a mathematical language that is not the most suitable for them… In string theory, it has always been clear that the physics is background-independent even if the language being used is not, and the search for a more suitable language continues. Indeed, as Smolin belatedly notes, [AdS/CFT] provides a solution to this problem, one that is unexpected and powerful.”

Joseph Polchinski

“In pre-relativistic mechanics, time is a special physical quantity, whose value is measured by physical clocks, that plays the role of the independent variable of physical evolution.”

“Time is… the expression of our ignorance of the full microstate.”

Carlo Rovelli

“We actually have a candidate for the mind of God. The mind of God we believe is cosmic music, the music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace. That is the mind of God.”

Michio Kaku

“The question of the origin of the matter in the universe is no longer thought to be beyond the range of science — everything can be created from nothing…it is fair to say that the universe is the ultimate free lunch.”

Alan Guth

“This is the best few tens of billions years in the history of the universe to do cosmology.”

Nima Arkani-Hamed

“The Big Bang is the poor man’s particle accelerator.”

Yakov Zeldovich

“Those of us engaged in scientific research generally do it because we can’t help it - because Nature is the biggest and most complicated jumbo holiday crossword puzzle you have ever seen.”

Edward Hinds

“Perhaps I may claim as evidence for progress in religion the fact that we no longer burn heretics.”

Freeman Dyson

“No one expects a guitarist to learn to play by going to concerts in Central Park or by spending hours reading transcriptions of Jimi Hendrix solos. Guitarists practice. Guitarists play the guitar until their fingertips are calloused. Similarly, physicists solve problems.”

M. Newman et al

“There are countless suns and countless earths all rotating round their suns in exactly the same way as the seven planets of our system.”

“You may be more afraid to bring that sentence against me than I am to accept it.”5

Giordano Bruno

“The behavior of large and complex aggregates of elementary particles, it turns out, is not to be understood in terms of a simple extrapolation of a few particles. Instead, at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear, and the understanding of the new behaviors requires research which I think is as fundamental in its nature as any other.”

“Of course I am not religious—I don’t in fact see how any scientist who thinks at all deeply can be so …”

Philip W. Anderson

“If I were forced to sum up in one sentence what the Copenhagen interpretation says to me, it would be ‘Shut up and calculate!’”

“Question: What is the difference between theoretical physics and mathematical physics?
Answer: Theoretical physics is done by physicists who lack the necessary skills to do real experiments; mathematical physics is done by mathematicians who lack the necessary skills to do real mathematics.
Mathematical physicists tend not to like this joke, but other physicists seem to. Nonphysicists, of course, are entirely immune to its charms.”

N. David Mermin

“The general struggle for existence of animate beings is not a struggle for raw materials – these, for organisms, are air, water and soil, all abundantly available – nor for energy which exists in plenty in any body in the form of heat, but a struggle for negative entropy, which becomes available through the transition of energy from the hot sun to the cold earth.”

“Was it a god who wrote these lines…” [After seeing Maxwell’s equations for the first time]

Ludwig Boltzmann

“There is no Heaven, no Swarga, no Hell, no rebirth, no reincarnation and no immortality. The only thing that is true is that a man is born, he lives and he dies. Therefore, he should live his life properly.”

C. V. Raman

“You start with a random clump of atoms, and if you shine light on it for long enough, it should not be so surprising that you get a plant.”

Jeremy England

“Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.”

Victor J. Stenger

“Cosmology is peculiar among the sciences for it is both the oldest and the youngest. From the dawn of civilization man has speculated about the nature of the starry heavens and the origin of the world, but only in the present century has physical cosmology split away from general philosophy to become an independent discipline.”

Gerald James Whitrow

“I believe that the extraordinary should certainly be pursued. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

“And we who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos we’ve begun, at last, to wonder about our origins. Star stuff, contemplating the stars organized collections of 10 billion-billion-billion atoms contemplating the evolution of matter tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet Earth and perhaps, throughout the cosmos.”

“Once we overcome our fear of being tiny, we find ourselves on the threshold of a vast and awesome Universe that utterly dwarfs — in time, in space, and in potential — the tidy anthropocentric proscenium of our ancestors.”

“If we crave some cosmic purpose, then let us find ourselves a worthy goal.”

“The fact that religions can be so shamelessly dishonest, so contemptuous of the intelligence of their adherents, and still flourish does not speak very well for the tough-mindedness of the believers. But it does indicate, if a demonstration were needed, that near the core of the religious experience is something remarkably resistant to rational inquiry.”

“If the general picture, however, of a Big Bang followed by an expanding Universe is correct, what happened before that? Was the Universe devoid of all matter and then the matter suddenly somehow created? How did that happen? In many cultures, the customary answer is that a God or Gods created the Universe out of nothing. But if we wish to pursue this question courageously, we must of course ask the next question: where did God come from? If we decide that this is an unanswerable question, why not save a step and conclude that the origin of the Universe is an unanswerable question? Or, if we say that God always existed, why not save a step, and conclude that the Universe always existed? That there’s no need for a creation, it was always here. These are not easy questions. Cosmology brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries, questions that were once treated only in religion and myth.

“The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.”

“In some respects, science has far surpassed religion in delivering awe. How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, “This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed”? Instead they say, “No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.””

“Many religions lay out a set of precepts… and claim that these instructions were given by a god or gods. For example, the first code of law by Hammurabi of Babylon… was handed to him by the god Marduk… this is a bamboozle… a pious hoax. …if Hammurabi had merely said, “Here’s what I think everybody should do,” he would have been much less successful…”

“What I’m saying is, if God wanted to send us a message, and ancient writings were the only way he could think of doing it, he could have done a better job.”

“It took the Church until 1832 to remove Galileo’s work from its list of books which Catholics were forbidden to read at the risk of dire punishment of their immortal souls.”

“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.”

alt text

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Carl Sagan

Mathematicians

“Physics is too hard for physicists.”6

“But he (Galileo) was not an idiot,… Only an idiot could believe that scientific truth needs martyrdom — that may be necessary in religion, but scientific results prove themselves in time.”

“If I were to awaken after having slept for a thousand years, my first question would be: Has the Riemann hypothesis been proven?”

“We must not believe those, who today, with philosophical bearing and deliberative tone, prophesy the fall of culture and accept the ignorabimus. For us there is no ignorabimus, and in my opinion none whatever in natural science. In opposition to the foolish ignorabimus our slogan shall be:

We must know — we will know!”7

“No one shall expel us from the Paradise that Cantor has created.”

David Hilbert

“That, if a straight line falling on two straight lines make the interior angles on the same side less than two right angles, the two straight lines, if produced indefinitely, meet on that side on which are the angles less than the two right angles.”[Parallel postulate]

Euclid of Alexandria

“Mathematicians have tried in vain to this day to discover some order in the sequence of prime numbers, and we have reason to believe that it is a mystery into which the human mind will never penetrate.”

Leonhard Euler

“My greatest concern was what to call it. I thought of calling it ‘information,’ but the word was overly used, so I decided to call it ‘uncertainty.’ When I discussed it with John von Neumann, he had a better idea. Von Neumann told me, ‘You should call it entropy, for two reasons. In the first place your uncertainty function has been used in statistical mechanics under that name, so it already has a name. In the second place, and more important, no one really knows what entropy really is, so in a debate you will always have the advantage.’”

Claude Shannon

“Algebra is the offer made by the devil to the mathematician. The devil says: `I will give you this powerful machine, it will answer any question you like. All you need to do is give me your soul: give up geometry and you will have this marvellous machine.’”

Michael Atiyah

“Good mathematicians see analogies between theorems or theories; the very best ones see analogies between analogies.”

Stefan Banach

“There can be no dull numbers, because if there were, the first of them would be interesting on account of its dullness.”

Martin Gardner

“This one’s from the Book!” [Said in regard to any particularly beautiful or elegant proof, referring to a Platonic abstract “book” that contains the proofs for all theorems.]

“Suppose aliens invade the earth and threaten to obliterate it in a year’s time unless human beings can find the Ramsey number for red five and blue five. We could marshal the world’s best minds and fastest computers, and within a year we could probably calculate the value. If the aliens demanded the Ramsey number for red six and blue six, however, we would have no choice but to launch a preemptive attack.”

“If numbers aren’t beautiful, I don’t know what is.”

“We’ll continue tomorrow — if I live.”

Paul Erdős

“Another person who would not have attached equal weight to the two statements was Paul Erdős, who bequeathed to the world an enormous number of fascinating problems, as well as solutions to many others, but is not associated to the same extent with the development of theory. This is not to deny that Erd˝os was trying to understand mathematics: many people who have solved an Erd˝os problem (alas, I am not one of them) will testify that, as they have thought harder and harder about it, they have been led in unexpectedly fruitful directions and come to realize that the problem was more than the amusing curiosity that it might at first have seemed. So when I say that mathematicians can be classified into theory-builders and problem-solvers, I am talking about their priorities, rather than making the ridiculous claim that they are exclusively devoted to only one sort of mathematical activity.” [From “The Two Cultures of Mathematics”]

Timothy Gowers

“We recognize the lion by his claw.” [After seeing Newton’s anonymous solution to the Brachistochrone problem.]

Johann Bernoulli

Philosophers

Desires are the root cause of suffering.”8

“I say that there are three instances in which meat should not be consumed: when it is seen, heard, or suspected [that the animal was killed for one’s sake]. These are the three instances in which I say that meat should not be consumed.”

“How then can it be compassionate to gorge on other beings’ blood and flesh? Monks who will not wear silks from the East, whether coarse or fine; who will not wear shoes or boots of leather, nor furs, nor birds’ down from our own country; and who will not consume milk, curds, or ghee, have truly freed themselves from the world.”

“These five trades, O monks, should not be taken up by a lay follower: trading with weapons, trading in living beings, trading in meat, trading in intoxicants, trading in poison.”

“Death carries off a man who is gathering flowers and whose mind is distracted, as a flood carries off a sleeping village.”

“Suppose there were a file of blind men each in touch with the next: the first one does not see, the middle one does not see, and the last one does not see. So too, Bhāradvāja, in regard to their statement the brahmins seem to be like a file of blind men: the first one does not see, the middle one does not see, and the last one does not see. What do you think, Bhāradvāja, that being so, does not the faith of the brahmins turn out to be groundless?”

“Now, Kalamas,
Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing (anussava),
nor upon tradition (paramparā),
nor upon rumor (itikirā),
nor upon what is in a scripture (piṭaka-sampadāna),
nor upon surmise (takka-hetu),
nor upon an axiom (naya-hetu),
nor upon specious reasoning (ākāra-parivitakka),
nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over (diṭṭhi-nijjhān-akkh-antiyā),
nor upon another’s seeming ability (bhabba-rūpatāya),
nor upon the consideration, The monk is our teacher (samaṇo no garū).
Kalamas, when you yourselves know: “These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,” enter on and abide in them.”9

Siddhārtha Gautama (I am an atheist. I do not support the unscientific Buddhism. But I think Siddhārtha Gautama was a good philosopher. You can read my views on religion here.)

“All breathing, existing, living, sentient creatures should not be slain, nor treated with violence, nor abused, nor tormented, nor driven away.”

“Kill not, cause no pain. Nonviolence (Ahimsa) is the greatest religion.”

Mahavira

“अहिंसा परमॊ धर्मः तथाहिंसा परॊ दमः।
अहिंसा परमं दानम् अहिंसा परमस तपः।
अहिंसा परमॊ यज्ञः तथाहिस्मा परं बलम्।
अहिंसा परमं मित्रम् अहिंसा परमं सुखम्।
अहिंसा परमं सत्यम् अहिंसा परमं श्रुतम्॥”

^ Translates to:

“Ahimsa is the highest Dharma, Ahimsa is the highest self-control,
Ahimsa is the greatest gift, Ahimsa is the best practice,
Ahimsa is the highest sacrifice, Ahimsa is the finest strength,
Ahimsa is the greatest friend, Ahimsa is the greatest happiness,
Ahimsa is the highest truth, and Ahimsa is the greatest teaching.”

Mahābhārata (13.117.37–38)

“Do not unjustly eat fish the water has given up,
And do not desire as food the flesh of slaughtered animals,
Or the white milk of mothers who intended its pure draught
for their young, not noble ladies.
And do not grieve the unsuspecting birds by taking eggs;
for injustice is the worst of crimes.
And spare the honey which the bees get industriously from the flowers of fragrant plants;
For they did not store it that it might belong to others,
Nor did they gather it for bounty and gifts.
I washed my hands of all this; and wish that I
Perceived my way before my hair went gray!”

“The world holds two classes of men; intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.”

“Do not suppose the statements of the prophets to be true; they are all fabrications. Men lived comfortably till they came and spoiled life. The sacred books are only such a set of idle tales as any age could have and indeed did actually produce.”

Al-Ma’arri(1st recorded vegan in history, 10th century Arab philosopher, poet, and writer and is regarded as one of the greatest classical Arabic poets)

“Skepticism, while logically impeccable, is psychologically impossible, and there is an element of frivolous insincerity in any philosophy which pretends to accept it.”

“Love is wise, hatred is foolish.”

“If there were a God, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt his existence.”

“If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance with his instincts, he will accept it even on the slenderest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”

“I think all the great religions of the world - Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Communism - both untrue and harmful. It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true. With very few exception, the religions which a man accepts is that of the community in which he lives, which makes it obvious that the influence of environment is what has led him to accept the religion in question.”

“If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu’s view, that the world rested upon an elephant and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, “How about the tortoise?” the Indian said, “Suppose we change the subject.” The argument is really no better than that.”

“Quite illogically, the victory of Locke’s philosophy in England and France was largely due to the prestige of Newton. Descartes’ authority as a philosopher was enhanced, in his own day, by his work in mathematics and natural philosophy. But his doctrine of vortices was definitely inferior to Newton’s law of gravitation as an explanation of the solar system. The victory of the Newtonian cosmogony diminished men’s respect for Descartes and increased their respect for England. Both these causes inclined men favourably towards Locke.”

“In view of the fact that in any future world war nuclear weapons will certainly be employed, and that such weapons threaten the continued existence of mankind, we urge the governments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we urge them, consequently, to find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute between them.” (Russell–Einstein Manifesto)

“I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe – because, like Spinoza’s God, it won’t love us in return.”

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

“Among present-day religions Buddhism is the best. The doctrines of Buddhism are profound; they are almost reasonable, and historically they have been the least harmful and the least cruel. But I cannot say that Buddhism is positively good, nor would I wish to have it spread all over the world and believed by everyone. This is because Buddhism only focuses on the question of what Man is, not on what the universe is like. Buddhism does not really pursue the truth; it appeals to sentiment and, ultimately, tries to persuade people to believe in doctrines which are based on subjective assumptions not objective evidence.”

“A much more desirable way of securing world peace would be by a voluntary agreement among nations to pool their armed forces and submit to an agreed single supreme world government.”

Bertrand Russell

“There is pleasure when a sore is scratched,
But to be without sores is more pleasurable still.
Just so, there are pleasures in worldly desires,
But to be without desires is more pleasurable still.”

“Without hope of reward
Provide help to others.
Bear suffering alone,
And share your pleasures with beggars.”

Nāgārjuna(2nd century Buddhist philosopher)

“Accepting the authority of the Vedas, believing in individual agency, hoping for merit from bathing, taking pride in caste, undertaking rites for the removal of evils: these are the five signs of stupidity, the destruction of intelligence.”

Dharmakīrti(6th century Buddhist philosopher)

Epicurus’s old questions are yet unanswered. Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?”

“Ignorance is the mother of Devotion.”

“Survey most nations and most ages. Examine the religious principles, which have, in fact, prevailed in the world. You will scarcely be persuaded, that they are any thing but sick men’s dreams: Or perhaps will regard them more as the playsome whimsies of monkies in human shape, than the serious, positive, dogmatical asseverations of a being, who dignifies himself with the name of rational.”

“No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact which it endeavours to establish.”

David Hume

“The chief objection I have to Pantheism is that it says nothing. To call the world “God” is not to explain it; it is only to enrich our language with a superfluous synonym for the word “world”.”

“The bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it.”

“Monotheistic religions alone furnish the spectacle of religious wars, religious persecutions, heretical tribunals, that breaking of idols and destruction of images of the gods, that razing of Indian temples and Egyptian colossi, which had looked on the sun 3,000 years: just because a jealous god had said, ‘Thou shalt make no graven image.’”

“And, above all, don’t let us forget India, the cradle of the human race, or at least of that part of it to which we belong, where first Mohammedans, and then Christians, were most cruelly infuriated against the adherents of the original faith of mankind. The destruction or disfigurement of the ancient temples and idols, a lamentable, mischievous and barbarous act, still bears witness to the monotheistic fury of the Mohammedans, carried on from Mahmud the Ghaznevid of cursed memory down to Aureng Zeb, the fratricide, whom the Portuguese Christians have zealously imitated by destruction of temples and the auto da fe of the inquisition at Goa.”

Arthur Schopenhauer

“In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life, to doubt, as far as possible, of all things.”

“I shall then suppose . . . some evil genius not less powerful than deceitful, has employed his whole energies in deceiving me; I shall consider that . . . all . . . external things are but illusions and dreams of which this genius has availed himself to lay traps for my credulity.”

René Descartes

“We are like sailors who on the open sea must reconstruct their ship but are never able to start afresh from the bottom. Where a beam is taken away a new one must at once be put there, and for this the rest of the ship is used as support. In this way, by using the old beams and driftwood the ship can be shaped entirely anew, but only by gradual reconstruction.” (Neurath’s boat: a simile used in anti-foundational philosophy)

Otto Neurath

Existence precedes essence.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

“He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.”

“The modern scientific counterpart to belief in God is the belief in the universe as an organism: this disgusts me. This is to make what is quite rare and extremely derivative, the organic, which we perceive only on the surface of the earth, into something essential, universal, and eternal! This is still an anthropomorphizing of nature!”

“Man, the bravest animal and most prone to suffer, does not deny suffering as such: he wills it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering.”

“After Buddha was dead people showed his shadow for centuries afterwards in a cave, — an immense frightful shadow. God is dead: but as the human race is constituted, there will perhaps be caves for millenniums yet, in which people will show his shadow. — And we — we have still to overcome his shadow!”

“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

“The greatest recent event—that ‘God is dead,’ that the belief in the Christian god has become unbelievable—is already beginning to cast its first shadows over Europe.”

“[T]he decline of the faith in the Christian god, the triumph of scientific atheism, is a generally European event in which all races had their share and for which all deserve credit and honor.[ . . . U]nconditional and honest atheism [ . . . is] a triumph achieved finally and with great difficulty by the European conscience, being the most fateful act of two thousand years of discipline.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“The principle can be established that for a man who does not cheat, what he believes to be true must determine his action. Belief in the absurdity of existence must then dictate his conduct.”

“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest – whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories – comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer. And if it is true, as Nietzsche claims, that a philosopher, to deserve our respect, must preach by example, you can appreciate the importance of that reply, for it will precede the definitive act. These are facts the heart can feel; yet they call for careful study before they become clear to the intellect. If I ask myself how to judge that this question is more urgent than that, I reply that one judges by the actions it entails. I have never seen anyone die for the ontological argument.”

“An international legal code is indeed now being prepared. But this code is made and broken by governments, that is by the executive power. We are thus faced with a regime of international dictatorship. The only way of extricating ourselves is to create a world parliament through elections in which all peoples will participate, which will enact legislation which will exercise authority over national governments.”

Albert Camus

“Less well known [than other paradoxes] is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

“Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.”

“…no matter how many instances of white swans we may have observed, this does not justify the conclusion that all swans are white.”

“The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game.”

“True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it.”

“Since we can never know anything for sure, it is simply not worth searching for certainty; but it is well worth searching for truth; and we do this chiefly by searching for mistakes, so that we have to correct them.”

“You can choose whatever name you like for the two types of government. I personally call the type of government which can be removed without violence “democracy”, and the other “tyranny”.”

“If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men may make great mistakes; and as the book tries to show, some of the greatest leaders of the past supported the perennial attack on freedom and reason. Their influence, too rarely challenged, continues to mislead those on whose defence civilization depends, and to divide them. The responsibility of this tragic and possibly fatal division becomes ours if we hesitate to be outspoken in our criticism of what admittedly is a part of our intellectual heritage. By reluctance to criticize some of it, we may help to destroy it all.

“I believe that there is, from the ethical point of view, no symmetry between suffering and happiness, or between pain and pleasure. Both the greatest happiness principle of the Utilitarians and Kant’s principle ‘Promote other people’s happiness ..’ seem to me (at least in their formulations) wrong on this point which, however, is not completely decidable by rational argument. In my opinion human suffering makes a direct moral appeal, namely, the appeal for help, while there is no similar call to increase the happiness of a man who is doing well anyway. (A further criticism of the Utilitarian formula ‘Maximize pleasure’ is that it assumes, in principle, a continuous pleasure-pain scale which allows us to treat degrees of pain as negative degrees of pleasure. But, from the moral point of view, pain cannot be outweighed by pleasure, and especially not one man’s pain by another man’s pleasure. Instead of the greatest happiness for the greatest number, one should demand, more modestly, the least amount of avoidable suffering for all; and further, that unavoidable suffering—such as hunger in times of an unavoidable shortage of food—should be distributed as equally as possible.)”

Karl Popper

“Is the pious being loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is being loved by the gods?”

“As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.”

Socrates

“Religion is too important a matter to its devotees to be a subject of ridicule. If they indulge in absurdities, they are to be pitied rather than ridiculed.”

Immanuel Kant

“If God existed, only in one way could he serve human liberty — by ceasing to exist.”

“The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.”

“If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.”

Mikhail Bakunin

“The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.”

Denis Diderot

“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.”

“It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” (His ideology condensed into a sentence by Evelyn Beatrice Hall)

“One very singular difference in the lives of these two great men [Newton & Descartes] is, that Sir Isaac, during the long course of years he enjoyed, was never sensible to any passion, was not subject to the common frailties of mankind, nor ever had any commerce with women — a circumstance which was assured me by the physician and surgeon who attended him in his last moments.”

“Confucius has no interest in falsehood; he did not pretend to be prophet; he claimed no inspiration; he taught no new religion; he used no delusions; flattered not the emperor under whom he lived…”

“Ours [i.e., the Christian religion] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out.”

“Goa is sadly famous for its inquisition, equally contrary to humanity and commerce. The Portuguese monks made us believe that the people worshipped the devil, and it is they who have served him.”

“The Veda was the most precious gift for which the West had ever been indebted to the East.”10

Voltaire

“The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.”

Georgia Harkness

“The Hiddenness Argument: philosophy’s new challenge to belief in god: You’re still a small child, and an amnesiac, but this time you’re in the middle of a vast rain forest, dripping with dangers of various kinds. You’ve been stuck there for days, trying to figure out who you are and where you came from. You don’t remember having a mother who accompanied you into this jungle, but in your moments of deepest pain and misery you call for her anyway, ‘Mooooommmmmmm!’ Over and over again. For days and days … the last time when a jaguar comes at you out of nowhere … but with no response. What should you think in this situation? In your dying moments, what should cross your mind? Would the thought that you have a mother who cares about you and hears your cry and could come to you but chooses not to even make it onto the list?”

J. L. Schellenberg

“Nationalism is merely Glorified Tribalism.” [YouTube]

“Superstition is another mighty evil, and has caused much terrible cruelty. The man who is a slave to it despises others who are wiser, tries to force them to do as he does. Think of the awful slaughter produced by the superstition that animals should be sacrificed, and by the still more cruel superstition that man needs flesh for food. Think of the treatment which superstition has meted out to the depressed classes in our beloved India, and see in that how this evil quality can breed heartless cruelty even among those who know the duty of brotherhood. Many crimes have men committed in the name of the God of Love, moved by this nightmare of superstition; be very careful therefore that no slightest trace of it remains in you.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

“I have seen a great people starving to death before my eyes [in India], and I am convinced that this exhaustion and starvation are due not, as their beneficiaries claim, to over-population and superstition, but to the most sordid and criminal exploitation of one nation by another in all recorded history. I propose to show that England has year by year been bleeding India to the point of death, and that self-government of India by the Hindus could not, within any reasonable probability, have worse results than the present form of alien domination.”

“The British conquest of India was the invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading company (the British East India Company) utterly without scruple or principle, careless of art and greedy of gain, over-running with fire and sword a country temporarily disordered and helpless, bribing and murdering, annexing and stealing, and beginning that career of illegal and ‘legal’ plunder which has now (1930) gone on ruthlessly for one hundred and seventy-three years.”

“The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex of order and freedom, culture and peace, can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.”

“In the political sense Ashoka had failed; in another sense he had accomplished one of the greatest tasks in history. Within two hundred years after his death Buddhism had spread throughout India, and was entering upon the bloodless conquest of Asia. If to this day, from Kandy in Ceylon to Kamakura in Japan, the placid face of Gautama bids men be gentle to one another and love peace, it is partly because a dreamer, perhaps a saint, once held the throne of India.”

Will Durant

Others

“Napoleon, and other great men of his type, they were makers of empire. But there is an order of men that get beyond that: They are not makers of empire, but they are makers of universe. And when they have made those universes, their hands are unstained by the blood of any human being on earth. … Ptolemy made a universe, which lasted 1400 years. Newton also made a universe, which has lasted 300 years. Einstein has made a universe, and I can’t tell you how long that will last.” [YouTube]

“The fact that a believer [of a religion] is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life.”

George Bernard Shaw

“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.”

Thomas Edison

“If there is a God, atheism must strike Him as less of an insult than religion.”

Edmond de Goncourt

“Clarke’s three laws:
1.When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2.The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3.Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
As three laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop there”

“The greatest tragedy in mankind’s entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.”

Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor — but they have few followers now.”

“The rash assertion that ‘God made man in His own image’ is ticking like a time bomb at the foundation of many faiths, and as the hierarchy of the universe is disclosed to us, we may have to recognize this chilling truth: if there are any gods whose chief concern is man, they cannot be very important gods.”

“Religion is the most malevolent and persistent of all mind viruses. We should get rid of it as quick as we can.”

“It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.”

Arthur C. Clarke

“If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.

I would also want a God who would not allow a Hell. Infinite torture can only be a punishment for infinite evil, and I don’t believe that infinite evil can be said to exist even in the case of Hitler. Besides, if most human governments are civilized enough to try to eliminate torture and outlaw cruel and unusual punishments, can we expect anything less of an all-merciful God?

I feel that if there were an afterlife, punishment for evil would be reasonable and of a fixed term. And I feel that the longest and worst punishment should be reserved for those who slandered God by inventing Hell.”

Isaac Asimov

“Time, is what keeps everything from happening at once.”

Ray Cummings

“Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.”

Robert A. Heinlein

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.”

Thomas Paine

“There is a theory belief which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here how to quantize gravity, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable a universe in which quantizing gravity is even harder. There is another theory belief which states that this has already happened.” (The original is strickenthrough and edited)

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.”

“Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, may have been made to have me in it!” This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for. We all know that at some point in the future the Universe will come to an end and at some other point, considerably in advance from that but still not immediately pressing, the sun will explode. We feel there’s plenty of time to worry about that, but on the other hand that’s a very dangerous thing to say.”

“”Sir Isaac Newton, renowned inventor of the milled-edge coin and the catflap!”
“The what?” said Richard.
“The catflap! A device of the utmost cunning, perspicuity and invention. It is a door within a door, you see, a …“
“Yes,” said Richard, “there was also the small matter of gravity.”
“Gravity,” said Dirk with a slightly dismissive shrug, “yes, there was that as well, I suppose. Though that, of course, was merely a discovery. It was there to be discovered.” …
“You see?” he said dropping his cigarette butt, “They even keep it on at weekends. Someone was bound to notice sooner or later. But the catflap … ah, there is a very different matter. Invention, pure creative invention. It is a door within a door, you see.””

Douglas Adams

“In a way, it feels like the cruelest joke in existence has been played on us. We became self-aware only to realize this story is not about us. While it is great to know about electrons and the powerhouse of the cell, science doesn’t do a lot to make this less depressing.” [YouTube]

Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

Gordon Allport

“However statistically improbable the entity you seek to explain by invoking a designer, the designer himself has got to be at least as improbable. God is the Ultimate Boeing 747.”

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Richard Dawkins

“What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.”

“Philosophy begins where religion ends, just as by analogy chemistry begins where alchemy runs out, and astronomy takes the place of astrology.”

“If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in a quite different world.”

“Religion has run out of justifications.”

“Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things… one of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority.”

“Until 1834 the very word “scientist” was not in common circulation. Men like Sir Isaac Newton were considered, and considered themselves, to be “natural philosophers”: men of scientific bent to be sure, but men of a wider and deeper learning as well. Arguments about greater cosmic purposes were all of a piece with calculations and experiments, and the tyranny of specialization had not imposed itself on us. As a result, by the way, many scientists held completely “unscientific” views. Newton himself was a secret alchemist who believed that the pope was anti-Christ and that the true dimensions of the Temple of Solomon might yield crucial findings. Joseph Priestley, the Unitarian discoverer of oxygen, was a devotee of the phlogiston theory. Alfred Russel Wallace liked nothing better than a good spiritualist séance. It is not really until the figure of Albert Einstein (and perhaps Bertrand Russell also) that we start to find that very powerful synthesis between scientific method and a more general “humanism”; a synthesis basing itself upon reason and daring to make the connection between physical and natural evidence and the conclusion that an ethical life, as well as a rational one, is best believed on the assumption that there is no supernatural dimension.”

“Read one page of Stephen Hawking about the event horizon, about the possibility that we will soon know, not where the universe originated, but where it is tended, and the event horizon to which we may all be headed. There is more to inspire awe in one page of Stephen Hawking, than in any of the fantasies of Tertullian, imagining that he could go to the window of heaven, when he was promoted there, and look down, for his consolation, on the torments of the damned. There is much more to be awe-inspired by, in a page of Hawking, than in any number of burning bushes, or other such myths.”

“Why, if God was the creator of all things, were we supposed to “praise” him for what came naturally?”

“If Jesus could heal a blind person he happened to meet, then why not heal blindness?”

“Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.”

“Since human beings are naturally solipsistic, all forms of superstition enjoy what might be called a natural advantage.”

“An impressive thing about India is the way in which it has almost as many Muslim citizens, who live with greater prospects of peace and prosperity, as does Pakistan. This comity and integration is one of the many targets of the suicide killers, and it is another reason why firm, warm solidarity with India is the most pressing need of the present hour.”

Christopher Hitchens

“Mahavira, the Jain patriarch, surpassed the morality of the Bible with a single sentence: “Do not injure, abuse, oppress, enslave, insult, torment, torture, or kill any creature or living being.” Imagine how different our world might be if the Bible contained this as its central precept.”

“There are very good reasons to think it’s not true and we know this from now 150 years of neurology where you damage areas of the brain and faculties are lost. It’s not that everyone with brain damage has their soul perfectly intact, they can’t get the words out. Everything about your mind can be damaged by damaging the brain. You can cease to recognize faces, you can cease to know the names of animals but you still know the names of tools. The fragmentation in the way in which our mind is parcellated at the level of the brain is not at all intuitive, and there’s a lot known about it.

And what we’re being asked to consider is that you damage one part of the brain and something about the mind and subjectivity is lost, you damage another and yet more is lost, and yet if you damage the whole thing at death we can rise off the brain with all our faculties intact, recognizing grandma and speaking English.”

“Jainism actually is a religion of peace. The core principle of Jainism is non-violence. Gandhi got his non-violence from the Jains. The crazier you get as a Jain, the less we have to worry about you. Jain extremists are paralysed by their pacifism. Jain extremists can’t take their eyes off the ground when they walk lest they step on an ant … Needless to say they are vegetarian.”

Sam Harris

“How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and hard it is to undo that work again!” (Often paraphrased as “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”)

“The easy confidence with which I know another man’s religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.”

“Lincoln’s Proclamation … not only set the black slaves free, but set the white man free also.”

“There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money-grabbing, and predatory as it is – in our country particularly and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree – it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime – the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to-day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor his Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilled.”

“Belgium’s royal palace is still what it has been for the last 14 years: a lair of a wild beast that for its money every year mutilates, murders and starves a half million helpless natives in the Congo Free State.”

Mark Twain

“Religion is so pathetically absurd and infantile that it is humiliating and embarrassing to think that the majority of people will never rise above it.”

“Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.”

“Cruelty and intolerance to those who do not belong to it are natural to every religion.”

“Immorality, no less than morality, has at all times found support in religion.”

“Religion is a system of wishful illusions together with a disavowal of reality, such as we find nowhere else but in a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion. Religion’s eleventh commandment is “Thou shalt not question.””

Sigmund Freud

“I interrupt you in the name of the people of the world not represented here. Though my words may be unheeded, our common need for world law and order can no longer be disregarded.

We, the people, want the peace which only a world government can give. The sovereign states you represent divide us and lead us to the abyss of total war.

I call upon you no longer to deceive us by this illusion of political authority. I call upon you to convene forthwith a World Constitutional Assembly to raise the standard around which all men can gather, the standard of true peace, of One Government for One World.”

Garry Davis

“Any man who stands for progress has to criticize, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith. Item by item he has to reason out every nook and corner of the prevailing faith. If after considerable reasoning one is led to believe in any theory or philosophy, his faith is welcomed. His reasoning can be mistaken, wrong, misled and sometimes fallacious. But he is liable to correction because reason is the guiding star of his life. But mere faith and blind faith is dangerous: it dulls the brain, and makes a man reactionary.”

Bhagat Singh

“We have a great deal of evidence to show that the R.S.S. is an organization which is in the nature of a private army and which is definitely proceeding on strictest Nazi lines, even following the technique of organization. […] The Nazi party brought Germany to ruin and I have little doubt that if these tendencies are allowed to spread and increase in India, they would do enormous injury to India.”

“No country or people who are slaves to dogma and dogmatic mentality can progress, and unhappily our country and people have become extraordinarily dogmatic and little-minded.”

“The spectacle of what is called religion, or at any rate organised religion, in India and elsewhere, has filled me with horror and I have frequently condemned it and wished to make a clean sweep of it. Almost always it seemed to stand for blind belief and reaction, dogma and bigotry, superstition, exploitation and the preservation of vested interests.”

“When the minority communities are communal, you can see that and understand it. But the communalism of a majority community is apt to be taken for nationalism.”

“Religion is not familiar ground for me, and as I have grown older, I have definitely drifted away from it.”

“[When asked in 1963 that “now that there is Communist government in Kerala, what would happen if communists came to power at the Centre?”] - Communists, communists! Why are you all so obsessed with communism and communists? What is that the communists can do what we cannot do and have not done?… Why do you imagine the communists will ever be voted to power at the Centre? The danger to India, mark you, is not Communism. It is Hindu right-wing communalism.”

“As you know, the ban on the RSS has been removed…. This does not mean that we are convinced about the bona fides of the RSS movement…. Our general relaxation in the field of civil liberties will certainly not mean the slightest relaxation in meeting violence against the individual or the state, wherever it occurs and whatever form it might take.”

“…RSS is again resuming some of its activities…. The whole mentality of the RSS is a fascist mentality. Therefore, their activities have to be very closely watched.”

“I am greatly worried about the Somnath affair. As I feared, it is assuming a certain political importance. Indeed references have been made to it internationally also. In criticism of our policy in regard to it, we are asked how a secular Government such as ours can associate itself with such a ceremony which is, in addition, revivalist in character. Questions are being put to me in Parliament and I am replying to them saying that Government has nothing to do with it and those persons who are connected in any way are functioning entirely in their personal capacity.” [Letter to the first president of India Rajendra Prasad.]

“I mentioned to the President sometime ago that I did not fancy his visiting the Somnath temple on this occasion. He said he had promised to do so and it was difficult for him to get out of his promise. There is nothing more to be done about it. But I have made it clear both to the President and to Mr. Munshi that I do not at all like these activities.”

“But apart from this, I must be quite frank with you [Jam Saheb] about this ceremony. Indeed I have written to you about it in another connection already. I am troubled by this revivalism and by the fact that our President and some Ministers and you as Rajpramukh are associated with it. I think that this is not in line with the nature of our State and it will have bad consequences both nationally and internationally. As individuals, of course, it is open to anyone to do what he chooses in such matters. But many of us happen to be more than private individuals and we cannot dissociate ourselves from our public capacities.”

“Reports from many sources have reached me that the communal atmosphere is again becoming tense, and that particularly the people who belong to the RSS…are becoming vocal and demonstrative again…. Many of the RSS men who had been arrested previously, detained in prison for sometime and then subsequently released, are again taking part in these activities in spite of assurances they might have given.”

“We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them the people have a further right to alter it or abolish it. The British government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the exploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe therefore, that India must sever the British connection and attain Purna Swaraj or complete independence.”

“The experience of a man should not be measured by the number of years he has lived, but rather by the number of problems he has solved.”

“Future peace, security and ordered progress of the world demand a world federation of free nations, and on no other basis can the problems of the world be solved. Such a world federation would ensure the freedom of its constituent nations, the prevention of aggression and exploitation of one nation over another, the protection of national minorities, the advancement of all backward areas and peoples, and the pooling of the world’s resources for the common good of all. On the establishment of such a world federation, disarmament would be practicable in all countries, national armies, navies and air forces would no longer be necessary, and a world federal defence force would keep the peace and prevent aggression. …The Committee regretfully realizes, however, despite the tragic and overwhelming lessons of the war and the perils that overhang the world, the Governments of few countries are yet prepared to take this inevitable step towards world federation.”

“We must constantly remind ourselves that whatever our religion or creed, we are all one people. I regret that many recent disturbances have given us a bad name. Many have acquiesced to the prevailing spirit. This is not citizenship. Citizenship consists in the service of the country. We must prevail on the evil-doers to stop their activities. If you, men of the Navy, the Army and the Air Force, serve your countrymen without distinction of class and religion, you will bring honour to yourselves and to your country.”

“Instead of understanding and following the teachings of Jesus, the Christians argued and quarreled about the nature of Jesus’s divinity and about the Trinity. They called each other heretics and persecuted each other and cut each other’s heads off. There was a great and violent controversy at one time among different Christian sects over a certain diphthong. One party said that the word Homo-ousion should be used in a prayer; the other wanted Homoi-ousion-this difference had reference to the divinity of Jesus. Over this diphthong fierce war was raged and large numbers of people were slaughtered.”

“The general Muslim outlook was thus one of Muslim nationalism or Muslim internationalism, and not of true nationalism. … On the other hand, the Hindu idea of nationalism was definitely one of Hindu nationalism. It was not easy in this case (as it was in the case of the Muslims) to draw a sharp line between this Hindu nationalism and true nationalism. The two overlapped, as India is the only home of the Hindus and they form a majority there.”

“Tibet is a very ticklish issue… We have to proceed rather cautiously in regard to it and we do not want it stated that we have been addressing the Chinese Government on this subject. They are sensitive and this itself might create an undesirable reaction in them… For some time past, I have been asked questions about Tibet at press conferences. I have answered them rather vaguely and tried to avoid any direct commitment… We do not intend to make any such clear declaration because whatever we say may be embarrassing either from a Chinese or a Tibetan point of view. Anything we say to the Chinese loses its effect to some extent if any public reference is made to it.”

“I have become a queer mixture of the East and the West … Out of place everywhere, at home nowhere. Perhaps my thoughts and approach to life are more akin to what is called Western than Eastern, but India clings to me, as she does to all her children, in innumerable ways … I am a stranger and alien in the West. I cannot be of it. But in my own country also, sometimes I have an exile’s feeling.”

Jawaharlal Nehru

“This man [Nehru] has overcome two of the greatest failings in human nature -he knows neither fear nor hatred.”

Winston Churchill

“Though, I was born a Hindu, I solemnly assure you that I will not die as a Hindu.”

“The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have … Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.”

“I will choose only the least harmful way for the country. And that is the greatest benefit I am conferring on the country by embracing Buddhism; for Buddhism is a part and parcel of Bhâratîya culture. I have taken care that my conversion will not harm the tradition of the culture and history of this land.”

“The history of India is a history of mortal conflict between Buddhism and Brahmanism.”

“As a matter of fact the Caste system came into being long after the different races of India had co-mingled in blood and culture. To hold that distinctions of Caste are really distinctions of race and to treat different Castes as though they were so many different races is a gross perversion of facts. What racial affinity is there between the Brahmin of the Punjab and the Brahmin of Madras? What racial affinity is there between the untouchables of Bengal and the the untouchables of Madras? What racial difference is there between the Brahmin of Punjab and the Chamar of Punjab? … The Brahmin of Punjab is racially of the same stock as the Chamar of Punjab, and the Brahmin of Madras is the same race as the Pariah of Madras. Caste system does not demarcate racial division. Caste system is a social division of people of the same race.”

“I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.”

“There can be no doubt that the fall of Buddhism in India was due to the invasions of the Musalmans. Islam came out as the enemy of the ‘But’. The word ‘But’ as everybody knows, is the Arabic word and means an idol. Thus the origin of the word indicates that in the Moslem mind idol worship had come to be identified with the Religion of the Buddha. To the Muslims, they were one and the same thing. The mission to break the idols thus became the mission to destroy Buddhism. Islam destroyed Buddhism not only in India but wherever it went. Before Islam came into being Buddhism was the religion of Bactria, Parthia, Afghanistan, Gandhar, and Chinese Turkestan, as it was of the whole of Asia. In all these countries Islam destroyed Buddhism.”

“Even a superficial observer cannot fail to notice that a spirit of aggression underlies the Hindu attitude towards the Muslim and the Muslim attitude towards the Hindu. The Hindu’s spirit of aggression is a new phase which he has just begun to cultivate. The Muslim’s spirit of aggression is his native endowment, and is ancient as compared with that of the Hindu. It is not that the Hindu, if given time, will not pick up and overtake the Muslim. But as matters stand to-day, the Muslim in this exhibition of the spirit of aggression leaves the Hindu far behind.”

“If I find the constitution being misused, I shall be the first to burn it.”

“The outcaste is a bye-product of the caste system. There will be outcastes as long as there are castes. Nothing can emancipate the outcaste except the destruction of the caste system.”

“Every Congressman who repeats the dogma of Mill that one country is not fit to rule another country must admit that one class is not fit to rule another class.”

“I am convinced that the real remedy is intermarriage. Fusion of blood can alone create the feeling of being kith and kin, and unless this feeling of kinship, of being kindred, becomes paramount, the separatist feeling—the feeling of being aliens—created by caste will not vanish.”

“Caste has however done one thing. It has completely disorganized and demoralized the Hindus.”

“It is beyond doubt that serfdom continued in Europe although Christianity was an established institution for several hundred years. It is an incontrovertible fact that Christianity was not enough to end the slavery of the Negroes in the United States. A civil war was necessary to give the Negro the freedom which was denied to him by the Christians. The dependence of those in charge of Christian endeavour upon planting of an idea and leaving it to work a miracle is therefore one of the reasons why the untouchable has remained an untouchable notwithstanding his Christian faith.”

“Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity. The second defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria is unthinkable. Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country. In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India.”

“You must not only discard the Shastras, you must deny their authority, as did Buddha and Nanak. You must have courage to tell the Hindus that what is wrong with them is their religion—the religion which has produced in them this notion of the sacredness of Caste. Will you show that courage?”

“The real method of breaking up the Caste System was not to bring about inter-caste dinners and inter-caste marriages but to destroy the religious notions on which Caste was founded.”

B. R. Ambedkar

“I saw that the writers on vegetarianism had examined the question very minutely, attacking it in its religious, scientific, practical and medical aspects. Ethically they had arrived at the conclusion that man’s supremacy over the lower animals meant not that the former should prey upon the latter, but that the higher should protect the lower, and that there should be mutual aid between the two as between man and man.”

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

David Strauss

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Upton Sinclair

“For the first time in human history, the Buddha admonished, entreated and appealed to people not to hurt a living being, and it is not necessary to offer prayer, praise or sacrifice to gods. With all the eloquence at his command the Buddha vehemently proclaimed that gods are also in dire need of salvation themselves.”

Thomas William Rhys Davids

“If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”

“Whatever you do, don’t read the Bible for a moral code: it advocates prejudice, cruelty, superstition, and murder. Read it because: we need more atheists — and nothin’ will get you there faster than readin’ the damn Bible.”

“The question I get asked by religious people all the time is, without God, what’s to stop me from raping all I want? And my answer is: I do rape all I want. And the amount I want is zero. And I do murder all I want, and the amount I want is zero. The fact that these people think that if they didn’t have this person watching over them that they would go on killing, raping rampages is the most self-damning thing I can imagine. I don’t want to do that. Right now, without any god, I don’t want to jump across this table and strangle you. I have no desire to strangle you. I have no desire to flip you over and rape you.”

Penn Jillette

“Any sufficiently advanced benevolence may be indistinguishable from malevolence.”

Charles T. Rubin

“The Taiping Rebellion is the perfect example of the old adage that the winners write the history books. Most writers treat the Taipings as poor deluded peasants following a madman’s hallucinations, but when you get right down to it, that’s how most religions begin (not your religion obviously, but all the other ones). The only difference between Hong Xiuquan and history’s successful prophets is that if a professor, novelist, or cartoonist disrespects Hong Xiuquan, angry mobs won’t call for his head.

Is fear of its followers really the best test of a religion’s authenticity? I’ll admit that’s the standard I use, but it’s probably a good idea to remember that if the Taipings had won their rebellion, they might today be considered totally legit and every bit as Christian as the Mormons (“mostly, sort of”).”

Matthew White

“Asking, ‘If there is no God, what is the purpose of life?’ is like asking, ‘If there is no master, whose slave will I be?’ If your purpose of life is to submit as a slave, then your meaning comes from flattering the ego of a person whom you should detest.”

Dan Barker

“If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness.”

— A phrase that was carved on the walls of Mauthausen Nazi concentration camp cell during WWII by a prisoner.

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Anne Frank

“May the world at least behold a drop, a fraction of this tragic world in which we lived.”

“I pass on to you only a small part of what took place in the hell of Birkenau-Auschwitz. It is for you to comprehend the reality. I have written a great deal besides this. I am certain that you will come upon these remnants, and from them you will be able to construct a picture of how our people were killed…In this way I hope to immortalize the dear, beloved names of those for whom, at this moment, I cannot even expend a tear! For I live in an inferno of death, where it is impossible to measure my great losses.”

Zalman Gradowski

“In some ways people had got used to the idea that India was spiritual and religion-oriented. That gave a leg up to the religious interpretation of India, despite the fact that Sanskrit had a larger atheistic literature than exists in any other classical language. Madhava Acharya, the remarkable 14th century philosopher, wrote this rather great book called Sarvadarśanasaṅgraha, which discussed all the religious schools of thought within the Hindu structure. The first chapter is “Cārvāka” or “Atheism”—a very strong presentation of the argument in favour of atheism and materialism.”

Amartya Sen

“జీవితంలో భయం ఉండాలి, కాని భయమే జీవితం కాకూడదు.” ― రజినీకాంత్ (భాషా సినిమాలో)

^ Translates to “There should be fear in life, but whole life should not become fear.” ― Rajinikanth(From Basha movie)

“Ashoka , one of the great monarchs of history, whose dominions extended from Afghanistan to Madras… is the only military monarch on record who abandoned warfare after victory. He had invaded Kalinga (255 B.C.), a country along the east coast of Madras, perhaps with some intention of completing the conquest of the tip of the Indian peninsula. The expedition was successful, but he was disgusted by what be saw of the cruelties and horrors of war. He declared, in certain inscriptions that still exist, that he would no longer seek conquest by war, but by religion, and the rest of his life was devoted to the spreading of Buddhism throughout the world. He seems to have ruled his vast empire in peace and with great ability. He was no mere religious fanatic. For eight and twenty years Asoka worked sanely for the real needs of men. In the history of the world there have been thousands of kings and emperors who called themselves “their highnesses,” “their majesties,” and “their exalted majesties” and so on. They shone for a brief moment, and as quickly disappeared. But Ashoka shines and shines brightly like a bright star, even unto this day.”

H. G. Wells

“God only exists in people’s minds. Especially in Japan, God’s always has been a kind of flexible concept. Look at what happened to the war. Douglas MacArthur ordered the divine emperor to quit being a God, and he did, making a speech saying he was just an ordinary person.”

Shin’ichi Hisamatsu

“Doubts about the existence of free will and individuals are nothing new, of course. More than 2,000 years ago thinkers in India, China and Greece argued that ‘the individual self is an illusion’. Yet such doubts don’t really change history much unless they have a practical impact on economics, politics and day-to-day life. Humans are masters of cognitive dissonance, and we allow ourselves to believe one thing in the laboratory and an altogether different thing in the courthouse or in parliament. Just as Christianity didn’t disappear the day Darwin published On the Origin of Species, so liberalism won’t vanish just because scientists have reached the conclusion that there are no free individuals.”

“Buddha agreed with modern biology and New Age movements that happiness is independent of external conditions. Yet his more important and far more profound insight was that true happiness is also independent of our inner feelings. Indeed, the more significance we give our feelings, the more we crave them, and the more we suffer. Buddha’s recommendation was to stop not only the pursuit of external achievements, but also the pursuit of inner feelings.”

“Understanding human history in the millennia following the Agricultural Revolution boils down to a single question: how did humans organise themselves in mass-cooperation networks, when they lacked the biological instincts necessary to sustain such networks? The short answer is that humans created imagined orders and devised scripts. These two inventions filled the gaps left by our biological inheritance.”

“History began when humans invented gods, and will end when humans become gods.”

“How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined.”

“So, monotheism explains order, but is mystified by evil. Dualism explains evil, but is puzzled by order. There is one logical way of solving the riddle: to argue that there is a single omnipotent God who created the entire universe – and He’s evil. But nobody in history has had the stomach for such a belief.”

“Capitalism did not defeat communism because capitalism was more ethical, because individual liberties are sacred or because God was angry with the heathen communists. Rather, capitalism won the Cold War because distributed data processing works better than centralised data processing, at least in periods of accelerating technological change. The central committee of the Communist Party just could not deal with the rapidly changing world of the late twentieth century. When all data is accumulated in one secret bunker, and all important decisions are taken by a group of elderly apparatchiks, they can produce nuclear bombs by the cartload, but not an Apple or a Wikipedia.”

“Today more than ninety per cent of all large animals are domesticated. Consider the chicken, for example. Ten thousand years ago it was a rare bird confined to small niches of South Asia. Today billions of chickens live on almost every continent and island, bar Antarctica. The domesticated chicken is probably the most widespread bird in the annals of planet Earth. If you measure success in terms of numbers, chickens, cows and pigs are the most successful animals ever. Alas, domesticated species paid for their unparalleled collective success with unprecedented individual suffering.”

“Yet from the viewpoint of the herd, rather than that of the shepherd, it’s hard to avoid the impression that for the vast majority of domesticated animals, the Agricultural Revolution was a terrible catastrophe. Their evolutionary ‘success’ is meaningless. A rare wild rhinoceros on the brink of extinction is probably more satisfied than a calf who spends its short life inside a tiny box, fattened to produce juicy steaks. The contented rhinoceros is no less content for being among the last of its kind. The numerical success of the calf’s species is little consolation for the suffering the individual endures.”

Yuval Noah Harari

Veganism

“Our study [China–Cornell–Oxford Project: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted] suggests that the closer one approaches a total plant food diet, the greater the health benefit. … It turns out that animal protein, when consumed, exhibits a variety of undesirable health effects. Whether it is the immune system, various enzyme systems, the uptake of carcinogens into the cells, or hormonal activities, animal protein generally only causes mischief. High fat intake still can be a problem, and we ought not to be consuming such high-fat diets. But I suggest that animal protein is more problematic in this whole diet/disease relationship than is total fat.”

T. Colin Campbell(biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health)

“I credit my plant-based diet with giving me the energy and stamina to help carry my teams to four NBA championship wins. … Veganism has become a transformative part of my life and I have made it my mission to share the power of plant-based eating with the world. … Vegan eating is not just a slam dunk for human health; it’s also the most effective way to combat climate change, according to a 2010 report by the United Nations. … going vegan is one of the best things a person can do for their health, for animals, and for the environment.”

John Salley (1st player in the NBA history to win a championship in three different decades and 1st player in NBA history to win championships with three franchises)

“In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look. (I know that sounds vain, but all of us want to like the way we look.) I enjoy eating more, and I feel great. … I remember vividly making the decision in July of 1990 to become a vegan. … And I had my best year as an athlete ever! … Your body is your temple. If you nourish it properly, it will be good to you and you will increase its longevity.”

Carl Lewis(Olympic athlete who won nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, and 10 World Championships medals, including eight gold. He also won a gold medal in the same individual event in four consecutive Olympic Games)

“A global transition to a cruelty-free vegan diet won’t just help non-human animals. The transition will also help malnourished humans who could benefit from the grain currently fed to factory-farmed animals. For factory-farming is not just cruel; it’s energy-inefficient. Let’s take just one example. Over the past few decades, millions of Ethiopians have died of “food shortages” while Ethiopia grew grain to sell to the West to feed cattle. Western meat-eating habits prop up the price of grain so that poor people in the developing world can’t afford to buy it. In consequence, they starve by the millions. In my work, I explore futuristic, hi-tech solutions to the problem of suffering. But anybody who seriously wants to reduce human and non-human suffering alike should adopt a cruelty-free vegan lifestyle today.”

“So what is the alternative to traditional anthropocentric ethics? Antispeciesism is not the claim that “All Animals Are Equal”, or that all species are of equal value, or that a human or a pig is equivalent to a mosquito. Rather the antispeciesist claims that, other things being equal, equally strong interests should count equally.”

David Pearce(transhumanist and philosopher)

“The day has been, I am sad to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing, as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may one day come to be recognised that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog, is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?

Jeremy Bentham(founder of modern utilitarianism)

“As long as there are slaughterhouses there will be battlefields.”

“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”

Leo Tolstoy(Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time and pioneer of Nonviolent resistance movement that inspired M.K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.)

“What do they know-all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world - about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.

Isaac Bashevis Singer(Jewish-American writer)

“I have suffered so much myself that I can feel other creatures’ suffering by virtue of my own.”

“I believe as long as man tortures and kills animals, he will torture and kill humans as well—and wars will be waged—for killing must be practiced and learned on a small scale.”

Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz(journalist, poet and prisoner in the Dachau concentration camp)

“I don’t hold animals superior or even equal to humans. The whole case for behaving decently to animals rests on the fact that we are the superior species. We are the species uniquely capable of imagination, rationality and moral choice – and that is precisely why we are under the obligation to recognise and respect the rights of animals.”

Brigid Brophy(writer and animal rights activist)

“Obviously, the health benefits of being vegan are written in stone but I honestly believe the most benefit to me being vegan is that I do not carry the burden of guilt that I would have to endure knowing that I abused others for my own ‘benefit’. … Veganism is everything to me. It touches every part of my life. It is my life. I could not begin to imagine living my life any other way. … Often people think we are weak in body and mind. They mistake our compassion for weakness. … My strengths as an athlete are that I am not an athlete for myself. I am doing it for the benefit of others, which makes me work much harder to achieve. I am not selfish enough to want something this badly for myself. It makes me push myself that bit harder knowing that by doing well I can possibly convince others to consider a vegan lifestyle.”

Fiona Oakes (distance runner who holds four world records for marathon running)

“I am vegan. I went vegetarian at 9 years old, after my mother cooked spare ribs. Till then, meat to me was just one other food that came wrapped in cellophane from the supermarket. I had no idea that meat came from an animal. The spare ribs changed that. I told my parents I was not going to eat meat anymore and then went to the fridge to make a salami sandwich. My parents let me know that salami is meat, thinking I would give up on being a vegetarian. Instead, I put the salami down and never ate meat again. Well, almost never. There was one time.”

“In the “old” days, it was not so easy to be vegetarian or vegan. I had to cook from a young age. My parents did not accommodate my being a vegetarian. They weren’t against it, but nor did they know what to do with it.”

Brian Greene(theoretical physicist, mathematician, and string theorist)

“This pandemic seemed to come from people eating animals and it’s becoming more well known that eating animals is not the greatest thing for our health … We’ve seen more of the effects of how eating animals has brought us to our knees as a species, I think it’s time to re-examine our world in a way that doesn’t abuse other species.”

Brian May(musician and astrophysicist)

“In the NFL, the injury rate is a 100 percent. It’s a violent game. And so, how you respond to injury and how quickly you heal from injury is important because if you’re not on the field, you’re not helping the team. I was reading the research and seeing that a plant-based diet could be beneficial, specifically for recovery. And so I started incorporating it and I started seeing really good results with it. I was recovering better. I wasn’t getting as sore. I was a lot less swollen.”

Derrick Morgan(football player)

“I was raised Vegan since birth. … I remember watching undercover investigation videos and reading the pamphlets that were mailed to the house when we were kids—I felt deeply for the animals at an early age. I remember how the other parents of my childhood friends would either get upset or interested when their kids would come home after sleepovers at my house—I felt it was my duty to show my friends what was happening to animals. … Veganism is the ultimate form of compassion. … I never considered my being Vegan was for health reasons—it was always for the love and respect I had for animals. And because of that love and respect I have for non-human animals my compassion flows over to all living beings, of all types. … I am encouraged by compassionate souls and the love I see in the eyes of those I’ve committed my life to stand up for.”

Seba Johnson(Olympic athlete, actress, and vegan animal rights activist)

“Poor countries sell their grain to the West for hard currency while their own children starve in their arms. And the West feeds it to livestock. . . So we can eat a steak? I bet I am not the only one in the room who sees this as a crime?”

“Every morsel of meat we eat is slapping the tear-stained face of a starving child. When I look into her eyes, do I remain silent?”

“If everyone ate a Western diet, we would need two Planet Earths to feed them. We only have one. And she is dying.”

Philip Wollen(philanthropist, environmentalist and animal rights activist)

“When I made the switch to a plant based diet, people, they were like, “I don’t know how you’re gonna lift that much weight.” And, “You’re not gonna be eating anything, you’re just gonna eat grass. Like, how you gonna be strong?” I qualified for my third Olympic team, you know what I’m saying? I broke two American records. I won at the Pan-Am games. I was like, “Man.” Like, “I think, I should’ve done this a long while ago.” Like, “Why didn’t I research this before?””

Kendrick Farris(Olympic weightlifter)

“Although my veganism started out absolutely about health, it’s also become about the environment and animal cruelty. The way animals are treated and the conditions are atrocious. They’re force fed steroids, the chickens are de-beaked. You end up eating sick, diseased chickens because they’re living in shit. It’s like a holocaust on animals.”

Daniel Negreanu(professional poker player)

“Certainly, if the entire world decided to become vegan tomorrow, a whole host of the world’s problems would disappear overnight. Climate change would decrease by 25 percent, deforestation would cease, rainforests would be preserved, our water- and air-quality would increase, life-expectancy rates would increase, and our rates of cancer would plummet, so certainly, with that one action of becoming vegan you are quite effectively making the world a better place.”

Moby (Richard Melville Hall)(musician and animal rights activist)

“Many years ago, when I was merely a vegetarian, I met the great Cesar Chavez, and he said to me: “If you are interested in preventing animal suffering, the first thing you should give up is eggs and milk, because the animals who produce those foods lead the most unhappy lives. You would do better to eat meat and stop eating eggs and dairy products.” I was shocked, since I had no intention of eating meat but had never thought of giving up eggs or dairy products. But when I looked into it I realized he was right, and now, years later, after I have studied the matter up close, I know for certain that he was completely correct about the cruel treatment of the animals raised for such products. The advantages of a vegan diet are enormous for our health, for the environment, for the animals themselves.”

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson(author)

“The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.”

“The very saddest sound in all my memory was burned into my awareness at age five on my uncle’s dairy farm in Wisconsin. A cow had given birth to a beautiful male calf. The mother was allowed to nurse her calf but for a single night. On the second day after birth, my uncle took the calf from the mother and placed him in the veal pen in the barn—only ten yards away, in plain view of the mother. The mother cow could see her infant, smell him, hear him, but could not touch him, comfort him, or nurse him. The heartrending bellows that she poured forth—minute after minute, hour after hour, for five long days—were excruciating to listen to. They are the most poignant and painful auditory memories I carry in my brain. Since that age, whenever I hear anyone postulate that animals cannot really feel emotions, I need only to replay that torturous sound in my memory of that mother cow crying her bovine heart out to her infant. Mother’s love knows no species barriers, and I believe that all people who are vegans in their hearts and souls know that to be true.”

Michael Klaper(physician)

“It started with me being a vegetarian, and then it eventually moved towards veganism. Now it’s permanent. It’s a true way of life. As a professional athlete, my diet helps me tremendously. There’s no difficulty in me making weight before fights, or maintaining it. I feel better than ever, light on my feet… Heck, I even think with a more clear mind, all from my eating the right choices for me and my body. I research everyday on veganism, learning new things daily, which is pretty cool.”

Bryant Jennings(professional boxer)

“When you’re treating diseases with drugs, you know there’s one drug you take for cholesterol, a different class of drugs you take for high blood pressure, different class of drugs you take for diabetes, but, with diet, a plant-based diet affects all these diseases. One diet to kinda rule them all.”

“By age 10, nearly all kids have fatty streaks in their arteries. This is the first sign of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of death in the United States. So the question for most of us is not whether we should eat healthy to prevent heart disease, but whether we want to reverse the heart disease we may already have.”

Michael Greger(physician)

“One of the main arguments that I make is that although almost everyone accepts that it is morally wrong to inflict “unnecessary” suffering and death on animals, 99% of the suffering and death that we inflict on animals can be justified only by our pleasure, amusement, or convenience. For example, the best justification that we have for killing the billions of nonhumans that we eat every year is that we enjoy the taste of animal flesh and animal products. This is not an acceptable justification if we take seriously, as we purport to, that it is wrong to inflict unnecessary suffering or death on animals, and it illustrates the confused thinking that I characterize as our “moral schizophrenia” when it comes to nonhumans.”

Gary L. Francione(ethics philosopher)

“The world’s strongest animals are plant eaters. Gorillas, buffaloes, elephants and me.”

“Someone once asked me, ‘How can you get as strong as an ox without eating any meat?’ My answer was, ‘Have you ever seen an ox eating meat?’”

“One day, I just thought, if you see a bird with a broken leg, you really have the urge to do something about it and help the bird. … Then, at the same time, you go to a restaurant and eat a chicken or something. It doesn’t make any sense. … I just realized that if it’s really compassion that drives you, maybe it’s not enough just to stop eating animals but you maybe should boycott the whole animal industry, because … it’s not what you as a compassionate being would want. So actually you should go one step further and become vegan.”

Patrik Baboumian(strongman and bodybuilder)

“[After struggle with heart disease] I’ve stopped eating meat, cheese, milk, even fish. No dairy at all. I’ve lost more than 20 pounds so far, aiming for about 30 before Chelsea’s wedding. And I have so much more energy now! I feel great. … I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn’t want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather. So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival.”

Bill Clinton(former president of the United States)

“One of the things that pushed me to change my diet is that the average football player dies at 56 years of age. That’s because they’re constantly drinking milk and whey protein shakes, eating steak and chicken. … We thought, ‘We’re big dudes, we need to eat meat to be men.’ I thought that too. But you’re screwing your insides up. You’re taking advantage of a helpless animal. You’re killing a life that you don’t need to take. With dairy, you’re stealing breast milk that’s meant for the baby cows and drinking it yourself. How is that manly? Men are supposed to be protectors. ”

David H. Carter(football player)

“I have used this [vegan] diet since 2008. I first tried it when I was preparing for my challenge of WBC super lightweight champion Junior Wittier – my first world title fight – and after seeing the results it gave me I have tried to stay as loyal to it as possible. It helps keep my body clean and it provides me with a tremendous amount of energy due to my body spending less energy breaking down foods like meats. This is a big key factor in my fitness. … The energy is always there. I feel so alive. My senses and reflexes are so acute. … With a vegan diet you always have energy, so much that sometimes I have trouble sleeping at night. You feel light. You don’t feel bulky or heavy. This would benefit any athlete in any sport.”

Timothy Bradley(boxer with multiple world championships)

“Vegan is a term that refers to people who have chosen a way of living guided by ahimsa (nonharming) and reverence for life. … Vegans recognize the value of life to all living creatures and extend to them the compassion, kindness, and justice in The Golden Rule. Vegans see animals as free entities in nature, not slaves or vassals, nor as chattel, pieces of goods to be bought and sold. An animal has feelings, an animal has sensitivity, an animal has a place in life, and the vegan respects this life that is manifest in the animal. Vegans do not wish to harm the animal any more than they would want the animal to harm them. This is an example of The Golden Rule precisely as it should be applied.”

H. Jay Dinshah(founder of the American Vegan Society)

“My perspective of veganism was most affected by learning that the veal calf is a by-product of dairying, and that in essence there is a slice of veal in every glass of what l had thought was an innocuous white liquid—milk.”

Rynn Berry(author)

“By setting aside animal-derived products—meat, dairy products, and eggs—you can reach a level of health and well-being that you may never have expected you could enjoy. … Although our work has focused on helping people trim down, conquer diabetes, cut cholesterol, and tackle other medical problems, it should be said that not everyone who decides to forgo animal products makes that choice for health reasons. Many people are concerned with how animals are treated by the food industries, and rightly so. And the environmental consequences of meat and dairy production should be of concern to all of us.”

Neal D. Barnard(clinical researcher)

“I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, one species, has the right to dominate, use and control another with impunity. I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up. But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”

Joaquin Phoenix(actor who portrayed Joker in Joker)

“I had gone vegetarian when I was 11 because I was viscerally repelled by the idea of eating animal flesh and there was no way to avoid the fact that someone had been killed for that piece of meat. […] it took me until 2015 to become fully vegan. […] I think the root of this whole lifestyle is Compassion. It’s a daily reminder that we are all one. I believe veganism is what will heal this planet. […] I don’t know why we are still using our power and our blessings to quash animals. Why have we not yet assumed our rightful role as their caretakers? And every time I look into a cow’s eyes and see the gentle soul dwelling in that enormous powerful body, I feel like the animals are patiently waiting, quietly willing us to just catch on.”

Evanna Lynch(actress who portrayed Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films)

“I coined the term feminized protein for eggs and dairy products: plant protein produced through the abuse of the reproductive cycle of female animals. Feminized protein is taken from living female animals, whose reproductive capacity is manipulated for human needs. The unique situation of domesticated female animals required its own term: a sexual slavery with chickens in battery cages and dairy cows hooked up to milking machines. … The radical truth is that people can be perfectly happy as vegans, but the dominant culture can’t or won’t acknowledge this. … Being vegan is an exciting, wonderful culinary experience and we probably don’t even know what’s possible because it’s still so new. … The process of objectification/fragmentation/consumption can be interrupted by the process of attention/nowness/compassion.”

Carol J. Adams(feminist and animal rights advocate)

“To protest about bullfighting in Spain, the eating of dogs in South Korea, or the slaughter of baby seals in Canada while continuing to eat eggs from hens who have spent their lives crammed into cages, or veal from calves who have been deprived of their mothers, their proper diet, and the freedom to lie down with their legs extended, is like denouncing apartheid in South Africa while asking your neighbours not to sell their houses to blacks.”

“Those who claim to care about the wellbeing of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests; moreover, since a vegetarian diet is cheaper than one based on meat dishes, they would have more money available to devote to famine relief, population control, or whatever social or political cause they thought most urgent. … when nonvegetarians say that “human problems come first” I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.”

“The animals themselves are incapable of demanding their own liberation, or of protesting against their condition with votes, demonstrations, or boycotts. Human beings have the power to continue to oppress other species forever, or until we make this planet unsuitable for living beings. Will our tyranny continue, proving that morality counts for nothing when it clashes with selfinterest, as the most cynical of poets and philosophers have always said? Or will we rise to the challenge and prove our capacity for genuine altruism by ending our ruthless exploitation of the species in our power, not because we are forced to do so by rebels or terrorists, but because we recognize that our position is morally indefensible? The way in which we answer this question depends on the way in which each one of us, individually, answers it.”

“One common strategy on which we should all be able to agree is to take steps to reduce the risk of human extinction when those steps are also highly effective in benefiting existing sentient beings. For example, eliminating or decreasing the consumption of animal products will benefit animals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and lessen the chances of a pandemic resulting from a virus evolving among the animals crowded into today’s factory farms, which are an ideal breeding ground for viruses. That therefore looks like a high-priority strategy.”11

“When we buy new clothes not to keep ourselves warm but to look “well-dressed” we are not providing for any important need. We would not be sacrificing anything significant if we were to continue to wear our old clothes, and give the money to famine relief. By doing so, we would be preventing another person from starving. It follows from what I have said earlier that we ought to give money away, rather than spend it on clothes which we do not need to keep us warm. To do so is not charitable, or generous. Nor is it the kind of act which philosophers and theologians have called “supererogatory” - an act which it would be good to do, but not wrong not to do. On the contrary, we ought to give the money away, and it is wrong not to do so.”

“There can be no brotherhood when some nations indulge in previously unheard of luxuries, while others struggle to stave off famine.”

“My students often ask me if I think their parents did wrong to pay the $44,000 per year that it costs to send them to Princeton. I respond that paying that much for a place at an elite university is not justified unless it is seen as an investment in the future that will benefit not only one’s child, but others as well. An outstanding education provides students with the skills, qualifications, and understanding to do more for the world than would otherwise be the case. It is good for the world as a whole if there are more people with these qualities. Even if going to Princeton does no more than open doors to jobs with higher salaries, that, too, is a benefit that can be spread to others, as long as after graduating you remain firm in the resolve to contribute a percentage of that salary to organizations working for the poor, and spread this idea among your highly paid colleagues. The danger, of course, is that your colleagues will instead persuade you that you can’t possibly drive anything less expensive than a BMW and that you absolutely must live in an impressively large apartment in one of the most expensive parts of town.”

“September 11, 2001, was just another day for most of the world’s desperately poor people, so presumably close to 30,000 children under five died from these causes on that day—about ten times the number of victims of the terrorist attacks. The publication of these figures did not lead to an avalanche of money for UNICEF or other aid agencies helping to reduce infant mortality. In the year 2000 Americans made private donations for foreign aid of all kinds totalling about $4 per person in extreme poverty, or roughly $20 per family. New Yorkers who were living in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, whether wealthy or not, were able to receive an average of $5,300 per family. The distance between these amounts encapsulates the way in which, for many people, the circle of concern for others stops at the boundaries of their own country—if it extends even that far.”

Peter Singer(moral philosopher)

Animanga

“Sometimes life’s too uncertain to have regrets.”

Goku

“Shinichi, upon researching the concept of demons, I believe that, among all life, humans are the closest thing to it. Although humans kill and eat a wide variety of life forms, my kind eat merely one or two kinds at most. We are quite frugal in comparison.”

Migi

“Those who forgive themselves, and are able to accept their true nature…They are the strong ones!”

“…People live their lives bound by what they accept as correct and true… that is how they define reality. But what does it mean to be correct or true? Merely vague concepts… their reality may all be an illusion.”

Itachi Uchiha

“What do you do when there is an evil you cannot defeat by just means? Do you stain your hands with evil to destroy evil? Or do you remain steadfastly just and righteous even if it means surrendering to evil?”

Lelouch vi Britannia

“There’s no signs that the evils of this world are disappearing. That hasn’t changed since before I became a superhero. So, I guess that means I haven’t really made any difference. I’m not necessarily sad about that. But there has been something bothering me lately. As the days pass, my emotions become more distant. Fear, tension, joy, anger. I feel none of them anymore. In exchange for power, maybe I’ve lost something that’s essential for being human.

“Before I’d have all kinds of emotions boiling inside me when I fought. Dread. Panic. But now all I need is one punch to end it. Every day I come home uninjured and wash my gloves. Whenever I’m out fighting monsters, I never feel like my heart’s really in it anymore.”

Saitama

“In any age, in any society, when people are small, they look up at the stars and stretch out their hands as if to grasp them. Then at last,they learn that their own arms aren’t long enough to reach the stars.They call that becoming an adult. But I don’t think so. Without fail, those stars will be in this hand!”

“Kircheis, do you think what was possible for Rudolf is impossible for me?”

“The man who succeeds me must have talent equal to, or greater than my own.”

“Genes determine everything? What nonsense. Hereditary physical qualities have no effect on people, that’s for individuals. Heredity concerns family background, not personal abilities. Those who blindly believe in such theories generally having nothing in their own lives to be proud of… they are the people I despise the most.”

Reinhard von Lohengramm

Berserk

Kentaro Miura [Berserk episode 1]

“You’re going to be all right. You just stumbled over a stone in the road. It means nothing. Your goal lies far beyond this. Doesn’t it? I’m sure you’ll overcome this. You’ll walk again… soon.”

Guts

“I am crying. I’m not sad that I’m dying. I am finally sad that my child died. You can’t just erase people’s feelings. It’s as if my emotions just wandered around in an unknown place somewhere hundreds of miles away. It’s as if they were sent long ago, in a letter that was always intended for me. So this is what true sadness feels like. It feels a lot like…happiness.”

Wolfgang Grimmer

“And there you go. You heard her, Iri. Our Heroic Spirit thinks a battlefield to be something better than Hell. What a joke. It’s Hell itself. There is no hope on a battlefield. There is nothing but unspeakable despair. Just a crime we call victory, paid for by the pain of the defeated. But humanity has never recognized this truth. And the reason is that, in every era, a dazzling hero has blinded the people with their legends, and kept them from seeing the evil of bloodshed. True human nature has not advanced a step beyond the Stone Age.”

Kiritsugu Emiya

“A wound that’d make an ordinary man unconscious… I won’t lose to it. A wound that would kill an ordinary person… I won’t lose to it! To face one who is extraordinary, Hawk EyesI can’t allow myself to be ordinary!

“To be the best you have to accept that you’re not the best but have the will to strive and to be better than anyone you face.”

“If I die here, then I’m a man that could only make it this far.”

“If I can’t even protect my captain’s dream, then whatever ambition I have is nothing but talk! Luffy must be the man who becomes the Pirate King!”

Roronoa Zoro

“One day you’ll see how important it was to save the Strawhats and let them set sail.”

Pedro

Vagabond1
Vagabond2

Takehiko Inoue or Soho Takuan [Vagabond chapter 35]

“Even if you kill me, even if you kill anyone, even if you reset science… There’s always an idiot who will try anything and the shiny monkeys will inevitably create a technological civilization.”

Senku Ishigami

“He who controls the rebound…controls THE WORLD!”

Hanamichi Sakuragi

“I have no enemies.”

Thorfinn

“People who think that they can make up their past follies with regret, cannot be forgiven.”

Kurama

“With my right hand I will save humans, and with my left hand I will save the Akuma.”

Allen Walker

1) I used to think he was a lazy guy. The quote is from this letter written a week before he published correct field equations of General Relativity (GR) or EFE. At that point of time he was very afraid that GR will be formulated by someone before him. Indeed it happened as he feared and Hilbert probably found the correct field equations ( $R_{\mu \nu }-{\frac {1}{2}}Rg_{\mu \nu }={\frac{8\pi G}{c^{4}}}T_{\mu \nu }$ the cosmological constant came later) independently 5 days before him. Even if Hilbert actually found the complete equations before him, he would still be the single biggest contributor to the formulation of GR because he found the equations without the trace term(i.e. $R_{\mu \nu }={\frac{8\pi G}{c^{4}}}T_{\mu \nu }$) first and was aware that he should add some term to make both sides consistent since $\nabla_{\nu} T^{\mu \nu}=0$ but $\nabla_{\nu} R^{\mu \nu }\neq 0$. Also Hilbert fully credited Einstein as the originator of the theory and no public priority dispute concerning the field equations ever arose between the two men during their lives.

2) This was Newton’s response whenever Edmond Halley mocked religion or alchemy. Newton said [on atheism]:

“Atheism is so senseless & odious to mankind that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds beasts & men have their right side & left side alike shaped (except in their bowels) & just two eyes & no more on either side the face & just two ears on either side the head & a nose with two holes & no more between the eyes & one mouth under the nose & either two fore leggs or two wings or two arms on the sholders & two leggs on the hipps one on either side & no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel & contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom & the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside an hard transparent skin, & within transparent juyces with a crystalline Lens in the middle & a pupil before the Lens all of them so truly shaped & fitted for vision, that no Artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light & what was its refraction & fit the eyes of all creatures after the most curious manner to make use of it? These & such like considerations always have & ever will prevail with man kind to believe that there is a being who made all things & has all things in his power & who is therfore to be feared.”

Newton is widely considered as one of the top 2 physicists of all time (the other being Einstein. Example: Landau’s ranking of physicists). You may ask: ‘How could someone that intelligent believe in something as silly as religion?’. But we should understand that those questions above were unexplainable back in those days as biology was not mature enough to answer them. So, Newton had valid excuses to utter such nonsense. He also believed in Alchemy and was interested in making the philosophers stone. To be honest if I believed that philosophers stone can exist, I would also definitely try to make it and become immortal.

Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind that looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10 000 years ago.”

John Maynard Keynes

3) This statement was made considering GR, a classical theory. It was written in 1983 (9 years after Hawking radiation was predicted) in the preface of his book. Maybe he was unaware of the humongous number of states needed for a black hole to interpret Bekenstein-Hawking entropy statistically unlike in GR where the No-hair theorem restricts the degrees of freedom.

4) At the 1927 Solvay Conference.

5) His reply before he was burned to death because he rejected Catholic doctrines, embraced pantheism and for his cosmological theories.

6) He meant mathematicians like him should become part time physicists and help physicists otherwise physicists can’t do it.

7) He was not aware of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems when saying this.

8) It is second of the Four Noble Truths mentioned in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta.

9) Taken from Kesamutti Sutta. Often times some people people misinterpret this quote to portray Buddhism as a religion based on logic, even though Buddha stated that one should not determine the validity of a statement “by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought”. When dealing with scientific theories logic should be given at most importance. But Buddha is not talking about scientific truths, he is talking about morality. Based on science and logic it is strongly evident that there is no such thing as free will. This doesn’t mean we should forget about morality. We are in a stubbornly persistent illusion that we have free will and so we should always consider ourselves as responsible beings to be consistent with our illusion.

10) This statement is obviously wrong. The most precious gift is the Hindu numeral system. It is often wrongly called as Arabic numeral system. Vedas are useless in comparison to the Hindu numeral system.

11) Stated on 2015, before COVID-19 pandemic.

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