- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
- 16,790 quotes and counting ...
Topic Cloudaction age America belief books change character Christianity death democracy education ego evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history honesty humanity integrity justice leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics poverty power religion science society success truth tyranny virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics/tags since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- * Visual quotes (graphics, memes) only
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (5,773)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (5,670)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (5,450)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,826)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (4,496)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (3,718)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (3,610)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,553)
- “The Historian as Participant,” Daedalus… (2,986)
- “Hallowed Ground” (1825) (2,985)
Most Quoted Authors
Author CloudAdams, John • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Goethe, Johann von • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • James, William • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Lyndon • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Seneca the Younger • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Stevenson, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark • Watterson, Bill • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
- 17-Jan-20 - (Attributed) | WIST on The Screw-Tape Letters, #29 (1942).
- 7-Jan-20 - "Your Future As A Writer," Writer's Digest (May 1986) | WIST on The Outline of History, Vol. 2, ch. 41, sec. 4 (1921).
- 23-Dec-19 - Chamblee54 on Last written note.
- 16-Dec-19 - Dave on Authors.
- 20-Nov-19 - Debbie on Authors.
- 14-Oct-19 - Address to the Massachusetts legislature (9 Jan 1961) | WIST on Luke 12:48 (NIV).
What separates me from most atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos. The fanatical atheists are like the slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who — in their grudge against traditional religion as the “opium of the masses” — cannot hear the music of the spheres. I prefer the attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and our own being. Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
(Spurious / Synthetic)
This quotation is actually a synthesis of several Einstein quotes. It is sometimes attributed as a whole to "Science, Philosophy and Religion, A Symposium" (1941), but only a part is found there. Nor is it found at all in the also sometimes cited "Religion and Science," New York Times Magazine (9 Nov 1930)
The "utter humility" portion is attributed as a letter from Einstein to Joseph Lewis (18 Apr 1953). It was quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein (2007). The “fanatical” through “spheres” portion is in a letter (7 Aug 1941) discussing responses to his essay “Science and Religion” (1941) per Max Jammer, Einstein and Religion: Physics and Theology (1999)
The “weakness of our intellectual understanding” phrase is attributed to a letter to Guy H. Raner Jr. (28 Sep 1949), quoted in the Isaacson work as well as by Michael R. Gilmore in Skeptic, Vol. 5, No. 2.
The lame/blind phrase is attributed to a letter to Eric Gutkind (3 Jan 1954). It was earlier used by Einstein (1941) at the Symposium cited above.
This synthetic quotation is a good example of the difficulties in quoting Einstein, who is used as a polemical bludgeon by a variety of groups, and is often poorly or incorrectly cited online, compounded by his re-use the same turns of phrase multiple times in his correspondence and papers.
Added on 31-Jul-09 | Last updated 16-Mar-17