Fundamental ideas play the most essential role in forming a physical theory. Books on physics are full of complicated mathematical formulae. But thought and ideas, not formulae, are the beginning of every physical theory. The ideas must later take the mathematical form of a quantitative theory, to make possible the comparison with experiment. .
The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at those universal elementary laws from which the cosmos can be built up by pure deduction. There is no logical path to these laws; only intuition, resting on sympathetic understanding of experience, can reach them. In this methodological uncertainty, one might suppose that there were any number of possible systems of theoretical physics all equally well justified; and this opinion is no doubt correct, theoretically. But the development of physics has shown that at any given moment, out of all conceivable constructions, a single one has always proved itself decidedly superior to all the rest. .
The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in the United States is closely connected with this. .
We come humbly to say to the men in the forefront of our government that the civil rights issue is not an Ephemeral, evanescent domestic issue that can be kicked about by reactionary guardians of the status quo; it is rather an eternal moral issue which may well determine the destiny of our nation in the ideological struggle with communism. The hour is late. The clock of destiny is ticking out. We must act now, before it is too late. .
There are certain things in ourand in thewhich I amto be maladjusted and which Iall men of - will be maladjusted until the good societies realize — I say very honestly that I never intend to become adjusted to — segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious . I never intend to adjust myself toconditions that will takefrom the many to give luxuries to the few. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, to self-defeating effects of physical . But in a day when sputniks and explorers are dashing through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways ofthrough the stratosphere, nocan win a . It is no longer the choice betweenand nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence… .
Negroes are not the only poor in the nation. There are nearly twice as many white poor as Negro, and therefore the struggle against poverty is not involved solely with color or racial discrimination but with elementary economic justice…. .
recognized the need for blending opposites. He knew that his disciples would face a difficult and hostile , where they would confront the recalcitrance of political officials and the intransigence of the protectors of the old order. He knew that they would meet cold and arrogant men whosehad been hardened by the long winter of traditionalism. ... And he gave them a formula for action, "Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." ... We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a toughand a tender . .
An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself. This is difference made legal. On the other hand a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. .
In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to . One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law thattells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse theof the community over its injustice, is inexpressing the highestfor law. .
Speech at Riverside Church in New York City (4 April 1967) -This speech is similarly in style and themes to "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam (1967)" (see below), but offers a more detailled view with respect to the early US involvement in thethan the "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" speech. .
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