Many persons have inquired concerning a recent message of mine that ‘a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels.’ Often in evolutionary processes a species must adapt to new conditions in order to survive. Today the atomic bomb has altered profoundly the nature of the world as we know it, and the human race consequently finds itself in a new habitat to which it must adapt its thinking. In light of new knowledge…an eventual world state is not just desirable in the name of brotherhood, it is necessary for survival. ..Today we must abandon competition and secure cooperation. This must be the central fact in all our considerations of international affairs; otherwise we face certain disaster. Past thinking and methods did not prevent world wars. Future thinking must prevent wars.
Only Then Shall We Find Courage
The release of atomic power has changed everything except our way of thinking ... the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.
It is with appreciation and gratefulness that I accept from you this scroll for the Los Alamos Laboratory, and for the men and women whose work and whose hearts have made it. It is our hope that in years to come we may look at the scroll and all that it signifies, with pride. Today that pride must be tempered by a profound concern. If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of the nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima. The people of this world must unite or they will perish. This war that has ravaged so much of the earth, has written these words. The atomic bomb has spelled them out for all men to understand. Other men have spoken them in other times, and of other wars, of other weapons. They have not prevailed. There are some misled by a false sense of human history, who hold that they will not prevail today. It is not for us to believe that. By our minds we are committed, committed to a world united, before the common peril, in law and in humanity.
Acceptance Speech, Army-Navy "Excellence" Award, November 16, 1945
I could burn my fingers that I wrote that first letter to Roosevelt.
Comment after the bombing of Hiroshima, regarding his letter to Roosevelt warning of the possibility of the development of a nuclear weapon.
It's not that I don't feel bad about it. It's just that I don't feel worse today than what I felt yesterday.
Response to question on his feelings about the atomic bombings, while visiting Japan in 1960.
His actual exclamation at the atomic bomb test according to his brother (1945)
I hope we shall abolish war and settle all differences at the conference table... I hope we shall abolish all hydrogen and atom bombs before they abolish us first.
In response to journalist for his views on the future of mankind at his 70th birthday, 1959-04-16.
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