Albert Schweitzer

About Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer, OM (14 January 1875 – 4 September 1965) was a German - and later French - theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa, also known for his interpretive life of Jesus. He was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire. Schweitzer, a Lutheran, challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at his time in certain academic circles, as well as the traditional Christian view. He depicted Jesus as one who literally believed the end of the world was coming in his own lifetime and believed himself to be a world savior. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of "Reverence for Life", expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ reform movement (Orgelbewegung).

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Quotes By Albert Schweitzer

Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time will come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come.

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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.

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Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight.

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There slowly grew up in me an unshakable conviction that we have no right to inflict suffering and death on another living creature, unless there is some unavoidable necessity for it.

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The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies.

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The quiet conscience is the invention of the devil. No one of us may permit any preventable pain to be inflicted even though the responsibility for that pain is not ours. No one may shut his eyes and think that the pain which is therefore not visible, is nonexistent.

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The human spirit is not dead. It lives on in secret... It has come to believe that compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind.

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Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.

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A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.

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A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.

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Quote Of The Day

Animals should not require our permission to live on earth. Animals were given the right to be here long before we arrived.

Anthony Douglas Williams