Albert Einstein - Science without religion is lame. Religion...

Out of Context
Quote Text: 

Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."


Albert Einstein did say this, but we rate it as "Out of Context" only because he explicitly provides a definition for the word "religion" which is different than the common usage. A few paragraphs before the quote, Einstein said this:

when asking myself what religion is I cannot think of the answer so easily. And even after finding an answer which may satisfy me at this particular moment, I still remain convinced that I can never under any circumstances bring together, even to a slight extent, the thoughts of all those who have given this question serious consideration.

At first, then, instead of asking what religion is I should prefer to ask what characterizes the aspirations of a person who gives me the impression of being religious: a person who is religiously enlightened appears to me to be one who has, to the best of his ability, liberated himself from the fetters of his selfish desires and is preoccupied with thoughts, feelings, and aspirations to which he clings because of their superpersonalvalue. ... In this sense religion is the age-old endeavor of mankind to become clearly and completely conscious of these [superpersonal] values and goals and constantly to strengthen and extend their effect.

Einstein essentially describes "religious" as shunning selfish endeavours and instead aspiring to improve the world for the greater good. With this pre-emptive definition in mind, the quote snippet would more clearly express Einstein's intentions if it were rephrased thusly:

Science without [the desire to improve our world] is lame. [The desire to improve our world] without science is blind.