Authors - Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 - 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these in any profound sense. He was born in Monmouthshire, into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in Britain. - Wikipedia
Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion is anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it.
A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short.
No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.
To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards.
Philosophers, for the most part, are constitutionally timid, and dislike the unexpected. Few of them would be genuinely happy as pirates or burglars. Accordingly they invent systems which make the future calculable, at least in its main outlines.
A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.
What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires -- desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.
Love is something far more than desire for sexual intercourse; it is the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives.
Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.
Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
Those who fear life are already three parts dead.
The puritanism of Christianity has played havoc with the moderation that an enlightened and tolerant critical spirit would have produced. I've noticed that in whatever country, county, town, or other region there is a regulation enjoining temperance, the population seems to be entirely composed of teetotallers and drunkards. There's a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire - poison and antidote.
The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts: the less you know the hotter you get.
Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
To teach how to live with uncertainty, yet without being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy can do.
Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Patriots always talk of dying for their country but never of killing for their country.
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
We have, in fact, two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach.
Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.
When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. It is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of certainty, and one should be very careful to emphasize that fact, because otherwise one is landed in an utter skepticism, and complete skepticism would, of course, be totally barren and completely useless.
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite.
If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.
Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.
The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry.
The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.
Nothing says, 'I have no idea what to get you,' quite like giant beige bath towels.
I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
Too little liberty brings stagnation and too much brings chaos.
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
It is obvious that 'obscenity' is not a term capable of exact legal definition; in the practice of the Courts, it means 'anything that shocks the magistrate.'