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Bertrand Russell – 78 Quotes

 

78 Quotes by Bertrand Russell

 

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

– Bertrand Russell


The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

– Bertrand Russell


Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.

– Bertrand Russell


War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

– Bertrand Russell


I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.

– Bertrand Russell


There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

– Bertrand Russell


Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.

– Bertrand Russell


None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.

– Bertrand Russell


The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

– Bertrand Russell


Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.

– Bertrand Russell


The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible.

– Bertrand Russell


Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.

– Bertrand Russell


Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.

– Bertrand Russell


Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.

– Bertrand Russell


Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.

– Bertrand Russell


The degree of one’s emotions varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts.

– Bertrand Russell


To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

– Bertrand Russell


The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

– Bertrand Russell


To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.

– Bertrand Russell


Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

– Bertrand Russell


Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.

– Bertrand Russell


So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

– Bertrand Russell


Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

– Bertrand Russell


Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.

– Bertrand Russell


The most savage controversies are about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.

– Bertrand Russell


Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.

– Bertrand Russell


The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.

– Bertrand Russell


Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.

– Bertrand Russell


The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.

– Bertrand Russell


Boredom is… a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.

– Bertrand Russell


One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.

– Bertrand Russell


Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.

– Bertrand Russell


A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.

– Bertrand Russell


The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.

– Bertrand Russell


Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

– Bertrand Russell


The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.

– Bertrand Russell


Admiration of the proletariat, like that of dams, power stations, and aeroplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age.

– Bertrand Russell


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.

– Bertrand Russell


Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.

– Bertrand Russell


Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people’s happiness, and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.

– Bertrand Russell


We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.

– Bertrand Russell


Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

– Bertrand Russell


If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.

– Bertrand Russell


Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.

– Bertrand Russell


A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation.

– Bertrand Russell


Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time.

– Bertrand Russell


Religions, which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.

– Bertrand Russell


Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relative to other matter second, telling other people to do so.

– Bertrand Russell


I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its Churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

– Bertrand Russell


In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.

– Bertrand Russell


Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power.

– Bertrand Russell


Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.

– Bertrand Russell


Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery.

– Bertrand Russell


Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives’ mouths.

– Bertrand Russell


Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one.

– Bertrand Russell


Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.

– Bertrand Russell


To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it.

– Bertrand Russell


It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.

– Bertrand Russell


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.

– Bertrand Russell


Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century.

– Bertrand Russell


Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.

– Bertrand Russell


The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.

– Bertrand Russell


The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilised men.

– Bertrand Russell


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 poetry.

– Bertrand Russell


Against my will, in the course of my travels, the belief that everything worth knowing was known at Cambridge gradually wore off. In this respect my travels were very useful to me.

– Bertrand Russell


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 a paradise in a few years.

– Bertrand Russell


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.

– Bertrand Russell


One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

– Bertrand Russell


Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.

– Bertrand Russell


I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe – because, like Spinoza’s God, it won’t love us in return.

– Bertrand Russell


The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.

– Bertrand Russell


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.

– Bertrand Russell


I believe in using words, not fists. I believe in my outrage knowing people are living in boxes on the street. I believe in honesty. I believe in a good time. I believe in good food. I believe in sex.

– Bertrand Russell


Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.

– Bertrand Russell


There is no need to worry about mere size. We do not necessarily respect a fat man more than a thin man. Sir Isaac Newton was very much smaller than a hippopotamus, but we do not on that account value him less.

– Bertrand Russell


A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is.

– Bertrand Russell


The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved. To this type belong many lunatics and most of the great men of history.

– Bertrand Russell


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.

– Bertrand Russell


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