Quotation Explorer - '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 main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not merely as means to other things, are knowledge, art, instinctive happiness, and relations of friendship or affection. - Bertrand Russell
It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they (world religions) disagree, not more than one of them can be true. - Bertrand Russell
La Ciencia en ningún momento está totalmente en lo cierto, pero rara vez está completamente equivocada y tiene en general mayores posibilidades de estar en lo cierto que las teorías no científicas. - Bertrand Russell
Entre todas las formas de cautela, lacautela en el amor es, posiblemente, la más letal para la auténtica felicidad. - Bertrand Russell
Physics is mathematical not because we know so much about the physical world, but because we know so little; it is only its mathematical properties that we can discover. - 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
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible. - Bertrand Russell
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead. - Bertrand Russell
'Change' is scientific, 'progress' is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy. - Bertrand Russell
What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the likeness of the believer. - 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
Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day. - Bertrand Russell
Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality. - Bertrand Russell
War does not determine who is right-only who is left. - 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
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation. - Bertrand Russell
Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. - Bertrand Russell
Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed. - Bertrand Russell
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists - that is why they invented hell. - 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 that hostile. - Bertrand Russell
Patriots always talk of dying for their country but never of killing for their country. - 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
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. - Bertrand Russell
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts. - Bertrand Russell
Whereas in art nothing worth doing can be done without genius, in science even a very moderate capacity can contribute to a supreme achievement. - Bertrand Russell
The wise man thinks about his troubles only when there is some purpose in doing so; at other times he thinks about others things. - Bertrand Russell
Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. - 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
The belief that personality is mysterious and irreducible has no scientific warrant, and is accepted chiefly because it is flattering to our human self esteem. - Bertrand Russell
In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying. - Bertrand Russell
The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy - I mean that if you are happy you will be good. - Bertrand Russell
Change is scientific, ‘progress’ is ethical. Change is indubitable whereas progress is a matter of controversy. - Bertrand Russell
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. - Bertrand Russell
Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed. - Bertrand Russell
This is one of those views which are so absolutely absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them. - Bertrand Russell
The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately. - Bertrand Russell
Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness. - Bertrand Russell
Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise. - Bertrand Russell
The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours. - Bertrand Russell
The affection of parents makes infants feel safe in this dangerous world, and gives them boldness in experimentation and in exploration of their environments. - Bertrand Russell
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already 3-parts dead. - Bertrand Russell
Grammar and ordinary language are bad guides to metaphysics. A great book might be written showing the influence of syntax on philosophy. - Bertrand Russell
It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true. - Bertrand Russell
It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go. - Bertrand Russell
I should wish to see a world in which education aimed at mental freedom rather than imprisoning the minds of the young in a rigid armor of dogma calculated to protect them though life against the shafts of impartial evidence. - Bertrand Russell
Remember your humanity, and forget the rest. - Bertrand Russell
Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure. - Bertrand Russell
I've always thought respectable people scoundrels, and I look anxiously at my face every morning for signs of my becoming a scoundrel. - Bertrand Russell
War does not determine who is right - only who is left. - Bertrand Russell
It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain options makes it impossible to earn a living. - Bertrand Russell
I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine. - 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
Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination. - Bertrand Russell
The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. - 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 paradise in a few years. - Bertrand Russell
One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways. - Bertrand Russell
Every living thing is a sort of imperialist, seeking to transform as much as possible of its environment into itself. - Bertrand Russell
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. - Bertrand Russell
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. - Bertrand Russell
Having knowledge of an unethical act and allowing it to continue can spread a contagion that can affect multiple beings in society - Bertrand Russell
To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level. - Bertrand Russell
Order, unity and continuity are human inventions just as truly as catalogues and encyclopedias. - Bertrand Russell
Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man. - Bertrand Russell
And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence - Bertrand Russell
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim. - Bertrand Russell
Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed; but look only and solely at what are the facts. - Bertrand Russell
...what is the use of making everybody rich if the rich themselves are miserable? - Bertrand Russell
I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong. - Bertrand Russell
Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of happy mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give. - Bertrand Russell
It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. - Bertrand Russell
Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know - 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
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.' - Bertrand Russell
Dora and I are now married, but just as happy as we were before. - 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 gaurds the door,and this dragon is religion - Bertrand Russell
I have frequently experienced myself the mood in which I felt that all is vanity; I have emerged from it not by any philosophy, but owing to some imperative necessity of action. - Bertrand Russell
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. - Bertrand Russell
All exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. - Bertrand Russell
Ser optimista o pesimista es cuestion de temperamento, no de razones. - Bertrand Russell
When he followed the instincts which God had transmitted to him from his ancestry of beasts of prey, he called it sin and asked God to forgive him. - Bertrand Russell
Obscenity is what happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate. - Bertrand Russell
Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country. - Bertrand Russell
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. - Bertrand Russell
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. - Bertrand Russell
Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education. - Bertrand Russell
The human race may well become extinct before the end of the century. - Bertrand Russell
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact. - Bertrand Russell
When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. - Bertrand Russell
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence. - Bertrand Russell
A sense of duty is useful in work, but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not be endured with patient resignation. - Bertrand Russell
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. - Bertrand Russell
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so. - Bertrand Russell
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture. - Bertrand Russell
The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others. - Bertrand Russell
The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell
There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? I appeal as a human being to human beings; remember your humanity, and forget the rest. - Bertrand Russell
To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness. - Bertrand Russell
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. - Bertrand Russell
A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand. - Bertrand Russell
There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it. - Bertrand Russell
Civilized life has altogether grown too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide a harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting. - Bertrand Russell
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. - Bertrand Russell
Change is scientific, progress is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy. - Bertrand Russell
The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. - Bertrand Russell
There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it. - Bertrand Russell
For my part, I prefer the ontological argument, the cosmological argument and the rest of the old stock-in-trade, to the sentimental illogicality that has sprung from Rousseau. - Bertrand Russell
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin, more even than death. - Bertrand Russell
The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf. - Bertrand Russell
It is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition. - Bertrand Russell
There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge. - Bertrand Russell
Organic life, we are told, has developed gradually from the protozoan to the philosopher, and this development, we are assured, is indubitably an advance. Unfortunately it is the philosopher, not the protozoan, who gives us this assurance. - Bertrand Russell
Happiness, as is evident, depends partly upon external circumstances and partly upon oneself. - Bertrand Russell
A child develops best when, like a young plant, he is left undisturbed in the same soil. Too much travel, too much variety of impressions, are not good for the young, and cause them as they grow up to become incapable of enduring fruitful monotony. - Bertrand Russell
All movements go too far. - Bertrand Russell
It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results. The wish to preserve the past rather that the hope of creating the future dominates the minds of those who control the teaching of the young. - 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 in poetry. - Bertrand Russell
All human activity is prompted by desire. - Bertrand Russell
We know too much and feel too little. At least, we feel too little of those creative emotions from which a good life springs. - Bertrand Russell
There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action. - Bertrand Russell
If our logic is to find the common world intelligible, it must not be hostile, but must be inspired by a genuine acceptance such as is not usually to be found among metaphysicians. - Bertrand Russell
There was a footpath leading across fields to New Southgate, and I used to go there alone to watch the sunset and contemplate suicide. I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics. - Bertrand Russell
Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government. - Bertrand Russell
No one gossips about other people's secret virtues. - Bertrand Russell
We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power. - Bertrand Russell
Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate. - Bertrand Russell
Sin is geographical. - Bertrand Russell
Too little liberty brings stagnation and too much brings chaos. - Bertrand Russell
The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution. - Bertrand Russell
This is patently absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities. - Bertrand Russell
Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling? - Bertrand Russell
In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted. - Bertrand Russell
Anything you're good at contributes to happiness. - Bertrand Russell
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. - Bertrand Russell
It is essential to happiness that our way of living should spring from our own deep impulses and not from the accidental tastes and desires of those who happen to be our neighbors, or even our relations. - Bertrand Russell
In all things it is a good idea to hang a question mark now and then on the things we have taken for granted. - Bertrand Russell
Even in civilized mankind faint traces of monogamous instincts can be perceived. - Bertrand Russell
The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible. - Bertrand Russell
It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly. - Bertrand Russell
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