Bertrand Russell Quotes & Wallpapers

Bertrand Russell
Total Quotes: 1343

It's easy to fall in love. The hard part is finding someone to catch you. Bertrand Russell

I hold all knowledge that is concerned with things that actually exist - all that is commonly called Science - to be of very slight value compared to the knowledge which, like philosophy and mathematics, is concerned with ideal and eternal objects, and is freed from this miserable world which God has made. Bertrand Russell

My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilisation. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others. Bertrand Russell

The objections to religion are of two sorts - intellectual and moral. The intellectual objection is that there is no reason to suppose any religion true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date from a time when men were more cruel than they are and therefore tend to perpetuate inhumanities which the moral conscience of the age would otherwise outgrow. Bertrand Russell

The road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work. Bertrand Russell

But if thought is to become the possession of many, not the privilege of the few, we must have done with fear. It is fear that holds men back - fear lest their cherished beliefs should prove delusions, fear lest the institutions by which they live should prove harmful, fear lest they themselves should prove less worthy of respect than they have supposed themselves to be. Bertrand Russell

The best practical advice I can give to the present generation is to practice the virtue which the Christians call love. Bertrand Russell

The human race may well become extinct before the end of the century. Speaking as a mathematician, I should say the odds are about three to one against survival. Bertrand Russell

It is a curious and painful fact that almost all the completely futile treatments that have been believed in during the long history of medical folly have been such as caused acute suffering to the patient. When anesthetics were discovered, pious people considered them an attempt to evade the will of God. It was pointed out, however, that when God extracted Adam's rib He put him into a deep sleep. This proved that anesthetics are all right for men; women, however, ought to suffer, because of the curse of Eve. 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

The scientific attitude of mind involves a sweeping away of all other desires in the interest of the desire to know. Bertrand Russell

The fact that all Mathematics is Symbolic Logic is one of the greatest discoveries of our age; and when this fact has been established, the remainder of the principles of mathematics consists of the analysis of Symbolic Logic itself. Bertrand Russell

Cruel men believe in a cruel god and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly god, and they would be kindly in any case. Bertrand Russell

Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good. Bertrand Russell

I should like to believe my people's religion, which was just what I could wish, but alas, it is impossible. I have really no religion, for my God, being a spirit shown merely by reason to exist, his properties utterly unknown, is no help to my life. I have nor the parson's comfortable doctrine that every good action has its reward, and every sin is forgiven. My whole religion is this: do every duty, and expect no reward for it, either here or hereafter. Bertrand Russell

The legacy of Greece to Western philosophy is Western philosophy. Bertrand Russell

One of the commonest things to do with savings is to lend them to some Government. In view of the fact that the bulk of the public expenditure of most civilized Governments consists in payment for past wars or preparation for future wars, the man who lends his money to a Government is in the same position as the bad men in Shakespeare who hire murderers. The net result of the man's economical habits is to increase the armed forces of the State to which he lends his savings. Obviously it would be better if he spent the money, even if he spent it in drink or gambling. Bertrand Russell

We know too much and feel too little. 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

The thing that I should wish to obtain from money would be leisure with security. Bertrand Russell

There is... in our day, a powerful antidote to nonsense, which hardly existed in earlier times - I mean science. Science cannot be ignored or rejected, because it is bound up with modern technique; it is essential alike to prosperity in peace and to victory in war. That is, perhaps from an intellectual point of view, the most hopeful feature of our age, and the one which makes it most likely that we shall escape complete submersion in some new or old superstition. Bertrand Russell

Even in the most purely logical realms, it is insight that first arrives at what is new. Bertrand Russell

There seems scarcely any limit to what could be done in the way of producing a good world, if only men would use science wisely. Bertrand Russell

... the momentary state of science that may change tomorrow ... Bertrand Russell

The skill of the politician consists in guessing what people can be brought to think advantageous to themselves; the skill of the expert consists in calculating what really is advantageous, provided people can be brought to think so. Bertrand Russell

That Plato's Republic should have been admired, on its political side, by decent people, is perhaps the most astonishing example of literary snobbery in all history. Bertrand Russell

It has become a commonplace that aggressiveness also often has its roots in fear. I am inclined to think that this theory has been pushed too far. [...] The type of aggressiveness that is the outcome of timidity is not, I think, that which inspires great leaders; the great leaders, I should say, have an exceptional self-confidence which is not only on the surface, but penetrates deep into the subconscious. Bertrand Russell

No other organization rouses anything like the loyalty aroused by the national State. And the chief activity of the State is preparation for large-scale homicide. Bertrand Russell

All the time that he can spare from the adornment of his person, he devotes to the neglect of his duties. Bertrand Russell

Religion and Science are two aspects of social life, of which the former has been important as far back as we know anything of man's mental history, while the latter, after a fitful flickering existence among Greeks and Arabs, suddenly sprang into importance in the sixteenth century, and has ever since increasingly moulded both the ideas and the institutions among which we live. Bertrand Russell

To teach how to live without certainty, and yet without, being paralyzed by hesitation, is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy in our age can do for those who study it. 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 for this reason that rationality is of supreme importance to the well-being of the human species...even more, in those less fortunate times in which it is despised and rejected as the vain dream of men who lack the virility to kill where they cannot agree. Bertrand Russell

I feel as if one would only discover on one's death bed what one ought to have lived for Bertrand Russell

It is only theory that makes men completely incautious. Bertrand Russell

Religion and Science are two aspects of social life, of which the former has been important as far back as we know anything of man Bertrand Russell

There is no greater reason for children to honour parents than for parents to honour children except, that while the children are young, the parents are stronger than children. Bertrand Russell

And all this madness, all this rage, all this flaming death of our civilization and our hopes, has been brought about because a set of official gentlemen, living luxurious lives, mostly stupid, and all without imagination or heart, have chosen that it should occur rather than that any one of them should suffer some infinitesimal rebuff to his country`s pride. Bertrand Russell

The world in which we live can be understood as a result of muddle and accident; but if it is the outcome of deliberate purpose, the purpose must have been that of a fiend. For my part, I find accident a less painful and more plausible hypothesis. Bertrand Russell

Common sense, however it tries, cannot avoid being surprised from time to time. Bertrand Russell

The conception of the necessary unit of all that is resolves itself into the poverty of the imagination, and a freer logic emancipates us from the straitwaistcoated benevolent institution, which idealism palms off as the totality of being. Bertrand Russell

The rules of logic are to mathematics what those of structure are to architecture. Bertrand Russell

People are said to believe in God, or to disbelieve in Adam and Eve. But in such cases what is believed or disbelieved is that there is an entity answering a certain description. This, which can be believed or disbelieved is quite different from the actual entity (if any) which does answer the description. Thus the matter of belief is, in all cases, different in kind from the matter of sensation or presentation, and error is in no way analogous to hallucination. A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it. Bertrand Russell

If a philosophy is to bring happiness it should be inspired by kindly feelings. Marx pretended that he wanted the happiness of the proletariat; what he really wanted was the unhappiness of the bourgeois. Bertrand Russell

Philosophy seems to me on the whole a rather hopeless business. Bertrand Russell

I do not believe that I am now dreaming, but I cannot prove that I am not. Bertrand Russell

What will be the good of the conquest of leisure and health, if no one remembers how to use them? Bertrand Russell

Patriotism which has the quality of intoxication is a danger not only to its native land but to the world, and "My country never wrong" is an even more dangerous maxim than "My country, right or wrong." Bertrand Russell

Tobacco . . . is not prohibited in the Scriptures, though, as Samuel Butler points out, St. Paul would no doubt have denounced it if he had known of it. Bertrand Russell

It is false to suggest that men must turn away from his desires in the interest of a higher duty. Men only responds to duty if he desires to do so. To understand men, you must understand their desires and the relative strength of those desires. Bertrand Russell

Philosophy bakes no bread Bertrand Russell

The Ten Commandments should be headed like an examination paper: No more than six to be attempted. Bertrand Russell possible to suppose that, if Russia is allowed to have peace, an amazing industrial development may take place, making Russia a rival of the United States. Bertrand Russell

Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for co-operation with oneself. Bertrand Russell

Even in civilized mankind faint traces of a monogamous instinct can sometimes be perceived. Bertrand Russell

If one man offers you democracy and another offers you a bag of grain, at what stage of starvation will you prefer the grain to the vote? Bertrand Russell

Ideas and principles that do harm are, as a rule, though not always, cloaks for evil passions. Bertrand Russell

The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry. 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

Philosophy, from the earliest times, has made greater claims, and achieved fewer results, than any other branch of learning. Bertrand Russell

Laughter is the most inexpensive and most effective wonder drug. Laughter is a universal medicine. 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

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

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

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. Bertrand Russell

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it. 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

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

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

Liberty is the right to do what I like; license, the right to do what you like. Bertrand Russell

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