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Bertrand Russell Quotes and Sayings
Quotes by Bertrand Russell

I hope you like this page of quotes by Bertrand Russell from my extensive collection of relationship quotes.

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

Related topics: Life Human-Nature Psychology Positive Fear Political

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
- 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

If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry,
that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware
of having no good reason for thinking as you do.
- Bertrand Russell

 

I am firm; YOU are obstinate; HE is a pig-headed fool.
- Bertrand Russell

A widespread belief is more often likely
to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell

Conventional people are roused to fury
by departure from convention,
largely because they regard such departure
as a criticism of themselves.
- Bertrand Russell

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To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
- Bertrand Russell

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown
is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
- Bertrand Russell

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

War does not determine who is right -
only who is left.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

Drunkenness is temporary suicide.
- Bertrand Russell

It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what
they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals.
- Bertrand Russell

Reason is a harmonising, controlling force rather than a creative one.
- Bertrand Russell

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

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
- Bertrand Russell

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no
evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.
- 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

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 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

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

To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance
to the citizens of a democracy.
- Bertrand Russell

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

Democracy is the process by which people choose the
man who'll get the blame.
- 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

What is wanted is not the will to believe,
but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The coward wretch whose hand and heart Can bear to torture aught below,
Is ever first to quail and start From the slightest pain or equal foe.
- 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

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

Right discipline consists, not in external compulsion,
but in the habits of mind which lead spontaneously
to desirable rather than undesirable activities.
- Bertrand Russell

Most people would sooner die than think;
in fact,
they do so.
- Bertrand Russell

A process which led from the amoeba to man appeared
to the philosophers to be obviously a progress though
whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known.
- 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

Many people would sooner die than think;
in fact,
they do so.
- Bertrand Russell

Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know.
- 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

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

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

I remain convinced that obstinate addiction to ordinary
language in our private thoughts is one of the main
obstacles to progress in philosophy.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

To understand a name you must be acquainted with the
particular of which it is a name.
- 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

Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs
up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?
- Bertrand Russell

Italy, and the spring and first love all together should
suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.
- 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

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 universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that,
if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.
- 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

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

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

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


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