Quotes by Bertrand Russell

Sin is geographical.
- Bertrand Russell
All movements go too far.
- Bertrand Russell
Drunkenness is temporary suicide.
- Bertrand Russell
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To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
- Bertrand Russell
Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.
- 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
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
- Bertrand Russell
No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
- Bertrand Russell
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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
Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
- Bertrand Russell
Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
- Bertrand Russell
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
- Bertrand Russell
None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.
- Bertrand Russell
Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know.
- Bertrand Russell
Indignation is a submission of our thoughts, but not of our desires.
- Bertrand Russell
Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.
- Bertrand Russell
Reason is a harmonising, controlling force rather than a creative one.
- 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
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
- Bertrand Russell
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
- Bertrand Russell
Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
- Bertrand Russell
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.
- Bertrand Russell
Liberty is the right to do what I like; license, the right to do what you like.
- Bertrand Russell
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
- Bertrand Russell
Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who'll get the blame.
- 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
To understand a name you must be acquainted with the particular of which it is a name.
- Bertrand Russell
A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
- 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
The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts.
- Bertrand Russell
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Bertrand Russell
To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance to the citizens of a democracy.
- Bertrand Russell
Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.
- Bertrand Russell
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
- Bertrand Russell
Order, unity, and continuity are human inventions, just as truly as catalogues and encyclopedias.
- Bertrand Russell
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
- Bertrand Russell
The most savage controversies are about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
- Bertrand Russell
The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice.
- Bertrand Russell
The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.
- Bertrand Russell
Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.
- Bertrand Russell
Awareness of universals is called conceiving, and a universal of which we are aware is called a concept.
- 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
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
- Bertrand Russell
Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.
- 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
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.
- Bertrand Russell
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
- 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
It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals.
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
- 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
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
Mathematics takes us into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the actual word, but every possible word, must conform.
- 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
Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people's happiness, and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.
- 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
There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths.
- 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
Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give.
- 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
Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.
- 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
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 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
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
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
The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.
- 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
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
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
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
Religions that teach brotherly love have been used as an excuse for persecution, and our profoundest scientific insight is made into a means of mass destruction.
- 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
I do not pretend to start with precise questions. I do not think you can start with anything precise. You have to achieve such precision as you can, as you go along.
- 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
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
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
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
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
When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides, a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself.
- 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
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 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 man who can centre his thoughts and hopes upon something transcending self can find a certain peace in the ordinary troubles of life, which is impossible to the pure egoist.
- Bertrand Russell