Bertrand Russell Quotes

- Notable Bertrand Russell Quotes Index -

Born: May 18, 1872, Ravenscroft, Trelleck, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK
Birth Country: UK
Died: Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth, Wales, UK, February 2, 1970
Occupation: Author

1.
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

2.
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

3.
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

4.
Admiration of the proletariat, like that of dams, power stations, and aeroplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age.
- Bertrand Russell

5.
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

6.
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

7.
Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
- Bertrand Russell

8.
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

9.
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

10.
Boredom is... a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
- Bertrand Russell

11.
Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.
- Bertrand Russell

12.
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
- Bertrand Russell

13.
Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people's happiness, and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.
- Bertrand Russell

14.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Bertrand Russell

15.
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

16.
Ethics is in origin the art of recommending to others the sacrifices required for cooperation with oneself.
- Bertrand Russell

17.
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

18.
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

19.
Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.
- Bertrand Russell

20.
Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.
- Bertrand Russell

21.
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

22.
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

23.
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

24.
I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
- Bertrand Russell

25.
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

26.
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

27.
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

28.
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

29.
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

30.
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

31.
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

32.
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

33.
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

34.
Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.
- Bertrand Russell

35.
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

36.
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

37.
Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.
- Bertrand Russell

38.
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
- Bertrand Russell

39.
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.
- Bertrand Russell

40.
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

41.
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

42.
None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.
- Bertrand Russell

43.
Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.
- Bertrand Russell

44.
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
- Bertrand Russell

45.
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

46.
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
- Bertrand Russell

47.
Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.
- Bertrand Russell

48.
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

49.
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

50.
Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know.
- Bertrand Russell

51.
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.
- Bertrand Russell

52.
The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts.
- Bertrand Russell

53.
The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.
- Bertrand Russell

54.
The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.
- Bertrand Russell

55.
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
- Bertrand Russell

56.
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
- Bertrand Russell

57.
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

58.
The most savage controversies are about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way.
- Bertrand Russell

59.
The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.
- Bertrand Russell

60.
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

61.
The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible.
- Bertrand Russell

62.
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

63.
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

64.
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
- Bertrand Russell

65.
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

66.
The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
- Bertrand Russell

67.
There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.
- Bertrand Russell

68.
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

69.
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

70.
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

71.
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

72.
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
- Bertrand Russell

73.
To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
- Bertrand Russell

74.
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
- Bertrand Russell

75.
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

76.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
- Bertrand Russell

77.
We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
- Bertrand Russell

78.
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

Quotes by Bertrand Russell

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