Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

545 Inspiring Quotes by Bertrand Russell

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Bertrand Russell.

Wikipedia Summary for Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British polymath. As an academic, he worked in philosophy, mathematics, and logic. His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system) and various areas of analytic philosophy, especially logic, philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics. Russell was also a public intellectual, historian, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate.

He was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

Russell was one of the early 20th century's most prominent logicians, and one of the founders of analytic philosophy, along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, his friend and colleague G. E. Moore and his student and protégé Ludwig Wittgenstein. Russell with Moore led the British "revolt against idealism". Together with his former teacher A. N. Whitehead, Russell wrote Principia Mathematica, a milestone in the development of classical logic, and a major attempt to reduce the whole of mathematics to logic (see Logicism). Russell's article "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy".

Russell was a pacifist who championed anti-imperialism and chaired the India League. He occasionally advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed and he decided he would "welcome with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, Russell concluded that the war against Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany was a necessary "lesser of two evils" and also criticized Stalinist totalitarianism, condemned the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought". He was also the recipient of the De Morgan Medal (1932), Sylvester Medal (1934), Kalinga Prize (1957), and Jerusalem Prize (1963).

Throughout his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he later wrote he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense".


red flame

Animal rights, taken to their logical conclusion, mean votes for oysters.

--Bertrand Russell

scenery of aurora

No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of mountain during sunset

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.

--Bertrand Russell


gray concrete floor

Travelling, whether in the mental or the physical world, is a joy, and it is good to know that, in the mental world at least, there are vast countries still very imperfectly explored.

--Bertrand Russell

person holding gray leaf

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

--Bertrand Russell

silver round analog wall clock

When the journey from means to end is not too long, the means themselves are enjoyed if the end is ardently desired.

--Bertrand Russell

time lapse photography body of water

It is not by delusion, however exalted, that mankind can prosper, but only by unswerving courage in the pursuit of truth.

--Bertrand Russell



pink tulips in close up photography

What was exciting in the Victorian Age, would leave a man of franker epoch quite unmoved. The more prudes restrict the permissible degree of sexual appeal, the less is required to make such an appeal effective.

--Bertrand Russell


man playing soccer during daytime

What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.

--Bertrand Russell

red flame

Civilized people cannot fully satisfy their sexual instinct without love.

--Bertrand Russell

white and black soccer ball on grass field

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

--Bertrand Russell

black and gray floral textile

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

green fruit in macro lens photography

Love is a little haven of refuge from the world.

--Bertrand Russell

aerial view of river in between green trees during daytime

Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life.

--Bertrand Russell

mountain with tree during daytime

Unless a man has been taught what to do with success after getting it, the achievement of it must inevitably leave him a prey to boredom.

--Bertrand Russell

paper

The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.

--Bertrand Russell

pink and white roses on white surface

Machines deprive us of two things which are certainly important ingredients of human happiness, namely, spontaneity and variety.

--Bertrand Russell



brown wooden hanging bridge surrounded by green trees during daytime

The man who only loves beautiful things is dreaming, whereas the man who knows absolute beauty is wide awake.

--Bertrand Russell


silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky

At all times, except when a monarch could enforce his will, war has been facilitated by the fact that vigorous males, confident of victory, enjoyed it, while their females admired them for their prowess.

--Bertrand Russell

blue flowers in tilt shift lens

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.

--Bertrand Russell

laughing woman photo

The faculty of being acquainted with things other than itself is the main characteristic of a mind.

--Bertrand Russell

man on running field

In human relations one should penetrate to the core of loneliness in each person and speak to that.

--Bertrand Russell

green-leafed plant

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

--Bertrand Russell

person sleeping on gray gang chair

I resolved from the beginning of my quest that I would not be misled by sentiment and desire into beliefs for which there was no good evidence.

--Bertrand Russell

gray wooden house on green plains near mountain range at daytime

Orthodoxy is the death of intelligence.

--Bertrand Russell

blue flowers in tilt shift lens

The Ten Commandments should be headed like an examination paper: No more than six to be attempted.

--Bertrand Russell

backdrop

All the labor of all the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction. So now, my friends, if that is true, and it is true, what is the point?

--Bertrand Russell


purple-petaled flowers

Whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.

--Bertrand Russell

plain background

Aristotle and Plato considered Greeks so innately superior to barbarians that slavery is justified so long as the master is Greek and the slave barbarian.

--Bertrand Russell

orange and white stone fragment

One of the chief obstacles to intelligence is credulity, and credulity could be enormously diminished by instructions as to the prevalent forms of mendacity.

--Bertrand Russell

tan wallpaper

The dictum that human nature cannot be changed is one of those tiresome platitudes that conceal from the ignorant the depths of their own ignorance.

--Bertrand Russell

purple and white petaled flower

It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results.

--Bertrand Russell

light blue

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

brown and gray brick wall

Inferences of Science and Common Sense differ from those of deductive logic and mathematics in a very important respect, namely, when the premises are true and the reasoning correct, the conclusion is only probable.

--Bertrand Russell

three person looking stars and milky way

In considering irregular appearances, there are certain very natural mistakes which must be avoided.

--Bertrand Russell

clear wine glass with red wine

An irrational fear should never be simply let alone, but should be gradually overcome by familiarity with its fainter forms.

--Bertrand Russell

panoramic photography of mountains

To expect a personality to survive the disintegration of the brain is like expecting a cricket club to survive when all of its members are dead.

--Bertrand Russell

short-beak red bird on tree

There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.

--Bertrand Russell

green trees

It is flattering to suppose that the universe is controlled by a Being who shares our taste and prejudices.

--Bertrand Russell

mountains under white mist at daytime

More cranks take up unfashionable errors than unfashionable truths.

--Bertrand Russell

green palm plant

Extreme hopes are born of extreme misery, and in such a world hopes could only be irrational.

--Bertrand Russell

leafless tree under gray sky

William James used to preach the 'will to believe.' For my part, I should wish to preach the 'will to doubt' ... what is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is the exact opposite.

--Bertrand Russell

solid background

I wish to understand Plato, but to treat him with as little reverence as if he were a contemporary English or American advocate of totalitarianism.

--Bertrand Russell

blue flowers in tilt shift lens

Human nature is so constructed that it gives affection most readily to those who seem least to demand it.

--Bertrand Russell

stainless steel key on brown rod

Politics is concerned with herds rather than with individuals, and the passions which are important in politics are, therefore, those in which the various members of a given herd can feel alike.

--Bertrand Russell

blue and white abstract painting

When two great powers disagree about anything -- it doesn't matter what -- they must find a way to settle it somehow by arbitration or by negotiation, not by war or threat of war.

--Bertrand Russell

brown rock formation

Punctuality is a quality the need of which is bound up with social co-operation.

--Bertrand Russell

body of water during daytime

The pursuit of social success, in the form of prestige or power or both, is the most important obstacle in a competitive society.

--Bertrand Russell

person in black hoodie using laptop computer

Skilled work, of no matter what kind, is only done well by those who take a certain pleasure in it, quite apart from its utility, either to themselves in earning a living, or to the world through its outcome.

--Bertrand Russell

man holding his head

One comes across white men occasionally who suffer under the delusion that China is not a civilized country. Such men have forgotten what constitutes civilization.

--Bertrand Russell


rock formation under starry skies

In all the creative work that I have done, what has come first is a problem, a puzzle involving discomfort.

--Bertrand Russell

concert photos

Nothing can penetrate the loneliness of the human heart except the highest intensity of the sort of love the religious teachers have preached.

--Bertrand Russell

selective-focus photograph of gray bird on tree branch

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

--Bertrand Russell

plain

Measures of sterilization should, in my opinion, be very definitely confined to persons who are mentally defective.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of woman hugging mna under starry night sky

I think periods of browsing during which no occupation is imposed from without are important in youth because they give time for the formation of these apparently fugitive but really vital impressions.

--Bertrand Russell

woman sitting on black chair in front of glass-panel window with white curtains

There is an element of the busybody in our conception of virtue: unless a man makes himself a nuisance to a great many people, we do not think he can be an exceptionally good man.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

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

woman on seashore near island under blue sky

Our instinctive emotions are those that we have inherited from a much more dangerous world, and contain, therefore, a larger portion of fear than they should.

--Bertrand Russell

island during daytime

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

--Bertrand Russell

Arizona landscape rain

I went to Salt Lake City and the Mormons tried to convert me, but when I found they forbade tea and tobacco I thought it was no religion for me.

--Bertrand Russell


green lizard

Love is a slippery eel that bites like hell.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of people riding bicycle

One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.

--Bertrand Russell

white rose enclosed photograph

Every advance in civilization has been denounced as unnatural while it was recent.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

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

--Bertrand Russell

person holding pocket watch

The modern man thinks that everything ought to be done for the sake of something else, and never for its own sake.

--Bertrand Russell

pink and white clouds

Plato has dramatic strength ... but is quite unaware of the strength of the argument against his position ... and allows himself to be grossly unfair in arguing against it.

--Bertrand Russell




clear hour glass with brown frame

The atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind.

--Bertrand Russell

leafless tree on body of water during daytime

No matter how eloquently a dog may bark, he cannot tell you that his parents were poor, but honest.

--Bertrand Russell

black and white abstract illustration

Boredom is a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.

--Bertrand Russell

selective focus photo of brown guitar on white pillow

The axiomatic method has many advantages over honest work.

--Bertrand Russell

black, purple, and orange basketball court beside concrete buildings at daytime

It is a natural propensity to attribute misfortune to someone's malignity.

--Bertrand Russell

blue boat on sand near body of water during daytime

One who believes, as I do, that the free intellect is the chief engine of human progress, cannot but be fundamentally opposed to Bolshevism, as much as to the Church of Rome.

--Bertrand Russell

solid background

Although it is a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out, sometimes when I contemplate the things that people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation.

--Bertrand Russell

man in gray sweater carrying woman in black jacket

Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.

--Bertrand Russell

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

This is one of those views which are so absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them.

--Bertrand Russell

clear glass hour glass with black liquid

Logic must no more admit a unicorn than zoology can.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette photo of mountain during night time

Those who advocate common usage in philosophy sometimes speak in a manner that suggests the mystique of the 'common man.'

--Bertrand Russell

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

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

--Bertrand Russell

adult black and tan dachshund

To realize the unimportance of time is the gate to wisdom.

--Bertrand Russell

close-up photo of two men shaking hands near beach at sunset

Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow and black striped background

The typical Westerner wishes to be the cause of as many changes as possible in his environment; the typical Chinaman wishes to enjoy as much and as delicately as possible.

--Bertrand Russell

green textile in close up image

If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full.

--Bertrand Russell



shillouette photo of person standing at the peak

I used often to go to America during Prohibition, and there was far more drunkenness there then than before; the prohibition of pornography has much the same effect.

--Bertrand Russell


woman standing between sunflower field during daytime

In mass cruelty, the expulsions of Germans ordered by the Russians fall not very far short of the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis.

--Bertrand Russell

long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary.

--Bertrand Russell

red rose in black background

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


toddlers standing outdoors

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

seashore during golden hour

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

blue and black abstract painting

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

--Bertrand Russell

light green

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

green trees on forest during daytime

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear.....Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion has gone hand-in-hand.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Where envy is unavoidable it must be used as a stimulus to one's own efforts, not to the thwarting of the efforts of rivals.

--Bertrand Russell

two women making peace sign near the Golden Gate bridge

The average man's opinions are much less foolish than they would be if he thought for himself.

--Bertrand Russell


black mountain under blue sky during night time

Mathematics is, I believe, the chief source of the belief in eternal and exact truth, as well as a sensible intelligible world.

--Bertrand Russell

man in black jacket sitting on chair

Moral indignation is one of the most harmful forces in the modern world, the more so as it can always be diverted to sinister uses by those who control propaganda.

--Bertrand Russell


birds flying under cloudy sky during daytime

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

gray cactus plant on white pot

The qualities most needed are charity and tolerance, not some form of fanatical faith such as is offered to us by the various rampant isms.

--Bertrand Russell


brown mountain under starry sky

The pleasure of work is open to anyone who can develop some specialised skill, provided that he can get satisfaction from the exercise of his skill without demanding universal applause.

--Bertrand Russell

plain

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

--Bertrand Russell



black fishes

I consider the official Catholic attitude on divorce, birth control, and censorship exceedingly dangerous to mankind.

--Bertrand Russell

backdrop

The three main extra-rational activities in modern life are religion, war, and love. all these are extra-rational, but love is not anti-rational, that is to say, a reasonable man may reasonably rejoice in its existence.

--Bertrand Russell

blue and white light digital wallpaper

Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.

--Bertrand Russell





woman jumping near white wall paint

Through the greatness of the universe, which philosophy contemplates, the mind also is rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.

--Bertrand Russell

gray road beside a trees

All movements go too far.

--Bertrand Russell

green trees

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

--Bertrand Russell

multicolored abstract painting

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

--Bertrand Russell

minimalist photography of open door

One is always a little afraid of love, but above all, one is afraid of pain or causing pain.

--Bertrand Russell

clear hour glass beside pink flowers

Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?

--Bertrand Russell

person standing on rock formation during daytime

To create a healthy philosophy you should renounce metaphysics but be a good mathematician.

--Bertrand Russell

shooting star in night sky

I am as drunk as a lord, but then, I am one, so what does it matter ?

--Bertrand Russell

yellow flower field under clear sky

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

--Bertrand Russell

grassland landscape

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

--Bertrand Russell

green plants beside brown wooden door

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt.

--Bertrand Russell

plain background

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

man wearing knit cap on grey background

The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts.

--Bertrand Russell

short-beak red bird on tree

Beggars do not envy millionaires, though of course they will envy other beggars who are more successful.

--Bertrand Russell

pink tulips on gray wooden surface

I dislike Communism because it is undemocratic, and capitalism because it favors exploitation.

--Bertrand Russell

landscape photography of waves and clouds

Human life, its growth, its hopes, fears, loves, et cetera, are the result of accidents.

--Bertrand Russell


Arizona landscape

The pure mathematician, like the musician, is a free creator of his world of ordered beauty.

--Bertrand Russell


clear hour glass beside pink flowers

One's work is never so bad as it appears on bad days, nor so good as it appears on good days.

--Bertrand Russell

green palm tree during daytime

I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair.' In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.

--Bertrand Russell

adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

In a wise community a wise man would not seem foolish!

--Bertrand Russell

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty -- a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.

--Bertrand Russell

woman standing on cliff

Life is just one cup of coffee after another, and don't look for anything else.

--Bertrand Russell

red tulips

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

silhouette of woman hugging mna under starry night sky

The fundamental principle in the analysis of propositions containing descriptions is this: Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.

--Bertrand Russell

green trees on body of water during daytime

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

--Bertrand Russell


clear hour glass with brown frame

When I was a child ... Only virtue was prized, virtue at the expense of intellect, health, happiness, and every mundane good.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow flower shallow photography

The "social contract," in the only sense in which it is not completely mythical, is a contract among conquerors, which loses its raison d'être if they are deprived of the benefits of conquest.

--Bertrand Russell


woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.

--Bertrand Russell



photography of white sky at golden hour

One of the most interesting and harmful delusions to which men and nations can be subjected is that of imagining themselves special instruments of the Divine Will.

--Bertrand Russell

beach during daytime

It will be found, as men grow more tolerant in their instincts,
that many uniformities now insisted upon are useless and even harmful.

--Bertrand Russell


Light blue to dark blue gradient

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


yellow green leaf

Suppose atomic bombs had reduced the population of the world to one brother and sister; should they let the human race die out?

--Bertrand Russell

man wearing knit cap on grey background

I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds.

--Bertrand Russell

orange and white floor tiles

It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty, and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it's useful and not because you think it's true.

--Bertrand Russell

pink

If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts.

--Bertrand Russell


white bicycle parked beside wall

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

--Bertrand Russell

calm body of water near alp mountains during nighttime

I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.

--Bertrand Russell

photo of white and brown bricked wall during daytime

In emancipation from the fears that beset the slave of circumstance he will experience a profound joy, and through all the vicissitudes of his outward life he will remain in the depths of his being a happy man.

--Bertrand Russell

lightning strike at night

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt.

--Bertrand Russell

sunflowers

Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow wallpaper

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

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.

--Bertrand Russell

lion on green grass during golden hour

I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out.

--Bertrand Russell

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

True happiness for human beings is possible only to those who develop their godlike potentialities to the utmost.

--Bertrand Russell

blue and white abstract painting

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

--Bertrand Russell


yellow sunflower in close up photography

Marx's father became a Christian when Marx was a little boy, and some, at least, of the dogmas he must have then accepted seem to have born fruit in his son's psychology.

--Bertrand Russell

red tulip in bloom during daytime

Power is sweet; it is a drug, the desire for which increases with a habit.

--Bertrand Russell

green water in close up photography

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


short-beak red bird on tree

The ideal of an "all-round" education is out of date; it has been destroyed by the progress of knowledge.

--Bertrand Russell

long exposure photography of beach

To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.

--Bertrand Russell

black Sony point-and-shoot camera on yellow surface

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

low angle photography of purple sky

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


shooting star in night sky

War can only be abolished by the establishment of a world government.

--Bertrand Russell

close up shot of white flower

Curious learning not only makes unpleasant things less unpleasant but also makes pleasant things more pleasant.

--Bertrand Russell

blue flowers in tilt shift lens

The finding of arguments for a conclusion given in advance is not philosophy, but special pleading.

--Bertrand Russell

beach during daytime

Mathematics takes us into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the actual word, but every possible word, must conform.

--Bertrand Russell

woman standing on forest

Most people would sooner die than start to think. In fact -- they do so.

--Bertrand Russell

pink umbrella

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

--Bertrand Russell

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

A man is rational in proportion as his intelligence informs and controls his desires.

--Bertrand Russell

blue painted wall with white paint

The happiness that is genuinely satisfying is accompanied by the fullest exercise of our faculties and the fullest realization of the world in which we live.

--Bertrand Russell

woman in black tank top and gray leggings doing yoga

Is a man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water crawling impotently on a small and unimportant planet? Or is he what he appears to Hamlet? Is he perhaps both as once?

--Bertrand Russell

round analog watch with black leather strap on top of white wooden surface

Love can only flourish as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought that it is a duty. To say that it is your duty to love so-and-so is the surest way to cause you to hate him or her.

--Bertrand Russell

blue sky

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.

--Bertrand Russell

white and blue sky during daytime

All the important human advances that we know of since historical times began have been due to individuals of whom the majority faced virulent public opposition.

--Bertrand Russell


seashore during golden hour

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

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

Upon hearing via Littlewood an exposition on the theory of relativity: To think I have spent my life on absolute muck.

--Bertrand Russell

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

If a law were passed giving six months to every writer of a first book, only the good ones would do it.

--Bertrand Russell

purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

I am compelled to fear that science will be used to promote the power of dominant groups rather than to make men happy.

--Bertrand Russell

woman standing between sunflower field during daytime

The desire for legitimate offspring is, in fact, according to the Catholic Church, the only motive which can justify sexual intercourse.

--Bertrand Russell

blue wall bricks

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

tan wallpaper

There is little of the true philosophic spirit in Aquinas. He does not, like the Platonic Socrates, set out to follow wherever the argument may lead.

--Bertrand Russell

purple and white clouds during night time

God and Satan alike are essentially human figures, the one a projection of ourselves, the other of our enemies.

--Bertrand Russell

brown humming bird flying in mid air

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.

--Bertrand Russell


woman in black tank top and gray leggings doing yoga

The first dogma which I came to disbelieve was that of free will. It seemed to me that all notions of matter were determined by the laws of dynamics and could not therefore be influenced by human wills.

--Bertrand Russell

white

It is permissible with certain precautions to speak in print of coitus, but it is not permissible to employ the monosyllabic synonym for this word.

--Bertrand Russell

white textile in close up photography

No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of woman during sunset

When the state intervenes to insure the indoctrination of some doctrine, it does so because there is no conclusive evidence in favor of that doctrine.

--Bertrand Russell

feet in sand

Sin is geographical.

--Bertrand Russell

black wooden door near green plant

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

purple textile in close up photography

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

red tulips flower

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

None

To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom.

--Bertrand Russell

brown pathway between green plants

Organized people are just too lazy to look for things.

--Bertrand Russell

red textile in close up photography

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

aerial view of blue ocean water during daytime

To think I have spent my life on absolute muck.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow sunflower in glass vase

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

--Bertrand Russell

concert photos

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

selective focus of common poppy flower

To choose one sock from each of infinitely many pairs of socks requires the Axiom of Choice, but for shoes the Axiom is not needed.

--Bertrand Russell

lightning strike at night

Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion go hand in hand.

--Bertrand Russell

white and blue building under clear sky

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.

--Bertrand Russell


purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.

--Bertrand Russell


yellow and red tulip in bloom close up photo

Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom.

--Bertrand Russell

sunflower with clear glass vase on gray table

A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.

--Bertrand Russell

person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees

All that alcohol does for them is to liberate the sense of sin, which reason suppresses in saner moments.

--Bertrand Russell

Clear blue ocean washing on the sandy shore on a clear day in Cancún

Altogether it will be found that a quiet life is characteristic of great men, and that their pleasures have not been of the sort that would look exciting to the outward eye.

--Bertrand Russell

white clouds and blue sky

The first effect of emancipation from the Church was not to make men think rationally, but to open their minds to every sort of antique nonsense.

--Bertrand Russell

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

Too little liberty brings stagnation, and too much brings chaos.

--Bertrand Russell

black pug puppy on white and pink textile

Reason is a harmonizing, controlling force rather than a creative one.

--Bertrand Russell

worm's eye view of trees during night time

One must care about a world one will never see.

--Bertrand Russell

person in black jacket standing on beach during daytime

I cannot escape from the conclusion that the great ages of progress have depended upon a small number of individuals of transcendent ability.

--Bertrand Russell



white and blue floral textile

The very best proof that something can be done is that someone has already done it.

--Bertrand Russell

backdrop solid

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

photo of gray elephant on grass

Organizing your leisure effectively is the highest level of civilization.

--Bertrand Russell



Light blue to dark blue gradient

Man can be stimulated by hope or driven by fear, but the hope and the fear must be vivid and immediate if they are to be effective without producing weariness.

--Bertrand Russell

three clear glass cups

I often long to ... give up my life to love of my neighbour. This is really a temptation.

--Bertrand Russell

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

For the learning of every virtue there is an appropriate discipline, and for the learning of suspended judgment the best discipline is philosophy.

--Bertrand Russell

leafless tree on snow covered ground

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

--Bertrand Russell

Hey! I miss you

Drunkenness is temporary suicide.

--Bertrand Russell

icy mountain scenery

Mathematics takes us still further from what is human into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the actual world, but ever possible world, must conform.

--Bertrand Russell

pink lotus flower on clear body of water

Calculus required continuity, and continuity was supposed to require the infinitely little; but nobody could discover what the infinitely little might be.

--Bertrand Russell

women's black and pink monokini

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

--Bertrand Russell

a couple holding hands with a wedding ring visible

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

--Bertrand Russell

Arizona landscape

Herd pressure is to be judged by two things: first, its intensity, and second, its direction.

--Bertrand Russell

brown leaf tree facing the lake

Government can easily exist without laws, but law cannot exist without government.

--Bertrand Russell

black textile in close up photography

Real life is, to most men, a long second best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.

--Bertrand Russell

red moon at night

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake.

--Bertrand Russell

purple petaled flower on gray surface

Whether science-and indeed civilization in general-can long survive depends upon psychology, that is to say, it depends upon what human beings desire.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow flowers

I did not, however, commit suicide, because I wished to know more of mathematics.

--Bertrand Russell

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

A million million years gives us some time to prepare for the end ... let us make the best of it.

--Bertrand Russell

sunset

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

--Bertrand Russell

blue wallpaper

You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.

--Bertrand Russell

mountain with tree during daytime

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

black wooden louver door window

The whiter my hair becomes, the more ready people are to believe what I say.

--Bertrand Russell

group of people inside the room in grayscale photo

The legacy of Greece to Western philosophy is Western philosophy.

--Bertrand Russell



green trees on forest during daytime

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

purple, white, and pink floral painting

In the ordinary business of life punctuality is ... necessary.

--Bertrand Russell

blue and white abstract painting

No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?

--Bertrand Russell

white stars in the sky during night time

Machines have altered our way of life, but not our instincts. Consequently, there is maladjustment.

--Bertrand Russell

two dragonflies on green cornate leaf

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of person standing beside bare tree under stary sky

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

--Bertrand Russell

pink flowers in vase

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

--Bertrand Russell

pink and white flower in close up photography

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

man holding smartphone in close up photography

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

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

In a just world, there would be no possibility of 'charity'.

--Bertrand Russell

smiling woman

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

--Bertrand Russell

tan wallpaper

Humanistic ethics is based on the principle that only humans themselves can determine the criterion for virtue and not an authority transcending us.

--Bertrand Russell

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

People who are vigorous and brutal often find war enjoyable.

--Bertrand Russell

five woman standing on seashore

To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.

--Bertrand Russell

three clear drinking glasses with brown liquid

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

--Bertrand Russell

grassland landscape

The resistance to a new idea increases by the square of its importance.

--Bertrand Russell


grass field under cloudy sky

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear.

--Bertrand Russell

pink rose in close up photography

Love should be a tree whose roots are deep in the earth, but whose branches extend into heaven.

--Bertrand Russell


mixed paints in a plate

The purpose of education is to teach a defense against eloquence.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of mountain

To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement.

--Bertrand Russell


brown textile in close up image

I never held Negroes to be inherently inferior. The statement in Marriage and Morals refers to environmental conditioning. I have had it withdrawn from subsequent editions because it is clearly ambiguous.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of a woman with pink and purple sky

Many of the actions by which men have become rich are far more harmful to the community than the obscure crimes of poor men, yet they go unpunished because they do not interfere with the existing order.

--Bertrand Russell


silhouette of stones during golden hour

If one lived for ever the joys of life would inevitably in the end lose their savour. As it is, they remain perennially fresh.

--Bertrand Russell

white ceramic mug with coffee on brown wooden table

Mystery is delightful, but unscientific, since it depends upon ignorance.

--Bertrand Russell

red moon at night

But I simply can't stand a view limited to this earth, I feel life is so small unless it has windows into other worlds...I like mathematics largely because it is not human.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of mountains during starry night

Mathematics rightly viewed possesses not only truth but supreme beauty.

--Bertrand Russell


long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

We are all prone to the malady of the introvert who with the manifold spectacle of the world spread out before him, turns away and gazes only upon the emptiness within.

--Bertrand Russell

green leaf in close up photography

Time you enjoy wasting, was is wasted time.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of mountain under starry night

The camera is as subjective as we are.

--Bertrand Russell

clear hour glass with brown frame

The fundamental concept in social science is power, in the same sense in which energy is the fundamental concept in physics.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow and blue painted wall

Keeping an open mind is a virtue, but not so open that your brains fall out.

--Bertrand Russell

woman doing yoga on rock platform next to body of water

The Mormons had a divine revelation in favour of polygamy, but under pressure from the United States Government they discovered that the revelation was not binding.

--Bertrand Russell

closeup photo of sunflower

What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life.

--Bertrand Russell

tall green flowering grasses under blue and white cloudy sky

All forms of fear produce fatigue.

--Bertrand Russell

group of people inside the room in grayscale photo

Dogmatism is the greatest of mental obstacles to human happiness.

--Bertrand Russell


person walking holding brown leather bag

Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.

--Bertrand Russell


brown wallpaper

Law in origin was merely a codification of the power of dominant groups, and did not aim at anything that to a modern man would appear to be justice.

--Bertrand Russell

closeup photo of white petaled flowers

Broadly speaking, we are in the middle of a race between human skill as a means and human folly as an end.

--Bertrand Russell

white brick wall planning

Science tells us what we can know, but what we can know is little, and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive to many things of great importance.

--Bertrand Russell

red rose flower

Televison allows thousands of people to laugh at the same joke and still remain alone.

--Bertrand Russell

pink and white abstract painting

When I found myself regarded as respectable, I began to wonder what sins I had committed. I must be very wicked, I thought. I began to engage in the most uncomfortable introspection.

--Bertrand Russell


tilt shift lens photo of sunflower

No man is liberated from fear who dare not see his place in the world as it is; no man can achieve the greatness of which he is capable until he has allowed himself to see his own littleness.

--Bertrand Russell

purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

Heretical views arise when the truth is uncertain, and it is only when the truth is uncertain that censorship is invoked.

--Bertrand Russell

coffee mug on top of tablecloth beside ashtray

When conscious activity is wholly concentrated on some one definite purpose, the ultimate result, for most people, is lack of balance accompanied by some form of nervous disorder.

--Bertrand Russell

green grass field

No nation was ever so virtuous as each believes itself, and none was ever so wicked as each believes the other.

--Bertrand Russell

black Sony point-and-shoot camera on yellow surface

Love can flourish only as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought of duty. To say that it is your duty to love so-and-so is the surest way to cause you to hate him of her.

--Bertrand Russell

blue sky with stars during night time

The more we realize our minuteness and our impotence in the face of cosmic forces, the more amazing becomes what human beings have achieved.

--Bertrand Russell

blooming yellow sunflower field

All the conditions of happiness are realized in the life of the man of science.

--Bertrand Russell

red flowers with water droplets

All's well that ends well; which is the epitaph I should put on my tombstone if I were the last man left alive.

--Bertrand Russell

white wall paint with black line

To the primitive mind, everything is either friendly or hostile; but experience has shown that friendliness and hostility are not the conceptions by which the world is to be understood.

--Bertrand Russell

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

Love as a relation between men and women was ruined by the desire to make sure of the legitimacy of children.

--Bertrand Russell

black fishes

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

--Bertrand Russell

two grey elephants on grass plains during sunset

No one ever gossips about the virtues of others.

--Bertrand Russell

woman in black tank top and gray leggings doing yoga

I have come to realize that an early symptom of approaching mental illness is the belief that one's work is terribly important. If you consider your work very important you should take a day off.

--Bertrand Russell

black and yellow wall sconce

Arithmetic must be discovered in just the same sense in which Columbus discovered the West Indies, and we no more create numbers than he created the Indians.

--Bertrand Russell


orange lily in bloom close up photo

It's 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

green and red flowers

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

--Bertrand Russell

grayscale photo of pug on floor

What men want is not knowledge, but certainty.

--Bertrand Russell

rock formation in body of water

Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.

--Bertrand Russell

red strawberry fruit on red surface

A man of Seville is shaved by the Barber of Seville if and only if the man does not shave himself. Does the barber shave himself?

--Bertrand Russell

pink

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

black textile in close up photography

To the primitive mind, everything is either friendly or hostile; but experience has shown that friendliness and hostility are not the conceptions by which the world is to be understood.

--Bertrand Russell

red flower in white background

Emphatic and reiterated assertion, especially during childhood, produces in most people a belief so firm as to have a hold even over the unconscious.

--Bertrand Russell



purple and white clouds during night time

Boys and young men acquire readily the moral sentiments of their social milieu, whatever these sentiments may be.

--Bertrand Russell


black dragonfly perched on green grass in close up photography during daytime

The Axiom of Choice is necessary to select a set from an infinite number of socks, but not an infinite number of shoes.

--Bertrand Russell


pink and white roses on white surface

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

--Bertrand Russell

houses and trees during nighttime

Sometimes the hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.

--Bertrand Russell

white desk lamp beside green plant

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

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so sure of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts.

--Bertrand Russell

pink flowers in vase

For a good notation has a subtlety and suggestiveness which at times make it seem almost like a live teacher.

--Bertrand Russell





seashore during golden hour

To avoid the various foolish opinions to which mankind are prone, no superhuman genius is required. A few simple rules will keep you, not from all error, but from silly error.

--Bertrand Russell

sunflower field during daytime

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.

--Bertrand Russell

pink

A man's acts are partly determined by spontaneous impulse, partly by the conscious and unconscious effects of the various groups to which he belongs.

--Bertrand Russell

A white stripe pattern made up of concrete facade ribs

The method of "postulating" what we want has many advantages; they are the same as the advantages of theft over honest toil.

--Bertrand Russell

green mountain ]

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

--Bertrand Russell


green grass field

There is darkness without and when I die there will be darkness within. There is no splendor, nor vastness anywhere; only triviality for a moment and then nothing.

--Bertrand Russell

photo of outer space

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

--Bertrand Russell


low-angle photo of white daisy

The true spirit of delight...is to be found in mathematics as surely as in poetry.

--Bertrand Russell

two women making peace sign near the Golden Gate bridge

The wise use of leisure, it must be conceded, is a product of civilization and education.

--Bertrand Russell

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

There are certain things that our age needs. It needs, above all, courageous hope and the impulse to creativeness.

--Bertrand Russell


black and gray Canon AE-1 camera on gray sand under brown dock near body of water at daytime

Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy.

--Bertrand Russell

red rope on three branch

Love is wise -- Hatred is foolish.

--Bertrand Russell

man running on seashore

The commonest objection to birth control is that it is against nature.

--Bertrand Russell

man holding his head

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

empty brown concrete stairs beside green grass under starry sky long-exposure photography

John Locke invented common sense, and only Englishmen have had it ever since!

--Bertrand Russell

brown mountains under blue sky

Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.

--Bertrand Russell


pink and blue painted wall

Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

--Bertrand Russell


sealion surrounded by rocks during daytime

The pursuit of social success, in the form of prestige or power or both, is the most important obstacle to happiness in a competitive society.

--Bertrand Russell

Clear blue ocean washing on the sandy shore on a clear day in Cancún

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

Arizona landscape rocks

One of the main causes of trouble in the world is dogmatic and fanatical belief in some doctrine for which there is no adequate evidence.

--Bertrand Russell

Arizona landscape rocks

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

red textile in close up photography

Mankind is divided into two classes: those who, being artificial, praise nature, and those who, being natural, praise art.

--Bertrand Russell

photo of gray moon

You could live without the opera singer, but not without the services of the baker. On this ground you might say that the baker performs a greater service; but no lover of music would agree.

--Bertrand Russell

black floor lamp at the corner

I think it would be just to say the most essential characteristic of mind is memory, using this word in its broadest sense to include every influence of past experience on present reactions.

--Bertrand Russell

sunset with storm clouds

Naive realism leads to physics, and physics, if true, shows naive realism to be false. Therefore naive realism, if true, is false; therefore it is false.

--Bertrand Russell

man and woman holding hand while walking on bridge

Patriots always talk of dying for their country but never of killing for their country.

--Bertrand Russell


cup of latte on table

Worry is a form of fear.

--Bertrand Russell

white petaled flower bloom during daytime

We know too much and feel too little.

--Bertrand Russell


blue sky with stars during night time

The Eugenic Society ... is perpetually bewailing the fact that wage-earners breed faster than middle-class people.

--Bertrand Russell




time lapse photography body of water

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




person holding pocket watch

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

--Bertrand Russell

None

Boys and girls should be taught respect for each other's liberty... and that jealousy and possessiveness kill love.

--Bertrand Russell

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

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

--Bertrand Russell

photography of burning camp fire

Plato possessed the art to dress up illiberal suggestions in such a way that they deceived future ages, which admired the Republic without ever becoming aware of what was involved in its proposals.

--Bertrand Russell

couple sitting near trees during golden hour

The ... increase in the power of officials is a constant source of irritation to everybody else.

--Bertrand Russell

concert photos

But the discipline you have in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority.

--Bertrand Russell

red and blue light digital wallpaper

Aristotle is the last Greek philosopher who faces the world cheerfully; after him, all have, in one form or another, a philosophy of retreat.

--Bertrand Russell

green trees on body of water during daytime

It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow and white abstract painting

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

--Bertrand Russell


red metal bridge over river

There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.

--Bertrand Russell

red rose in bloom during daytime

Since Adam and Eve ate the apple, man has never refrained from any folly of which he was capable.

--Bertrand Russell

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

In a democracy it is necessary that people should learn to endure having their sentiments outraged.

--Bertrand Russell


purple-petaled flower on selective focus photography

Moral progress has consisted in the main of protest against cruel customs, and of attempts to enlarge human sympathy.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of flower during sunset

Those who in principle oppose birth control are either incapable of arithmetic or else in favor of war, pestilence and famine as permanent features of human life.

--Bertrand Russell

gold round wall clock on white painted wall

Any philosophy worth taking seriously would have to be built upon a firm foundation of unyielding despair.

--Bertrand Russell

brown tree branch during daytime

Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.

--Bertrand Russell

gray concrete floor

I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer.

--Bertrand Russell


brown tree branch during daytime

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


white and blue building under clear sky

If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.

--Bertrand Russell

purple flowered hedge plants

Even if we could be certain that one of the world's religions were perfectly true, given the sheer number of conflicting faiths on offer, every believer should expect damnation purely as a matter of probability.

--Bertrand Russell


person in blue denim jeans and brown leather boots

Our individual life is brief, and perhaps the whole life of mankind will be brief if measured in astronomical scale.

--Bertrand Russell

castle surrounded fog

Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

--Bertrand Russell


purple flower in macro lens

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

--Bertrand Russell

beach during daytime

If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships.

--Bertrand Russell

two clown fishes underwater

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


None

Belief in a Divine mission is one of the many forms of certainty that have afflicted the human race.

--Bertrand Russell

black and yellow wall sconce

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

red textile in close up photography

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




silhouette of person kicking on mid air

I do not think any reasonable person can doubt that in India, China and Japan, if the knowledge of birth control existed, the birthrate would fall very rapidly.

--Bertrand Russell

brown sands

The importance of time is rather practical than theoretical, rather in relation to our desires than in relation to truth.

--Bertrand Russell

white wall paint beside white wall

My own view on religion is ... It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and ... to chronicle eclipses ... These two services I am prepared to acknowledge.

--Bertrand Russell


long black haired woman smiling close-up photography

The desire to understand the world and the desire to reform it are the two great engines of progress, without which human society would stand still or retrogress.

--Bertrand Russell

two children holding hands while walking in the middle of the fields

An individual human existence should be like a river.

--Bertrand Russell


black bird

There is as much difference between a collection of mentally free citizens and a community molded by modern methods of propaganda as there is between a heap of raw materials and a battleship.

--Bertrand Russell

man in black jacket sitting on chair

The use of self control is like the use of brakes on train. It is useful when you find yourself in wrong direction but merely harmful when the direction is right.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of man on top of hill overlooking lighted city at dawn

I believe four ingredients are necessary for happiness: health, warm personal relations, sufficient means to keep you from want, and successful work.

--Bertrand Russell

photography of white wall lot

Ethical metaphysics is fundamentally an attempt, however disguised, to give legislative force to our own wishes.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow and white color illustration

Modern life cannot be constructed on ... physically strenuous principles. A great deal of work is sedentary, and most manual work exercises only a few specialized muscles.

--Bertrand Russell

pink concrete wall during daytime

No great achievement is possible without persistent work.

--Bertrand Russell

woman doing yoga on rock platform next to body of water

The first essential character of civilization, I should say, is forethought. This, indeed, is what mainly distinguishes men from brutes and adults from children.

--Bertrand Russell

sunset

It is the things for which there is no evidence that are believed with passion.

--Bertrand Russell

houses and trees during nighttime

There's a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire -- poison and antidote.

--Bertrand Russell

leafless tree under gray sky

No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid, and however unpleasant the truth may be, it is better to face it once and for all, to get used to it, and to proceed to build your life in accordance with it.

--Bertrand Russell

green and white painted wall

Change is scientific; progress is ethical; change is indubitable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy.

--Bertrand Russell

green and white painted wall

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

--Bertrand Russell

man standing on sand while spreading arms beside calm body of water

Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.

--Bertrand Russell

icy mountain scenery

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

2 people riding on boat during sunset

Uncertainty in the pressure of vivid hopes and fears is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of man and woman during sunset

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

woman in white and black stripe long sleeve shirt standing beside brown concrete building during daytime

What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life..

--Bertrand Russell

closeup photo of lounger chairs and beach umbrellas

The discipline in your life should be one determined by your own desires and your own needs, not put upon you by society or authority.

--Bertrand Russell


landscape photo of mountain during nighttime

Thinking you know when in fact you don't is a fatal mistake, to which we are all prone.

--Bertrand Russell



clear wine glass with red wine

Every housemaid expects at least once a week as much excitement as would have lasted a Jane Austen heroine throughout a whole novel.

--Bertrand Russell

gold round wall clock on white painted wall

Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of mountain during sunset

The power of thought, the vast regions it can master.

--Bertrand Russell

black and gray floral textile

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

brown sand under blue sky during daytime

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

--Bertrand Russell

green and white painted wall

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

--Bertrand Russell




photo og calm body of water

Every great idea starts out as a blasphemy.

--Bertrand Russell

four white balloons on white wall

There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our thoughts.

--Bertrand Russell


bird in the sky

The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts -- the less you know the hotter you get.

--Bertrand Russell

black textile on white textile

I do not believe that I am now dreaming, but I cannot prove that I am not. I am, however, quite certain that I am having certain experiences, whether they be those of a dream or those of waking life.

--Bertrand Russell


seashore during golden hour

It might seem that the empirical philosopher is the slave of his material, but that the pure mathematician, like the musician, is a free creator of his world of ordered beauty.

--Bertrand Russell

red and yellow abstract painting

Every sane and sensible and quiet thing we do is absolutely ignored by the press.

--Bertrand Russell

closeup photography of wall

By self-interest, Man has become gregarious, but in instinct he has remained to a great extent solitary; hence the need of religion and morality to reinforce self-interest.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of flower during sunset

It is not known why the Lord made the human body as he did, since one might suppose that omnipotence could have made it such as would not have shocked the nice people.

--Bertrand Russell


silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

A world without delight and without affection is a world destitute of value.

--Bertrand Russell

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

A great many worries can be diminished by realizing the unimportance of the matter which is causing anxiety.

--Bertrand Russell

pink cherry blossom tree under blue sky during daytime

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



selective focus photography of pink petaled flower

A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree or certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world suffers.

--Bertrand Russell

man in Burton shirt facing ocean

You may reasonably expect a man to walk a tightrope safely for ten minutes; it would be unreasonable to do so without accident for two hundred years.

--Bertrand Russell

panoramic photography of mountains

The objection to propaganda is not only its appeal to unreason, but still more the unfair advantage which it gives to the rich and powerful.

--Bertrand Russell



red tulip in bloom during daytime

Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty.

--Bertrand Russell

icy mountain scenery

Everybody can do something toward creating in his own environment kindly feelings rather than anger, reasonableness rather than hysteria, happiness rather than misery.

--Bertrand Russell


round black clock on linen

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

--Bertrand Russell

leafless tree under gray sky

There have been poverty, pestilence, and famine, which were due to man's inadequate mastery of nature. There have been wars, oppressions and tortures which have been due to men's hostility to their fellow men.

--Bertrand Russell

aerial photo of brown moutains

To fear love is to fear life.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of man standing on rock while looking in sky

Dread of disaster makes everybody act in the very way that increases the disaster.

--Bertrand Russell


Arizona landscape

It's coexistence or no existence.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow sunflower in close up photography

Cynicism such as one finds very frequently among the most highly educated young men and women of the West, results from the combination of comfort and powerlessness.

--Bertrand Russell

brown sands

Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness.

--Bertrand Russell

purple flowered hedge plants

Science does not aim at establishing immutable truths and eternal dogmas; its aim is to approach the truth by successive approximations, without claiming that at any stage final and complete accuracy has been achieved.

--Bertrand Russell


body of water during sunset

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

red and yellow abstract painting

The luxury to disparage freedom is the privilege of those who already possess it.

--Bertrand Russell

sand

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


gray concrete surface

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

--Bertrand Russell

man sitting on couch with looking at his MacBook on table

For my part I distrust all generalizations about women, favorable and unfavorable, masculine and feminine, ancient and modern; all alike, I should say, result from paucity of experience.

--Bertrand Russell


eyeglasses in bokeh photography

The essence of life is doing things for their own sakes.

--Bertrand Russell

red white and blue flag

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

--Bertrand Russell

white wall paint with black line

The more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs.

--Bertrand Russell

black bird flying on white background

Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.

--Bertrand Russell

white wall paint with white wall paint

Joy of life... depends upon a certain spontaneity in regard to sex. Where sex is repressed, only work remains, and a gospel of work for work's sake never produced any work worth doing.

--Bertrand Russell


sunset highway

None of our beliefs are quite true; all have at least a penumbra of vagueness and error.

--Bertrand Russell

photo of clear sky full of stars

Ironclads and Maxim guns must be the ultimate arbiters of metaphysical truth.

--Bertrand Russell

sunset

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

--Bertrand Russell


silhouette photography of person in gray sailing boat in the middle of body of water

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

--Bertrand Russell

white wall paint beside white wall

Worry is a form of fear, and all forms of fear produce fatigue. A man who has learned not to feel fear will find the fatigue of daily life enormously diminished.

--Bertrand Russell

grey cliff near body of water

Righteousness cannot be born until self-righteousness is dead.

--Bertrand Russell

sunset over hill

The saviors of the world, society's last hope.

--Bertrand Russell


pink tulips in close up photography

The nonexistence of God makes more difference to some of us than to others. To me, it means that there is no absolute morality, that moralities are sets of social conventions devised by humans to satisfy their needs.

--Bertrand Russell


pink rose in close up photography

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

--Bertrand Russell

man jumping on hill during golden hour

I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.

--Bertrand Russell

yellow flower field under clear sky

The search for something permanent is one of the deepest of the instincts leading men to philosophy.

--Bertrand Russell

photo of brown parquet

Only mathematics and mathematical logic can say as little as the physicist means to say.

--Bertrand Russell

silhouette of mountain during sunset

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

bird in the sky

Perhaps the best hope for the future of mankind is that ways will be found of increasing the scope and intensity of sympathy.

--Bertrand Russell

We wish you a perfect day!