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Bertrand Russell Quotes

Please enjoy these encouraging quotes by Bertrand Russell.

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

Related topics: Wisdom

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

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

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
- Bertrand Russell

 

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

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

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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
- Bertrand Russell

I've made an odd discovery.
Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that
happiness is no longer a possibility.
Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something;
in the absence of good grounds for belief,
he will be satisfied with bad ones.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sin is geographical.
- Bertrand Russell

In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that
he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward,
the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards,
not downwards.
- Bertrand Russell

Indignation is a submission of our thoughts,
but not of our desires.
- Bertrand Russell

All movements go too far.
- Bertrand Russell

One should respect public opinion insofar
as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison,
but anything that goes beyond this
is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
- Bertrand Russell

Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.
- Bertrand Russell

Drunkenness is temporary suicide.
- Bertrand Russell

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

The whole problem with the world is that
fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves,
but wiser people so full of doubts.
- Bertrand Russell

Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt.
I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy,
not even mine.
- Bertrand Russell

Awareness of universals is called conceiving,
and a universal of which we are aware is called a concept.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations.
People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation.
- Bertrand Russell

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

Every philosophical problem, when it is subjected to
the necessary analysis and justification,
is found either to be not really philosophical at all,
or else to be, in the sense in which we are using the word,
logical.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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