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"I guess it wouldn't discourage a real mob for very long, but it packs all the authority you can put in a desk drawer."
Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.
Bertrand Russell Quotes
A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short.
Bertrand Russell

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

All movements go too far.
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell

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

God is a reality of spirit... He cannot... be conceived as an object, not even as the very highest object. God is not to be found in the world of objects.
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

I did not know I loved you until I heard myself telling so, for one instance I thought, "Good God, what have I said?" and then I knew it was true.
Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.
Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

Order, unity, and continuity are human inventions, just as truly as catalogues and encyclopedias.
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

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

Religions that teach brotherly love have been used as an excuse for persecution, and our profoundest scientific insight is made into a means of mass destruction.
Bertrand Russell

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

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

Sin is geographical.
Bertrand Russell

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

That which exists through itself is called The Eternal. The Eternal has neither name nor shape. It is the one essence, the one primal spirit. Essence and life cannot be seen. They are contained in the light of heaven. The light of heaven cannot be seen. It is contained in the two eyes.
Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic.
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

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

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.
Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
Bertrand Russell

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

To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it.
Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relative to other matter; second, telling other people to do so.
Bertrand Russell

Type:
Philosopher
Date of Birth:
1872-05-18
Year of Death:
1970
Nationality:
 

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