Inspiring Quotes by British Philosopher Bertrand Russell

Collection of most interesting and inspiring quotes by British philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was was a British polymath, philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. He was the greatest philosopher of the twentieth century and the greatest logician since Aristotle

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Best Quotes by Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age but if so it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door and this dragon is religion.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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

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

— 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 slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death because they are greater than anything he finds in himself and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.

— Bertrand Russell

Men are born ignorant not stupid. They are made stupid by education.

— 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

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

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

— 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

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

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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

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

— 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

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

— Bertrand Russell

Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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 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

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

— Bertrand Russell

Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.

— Bertrand Russell

Those who forget good and evil and seek only to know the facts are more likely to achieve good than those who view the world through the distorting medium of their own desires.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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

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

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

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

— Bertrand Russell

Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.

— Bertrand Russell

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

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

— 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

Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people’s happiness and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.

— Bertrand Russell

If 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

If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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

Religions which condemn the pleasures of sense drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

The degree of one’s emotions varies inversely with one’s knowledge of the facts.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

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

— 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

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

— 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

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

Men are born ignorant not stupid. They are made stupid by education.

— 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

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

— Bertrand Russell

Religions which condemn the pleasures of sense drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.

— Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

— Bertrand Russell

Religions which condemn the pleasures of sense drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.

— Bertrand Russell

The fundamental concept in social science is Power in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery.

— Bertrand Russell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Science is what you know philosophy is what you don’t know.

— Bertrand Russell

The fundamental concept in social science is Power in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.

— Bertrand Russell

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

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

— Bertrand Russell

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

— 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’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

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

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

— Bertrand Russell

The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death because they are greater than anything he finds in himself and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.

— Bertrand Russell

Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time.

— Bertrand Russell

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

— Bertrand Russell

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

— Bertrand Russell

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

— 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

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

— 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

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

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

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

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

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

— 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

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