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Bertrand Russell Quotes

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The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.
Bertrand Russell (Do We Survive Death)
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays, 1928)
Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
Bertrand Russell (Sceptical Essays, 1928)
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 (Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954)
The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian, 1927)
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
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 (Authority and the Individual, 1949)
Contempt for happiness is usually contempt for other people's happiness, and is an elegant disguise for hatred of the human race.
Bertrand Russell (Portrait From Memories and Other Essays, 1956)
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 (The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell, 1903-1959)
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 (Philosophy of Logical Atomism, 1914-1919)
Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?
Bertrand Russell (Conquest of Happiness, 1930)
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 (Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, 1918)
Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
Bertrand Russell (Dreams and Facts, 1919)
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 (The Impact of Science on Society, 1951)
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 (Conquest of Happiness, 1930)
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 (A History of Western Philosophy, 1945)
What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the likeness of the believer.
Bertrand Russell (Why I Am Not a Christian, 1927)
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 (Conquest of Happiness, 1930)
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 (Quoted in Bertrand Russell on God and Religion, 1986)
The habit of looking to the future and thinking that the whole meaning of the present lies in what it will bring forth is a pernicious one. There can be no value in the whole unless there is value in the parts.
Bertrand Russell (Conquest of Happiness, 1930)
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 (Conquest of Happiness, 1930)
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 and Morals, 1929)
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 (Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, 1918)
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 (Conquest of Happiness, 1930)
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
If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
Bertrand Russell (Proposed Roads to Freedom, 1918)
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Bertrand Russell Biography

Born: May 18, 1872
Died: February 2, 1970

Bertrand Russell was a acclaimed British philosopher and logician. He is widely considered to be one of the 20th century's leading logician.

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Notable Works
Principia Mathematica (1910 - 1927)
Mysticism and Logic
(1918)
Why I Am Not a Christian (1927)
Marriage and Morals (1929)
The Conquest of Happiness (1930)
Education and the Social Order (1932)
A History of Western Philosophy (1945)
My Philosophical Development (1959)
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Selected Wisdom

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