Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

British Philosopher, Logician, Mathematician, Historian, Socialist, Pacifist and Social Critic

Author Quotes

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

If you think your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument rather than by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based upon faith, you will realize that argument is useless, and will therefore resort to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting or distorting the minds of the young in what is called 'education.'

If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing.

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.

If an international system could be established which would remove the fear of war, the improvement in everyday mentality of everyday people would be enormous and very rapid. Fear, at present, overshadows the world.

I believe that love of truth is the basis of all real virtue...

I am sometimes shocked by the blasphemies of those who think themselves pious."

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

Continuity of purpose is one of the most essential ingredients of happiness in the long run, and for most men this comes chiefly through their work.

Change is one thing, progress is another. "Change" is scientific, "progress" is ethical; change is indisputable, whereas progress is a matter of controversy.

A stupid man's report of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.

When men willingly follow a leader, they do so with a view to the acquisition of power by the group which he commands, and they feel that his triumphs are theirs.

What passes as “human nature” is at most one-tenth nature, the other nine-tenths being nurture.

We have… two kinds of morality side by side: one which we preach, but do not practice, and another which we practice but seldom preach.

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

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

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

To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.

Thought is free when it is exposed to free competition among beliefs, i.e., when all beliefs are able to state their case, and no legal or pecuniary advantages or disadvantages attach to beliefs.

There is… no point in deliberately flouting public opinion; this is still to be under its domination, though in a topsy-turvy way. But to be genuinely indifferent to it is both a strength and a source of happiness.

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

The State is a collection of officials… drawing comfortable incomes so long as the status quo is preserved. The only alteration they are likely to desire in the status quo is an increase of bureaucracy and of the power of the bureaucrats.

The pursuit of knowledge is, I think, mainly actuated by love of power.

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.

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Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell
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British Philosopher, Logician, Mathematician, Historian, Socialist, Pacifist and Social Critic