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Bertrand Russell Quotes
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Bertrand Russell Quote: “Into every tidy scheme for arranging the pattern of human life, it is necessary to inject a certain dose of anarchism.”

Into every tidy scheme for arranging the pattern of human life, it is necessary to inject a certain dose of anarchism.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.”

This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “St. Paul introduced an entirely novel view of marriage, that it existed primarily to prevent the sin of fornication. It is just as if one were to maintain that the sole reason for baking bread is to prevent people from stealing cake.”

St. Paul introduced an entirely novel view of marriage, that it existed primarily to prevent the sin of fornication. It is just as if one were to maintain that the sole reason for baking bread is to prevent people from stealing cake.

— Bertrand Russell


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

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

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “There is no difference between someone who eats too little and sees Heaven and someone who drinks too much and sees snakes.”

There is no difference between someone who eats too little and sees Heaven and someone who drinks too much and sees snakes.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “When a man tells you that he knows the exact truth about anything you are safe in inferring that he is an inexact man.”

When a man tells you that he knows the exact truth about anything you are safe in inferring that he is an inexact man.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The law of causality, I believe, like much that passes muster among philosophers, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.”

The law of causality, I believe, like much that passes muster among philosophers, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The fundamental principle in the analysis of propositions containing descriptions is this: Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.”

The fundamental principle in the analysis of propositions containing descriptions is this: Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Physics, owing to the simplicity of its subject matter, has reached a higher state of development than any other science.”

Physics, owing to the simplicity of its subject matter, has reached a higher state of development than any other science.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results.”

It is because modern education is so seldom inspired by a great hope that it so seldom achieves great results.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “To think I have spent my life on absolute muck.”

To think I have spent my life on absolute muck.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “There can’t be a practical reason for believing something that is not true.”

There can’t be a practical reason for believing something that is not true.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Written words differ from spoken words in being material structures. A spoken word is a process in the physical world, having an essential time-order; a written word is a series of pieces of matter, having an essential space-order.”

Written words differ from spoken words in being material structures. A spoken word is a process in the physical world, having an essential time-order; a written word is a series of pieces of matter, having an essential space-order.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Abstract work, if one wishes to do it well, must be allowed to destroy one’s humanity; one raises a monument which is at the same time a tomb, in which, voluntarily, one slowly inters oneself.”

Abstract work, if one wishes to do it well, must be allowed to destroy one’s humanity; one raises a monument which is at the same time a tomb, in which, voluntarily, one slowly inters oneself.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer.”

I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. There are others, which, one must suppose, opponents of birth control would prefer.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Unfortunately, however, power is sweet, and the man who in the beginning seeks power merely in order to have scope for his benevolence is likely, before long, to love the power for its own sake.”

Unfortunately, however, power is sweet, and the man who in the beginning seeks power merely in order to have scope for his benevolence is likely, before long, to love the power for its own sake.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.”

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

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.”

Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Human nature is so constructed that it gives affection most readily to those who seem least to demand it.”

Human nature is so constructed that it gives affection most readily to those who seem least to demand it.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “You could live without the opera singer, but not without the services of the baker. On this ground you might say that the baker performs a greater service; but no lover of music would agree.”

You could live without the opera singer, but not without the services of the baker. On this ground you might say that the baker performs a greater service; but no lover of music would agree.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “It is permissible with certain precautions to speak in print of coitus, but it is not permissible to employ the monosyllabic synonym for this word.”

It is permissible with certain precautions to speak in print of coitus, but it is not permissible to employ the monosyllabic synonym for this word.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Morality in sexual relations, when it is free from superstition, consists essentially in respect for the other person, and unwillingness to use that person solely as a means of personal gratification, without regard to his or her desires.”

Morality in sexual relations, when it is free from superstition, consists essentially in respect for the other person, and unwillingness to use that person solely as a means of personal gratification, without regard to his or her desires.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “For my part I distrust all generalizations about women, favorable and unfavorable, masculine and feminine, ancient and modern; all alike, I should say, result from paucity of experience.”

For my part I distrust all generalizations about women, favorable and unfavorable, masculine and feminine, ancient and modern; all alike, I should say, result from paucity of experience.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “One of the most powerful of all our passions is the desire to be admired and respected.”

One of the most powerful of all our passions is the desire to be admired and respected.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The use of self control is like the use of brakes on train. It is useful when you find yourself in wrong direction but merely harmful when the direction is right.”

The use of self control is like the use of brakes on train. It is useful when you find yourself in wrong direction but merely harmful when the direction is right.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I resolved from the beginning of my quest that I would not be misled by sentiment and desire into beliefs for which there was no good evidence.”

I resolved from the beginning of my quest that I would not be misled by sentiment and desire into beliefs for which there was no good evidence.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.”

When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The psychology of adultery has been falsified by conventional morals, which assume, in monogamous countries, that attraction to one person cannot coexist with affection for another. Everybody knows that this is untrue.”

The psychology of adultery has been falsified by conventional morals, which assume, in monogamous countries, that attraction to one person cannot coexist with affection for another. Everybody knows that this is untrue.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake.”

Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Truth is for the gods; from our human point of view, it is an ideal, towards which we can approximate, but which we cannot hope to reach.”

Truth is for the gods; from our human point of view, it is an ideal, towards which we can approximate, but which we cannot hope to reach.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Right conduct can never, except by some rare accident, be promoted by ignorance or hindered by knowledge.”

Right conduct can never, except by some rare accident, be promoted by ignorance or hindered by knowledge.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The method of “postulating” what we want has many advantages; they are the same as the advantages of theft over honest toil.”

The method of “postulating” what we want has many advantages; they are the same as the advantages of theft over honest toil.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “On the one hand, philosophy is to keep us thinking about things that we may come to know, and on the other hand to keep us modestly aware of how much that seems like knowledge isn’t knowledge.”

On the one hand, philosophy is to keep us thinking about things that we may come to know, and on the other hand to keep us modestly aware of how much that seems like knowledge isn’t knowledge.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.”

Whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The difficulty is old, but none the less real. An omnipotent being who created a world containing evil not due to sin must Himself be at least partially evil.”

The difficulty is old, but none the less real. An omnipotent being who created a world containing evil not due to sin must Himself be at least partially evil.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “As for earthquakes, though they were still formidable, they were so interesting that men of science could hardly regret them.”

As for earthquakes, though they were still formidable, they were so interesting that men of science could hardly regret them.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.”

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Meantime, the world in which we exist has other aims. But it will pass away, burnt up in the fire of its own hot passions; and from its ashes will spring a new and younger world, full of fresh hope, woth the light of morning in its eyes.”

Meantime, the world in which we exist has other aims. But it will pass away, burnt up in the fire of its own hot passions; and from its ashes will spring a new and younger world, full of fresh hope, woth the light of morning in its eyes.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The military superiority of Europe to Asia is not an eternal law of nature, as we are tempted to think, and our superiority in civilization is a mere delusion.”

The military superiority of Europe to Asia is not an eternal law of nature, as we are tempted to think, and our superiority in civilization is a mere delusion.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The Mormons had a divine revelation in favour of polygamy, but under pressure from the United States Government they discovered that the revelation was not binding.”

The Mormons had a divine revelation in favour of polygamy, but under pressure from the United States Government they discovered that the revelation was not binding.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I read Zuleika Dobson with pleasure. It represents the Oxford that the two World Wars have destroyed with a charm that is not likely to be reproduced anywhere in the world for the next thousand years.”

I read Zuleika Dobson with pleasure. It represents the Oxford that the two World Wars have destroyed with a charm that is not likely to be reproduced anywhere in the world for the next thousand years.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “A generation educated in fearless freedom will have wider and bolder hopes than are possible to us.”

A generation educated in fearless freedom will have wider and bolder hopes than are possible to us.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Religion and Science are two aspects of social life, of which the former has been important as far back as we know anything of man.”

Religion and Science are two aspects of social life, of which the former has been important as far back as we know anything of man.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “In our complex world, there cannot be fruitful initiative without government, but unfortunately there can be government without initiative.”

In our complex world, there cannot be fruitful initiative without government, but unfortunately there can be government without initiative.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “A process which led from the amoeba to man appeared to the philosophers to be obviously a progress though whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known.”

A process which led from the amoeba to man appeared to the philosophers to be obviously a progress though whether the amoeba would agree with this opinion is not known.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “There are still many people in America who regard depressions as acts of God. I think Keynes proved that the responsibility for these occurrences does not rest with Providence.”

There are still many people in America who regard depressions as acts of God. I think Keynes proved that the responsibility for these occurrences does not rest with Providence.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has and the less he is at the mercy of fate, since if he loses one thing he can fall back upon another.”

The more things a man is interested in, the more opportunities of happiness he has and the less he is at the mercy of fate, since if he loses one thing he can fall back upon another.

— Bertrand Russell

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