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Bertrand Russell Quotes
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Bertrand Russell Quote: “The atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind.”

The atomic bomb embodies the results of a combination genius and patience as remarkable as any in the history of mankind.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “I believe four ingredients are necessary for happiness: health, warm personal relations, sufficient means to keep you from want, and successful work.”

I believe four ingredients are necessary for happiness: health, warm personal relations, sufficient means to keep you from want, and successful work.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.”

If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “None of our beliefs are quite true; all have at least a penumbra of vagueness and error.”

None of our beliefs are quite true; all have at least a penumbra of vagueness and error.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Memory demands an image.”

Memory demands an image.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Religion may in most of its forms be defined as the belief that the gods are on the side of the government.”

Religion may in most of its forms be defined as the belief that the gods are on the side of the government.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I suppose the advocates of unreason think that there is a better chance of profitably deceiving the populace if they keep it in a state of effervescence.”

I suppose the advocates of unreason think that there is a better chance of profitably deceiving the populace if they keep it in a state of effervescence.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Unhappy business men, I am convinced, would increase their happiness more by walking six miles every day than by any conceivable change of philosophy.”

Unhappy business men, I am convinced, would increase their happiness more by walking six miles every day than by any conceivable change of philosophy.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Dogmatism is the greatest of mental obstacles to human happiness.”

Dogmatism is the greatest of mental obstacles to human happiness.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The taboo against nakedness is an obstacle to a decent attitude on the subject of sex.”

The taboo against nakedness is an obstacle to a decent attitude on the subject of sex.

— Bertrand Russell



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

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

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Among the Tibetans, one wife has many husbands, because men are too poor to support a whole wife.”

Among the Tibetans, one wife has many husbands, because men are too poor to support a whole wife.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Moral progress has consisted in the main of protest against cruel customs, and of attempts to enlarge human sympathy.”

Moral progress has consisted in the main of protest against cruel customs, and of attempts to enlarge human sympathy.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Upon hearing via Littlewood an exposition on the theory of relativity: To think I have spent my life on absolute muck.”

Upon hearing via Littlewood an exposition on the theory of relativity: To think I have spent my life on absolute muck.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Freedom in education has many aspects. There is first of all freedom to learn or not to learn. Then there is freedom as to what to learn. And in later education there is freedom of opinion.”

Freedom in education has many aspects. There is first of all freedom to learn or not to learn. Then there is freedom as to what to learn. And in later education there is freedom of opinion.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “My doctor said to me afterwards, ‘When you were ill you behaved like a true philosopher. Every time you came to yourself you made a joke.’ I never had a compliment that pleased me more.”

My doctor said to me afterwards, ‘When you were ill you behaved like a true philosopher. Every time you came to yourself you made a joke.’ I never had a compliment that pleased me more.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides, a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself.”

When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides, a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I’ve always thought respectable people scoundrels, and I look anxiously at my face every morning for signs of my becoming a scoundrel.”

I’ve always thought respectable people scoundrels, and I look anxiously at my face every morning for signs of my becoming a scoundrel.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.”

No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.”

A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.”

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

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Philosophy is an unusually ingenious attempt to think fallaciously.”

Philosophy is an unusually ingenious attempt to think fallaciously.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “As a lover of truth, the national propaganda of all the belligerent nations sickened me. As a lover of civilization, the return to barbarism appalled me.”

As a lover of truth, the national propaganda of all the belligerent nations sickened me. As a lover of civilization, the return to barbarism appalled me.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “You may, if you are an old-fashioned schoolmaster, wish to consider yourself full of universal benevolence and at the same time derive great pleasure from caning boys. In order to reconcile these two desires you have to persuade yourself that caning.”

You may, if you are an old-fashioned schoolmaster, wish to consider yourself full of universal benevolence and at the same time derive great pleasure from caning boys. In order to reconcile these two desires you have to persuade yourself that caning.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “What science cannot tell us, mankind cannot know.”

What science cannot tell us, mankind cannot know.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Analytic It is clear that the definition of “logic” or “mathematics” must be sought by trying to give a new definition of the old notion of “analytic” propositions.”

Analytic It is clear that the definition of “logic” or “mathematics” must be sought by trying to give a new definition of the old notion of “analytic” propositions.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Can a society in which thought and technique are scientific persist for a long period, as, for example, ancient Egypt persisted, or does it necessarily contain within itself forces which must bring either decay or explosion?”

Can a society in which thought and technique are scientific persist for a long period, as, for example, ancient Egypt persisted, or does it necessarily contain within itself forces which must bring either decay or explosion?

— Bertrand Russell


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

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

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The human race may well become extinct before the end of the century.”

The human race may well become extinct before the end of the century.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “It would have been very much better for the world if Britain had remained neutral and the Germans had won a quick victory. We should not have had either the Nazis or the Communists if that had happened.”

It would have been very much better for the world if Britain had remained neutral and the Germans had won a quick victory. We should not have had either the Nazis or the Communists if that had happened.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “There is no greater reason for children to honour parents than for parents to honour children except, that while the children are young, the parents are stronger than children.”

There is no greater reason for children to honour parents than for parents to honour children except, that while the children are young, the parents are stronger than children.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The desire for legitimate offspring is, in fact, according to the Catholic Church, the only motive which can justify sexual intercourse.”

The desire for legitimate offspring is, in fact, according to the Catholic Church, the only motive which can justify sexual intercourse.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Collective wisdom, alas, is no adequate substitute for the intelligence of individuals. Individuals who opposed received opinions have been the source of all progress, both moral and intellectual. They have been unpopular, as was natural.”

Collective wisdom, alas, is no adequate substitute for the intelligence of individuals. Individuals who opposed received opinions have been the source of all progress, both moral and intellectual. They have been unpopular, as was natural.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.”

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Almost all education has a political motive.”

Almost all education has a political motive.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I was told that The Chinese said they would bury me by the Western Lake and build a shrine to my memory. I have some slight regret that this did not happen, as I might have become a god, which would have been very chic for an atheist.”

I was told that The Chinese said they would bury me by the Western Lake and build a shrine to my memory. I have some slight regret that this did not happen, as I might have become a god, which would have been very chic for an atheist.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The above proposition is occasionally useful.”

The above proposition is occasionally useful.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I feel as if one would only discover on one’s death bed what one ought to have lived for.”

I feel as if one would only discover on one’s death bed what one ought to have lived for.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Conquer the world by intelligence, and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it.”

Conquer the world by intelligence, and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The pleasure of work is open to anyone who can develop some specialised skill, provided that he can get satisfaction from the exercise of his skill without demanding universal applause.”

The pleasure of work is open to anyone who can develop some specialised skill, provided that he can get satisfaction from the exercise of his skill without demanding universal applause.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Worry is a form of fear.”

Worry is a form of fear.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Emphatic and reiterated assertion, especially during childhood, produces in most people a belief so firm as to have a hold even over the unconscious.”

Emphatic and reiterated assertion, especially during childhood, produces in most people a belief so firm as to have a hold even over the unconscious.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “When considering marriage one should ask oneself this question; ‘will I be able to talk with this person into old age?’ Everything else is transitory, the most time is spent in conversation.”

When considering marriage one should ask oneself this question; ‘will I be able to talk with this person into old age?’ Everything else is transitory, the most time is spent in conversation.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The frequency with which a man experiences lust depends upon his own physical condition, whereas the occasion which rouse such feelings in him depend upon the social conventions to which he is accustomed.”

The frequency with which a man experiences lust depends upon his own physical condition, whereas the occasion which rouse such feelings in him depend upon the social conventions to which he is accustomed.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.”

Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “To avoid the various foolish opinions to which mankind are prone, no superhuman genius is required. A few simple rules will keep you, not from all error, but from silly error.”

To avoid the various foolish opinions to which mankind are prone, no superhuman genius is required. A few simple rules will keep you, not from all error, but from silly error.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “You may reasonably expect a man to walk a tightrope safely for ten minutes; it would be unreasonable to do so without accident for two hundred years.”

You may reasonably expect a man to walk a tightrope safely for ten minutes; it would be unreasonable to do so without accident for two hundred years.

— Bertrand Russell

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