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

Almost all education has a political motive.

— 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: “The above proposition is occasionally useful.”

The above proposition is occasionally useful.

— 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: “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: “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: “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: “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: “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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary...”

From India to Spain, the brilliant civilization of Islam flourished. What was lost to christendom at this time was not lost to civilization, but quite the contrary...

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do.”

If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I am sometimes shocked by the blasphemies of those who think themselves pious.”

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

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I do not believe that I am now dreaming, but I cannot prove that I am not. I am, however, quite certain that I am having certain experiences, whether they be those of a dream or those of waking life.”

I do not believe that I am now dreaming, but I cannot prove that I am not. I am, however, quite certain that I am having certain experiences, whether they be those of a dream or those of waking life.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.”

Good nature is, of all moral qualities, the one that the world needs most, and good nature is the result of ease and security, not of a life of arduous struggle.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full.”

If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “If one man offers you democracy and another offers you a bag of grain, at what stage of starvation do you prefer the grain to the vote?”

If one man offers you democracy and another offers you a bag of grain, at what stage of starvation do you prefer the grain to the vote?

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Self-respect will keep a man from being abject when he is in the power of enemies, and will enable him to feel that he may be in the right when the world is against him.”

Self-respect will keep a man from being abject when he is in the power of enemies, and will enable him to feel that he may be in the right when the world is against him.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?”

Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The teacher, like the artist and the philosopher, can perform his work adequately only if he feels himself to be an individual directed by an inner creative impulse, not dominated and fettered by an outside authority.”

The teacher, like the artist and the philosopher, can perform his work adequately only if he feels himself to be an individual directed by an inner creative impulse, not dominated and fettered by an outside authority.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness.”

Envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Cruel men believe in a cruel god and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly god, and they would be kindly in any case.”

Cruel men believe in a cruel god and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly god, and they would be kindly in any case.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Those who continually search for happiness will never find it. Happiness is made, not found. To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. Those who continually search for happiness will never find it. Happiness is made, not found. To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “I used, when I was younger, to take my holidays walking. I would cover 25 miles a day, and when the evening came I had no need of anything to keep me from boredom, since the delight of sitting amply sufficed.”

I used, when I was younger, to take my holidays walking. I would cover 25 miles a day, and when the evening came I had no need of anything to keep me from boredom, since the delight of sitting amply sufficed.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The life of man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long.”

The life of man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible foes, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”

It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Grasshopper always wrong in argument with chicken.”

Grasshopper always wrong in argument with chicken.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Our use of phrase ‘The Dark ages’ to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe...”

Our use of phrase ‘The Dark ages’ to cover the period from 699 to 1,000 marks our undue concentration on Western Europe...

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The Axiom of Choice is necessary to select a set from an infinite number of socks, but not an infinite number of shoes.”

The Axiom of Choice is necessary to select a set from an infinite number of socks, but not an infinite number of shoes.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Aristotle’s metaphysics, roughly speaking, may be described as Plato diluted by common sense. He is difficult because Plato and common sense do not mix easily.”

Aristotle’s metaphysics, roughly speaking, may be described as Plato diluted by common sense. He is difficult because Plato and common sense do not mix easily.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The idea that the poor should have leisure has always been shocking to the rich.”

The idea that the poor should have leisure has always been shocking to the rich.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “To choose one sock from each of infinitely many pairs of socks requires the Axiom of Choice, but for shoes the Axiom is not needed.”

To choose one sock from each of infinitely many pairs of socks requires the Axiom of Choice, but for shoes the Axiom is not needed.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Unrestricted nationalism is, in the long run, incompatible with world peace.”

Unrestricted nationalism is, in the long run, incompatible with world peace.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.”

If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Ants and savages put strangers to death.”

Ants and savages put strangers to death.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.”

Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Look at me. Look at me is one of the fundamental desires of human heart.”

Look at me. Look at me is one of the fundamental desires of human heart.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is based on the idea of approximation. If a man tells you he knows a thing exactly, then you can be safe in inferring that you are speaking to an inexact man.”

Although this may seem a paradox, all exact science is based on the idea of approximation. If a man tells you he knows a thing exactly, then you can be safe in inferring that you are speaking to an inexact man.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Love is a slippery eel that bites like hell.”

Love is a slippery eel that bites like hell.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Righteousness cannot be born until self-righteousness is dead.”

Righteousness cannot be born until self-righteousness is dead.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “There is no excuse for deceiving children. And when, as must happen in conventional families, they find that their parents have lied, they lose confidence in them and feel justified in lying to them.”

There is no excuse for deceiving children. And when, as must happen in conventional families, they find that their parents have lied, they lose confidence in them and feel justified in lying to them.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Speaking psycho-analytically, it may be laid down that any “great ideal” which people mention with awe is really an excuse for inflicting pain on their enemies. Good wine needs no bush, and good morals need no bated breath.”

Speaking psycho-analytically, it may be laid down that any “great ideal” which people mention with awe is really an excuse for inflicting pain on their enemies. Good wine needs no bush, and good morals need no bated breath.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “In human relations one should penetrate to the core of loneliness in each person and speak to that.”

In human relations one should penetrate to the core of loneliness in each person and speak to that.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.”

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The happy life is to an extraordinary extent the same as the good life.”

The happy life is to an extraordinary extent the same as the good life.

— Bertrand Russell

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