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Bertrand Russell Quotes
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Bertrand Russell Quote: “The axiomatic method has many advantages over honest work.”

The axiomatic method has many advantages over honest work.

— 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: “Undoubtedly the desire for food has been and still is one of the main causes of political events.”

Undoubtedly the desire for food has been and still is one of the main causes of political events.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “When all experts agree, you need to watch out.”

When all experts agree, you need to watch out.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “To discover a system for the avoidance of war is a vital need of our civilisation.”

To discover a system for the avoidance of war is a vital need of our civilisation.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear.”

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Politics is largely governed by sententious platitudes which are devoid of truth.”

Politics is largely governed by sententious platitudes which are devoid of truth.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “A marriage is likely to be called happy if neither party ever expected to get much happiness out of it.”

A marriage is likely to be called happy if neither party ever expected to get much happiness out of it.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “If two hitherto rival football teams, under the influence of brotherly love, decided to co-operate in placing the football first beyond one goal and then beyond the other, no one’s happiness would be increased.”

If two hitherto rival football teams, under the influence of brotherly love, decided to co-operate in placing the football first beyond one goal and then beyond the other, no one’s happiness would be increased.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The purpose of education is to teach a defense against eloquence.”

The purpose of education is to teach a defense against eloquence.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Civilized life has altogether grown too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide a harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting.”

Civilized life has altogether grown too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide a harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce.”

Neither acquiescence in skepticism nor acquiescence in dogma is what education should produce.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.”

In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens.”

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The supreme maxim in scientific philosophising is this: wherever possible, logical constructions are to be substituted for inferred entities.”

The supreme maxim in scientific philosophising is this: wherever possible, logical constructions are to be substituted for inferred entities.

— 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: “When I found myself regarded as respectable, I began to wonder what sins I had committed. I must be very wicked, I thought. I began to engage in the most uncomfortable introspection.”

When I found myself regarded as respectable, I began to wonder what sins I had committed. I must be very wicked, I thought. I began to engage in the most uncomfortable introspection.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Patience and boredom are closely related. Boredom, a certain kind of boredom, is really impatience. You don’t like the way things are, they aren’t interesting enough for you, so you deccide- and boredom is a decision-that you are bored.”

Patience and boredom are closely related. Boredom, a certain kind of boredom, is really impatience. You don’t like the way things are, they aren’t interesting enough for you, so you deccide- and boredom is a decision-that you are bored.

— Bertrand Russell



Bertrand Russell Quote: “With the introduction of agriculture mankind entered upon a long period of meanness, misery, and madness, from which they are only now being freed by the beneficent operation of the machine.”

With the introduction of agriculture mankind entered upon a long period of meanness, misery, and madness, from which they are only now being freed by the beneficent operation of the machine.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The man who is unhappy will, as a rule, adopt an unhappy creed, while the man who is happy will adopt a happy creed; each may attribute his happiness or unhappiness to his beliefs, while the real causation is the other way round.”

The man who is unhappy will, as a rule, adopt an unhappy creed, while the man who is happy will adopt a happy creed; each may attribute his happiness or unhappiness to his beliefs, while the real causation is the other way round.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.”

The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Power, like vanity, is insatiable. Nothing short of omnipotence could satisfy it completely.”

Power, like vanity, is insatiable. Nothing short of omnipotence could satisfy it completely.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Clergymen almost necessarily fail in two ways as teachers of morals. They condemn acts which do no harm and they condone acts which do great harm.”

Clergymen almost necessarily fail in two ways as teachers of morals. They condemn acts which do no harm and they condone acts which do great harm.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “The atomists, unlike Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, sought to explain the world without introducing the notion of purpose or final cause.”

The atomists, unlike Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, sought to explain the world without introducing the notion of purpose or final cause.

— 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: “It is in the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know-or care-about circumstances in the colonies.”

It is in the nature of imperialism that citizens of the imperial power are always among the last to know-or care-about circumstances in the colonies.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “One eminently orthodox Catholic divine laid it down that a confessor may fondle a nun’s breasts, provided he does it without evil intent.”

One eminently orthodox Catholic divine laid it down that a confessor may fondle a nun’s breasts, provided he does it without evil intent.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Curious learning not only makes unpleasant things less unpleasant but also makes pleasant things more pleasant.”

Curious learning not only makes unpleasant things less unpleasant but also makes pleasant things more pleasant.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “No other organization rouses anything like the loyalty aroused by the national State. And the chief activity of the State is preparation for large-scale homicide.”

No other organization rouses anything like the loyalty aroused by the national State. And the chief activity of the State is preparation for large-scale homicide.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Writing can be either readable or precise, but not at the same time.”

Writing can be either readable or precise, but not at the same time.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “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.”

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


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: “Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.”

Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Men have physical needs, and they have emotions. While physical needs are unsatisfied, they take first place; but when they are satisfied, emotions unconnected with them become important in deciding whether a man is to be happy or unhappy.”

Men have physical needs, and they have emotions. While physical needs are unsatisfied, they take first place; but when they are satisfied, emotions unconnected with them become important in deciding whether a man is to be happy or unhappy.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.”

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

— Bertrand Russell


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: “A world without delight and without affection is a world destitute of value.”

A world without delight and without affection is a world destitute of value.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.”

A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.

— 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: “When two great powers disagree about anything – it doesn’t matter what – they must find a way to settle it somehow by arbitration or by negotiation, not by war or threat of war.”

When two great powers disagree about anything – it doesn’t matter what – they must find a way to settle it somehow by arbitration or by negotiation, not by war or threat of war.

— 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: “Love cannot exists as a duty; to tell a child that it ought to love its parents and its brother and sisters is utterly useless, if not worse.”

Love cannot exists as a duty; to tell a child that it ought to love its parents and its brother and sisters is utterly useless, if not worse.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.”

No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.

— 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


Bertrand Russell Quote: “All human activity is prompted by desire.”

All human activity is prompted by desire.

— 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: “There’s a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire – poison and antidote.”

There’s a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire – poison and antidote.

— Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell Quote: “Those whose lives are fruitful to themselves, to their friends, or to the world are inspired by hope and sustained by joy: they see in imagination the things that might be and the way in which they are to be brought into existence.”

Those whose lives are fruitful to themselves, to their friends, or to the world are inspired by hope and sustained by joy: they see in imagination the things that might be and the way in which they are to be brought into existence.

— Bertrand Russell

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