Quotes by Bertrand Russell

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Most people would rather die than think: many do.

Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.
To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.
Happiness is not best achieved by those who seek it directly.
A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy; I mean that if you are happy you will be good.
Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
Three passions simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life; the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith.
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
The good life is one inspired by life and guided by knowledge.
Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.
Many people when they fall in love look for a little haven of refuge from the world, where they can be sure of being admired when they are not admirable, and praised when they are not praiseworthy.
Marriage is for women the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.
Mathematics, rightly viewed, poses not only truth, but supreme beauty a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.
Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
One of the signs of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.
If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.
Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
What we need is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out.
Why should I allow that same God to tell me how to raise my kids, who had to drown His own?
I am paid by the word, so I always write the shortest words possible.
Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.
We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: one that we preach, but do not practice, and another that we practice, but seldom preach.
Nine-tenths of the appeal of pornography is due to the indecent feelings concerning sex which moralists inculcate in the young; the other tenth is physiological, and will occur in one way or another whatever the state of the law may be.
Science is what you know, philosophy what you don't know.
We are all prone to the malady of the introvert who, with the manifold spectacle of the world spread out before him, turns away and gazes only upon the emptiness within. But let us not imagine there is anything grand about the introvert's unhappiness.
The main things which seem to me important on their own account, and not merely as a means to other account, and not merely as a means to other things, are knowledge, art instinctive happiness, and relations of friendship or affection.
Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
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.
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.
All human activity is prompted by desire.
Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.
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.
Unless one is taught what to do with success after getting it, achievement of it must inevitably leave him prey to boredom.
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.
The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilized men.
A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is.
Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, the chief glory of man.
Thoughts is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible; thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit.
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth more than ruin more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.
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 root of the matter the thing I mean is love, Christian love, or compassion. If you feel this, you have a motive for existence, a guide for action, a reason for courage, an imperative necessity for intellectual honesty.
Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery.
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.
It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.
There is no need to worry about mere size. We do not necessarily respect a fat man more than a thin man. Sir Isaac Newton was very much smaller than a hippopotamus, but we do not on that account value him less.
Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.
It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living.
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
This idea of weapons of mass exterminations utterly horrible and is something which no one with one spark of humanity can tolerate. I will not pretend to obey a government which is organizing a mass massacre of mankind.