Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.

The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.

In all things it is a good idea to hang a question mark now and then on the things we have taken for granted.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.

To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.

Sin is geographical.

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.

Most people would sooner die than think; in fact they do so.

All movements go too far.

Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.

Obscenity is what happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.

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

The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists - that is why they invented hell.

Even in civilized mankind faint traces of monogamous instincts can be perceived.

Order, unity and continuity are human inventions just as truly as catalogues and encyclopedias.

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.

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 that hostile.

Mathematics, rightly viewed, posses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture.

There is no nonsense so errant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate governmental action.

The people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forego ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others.

We know very little, and yet it is astonishing that we know so much, and still more astonishing that so little knowledge can give us so much power.