Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense".

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

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.

Mathematics takes us into the region of absolute necessity to which not only the actual word but every possible word must conform.

Thought is subversive and revolutionary destructive and terrible Thought is merciless to privilege established institutions and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.

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.

The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible.

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.

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.

One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.

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

The coward wretch whose hand and heart can bear to torture aught below, is ever first to quail and start from the slightest pain or equal foe.

To understand a name you must be acquainted with the particular of which it is a name.

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.

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.

What is wanted is not the will to believe but the will to find out which is the exact opposite.

Religions which condemn the pleasures of sense drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic.

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

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.

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.

Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.

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