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Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something;
by Bertrand Russell

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something;
in the absence of good grounds for belief,
he will be satisfied with bad ones.
- Bertrand Russell

Related topics: Cynical Life Human-Nature Psychology

Conventional people are roused to fury
by departure from convention,
largely because they regard such departure
as a criticism of themselves.
- Bertrand Russell

A widespread belief is more often likely
to be foolish than sensible.
- Bertrand Russell

To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.
- Bertrand Russell

 

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

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown
is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
- Bertrand Russell

The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.
- Bertrand Russell

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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

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct,
and tends to produce ferocity toward
those who are not regarded as members of the herd.
- Bertrand Russell

I am firm; YOU are obstinate; HE is a pig-headed fool.
- Bertrand Russell

Patriots always talk of dying for their country and
never of killing for their country.
- Bertrand Russell

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life
are already three parts dead.
- Bertrand Russell

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

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

The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one,
particularly if he plays golf.
- Bertrand Russell

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

It is the things for which there is no evidence
that are believed with passion.
- Bertrand Russell

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

War does not determine who is right -
only who is left.
- Bertrand Russell

Men are born ignorant, not stupid.
They are made stupid by education.
- Bertrand Russell

Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world
from earlier centuries is attributable to science,
which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century.
- Bertrand Russell

The most savage controversies are about matters as
to which there is no good evidence either way.
- Bertrand Russell

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men;
although he was twice married,
it never occurred to him to verify this statement by
examining his wives' mouths.
- Bertrand Russell

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 civilised men.
- Bertrand Russell

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting
for our wits to grow sharper.
- Bertrand Russell

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

There is something feeble and a little contemptible
about a man who cannot face the perils of life without
the help of comfortable myths.
- Bertrand Russell

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

None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.
- Bertrand Russell

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

Right discipline consists, not in external compulsion,
but in the habits of mind which lead spontaneously
to desirable rather than undesirable activities.
- Bertrand Russell

We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education
has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
- Bertrand Russell

Most people would sooner die than think;
in fact,
they do so.
- Bertrand Russell

The fundamental concept in social science is Power,
in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.
- Bertrand Russell

To acquire immunity to eloquence is of the utmost importance
to the citizens of a democracy.
- Bertrand Russell

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

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion,
for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Bertrand Russell

The true spirit of delight, the exaltation,
the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone
of the highest excellence,
is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry.
- Bertrand Russell

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

Religions that teach brotherly love have been used
as an excuse for persecution,
and our profoundest scientific insight is made into
a means of mass destruction.
- Bertrand Russell

The demand for certainty is one which is natural to man,
but is nevertheless an intellectual vice.
- Bertrand Russell

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

If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal
circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life
more than it has to give.
- Bertrand Russell

The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone,
is really, if physics is to be believed,
observing the effects of the stone upon himself.
- Bertrand Russell

Italy, and the spring and first love all together should
suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.
- Bertrand Russell

The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists.
That is why they invented Hell.
- Bertrand Russell

Many people would sooner die than think;
in fact,
they do so.
- Bertrand Russell

Awareness of universals is called conceiving,
and a universal of which we are aware is called a concept.
- Bertrand Russell

Reason is a harmonising, controlling force rather than a creative one.
- Bertrand Russell

Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.
- Bertrand Russell

Against my will, in the course of my travels,
the belief that everything worth knowing was known
at Cambridge gradually wore off.
In this respect my travels were very useful to me.
- Bertrand Russell

In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors,
since all men are equal, but he does not admit that
he has no social inferiors,
for, from the time of Jefferson onward,
the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards,
not downwards.
- Bertrand Russell

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

To teach how to live without certainty and yet without
being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy,
in our age, can do for those who study it.
- Bertrand Russell

What is wanted is not the will to believe,
but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
- Bertrand Russell

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.
- Bertrand Russell

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

Admiration of the proletariat, like that of dams,
power stations, and aeroplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age.
- Bertrand Russell

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps
the most fatal to true happiness.
- Bertrand Russell

No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
- Bertrand Russell

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.
- Bertrand Russell

A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying,
but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever
form it will is sure to be short.
- Bertrand Russell

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

Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly,
are always proud of the fact.
- Bertrand Russell

Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.
- Bertrand Russell

Freedom in general may be defined as the absence of
obstacles to the realization of desires.
- Bertrand Russell

It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what
they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals.
- Bertrand Russell

When the intensity of emotional conviction subsides,
a man who is in the habit of reasoning will search
for logical grounds in favour of the belief which he finds in himself.
- Bertrand Russell

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.
- Bertrand Russell

I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion,
as organized in its Churches, has been and still is
the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
- Bertrand Russell

Indignation is a submission of our thoughts,
but not of our desires.
- Bertrand Russell


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