Bertrand Russell Quotes

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

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.

The first step in a fascist movement is the combination under an energetic leader of a number of men who possess more than the average share of leisure, brutality, and stupidity. The next step is to fascinate fools and muzzle the intelligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other.

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

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

Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.

A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.

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

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.

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

Religion is based … mainly upon fear … fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.

Life is just one cup of coffee after another, and don’t look for anything else.

The key to happiness is accepting one unpleasant reality every day.

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime.

War doesn’t determine who’s right, it determines who’s left

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.

To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom.

Belief systems provide a programme which relieves the necessity of thought.

When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think.

Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.

We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: one which we preach, but do not practice, and another which we practice, but seldom preach.

People seem good while they are oppressed, but they only wish to become oppressors in their turn: life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.