I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe - because, like Spinoza's God, it won't love us in return.
It seems to me a fundamental dishonesty, and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it's useful and not because you think it's true.
Right conduct can never, except by some rare accident, be promoted by ignorance or hindered by knowledge.
There is an artist imprisoned in each one of us. Let him loose to spread joy everywhere.
The three main extra-rational activities in modern life are religion, war, and love. all these are extra-rational, but love is not anti-rational, that is to say, a reasonable man may reasonably rejoice in its existence
Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
Love can flourish only as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought of duty. To say that it is your duty to love so-and-so is the surest way to cause you to hate him of her.
The law of causality, I believe, like much that passes muster among philosophers, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm.
I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is mass psychology.... Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Of these the most influential is what is called 'education.' Religion plays a part, though a diminishing one; the press,
The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.
Americans need rest, but do not know it. I believe this to be a large part of the explanation of the crime wave in the United States.
The fundamental principle in the analysis of propositions containing descriptions is this: Every proposition which we can understand must be composed wholly of constituents with which we are acquainted.
One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it.
A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree or certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world suffers.
Something of the hermit's temper is an essential element in many forms of excellence, since it enables men to resist the lure of popularity, to pursue important work in spite of general indifference or hostility, and arrive at opinions which are opposed to prevalent errors.
To a modern mind, it is difficult to feel enthusiastic about a virtuous life if nothing is going to be achieved by it.
Of these austerer virtues the love of truth is the chief, and in mathematics, more than elsewhere, the love of truth may find encouragement for waning faith. Every great study is not only an end in itself, but also a means of creating and sustaining a lofty habit of mind; and this purpose should be
Heretical views arise when the truth is uncertain, and it is only when the truth is uncertain that censorship is invoked.
[Regarding] the convention that clergymen are more virtuous than other men. Any average selection of mankind, set apart and told that it excels the rest in virtue, must tend to sink below the average.
I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive.
When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience has been able to produce in millions of years.
To expect a personality to survive the disintegration of the brain is like expecting a cricket club to survive when all of its members are dead.
no one ever gossips about the virtues of others
But as the work proceeded I was continually reminded of the fable about the elephant and the tortoise. Having constructed an elephant upon which the mathematical world could rest, I found the elephant tottering, and proceeded to construct a tortoise to keep the elephant from falling. But the tortois
I believe myself that romantic love is the source of the most intense delights that life has to offer. In the relation of a man and woman who love each other with passion and imagination and tenderness, there is something of inestimable value, to be ignorant of which is a great misfortune to any hum
In the visible world, the Milky Way is a tiny fragment; within this fragment, the solar system is an infinitesimal speck, and of this speck our planet is a microscopic dot. On this dot, tiny lumps of impure carbon and water, of complicated structure, with somewhat unusual physical and chemical prope
If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument
In detective stories . . . I alternately identify myself with the murderer and the huntsman-detective, but . . . there are those to which this vicarious outlet is too mild.
For love of domination we must substitute equality; for love of victory we must substitute justice; for brutality we must substitute intelligence; for competition we must substitute cooperation. We must learn to think of the human race as one family.