To speak seriously: the standards of "goodness" which are generally recognized by public opinion are not those which are calculated to make the world a happier place. This is due to a variety of causes, of which the chief is tradition, and the next most powerful is the unjust power of dominant class
Our beliefs are, however, often contrary to fact.
Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.
Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?
When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
You could take up the line that some of the gnostics took up - a line which I often thought was a very plausible one - that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the devil at a moment when God was not looking. There is a good deal to be said for that, and I am not concerned to refu
It is a natural propensity to attribute misfortune to someone's malignity.
The first essential character [of civilization], I should say, is forethought. This, I would say, is what distinguishes men from brutes and adults from children.
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
a generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men, of men unduly divorced from the slow process of nature, of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers as though they were cut flowers in a vase.
It's coexistence or no existence.
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Bertrand Rus
Calculating machines do sums better than even the cleverest peopleâ€¦ As arithmetic has grown easier, it has come to be less respected.
The world in which we live can be understood as a result of muddle and accident; but if it is the outcome of deliberate purpose, the purpose must have been that of a fiend. For my part, I find accident a less painful and more plausible hypothesis.
Moreover, the attitude that one ought to believe such and such a proposition, independently of the question whether there is evidence in its favor, is an attitude which produces hostility to evidence and causes us to close our minds to every fact that does not suit our prejudices.
Children, after being limbs of Satan in traditional theology and mystically illuminated angels in the minds of educational reformers, have reverted to being little devils; not theological demons inspired by the evil one, but scientific Freudian abominations inspired by the unconscious.
Our instinctive emotions are those that we have inherited from a much more dangerous world, and contain, therefore, a larger portion of fear than they should.
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power. Bertrand Russel
William James used to preach the "will-to-believe." For my part, I should wish to preach the "will-to-doubt." None of our beliefs are quite true; all at least have a penumbra of vagueness and error. What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
No satisfaction based upon self-deception is solid.
As soon as we abandon our own reason, and are content to rely upon authority, there is no end to our trouble. . . . No Catholic, for instance, takes seriously the text which says that a Bishop should be the husband of one wife.
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.
Of all evils of war the greatest is the purely spiritual evil: the hatred, the injustice, the repudiation of truth, the artificial conflict.
But if thought is to become the possession of many, not the privilege of the few, we must have done with fear. It is fear that holds men back - fear lest their cherished beliefs should prove delusions, fear lest the institutions by which they live should prove harmful, fear lest they themselves shou
I hate the world and almost all the people in it. I hate the Labour Congress and the journalists who send men to be slaughtered, and the fathers who feel a smug pride when their sons are killed, and even the pacifists who keep saying human nature is essentially good, in spite of all the daily proofs
Only in thought is man a God; in action and desire we are the slaves of circumstance.
This is one of those views which are so absolutely absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them.
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.
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.
It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals.