Top 10 Quotes by Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?

Bertrand Russell
When I was 4 years old ... I dreamt that I'd been eaten by a wolf, and to my great surprise I was in the wolf's stomach and not in heaven.
Bertrand Russell

The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them. We all feel instinctively, that our children's success reflect glory upon ourselves, while their failures make us feel shame. Unfortunately, the successes which cause us to swell with pride are often of an undesirable kind.... Neither happiness nor virtue, but worldly success, is what the average father desires for his children.

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

We are all prone to the malady of the introvert who with the manifold spectacle of the world spread out before him, turns away and gazes only upon the emptiness within.

Bertrand Russell
We are ... led to a somewhat vague distinction between what we may call "hard" data and "soft" data. This distinction is a matter of degree, and must not be pressed; but if not taken too seriously it may help to make the situation clear. I mean by "hard" data those which resist the solvent influence of critical reflection, and by "soft" data those which, under the operation of this process, become to our minds more or less doubtful.
Bertrand Russell

I have come to realize that an early symptom of approaching mental illness is the belief that one's work is terribly important. If you consider your work very important you should take a day off.

Bertrand Russell
Fervent religious believers sacrifice pleasures of the body, but instead enjoy pleasures of the mind, including the joy of knowing that those men who didn't follow their religion would be tortured for eternity.
Bertrand Russell

Against the vast majority of my countrymen, even at this moment, in the name of humanity and civilization, I protest against our share in the destruction of Germany. A month ago Europe was a peaceful comity of nations; if an Englishman killed a German, he was hanged. Now, if an Englishman kills a German, or if a German kills an Englishman, he is a patriot, who has deserved well of his country.

Bertrand Russell
Africans had to be taught that nudity is wicked; this was done very cheaply by missionaries.