Africans had to be taught that nudity is wicked; this was done very cheaply by missionaries.
There is no greater reason for children to honour parents than for parents to honour children except, that while the children are young, the parents are stronger than children.
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite
Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.
It is a natural propensity to attribute misfortune to someone's malignity.
I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.
The more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs.
[There has been] every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.
There's a Bible on that shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire - poison and antidote.
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.
If the State does not acquire supremacy over [vast private] enterprises, it becomes their puppet, and they become the real State.
The man who has fed the chicken every day throughout its life at last wrings its neck instead, showing that more refined views as to the uniformity of nature would have been useful to the chicken.
The coward wretch whose hand and heart Can bear to torture aught below, Is ever first to quail and start From the slightest pain or equal foe.
(on A History of Western Philosophy) I was sometimes accused by reviewers of writing not a true history but a biased account of the events that I arbitrarily chose to write of. But to my mind, a man without a bias cannot write interesting history - if, indeed, such man exists.
To write tragedy, a man must feel tragedy. To feel tragedy, a man must be aware of the world in which he lives. Not only with his mind, but with his blood and sinews.
No one gossips about other people's secret virtues.
Most human beings, though in varying degrees, desire to control, not only their own lives but also the lives of others
Clergymen almost necessarily fail in two ways as teachers of morals. They condemn acts which do no harm and they condone acts which do great harm.
The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.
The objections to religion are of two sorts - intellectual and moral. The intellectual objection is that there is no reason to suppose any religion true; the moral objection is that religious precepts date from a time when men were more cruel than they are and therefore tend to perpetuate inhumaniti
The teacher, like the artist and the philosopher, can perform his work adequately only if he feels himself to be an individual directed by an inner creative impulse, not dominated and fettered by an outside authority.
Hegel's philosophy is so odd that one would not have expected him to be able to get sane men to accept it, but he did. He set it out with so much obscurity that people thought it must be profound. It can quite easily be expounded lucidly in words of one syllable, but then its absurdity becomes obvio
We have almost reached the point where praise of rationality is held to mark a man as an old fogey regrettably surviving from a bygone age.
Envy consists in seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations. If you desire glory, you may envy Napoleon, but Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I daresay, envied Hercules, who never existed.
These illustrations suggest four general maxims[...]. The first is: remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself. The second is: don't over-estimate your own merits. The third is: don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself. And the four
To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom.
Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give.
But it is just this characteristic of simplicity in the laws of nature hitherto discovered which it would be fallacious to generalize, for it is obvious that simplicity has been a part cause of their discovery, and can, therefore, give no ground for the supposition that other undiscovered laws are e
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 Ge
Machines have altered our way of life, but not our instincts. Consequently, there is maladjustment.