If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.
...the nonexistence of God makes more difference to some of us than to others. To me, it means that there is no absolute morality, that moralities are sets of social conventions devised by humans to satisfy their needs.
Why repeat the old errors, if there are so many new errors to commit?
The frequency with which a man experiences lust depends upon his own physical condition, whereas the occasion which rouse such feelings in him depend upon the social conventions to which he is accustomed
Berkeley retains the merit of having shown that the existence of matter is capable of being denied without absurdity.
Hitler is an outcome of Rousseau.
All religions are both harmful and untrue.
The man who only loves beautiful things is dreaming, whereas the man who knows absolute beauty is wide awake.
Every isolated passion, is, in isolation, insane; sanity may be defined as synthesis of insanities. Every dominant passion generates a dominant fear, the fear of its non-fulfillment. Every dominant fear generates a nightmare, sometimes in form of explicit and conscious fanaticism, sometimes in paral
The argument against the persecution of opinion does not depend upon what the excuse for persecution may be. The argument is that we none of us know all truth, that the discovery of new truth is promoted by free discussion and rendered very difficult by suppression.
Laughter is the most inexpensive and most effective wonder drug. Laughter is a universal medicine.
Even in the most purely logical realms, it is insight that first arrives at what is new.
Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
The first man who said "fire burns" was employing scientific method, at any rate if he had allowed himself to be burnt several times. This man had already passed through the two stages of observation and generalization. He had not, however, what scientific technique demands-a careful choice of signi
True happiness for human beings is possible only to those who develop their godlike potentialities to the utmost.
In spite of Death, the mark and seal of the parental control, Man is yet free, during his brief years, to examine, to criticise, to know, and in imagination to create. To him alone, in the world with which he is acquainted, this freedom belongs; and in this lies his superiority to the resistless for
The essence of good manners consists in making it clear that one has no wish to hurt. When it is clearly necessary to hurt, it must be done in such a way as to make it evident that the necessity is felt to be regrettable.
Adventurous men enjoy shipwrecks, mutinies, earthquakes, conflagrations, and all kinds of unpleasant experiences. They say to themselves, for example, 'So this is what an earthquake is like,' and it gives them pleasure to have their knowledge of the world increased by this new item.
The social psychologist of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for more than one gene
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.
The purpose of education is to teach a defense against eloquence.
Who ever heard a theologian preface his creed, or a politician conclude his speech with an estimate of the probable error of his opinion?
What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.
The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
One of the chief triumphs of modern mathematics consists in having discovered what mathematics really is.
Even if it is indifferent to human desires, as it seems to be; if human life is a passing episode, hardly noticeable in the vastness of cosmic processes; if there is no superhuman purpose, and no hope of ultimate salvation, it is better to know and acknowledge this truth than to endeavor, in futile
All serious innovation is only rendered possible by some accident enabling unpopular persons to survive.
Righteousness cannot be born until self-righteousness is dead.
The essence of life is doing things for their own sakes.