At the age of eleven, I began Euclid, with my brother as my tutor. This was one of the great events of my life, as dazzling as first love. I had not imagined there was anything so delicious in the world. From that moment until I was thirty-eight, mathematics was my chief interest and my chief source
There is no excuse for deceiving children. And when, as must happen in conventional families, they find that their parents have lied, they lose confidence in them and feel justified in lying to them.
Since Adam and Eve ate the apple, man has never refrained from any folly of which he was capable.
The whole of theology, in regard to hell no less than to heaven, takes it for granted that Man is what is of most importance in the Universe of created beings. Since all theologians are men, this postulate has met with little opposition.
If the West can claim superiority in anything, it is . . . in science and scientific technique.
Punctuality is a quality the need of which is bound up with social co-operation.
There are three ways of securing a society that shall be stable as regards population. The first is that of birth control, the second that of infanticide or really destructive wars, and the third that of general misery except for a powerful minority.
We shall say that we have acquaintance with anything of which we are directly aware, without the intermediary of any process of inference of any knowledge of truths.
You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so called age of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all
Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.
I can't tell whether I am living in a dream or a nightmare.
Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth - more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authorit
My whole religion is this: do every duty, and expect no reward for it, either here or hereafter.
More and more people are becoming unable to accept traditional [religious] beliefs. If they think that, apart from these beliefs, there is no reason for kindly behaviour, the results may be needlessly unfortunate. That is why it is important to show that no supernatural reasons are needed to make [p
All movements go too far.
The sea, the stars, the night wind in waste places, mean more to me than even the human beings I love best.
A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
When I was a child . . . Only virtue was prized, virtue at the expense of intellect, health, happiness, and every mundane good.
Men have physical needs, and they have emotions. While physical needs are unsatisfied, they take first place; but when they are satisfied, emotions unconnected with them become important in deciding whether a man is to be happy or unhappy.
I suppose the advocates of unreason think that there is a better chance of profitably deceiving the populace if they keep it in a state of effervescence.
John Locke invented common sense, and only Englishmen have had it ever since!
The newspapers at one time said that I was dead but after carefully examining the evidence I came to the conclusion that this statement was false.
Of course not. After all, I may be wrong.
Perhaps the best hope for the future of mankind is that ways will be found of increasing the scope and intensity of sympathy.
In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.
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
I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even
It must not be supposed that the subjective elements are any less 'real' than the objective elements; they are only less important... because they do not point to anything beyond ourselves...
The late F. W. H. Myers used to tell how he asked a man at a dinner table what he thought would happen to him when he died. The man tried to ignore the question, but, on being pressed, replied: "Oh well, I suppose I shall inherit eternal bliss, but I wish you wouldn't talk about such unpleasant subj
How much longer is the world willing to endure this spectacle of wanton cruelty?