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.
[Freedom] is the greatest of political goods. I do not say freedom is the greatest of all goods: the best things come from within they are such things as creative art, and love, and thought. Such things can be helped or hindered by political conditions, but not actually produced by them; and freedom
What hunger is in relation to food, zest is in relation to life.
In obedience to the feeling of reality, we shall insist that, in the analysis of propositions, nothing "unreal" is to be admitted. But, after all, if there is nothing unreal, how, it may be asked, could we admit anything unreal? The reply is that, in dealing with propositions, we are dealing in the
Throughout the long period of religious doubt, I had been rendered very unhappy by the gradual loss of belief, but when the process was completed, I found to my surprise that I was quite glad to be done with the whole subject.
The first effect of emancipation from the Church was not to make men think rationally, but to open their minds to every sort of antique nonsense
Every living thing is a sort of imperialist, seeking to transform as much as possible of its environment into itself.
The psychology of adultery has been falsified by conventional morals, which assume, in monogamous countries, that attraction to one person cannot coexist with affection for another. Everybody knows that this is untrue.
I am delighted to know that Principia Mathematica can now be done by machinery. . . I am quite willing to believe that anything in deductive logic can be done by machinery.
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.
The essence of life is doing things for their own sakes.
Bacon not only despised the syllogism, but undervalued mathematics, presumably as insufficiently experimental. He was virulently hostile to Aristotle , but he thought very highly of Democritus , Although he did not deny that the course of nature exemplifies a Divine purpose, he objected to any admix
It is in our hearts that evil lies, and it is from our hearts that it must be plucked out.
The finding of arguments for a conclusion given in advance is not philosophy, but special pleading
The luxury to disparage freedom is the privilege of those who already possess it.
Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century.
I cannot escape from the conclusion that the great ages of progress have depended upon a small number of individuals of transcendent ability.
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.
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
Opinions which justify cruelty are inspired by cruel impulses.
The above proposition is occasionally useful.
Aristotle, in spite of his reputation, is full of absurdities. He says that children should be conceived in the Winter, when the wind is in the North, and that if people marry too young the children will be female. He tells us that the blood of females is blacker then that of males; that the pig is
A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime.
If one lived for ever the joys of life would inevitably in the end lose their savour. As it is, they remain perennially fresh.
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.
I do wish I believed in the life eternal, for it makes me quite miserable to think man is merely a kind of machine endowed, unhappily for himself, with consciousness.
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 more we realize our minuteness and our impotence in the face of cosmic forces, the more amazing becomes what human beings have achieved.
Some care is needed in using Descartes' argument. "I think, therefore I am" says rather more than is strictly certain. It might seem as though we are quite sure of being the same person to-day as we were yesterday, and this is no doubt true in some sense. But the real Self is as hard to arrive at as
All the labor of all the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius are destined to extinction. So now, my friends, if that is true, and it is true, what is the point?