I cannot favour laws such as that of Idaho, which allows sterilization of 'mental defectives, epileptics, habitual criminals, moral degenerates, and sex perverts.' The last two categories here are very vague . . . The law of Idaho would have justified the sterilization of Socrates, Plato, Julius Cae
More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given
Remote from human passions, remote even from the pitiful facts of nature, the generations have gradually created an ordered cosmos [mathematics], where pure thought can dwell in its natural home...
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.
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.
I am as drunk as a lord, but then, I am one, so what does it matter ?
All human activity is prompted by desire.
When we look at a rock what we are seeing is not the rock, but the effect of the rock upon us.
The immense majority of intellectually eminent men disbelieve in the Christian religion, but they conceal the fact in public, because they are afraid of losing their incomes.
All traditional logic habitually assumes that precise symbols are being employed. It is therefore not applicable to this terrestial life but only to an imagined celestial existence... logic takes us nearer to heaven than other studies.
Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. Bertrand Russel
Either man will abolish war, or war will abolish man.
The reformative effect of punishment is a belief that dies hard, chiefly I think, because it is so satisfying to our sadistic impulses.
Science is at no moment quite right, but it is seldom quite wrong, and has, as a rule, a better chance of being right than the theories of the unscientific. It is, therefore, rational to accept it hypothetically.
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.
Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
Inferences of Science and Common Sense differ from those of deductive logic and mathematics in a very important respect, namely, when the premises are true and the reasoning correct, the conclusion is only probable.
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.
Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.
In view of the fact that in any future world war nuclear weapons will certainly be employed, and that such weapons threaten the continued existence of mankind, we urge the governments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we
Boys and girls should be taught respect for each other's liberty... and that jealousy and possessiveness kill love.
In action, in desire, we must submit perpetually to the tyranny of outside forces; but in thought, in aspiration, we are free, free from our fellowmen, free from the petty planet on which our bodies impotently crawl, free even, while we live, from the tyranny of death.
Whatever we know without inference is mental.
Machines deprive us of two things which are certainly important ingredients of human happiness, namely, spontaneity and variety.
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.
It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living.
My first advice on how not to grow old would be to choose you ancestors carefully.
In spreading his ideas, Plato was willing to employ emotional appeals, state propaganda, and the use of force.
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
Many a man will have the courage to die gallantly, but will not have the courage to say, or even to think, that the cause for which he is asked to die is an unworthy one.