But as the work proceeded I was continually reminded of the fable about the elephant and the tortoise. Having constructed an elephant upon which the mathematical world could rest, I found the elephant tottering, and proceeded to construct a tortoise to keep the elephant from falling. But the tortois
Every philosophical problem, when it is subjected to the necessary analysis and justification, is found either to be not really philosophical at all, or else to be, in the sense in which we are using the word, logical.
With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway about the flux. A little of this, but not much, I have achieved.
The reason is, and by rights ought to be, slave to the emotions.
Power, like vanity, is insatiable. Nothing short of omnipotence could satisfy it completely.
The human race may well become extinct before the end of the century.
War grows out of ordinary human nature.
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
It is a waste of energy to be angry with a man who behaves badly, just as it is to be angry with a car that won't go.
It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.
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.
When we have told how things behave when they are electrified, and under what circumstances they are electrified, we have told all there is to know
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
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
There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths.
The puritanism of Christianity has played havoc with the moderation that an enlightened and tolerant critical spirit would have produced. I've noticed that in whatever country, county, town, or other region there is a regulation enjoining temperance, the population seems to be entirely composed of t
Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
Science, by itself, cannot supply us with an ethic. It can show us how to achieve a given end, and it may show us that some ends cannot be achieved. But among ends that can be achieved our choice must be decided by other than purely scientific considerations. If a man were to say, "I hate the human
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
I do not myself feel that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.
I am allowed to use plain English because everybody knows that I could use mathematical logic if I chose.
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?
What we cannot think we cannot think, therefore we also cannot say what we cannot think.
A man is rational in proportion as his intelligence informs and controls his desires.
The twin conceptions of sin and vindictive punishment seem to be at the root of much that is most vigorous, both in religion and politics.
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 world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. Bertrand Rus
If a law were passed giving six months to every writer of a first book, only the good ones would do it.
The method of "postulating" what we want has many advantages; they are the same as the advantages of theft over honest toil.
Common sense, however it tries, cannot avoid being surprised from time to time.