To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.
As a lover of truth, the national propaganda of all the belligerent nations sickened me. As a lover of civilization, the return to barbarism appalled me.
If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even o
Admit at least one painful truth to yourself every day. Teach yourself to feel that life would still be worth living even if you were not immeasurably superior to all your friends. Exercises of this sort, prolonged through several years, will at last enable you to admit facts without flinching, and
I've always thought respectable people scoundrels, and I look anxiously at my face every morning for signs of my becoming a scoundrel.
More important than the curriculum is the question of the methods of teaching and the spirit in which the teaching is given
The average man's opinions are much less foolish than they would be if he thought for himself.
I cannot escape from the conclusion that the great ages of progress have depended upon a small number of individuals of transcendent ability.
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.
Orthodoxy is the grave of intelligence, no matter what orthodoxy it may be.
Memory demands an image.
What men really want is not knowledge but certainty.
On the one hand, philosophy is to keep us thinking about things that we may come to know, and on the other hand to keep us modestly aware of how much that seems like knowledge isn't knowledge
In his youth, Wordsworth sympathized with the French Revolution, went to France, wrote good poetry and had a natural daughter. At this period, he was a bad man. Then he became good, abandoned his daughter, adopted correct principles and wrote bad poetry.
Christ said "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" and when asked "who is thy neighbour? went on to the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you wish to understand this parable as it was understood by his hearers, you should substitute "Germans and Japanese" for Samaritan. I fear my modern day Chris
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
Uncertainty in the pressure of vivid hopes and fears is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales.
An Honest politician will not be tolerated by a democracy unless he is very stupid ... because only a very stupid man can honestly share the prejudices of more than half the nation.
Human life, its growth, its hopes, fears, loves, et cetera, are the result of accidents
A word is used "correctly" when the average hearer will be affected by it in the way intended. This is a psychological, not a literary, definition of "correctness". The literary definition would substitute, for the average hearer, a person of high education living a long time ago; the purpose of thi
If throughout your life you abstain from murder, theft, fornication, perjury, blasphemy, and disrespect toward your parents, church, and your king, you are conventionally held to deserve moral admiration even if you have never done a single kind, generous or useful action. This very inadequate notio
Science has made unrestricted national sovereignty incompatible with human survival. The only possibilities are now world government or death.
Against the vast majority of my countrymen, even at this moment, in the name of humanity and civilization, I protest against our share in the destruction of Germany. A month ago Europe was a peaceful comity of nations; if an Englishman killed a German, he was hanged. Now, if an Englishman kills a Ge
Is a man what he seems to the astronomer, a tiny lump of impure carbon and water crawling impotently on a small and unimportant planet? Or is he what he appears to Hamlet? Is he perhaps both as once?
The question of "unreality"is a very important one. Misled by grammar, the great majority of those logicians who have dealt with this question have dealt with it on mistaken lines. They have regarded grammatical form as a surer guide in analysis than, in fact, it is. And they have not known what dif
Moral progress has consisted in the main of protest against cruel customs, and of attempts to enlarge human sympathy.
John Locke invented common sense, and only Englishmen have had it ever since!
Broadly speaking, Protestants like to be good and have invented theology in order to keep themselves so, whereas Catholics like to be bad and have invented theology in order to keep their neighbors good. Hence, the social character of Catholicism and the individual character of Protestantism.
Either man will abolish war, or war will abolish man.
Affection cannot be created; it can only be liberated.