Science, in its ultimate ideal, consists of a set of propositions arranged in a hierarchy, the lowest level of the hierarchy being concerned with particular facts, and the highest with some general law, governing everything in the universe. The various levels in the hierarchy have a two-fold logical
Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who'll get the blame.
Measures of sterilization should, in my opinion, be very definitely confined to persons who are mentally defective
Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact. Bertrand Russel
There is as much difference between a collection of mentally free citizens and a community molded by modern methods of propaganda as there is between a heap of raw materials and a battleship.
I do not believe that science per se is an adequate source of happiness, nor do I think that my own scientific outlook has contributed very greatly to my own happiness, which I attribute to defecating twice a day with unfailing regularity.
The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilised men.
Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him.
I mean by intellectual integrity the habit of deciding vexed questions in accordance with the evidence, or of leaving them undecided where the evidence is inconclusive. This virtue, though it is underestimated by almost all adherents of any system of dogma, is to my mind of the very greatest social
Envy consists in seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations. If you desire glory, you may envy Napoleon, but Napoleon envied Caesar, Caesar envied Alexander, and Alexander, I daresay, envied Hercules, who never existed.
Those who in principle oppose birth control are either incapable of arithmetic or else in favour of war, pestilence and famine as permanent features of human life.
I can't tell whether I am living in a dream or a nightmare.
Writing can be either readable or precise, but not at the same time.
No great achievement is possible without persistent work.
The philosophies that have been inspired by scientific technique are power philosophies, and tend to regard everything non-human as mere raw material. Ends are no longer considered; only the skillfulness of the process is valued. This also is a form of madness. It is, in our day, the most dangerous
The world that I should wish to see would be one freed from the virulence of group hostilities and capable of realizing that happiness for all is to be derived rather from co-operation than from strife. I should wish to see a world in which education aimed at mental freedom rather than imprisoning t
Man is a rational animalâ€”so at least I have been told. â€¦ Aristotle, so far as I know, was the first man to proclaim explicitly that man is a rational animal. His reason for this view was â€¦ that some people can do sums. â€¦ It is in virtue of the intellect that man is a rational animal. The int
To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. Bertrand Russel
Herd pressure is to be judged by two things: first, its intensity, and second, its direction.
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake.
The Eugenic Society . . . is perpetually bewailing the fact that wage-earners breed faster than middle-class people.
Literature is inexhaustible, with every book a homage to infinity
[Industrialism's soon diminishing] capacity to supply human needs could be prevented if men exercised any restraint or foresight in their present frenzied exploitation.
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.
Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons. Bertrand Rus
Truth is a shining goddess, always veiled, always distant, never wholly approachable, but worthy of all the devotion of which the human spirit is capable.
Dogma demands authority, rather than intelligent thought, as the source of opinion; it requires persecution of heretics and hostility to unbelievers; it asks of its disciples that they should inhibit natural kindliness in favor of systematic hatred.
What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.
So long as there is death there will be sorrow, and so long as there is sorrow it can be no part of the duty of human beings to increase its amount, in spite of the fact that a few rare spirits know how to transmute it.
Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.