Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate. Bertrand Russel
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.
If we compare Europe with other continents, it is marked out as [another] persecuting continent.
I can only say that, while my own opinions as to ethics do not satisfy me, other people's satisfy me still less.
None of our beliefs are quite true; all have at least a penumbra of vagueness and error.
When one admits that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others. It is much more nearly certain that we are assembled here tonight than it is that this or that political party is in the right. Certainly there are degrees of certainty, a
A logical theory may be tested by its capacity for dealing with puzzles, and it is a wholesome plan, in thinking about logic, to stock the mind with as many puzzles as possible, since these serve much the same purpose as is served by experiments in physical science.
Gradually, by selective breeding, the congenital differences between rulersand ruled will increase until they become almost different species. A revoltof the plebs would become as unthinkable as an organized insurrection ofsheep against the practice of eating mutton.
Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.
People are zealous for a cause when they are not quite positive that it is true.
If the youth is content to abandon his previous associates and to throw in his lot whole-heartedly with the rulers, he may, after suitable tests, be promoted, but if he shows any regrettable solidarity with his previous associates, the rulers will reluctantly conclude that there is nothing to be don
The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry.
Worry is a form of fear.
Our beliefs are, however, often contrary to fact.
Right conduct can never, except by some rare accident, be promoted by ignorance or hindered by knowledge.
Every housemaid expects at least once a week as much excitement as would have lasted a Jane Austen heroine throughout a whole novel.
Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the georgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the g
The road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.
At the age of eleven, I began Euclid, with my brother as my tutor. This was one of the great events of my life, as dazzling as first love. I had not imagined there was anything so delicious in the world. From that moment until I was thirty-eight, mathematics was my chief interest and my chief source
Mankind has become so much one family that we cannot insure our own prosperity except by insuring that of everyone else.
The search for something permanent is one of the deepest of the instincts leading men to philosophy.
Unless one is taught what to do with success after getting it, achievement of it must inevitably leave him prey to boredom.
Most men do not feel in themselves the competence required for leading their group to victory, and therefore seek out a captain who appears to possess the courage and sagacity necessary for the achievement of supremacy. Even in religion this impulse appears. Nietzsche accused Christianity of inculca
I conclude that, while it is true that science cannot decide questions of value, that is because they cannot be intellectually decided at all, and lie outside the realm of truth and falsehood. Whatever knowledge is attainable, must be attained by scientific methods; and what science cannot discover,
[The church] is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that
The coward wretch whose hand and heart Can bear to torture aught below, Is ever first to quail and start From the slightest pain or equal foe.
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 demand for certainty is one which is natural to man, but is nevertheless an intellectual vice. If you take your children for a picnic on a doubtful day, they will demand a dogmatic answer as to whether it will be fine or wet, and be disappointed in you when you cannot be sure.
John Locke invented common sense, and only Englishmen have had it ever since!
RELIGION: A set of beliefs held as dogmas, dominating the conduct of life, going beyond or contrary to evidence, and inculcated by methods which are emotional or authoritarian, not intellectual.