Bertrand Russell Quotes About Able

Browse 31 famous quotes of Bertrand Russell about Able.

"When you hear people in church, debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings." ~ Bertrand Russell
"With the wise man, what he has does not cease to be enjoyable because some one else has something else. Envy, in fact, is one form of vice, partly moral, partly intellectual, which consists in seeing things never in themselves but only in their relations" ~ Bertrand Russell
"El impulso natural de la persona vigorosa y decente es tratar de hacer el bien, pero si se ve privada de todo poder político y de toda oportunidad de influir en los acontecimientos, se verá desviada de su curso natural, y decidirá que lo importante es ser bueno. Eso es lo que les ocurrió a los primeros cristianos; ha conducido a un concepto de santidad personal como algo completamente independiente de la acción benéfica, ya que la santidad tenía que ser algo que podía ser logrado por personas impotentes en la acción. Por lo tanto, la virtud social llegó a estar excluida de la ética cristiana. Hasta hoy los cristianos convencionales piensan que un adúltero es peor que un político que acepta sobornos, aunque este último probablemente hace un mal mil veces mayor." ~ Bertrand Russell
"A truly scientific philosophy will be more humble, more piecemeal, more arduous, offering less glitter of outward mirage to flatter fallacious hopes, but more indifferent to fate, and more capable of accepting the world without the tyrannous imposition of our human and temporary demands." ~ Bertrand Russell
"In science, an observer states his results along with the "probable error"; but who ever heard of a theologian or a politician stating the probable error in his dogmas, or even admitting that any error is conceivable? That is because in science, where we approach nearest to real knowledge, a man can safely rely on the strength of his case, whereas, where nothing is known, blatant assertion and hypnotism are the usual ways of causing others to share our beliefs. If the fundamentalist thought they had a good case against evolution, they would not make the teaching of it illegal." ~ Bertrand Russell
"From the height of their disillusionment they look down upon those whom they despise as simple souls. For my part I have no sympathy with this outlook. All disenchantment is to me a malady, which, it is true, certain circumstances may render inevitable, but which none the less, when it occurs, is to be cured as soon as possible, not to be regarded as a higher form of wisdom." ~ Bertrand Russell
"At every moment of life the civilised man is hedged about by restrictions of impulse: if he happens to feel cheerful he must not sing or dance in the street, while if he happens to feel sad he must not sit on the pavement and weep, for fear of obstructing pedestrian traffic. In youth his liberty is restricted at school, in adult life it is restricted throughout his working hours. All this makes zest more difficult to retain, for the co ntinual restraint tends to produce wearin ess and boredom. Nevertheless, a civilised society is impossible without a very considerable degree of restraint upon spontaneous impulse, since spontaneous impulse will only produce the simplest forms of social c ooperation, not those highly complex forms which modern economic organisation demands" ~ Bertrand Russell
"The antidote, in so far as it is a matter of individual psychology, is to be found in history, biology, astronomy, and all those studies which, without destroying self-respect, enable the individual to see himself in his proper perspective. What is needed is not this or that specific piece of information, but such knowledge as inspires a conception of the ends of human life as a whole: art and history, acquaintance with the lives of heroic individuals, and some understanding of the strangely accidental and ephemeral position of man in the cosmos - all this touched with an emotion of pride in what is distinctively human, the power to see and to know, to feel magnanimously and to think with understanding. It is from large perceptions combined with impersonal emotion that wisdom most readily springs." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If we were all given by magic the power to read each other's thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be almost all friendships would be dissolved; the second effect, however, might be excellent, for a world without any friends would be felt to be intolerable, and we should learn to like each other without needing a veil of illusion to conceal from ourselves that we did not think each other absolutely perfect." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Understanding human nature must be the basis of any real improvement in human life. Science has done wonders in mastering the laws of the physical world, but our own nature is much less understood, as yet, than the nature of stars and electrons. When science learns to understand human nature, it will be able to bring a happiness into our lives which machines and the physical sciences have failed to create." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The ancient world found an end to anarchy in the Roman Empire, but the Roman Empire was a brute fact, not an idea. The Catholic world sought an end to anarchy in the church, which was an idea, but was never adequately embodied in fact. Neither the ancient nor the medieval solution was satisfactory – the one because it could not be idealized, the other because it could not be actualized. The modern world, at present, seems to be moving towards a solution like that of antiquity: a social order imposed by force, representing the will of the powerful rather than the hopes of the common men. The problem of a durable and satisfactory social order can only be solved by combining the solidarity of the Roman Empire with the idealism of St. Augustine's City of God. To achieve this a new philosophy will be needed" ~ Bertrand Russell
"I feel as if one would only discover on one's death-bed what one ought to have lived for, and realise too late that one's life has been wasted. Any passionate and courageous life seems good in itself, yet one feels that some element of delusion is involved in giving so much passion to any humanly attainable object. And so irony creeps into the very springs of one's being." ~ Bertrand Russell
"A habit of finding pleasure in thought rather than action is a safeguard against unwisdom and excessive love of power, a means of preserving serenity in misfortune and peace of mind among worries. A life confined to what is personal is likely, sooner or later, to become unbearably painful; it is only by windows into a larger and less fretful cosmos that the more tragic parts of life become endurable." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Ages of prolonged uncertainty, while they are compatible with the highest degree of saintliness in a few, are inimical to the prosaic every-day virtues of respectable citizens. There seems no use in thrift, when tomorrow all your savings may be dissipated; no advantage in honesty, when the man towards whom you practise it is pretty sure to swindle you; no point in steadfast adherence to the cause, when no cause is important or has a chance of stable victory; no argument in favour of truthfulness, when only supple tergiversation makes the preservation of life and fortune possible. The man whose virtue has no source except a purely terrestrial prudence will in such a world, become an adventurer if he has the courage, and, if not, will seek obscurity as a timid time-server." ~ Bertrand Russell
"What we firmly believe, if it is true, is called knowledge, provided it is either intuitive or inferred (logically or psychologically) from intuitive knowledge from which it follows logically. What we firmly believe, if it is not true, is called error. What we firmly believe, if it is neither knowledge nor error, and also what we believe hesitatingly, because it is, or is derived from, something which has not the highest degree of self-evidence, may be called probable opinion. Thus the greater part of what would commonly pass as knowledge is more or less probable opinion." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If wars are eliminated and production is organized scientifically, it is probable that four hours' work a day will suffice to keep everybody in comfort" ~ Bertrand Russell
"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 the real table, and does not seem to have that absolute, convincing certainty that belongs to particular experiences." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Yo no nací dichoso. De niño, mi himno favorito era: «Cansado del mundo y con el peso de mis pecados». A los cinco años yo pensaba que si había de vivir setenta no había pasado aún más que la catorceava parte de mi vida vital, y me parecía casi insoportable la enorme cantidad de aburrimiento que me aguardaba. En la adolescencia la vida me era odiosa, y estaba continuamente al borde del suicidio, del cual me libré gracias al deseo de saber más matemáticas. Hoy, por el contrario, gusto de la vida, y casi estoy por decir que cada año que pasa la encuentro más gustosa. Esto es debido, en parte, a haber descubierto cuáles eran las cosas que deseaba más y haber adquirido gradualmente muchas de ellas. En parte es debido también a haberme desprendido, felizmente, de ciertos deseos (la adquisición del conocimiento indudable acerca de algo) como esencialmente inasequibles. Pero en la mayor parte se debe a la preocupación, cada día menor, de mí mismo." ~ Bertrand Russell
"I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Berkeley retains the merit of having shown that the existence of matter is capable of being denied without absurdity." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Is there any knowledge in the world which is so certain that no reasonable man could doubt it?" ~ Bertrand Russell
"People will tell us that without the consolations of religion they would be intolerably unhappy. So far as this is true, it is a coward's argument. Nobody but a coward would consciously choose to live in a fool's paradise. When a man suspects his wife of infidelity, he is not thought the better of for shutting his eyes to the evidence. And I cannot see why ignoring evidence should be contemptible in one case and admirable in the other." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid ... Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man." ~ Bertrand Russell
"From that awful encounter of the soul with the outer world, enunciation, wisdom, and charity are born; and with their birth a new life begins. To take into the inmost shrine of the soul the irresistible forces whose puppets we seem to be - Death and change, the irrevocableness of the past, and the powerlessness of Man before the blind hurry of the universe from vanity to vanity - to feel these things and know them is to conquer them." ~ Bertrand Russell
"No man is liberated from fear who dare not see his place in the world as it is; no man can achieve the greatness of which he is capable until he has allowed himself to see his own littleness." ~ Bertrand Russell
"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." ~ Bertrand Russell
"...the supply of uranium in the planet is very limited, and it is feared that it may be used up before the human race is exterminated, but if the practically unlimited supply of hydrogen in the sea could be utilized there would be considerable reason to hope that homo sapiens might put an end to himself, to the great advantage of the other less ferocious animals." ~ Bertrand Russell
"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 the minds of the young in rigid armor of dogma calculated to protect them through life against the shafts of impartial evidence." ~ Bertrand Russell
"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 gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possiblities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what the may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familar things in an unfamilar aspect" ~ Bertrand Russell
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I remember, as a child, the confusion of not knowing what this place was where I was supposed to spend the night: it's a disquieting experience for a child. And what I would do was quickly unpack my books and go back to a book I knew well and make sure the same text and the same illustrations were there."
Author: Alberto Manguel

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