Bertrand Russell Quotes About Lit

Browse 58 famous quotes of Bertrand Russell about Lit.

"The special skill of the politician consists in knowing what passions can be most easily aroused, and how to prevent them, when aroused, from being harmful to himself and his associates...Moreover, since politicians are divided into rival groups, they aim at similarly dividing the nation, unless they have the good fortune to unite it in war against some other nation." ~ Bertrand Russell
"During the war, the holders of power in all countries found it necessary to bribe the populations into cooperation by unusual concessions. Wage-earners were allowed a living wage, Hindus were told they were men and brothers, women were given the vote, and young people were allowed to enjoy those innocent pleasures of which the old, in the name of morality, always wish to rob them. The war being won, the victors set to work to deprive their tools of advantages temporarily conceded." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Religious toleration, to a certain extent, has been won, because people have ceased to consider religion so important as it was once thought to be. But in politics and economics, which have taken the place formerly occupied by religion, there is a growing tendency to persecution, which is not by any means confined to one party." ~ Bertrand Russell
"...It is necessary for the average citizen, if he wishes to make a living, to avoid incurring the hostility of certain big men. And these big men have an outlook - religious, moral, and political - with which they expect their employees to agree, at least outwardly." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The skill of the politician consists in guessing what people can be brought to think advantageous to themselves; the skill of the experts consists in calculating what really is advantageous, provided people can be brought to think so. (The proviso is essential, because measures which arouse serious resentment are seldom advantageous, whatever merits they may have otherwise.) The power of the politician, in a democracy, depends upon his adopting the opinions which seem right to the average man. It is useless to urge that politicians ought to be high-minded enough to advocate what enlightened opinion considers good, because if they do they are swept aside for others." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Politicians do not find any attractions in a view which does not lend itself to party declamation, and ordinary mortals prefer views which attribute misfortune to the machinations of their enemies." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The need of politeness is at its maximum in speaking with foreigners, and is so irksome as to be paralysing to those who are only accustomed to compatriots." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Russell observes that "the merits of democracy are negative: it does not ensure good government, but it prevents certain evils," such as the evil of a small group of individuals achieving a secure monopoly on political power. The chief peril for the politician, Russell insists, is love of power. And politicians can easily yield to the love of power on the pretense that they are pursuing some absolute good." ~ 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
"El budismo, el cristianismo y el marxismo deben su origen a individuos y ninguno de ellos podría haber surgido en un estado totalitario. Si bien Galileo fue maltratado por la Inquisición, lo fue de una manera relativamente leve en comparación con los métodos modernos. Ni lo mataron, ni quemaron sus libros, ni sus seguidores fueron liquidados. Tan sólo ha sido en los tiempos modernos, en verdad desde el final de la primera Guerra Mundial, cuando la persecución se ha convertido en un procedimiento científico y eficiente." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The habit of considering a man's religious, moral and political opinions before appointing him to a post or giving him a job is the modern form of persecution." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Man is not a solitary animal, and so long as social Life survives, self-realization cannot be the supreme principle of ethics." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Intellectually, what is stimulating to a young man is a problem of obvious practical importance. A young man learning economics, for example, ought to hear lectures from individualists and socialists, protectionists and free-traders, inflationists and believers in the gold standard. He ought to be encouraged to read the best books of the various schools, as recommended by those who believe in them. This would teach him to weigh arguments and evidence, to know that no pinion is certainly right, and to judge men by their quality rather than by their consonance with preconceptions." ~ Bertrand Russell
"A drop of water is not immortal; it can be resolved into oxygen and hydrogen. If, therefore, a drop of water were to maintain that it had a quality of aqueousness which would survive its dissolution we should be inclined to be skeptical. In like manner we know that the brain is not immortal..." ~ Bertrand Russell
"With subjectivism in philosophy, anarchism in politics goes hand in hand." ~ Bertrand Russell
"We have in fact, two kinds of morality, side by side: one which we preach, but do not practice, and another which we practice, but seldom preach." ~ Bertrand Russell
"I must, I must before I die find some way to say the essential thing that is in me, that I have never said yet – a thing that is not love or hate or pity or scorn but the very breath of life... I want to bring back into the world of men some little bit of new wisdom. There is a little wisdom in the world; Heraclitus, Spinoza, and a saying here and there. I want to add to it, even if ever so little." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The law of causality, I believe, like much that passes muster among philosophers, is a relic of a bygone age, surviving, like the monarchy, only because it is erroneously supposed to do no harm." ~ Bertrand Russell
"We need a morality based upon love of life, upon pleasure in growth and positive achievement, not upon repression and prohibition." ~ Bertrand Russell
"We may say, in a broad way, that Greek philosophy down to Aristotle expresses the mentality appropriate to the City State; that Stoicism is appropriate to a cosmopolitan despotism; that stochastic philosophy is an intellectual expression of the Church as an organization; that philosophy since Descartes, or at any rate since Locke, tends to embody the prejudices of the commercial middle class; and that Marxism and Fascism are the philosophies appropriate to the modern industrial state." ~ Bertrand Russell
"I think that in all descriptions of the good life here on earth we must assume a certain basis of animal vitality and animal instinct; without this, life becomes tame and uninteresting. Civilization should be something added to this, not substituted for it; the ascetic saint and the detached sage fail in this respect to be complete human beings. A small number of them may enrich a community; but a world composed of them would die of boredom." ~ Bertrand Russell
"I do not myself think there is any superior rationality in being unhappy. The wise man will be as happy as circumstances permit, and if he finds contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery." ~ Bertrand Russell
"One of the chief obstacles to intelligence is credulity, and credulity could be enormously diminished by instruction in the prevalent forms of mendacity." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Most men think that in framing their political opinions they are actuated by desire for the public good; but 9 times out of 10 a man's politics can be predicted from the way in which he makes a living. This has led some people to maintain, and many more to believe practically, that in such matters it is impossible to be objective, and that no method is possible except a tug-of-war between classes with opposite bias." ~ Bertrand Russell
"And if happiness were common, it would preserve itself, because appeals to hatred and fear, which now constitute almost the whole of politics would fall flat." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Altogether it will be found that a quiet life is characteristic of great men, and that their pleasures have not been of he sort that would look exciting to the utward eye. No great achievement is ossible without persistent work, so absorbing and so difficult that little energy is left over for the more strenuous kinds of amusement" ~ Bertrand Russell
"Ever since Plato most philosophers have considered it part of their business to produce ‘proofs' of immortality and the existence of God. They have found fault with the proofs of their predecessors — Saint Thomas rejected Saint Anselm's proofs, and Kant rejected Descartes' — but they have supplied new ones of their own. In order to make their proofs seem valid, they have had to falsify logic, to make mathematics mystical, and to pretend that deepseated prejudices were heaven-sent intuitions." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Si nous n'avions pas peur de la mort , je ne crois pas que serait jamais née l'idée d'immortalité." ~ 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
"Un uomo non ha il permesso di esercitare la medicina se non conosce il corpo umano, ma un finanziere può operare liberamente senza sapere un bel nulla dei molteplici effetti delle sue attività, salvo, naturalmente, l'effetto controllabile sul suo conto in banca. Come sarebbe bello un mondo in cui nessuno potesse diventare agente di cambio senza aver superato un esame di economia e di poesia greca, e in cui i politicanti fossero costretti ad avere una profonda ed aggiornata conoscenza della storia e della letteratura moderna!" ~ Bertrand Russell
"A tutto ciò vanno aggiunte, in quanto contribuiscono alla felicitá dell'uomo di scienza, la bellezza delle più splendide conquiste, e la coscienza di un'utilità inestimabile per la razza umana. Una vita dedicata alla scienza è dunque una vita felice, e la sua felicità deriva dalle migliori possibilitá che si aprono dinnanzi agli abitanti di questo inquieto e impressionante pianeta" ~ Bertrand Russell
"Morality in sexual relations, when it is free from superstition, consists essentially in respect for the other person, and unwillingness to use that person solely as a means of personal gratification, without regard to his or her desires." ~ Bertrand Russell
"El mundo que tenemos que buscar es un mundo en el cual el espíritu creador esté vivo, en el cual la vida sea una aventura llena de alegría y de esperanza, basada más en el impulso de construir que en el deseo de guardar lo que poseemos y de apoderarnos de lo que poseen los demás. Tiene que ser un mundo en el cual el cariño pueda obrar literalmente, el amor esté purgado del instinto de la dominación, la crueldad y la envidia hayan sido disipadas por la alegría y el desarrollo ilimitado de todos los instintos constructivos de la vida y la llenen de delicias espirituales. Un mundo así es posible; espera solamente a que los hombres quieran crearlo." ~ Bertrand Russell
"No man is fit to educate unless he feels each pupil an end in himself, with his own rights and his own personality, not merely a piece in a jigsaw puzzle, or a soldier in a regiment, or a citizen in a State. Reverence for human personality is the beginning of wisdom, in every social question but above all in education." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Respectability, regularity, and routine - the whole cast-iron discipline of a modern industrial society - have atrophied the artistic impulse, and imprisoned love so that it can no longer be generous and free and creative, but must be either stuffy or furtive." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Politics is largely governed by sententious platitudes which are devoid of truth" ~ Bertrand Russell
"a generation that cannot endure boredom will be a generation of little men, of men unduly divorced from the slow process of nature, of men in whom every vital impulse slowly withers as though they were cut flowers in a vase." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Stupidity and unconscious bias often work more damage than venality." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Moreover, the attitude that one ought to believe such and such a proposition, independently of the question whether there is evidence in its favor, is an attitude which produces hostility to evidence and causes us to close our minds to every fact that does not suit our prejudices." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy, for Plato, is a kind of vision, the 'vision of truth'...Everyone who has done any kind of creative work has experienced, in a greater or less degree, the state of mind in which, after long labour, truth or beauty appears, or seems to appear, in a sudden glory - it may only be about some small matter, or it may be about the universe. I think that most of the best creative work, in art, in science, in literature, and in philosophy, has been a result of just such a moment." ~ Bertrand Russell
"It is not my prayer and humility that you cause things to go as you wish, but by acquiring a knowledge of natural laws." ~ Bertrand Russell
"I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is Mass Psychology... Its importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda. Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions are generated." ~ 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
"According to Carnap,...... "reality"is a metaphysical term for which there is no legitimate use.......We are interested in other people's loves and hates, pleasures and pains, because we are firmly persuadedthat they are as "real" as our own. We mean something we say this." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Io non credo che la scienza per sé sia fonte adeguata di felicità, né credo che la mia mentalità scientifica abbia contribuito granché alla mia propria felicità. La scienza di per se stessa mi sembra neutra, essa, cioè, accresce il potere degli uomini per il bene come per il male.Una valutazione dello scopo della vita è cosa che va aggiunta alla scienza se si vuole che essa rechi felicità" ~ 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
"When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That's if you want to teach them to think." ~ 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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There was only Furnace. It was our world, our grave, our hell."
Author: Alexander Gordon Smith

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