Bertrand Russell Quotes About Sin

Browse 29 famous quotes of Bertrand Russell about Sin.

"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
"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
"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
"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
"Since this craving (for material possessions) is in the nature of competition, it only brings happiness when we outdistance a rival, to whom it brings correlative pain." ~ 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
"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 attitude of uncompromising heroism is attractive, and appeals especially to the dramatic instinct. But the purpose of the serious revolutionary is not personal heroism, nor martyrdom, but the creation of a happier world. Those who have the happiness of the world at heart will shrink from attitudes and the facile hysteria of "no parley with the enemy." They will not embark upon enterprises, however arduous and austere, which are likely to involve the martyrdom of their country and the discrediting of their ideals. It is by slower and less showy methods that the new world must be built [...] To find fault with those who urge these considerations, or to accuse them of faint-heartedness, is mere sentimental self-indulgence, sacrificing the good we can do to the satisfaction of our own emotions." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Das Schlimme an dieser Welt ist, dass die Dummen todsicher und die Intelligenten voller Zweifel sind." ~ Bertrand Russell
"When two men of science disagree, they do not invoke the secular arm; they wait for further evidence to decide the issue, because, as men of science, they know that neither is infallible. But when two theologians differ, since there is no criteria to which either can appeal, there is nothing for it but mutual hatred and an open or covert appeal to force." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Those who have a scienti?c outlook on human behaviour, moreover, ?nd it impossible to label any action as ‘sin'; they realise that what we do has its origin in our heredity, our education, and our environment, and that it is by control of these causes, rather than by denunciation, that conduct injurious to society is to be prevented." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Liberation from the tyranny of the body contributes to greatness, but just as much to greatness in sin as to greatness in virtue." ~ Bertrand Russell
"John Locke invented common sense, and only Englishmen have had it ever since!" ~ Bertrand Russell
"Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it." ~ 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
"Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of sceptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them." ~ Bertrand Russell
"We do not like to be robbed of an enemy; we want someone to hate when we suffer. It is so depressing to think that we suffer because we are fools; yet, taking mankind in the mass, that is the truth." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The Church no longer contends that knowledge is in itself sinful, though it did so in its palmy days; but the acquisition of knowledge, even though not sinful, is dangerous, since it may lead to pride of intellect, and hence to a questioning of the Christian dogma." ~ Bertrand Russell
"To write tragedy, a man must feel tragedy. To feel tragedy, a man must be aware of the world in which he lives. Not only with his mind, but with his blood and sinews." ~ 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
"No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mockingbird on the chimney is singing. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful?" ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy which does not seek to impose upon the world its own conceptions of good and evil is not only more likely to achieve truth, but is also the outcome of a higher ethical standpoint than one which, like evolutionism and most traditional systems, is perpetually appraising the universe and seeking to find in it an embodiment of present ideals." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Logic was, formerly, the art of drawing inferences; it has now become the art of abstaining from inferences, since it has appeared that the inferences we feel naturally inclined to make are hardly ever valid." ~ 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
"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
"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
"Auch wenn alle einer Meinung sind, können alle unrecht haben." ~ Bertrand Russell
"No man treats a motorcar as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behavior to sin; he does not say, 'You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.' He attempts to find out what is wrong and to set it right." ~ Bertrand Russell
"The methods of increasing the degree of truth in our beliefs are well known; they consist in hearing all sides, trying to ascertain all the relevant facts, controlling our own bias by discussion with people who have the opposite bias, and cultivating a readiness to discard any hypothesis which has proved inadequate." ~ Bertrand Russell
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I'm always dancing in my kitchen. And I love to sing. I've always sung. My father was a lovely singer. Always sang Jim Reeves at parties."
Author: Anne Marie Duff

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