Bertrand Russell Quotes About Sure

Browse 22 famous quotes of Bertrand Russell about Sure.

"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
"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
"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
"The positive sum of pleasures in a modern man's life is undoubtedly greater than was to be found in more primitive communities, but the consciousness of what might be has increased even more." ~ Bertrand Russell
"A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure." ~ Bertrand Russell
"All who are not lunatics are agreed about certain things. That it is better to be alive than dead, better to be adequately fed than starved, better to be free than a slave. Many people desire those things only for themselves and their friends; they are quite content that their enemies should suffer. These people can be refuted by science: mankind has become so much one family that we cannot insure our own prosperity except by insuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If [a man] spent his money, say, in giving parties for his friends, they (we may hope) would get pleasure, and so would all those upon whom he spent money, such as the butcher, the baker, and the bootlegger. But if he spends it (let us say) upon laying down rails for surface cars in some place where surface cars turn out not to be wanted, he has diverted a mass of labor into channels where it gives pleasure to no one. Nevertheless, when he becomes poor through failure of his investment he will be regarded as a victim of undeserved misfortune, whereas the gay spendthrift, who has spent his money philanthropically, will be despised as a fool and a frivolous person." ~ 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
"Human nature being what it is, people will insist upon getting some pleasure out of life." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Philosophy arises from an unusually obstinate attempt to arrive at real knowledge. What passes for knowledge in ordinary life suffers from three defects: it is cocksure, vague and self-contradictory. The first step towards philosophy consists in becoming aware of these defects, not in order to rest content with a lazy scepticism, but in order to substitute an amended kind of knowledge which shall be tentative, precise and self-consistent." ~ 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
"Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed." ~ 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
"Among ourselves (Westerners), the people who are regarded as moral luminaries are those who forgo ordinary pleasures themselves and find compensation in interfering with the pleasures of others." ~ 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
"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
"Love can flourish only as long as it is free and spontaneous; it tends to be killed by the thought of duty. To say that it is your duty to love so-and-so is the surest way to cause you to hate him of her." ~ Bertrand Russell
"I've made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant, I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite." ~ Bertrand Russell
"Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power." ~ Bertrand Russell
"If the ordinary wage-earner worked four hours a day, there would be enough for everybody and no unemployment -- assuming a certain very moderate amount of sensible organization. This idea shocks the well-to-do, because they are convinced that the poor would not know how to use so much leisure. In America men often work long hours even when they are well off; such men, naturally, are indignant at the idea of leisure for wage-earners, except as the grim punishment of unemployment; in fact, they dislike leisure even for their sons." ~ Bertrand Russell
"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." ~ 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
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I never changed after that. I sought for nothing in the one great source of change which is humanity. And even in my love and absorption with the beauty of the world, I sought to learn nothing that could be given back to humanity. I drank of the beauty of the world as a vampire drinks. I was satisfied. I was filled to the brim. But I was dead. And I was changeless."
Author: Anne Rice

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