Bertrand Russell Biography | Inspiration Quotations| Motivation Quotes

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell Motivational Quotations:

  • “The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.”

  •  “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

  •  “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”

  •  “War does not determine who is right - only who is left.”

  •  “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

  •  “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

  •  “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.”

  •  “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

  •  “Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.”

  •  “The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible.”

  •  “A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.”

  •  “Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don't know.”

  • “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.”

  •  “Italy, and the spring and first love all together should suffice to make the gloomiest person happy.”

  •  “Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relative to other matter; second, telling other people to do so.”

  •  “To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”

  •  “I like mathematics because it is not human and has nothing particular to do with this planet or with the whole accidental universe - because, like Spinoza's God, it won't love us in return.”

  •  “Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?”

    Bertrand Russell


  • “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.”

  •  “Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery.”

  •  “There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.”

  •  “One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.”

  •  “Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.”

  •  “One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.”

  •  “The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.”

  •  “If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.”

  •  “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.”

  •  “I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn't wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.”

  •  “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.”

  •  “If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years.”

  •  “Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.”
  •  “Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”

  •  “To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it.”

  •  “What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.”

 “Freedom comes only to those who no longer ask of life that it shall yield them any of those personal goods that are subject to the mutations of time.”

Bertrand Russell

  •  “The place of the father in the modern suburban family is a very small one, particularly if he plays golf.”
  •  “Mathematics takes us into the region of absolute necessity, to which not only the actual word, but every possible word, must conform.”

  •  “Next to enjoying ourselves, the next greatest pleasure consists in preventing others from enjoying themselves, or, more generally, in the acquisition of power.”

  •  “The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.”

  •  “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.”

  • “To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”

  • “Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.”

  •  “Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power.”

  •  “A hallucination is a fact, not an error; what is erroneous is a judgment based upon it.”

  •  “Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.”

  •  “If any philosopher had been asked for a definition of infinity, he might have produced some unintelligible rigmarole, but he would certainly not have been able to give a definition that had any meaning at all.”

  •  “Mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.”

  •  “Drunkenness is temporary suicide.”

  •  “If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.”

  •  “A sense of duty is useful in work but offensive in personal relations. People wish to be liked, not to be endured with patient resignation.”

  •  “Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”

  •  “The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.”

  •  “The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics.”

  •  “Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.”

  •  “The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.”

  •  “Both in thought and in feeling, even though time be real, to realise the unimportance of time is the gate of wisdom.”

  •  “Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.”

  •  “Man needs, for his happiness, not only the enjoyment of this or that, but hope and enterprise and change.”

  •  “A truer image of the world, I think, is obtained by picturing things as entering into the stream of time from an eternal world outside, than from a view which regards time as the devouring tyrant of all that is.”

  •  “It seems to be the fate of idealists to obtain what they have struggled for in a form which destroys their ideals.”

  •  “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?”

  •  “There is no need to worry about mere size. We do not necessarily respect a fat man more than a thin man. Sir Isaac Newton was very much smaller than a hippopotamus, but we do not on that account value him less.”

  •  “The slave is doomed to worship time and fate and death, because they are greater than anything he finds in himself, and because all his thoughts are of things which they devour.”

  •  “Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.”

  •  “The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.”

  •  “The degree of one's emotions varies inversely with one's knowledge of the facts.”

  •  “None but a coward dares to boast that he has never known fear.”

  •  “Indignation is a submission of our thoughts, but not of our desires.”

  •  “Liberty is the right to do what I like; license, the right to do what you like.”

  •  “Obscenity is whatever happens to shock some elderly and ignorant magistrate.”

  •  “Admiration of the proletariat, like that of dams, power stations, and aeroplanes, is part of the ideology of the machine age.”

  •  “Right discipline consists, not in external compulsion, but in the habits of mind which lead spontaneously to desirable rather than undesirable activities.”

  •  “A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short.”

  •  “Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.”

  •  “Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.”

  •  “Freedom of opinion can only exist when the government thinks itself secure.”

  •  “In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”




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