Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

English mathematician, philosopher
18 May 1872 — 2 February 1970

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So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

War does not determine who is right. Only who is left.

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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.

One of the chief triumphs of modern mathematics consists in having discovered what mathematics really is.

Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own.

It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.

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

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

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.

When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years.

I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.

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

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.

Not to be absolutely certain is, I think, one of the essential things in rationality.

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