50 Best Bertrand Russell Quotes About Happiness And Religion

Best Bertrand Russell Quotes

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

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

2- “How much good it would do if one could exterminate the human race.” ~ Bertrand Russell

How much good it would do if one could exterminate the human race

3- “The first step in a fascist movement is the combination under an energetic leader of a number of men who possess more than the average share of leisure, brutality, and stupidity. The next step is to fascinate fools and muzzle the intelligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The first step in a fascist movement is the combination under an energetic leader of a number of men who possess more than the average share of leisure, brutality, and stupidity. The next step is to fascinate fools and muzzle the intelligent, by emotional excitement on the one hand and terrorism on the other

4- “If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do.” ~ Bertrand Russell

If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do

5- “Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education

6- “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

7- “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt

8- “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time

9- “Christ said “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” and when asked “who is thy neighbour? went on to the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you wish to understand this parable as it was understood by his hearers, you should substitute “Germans and Japanese” for Samaritan. I fear my modern day Christians would resent such a substitution, because it would compel them to realize how far they have departed from the teachings of the founder of their religion.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Christ said "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" and when asked "who is thy neighbour? went on to the parable of the Good Samaritan. If you wish to understand this parable as it was understood by his hearers, you should substitute "Germans and Japanese" for Samaritan. I fear my modern day Christians would resent such a substitution, because it would compel them to realize how far they have departed from the teachings of the founder of their religion

10- “Religion is based … mainly upon fear … fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Religion is based … mainly upon fear … fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race

11- “The key to happiness is accepting one unpleasant reality every day.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The key to happiness is accepting one unpleasant reality every day

12- “No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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No one gossips about other people's secret virtues

13- “The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith

14- “Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons

15- “So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

16- “Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who’ll get the blame.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who'll get the blame

17- “There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.” ~ Bertrand Russell

There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge

18- “I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out.” ~ Bertrand Russell

I am myself a dissenter from all known religions, and I hope that every kind of religious belief will die out

19- “That the world is in a bad shape is undeniable, but there is not the faintest reason in history to suppose that Christianity offers a way out.” ~ Bertrand Russell

That the world is in a bad shape is undeniable, but there is not the faintest reason in history to suppose that Christianity offers a way out

20- “To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom.” ~ Bertrand Russell

To understand the actual world as it is, not as we should wish it to be, is the beginning of wisdom

21- “Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves

22- “One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.” ~ Bertrand Russell

One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny

23- “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 widely spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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 widely spread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible

24- “The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper

25- “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.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

26- “Belief systems provide a programme which relieves the necessity of thought.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Belief systems provide a programme which relieves the necessity of thought

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

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

28- “Fervent religious believers sacrifice pleasures of the body, but instead enjoy pleasures of the mind, including the joy of knowing that those men who didn’t follow their religion would be tortured for eternity.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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Fervent religious believers sacrifice pleasures of the body, but instead enjoy pleasures of the mind, including the joy of knowing that those men who didn't follow their religion would be tortured for eternity

29- “The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

30- “Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Most of the greatest evils that man has inflicted upon man have come through people feeling quite certain about something which, in fact, was false

31- “The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

32- “The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible.” ~ Bertrand Russell

The secret to happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible

33- “Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation, or creed

34- “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.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

35- “We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.” ~ Bertrand Russell

We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought

36- “An Honest politician will not be tolerated by a democracy unless he is very stupid … because only a very stupid man can honestly share the prejudices of more than half the nation.” ~ Bertrand Russell

An Honest politician will not be tolerated by a democracy unless he is very stupid … because only a very stupid man can honestly share the prejudices of more than half the nation

37- “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

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

38- “Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country

39- “I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: “The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.” In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.” ~ Bertrand Russell

I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: "The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that's fair." In these words he epitomized the history of the human race

40- “Love is wise; hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way. But if we are to live together, and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Love is wise; hatred is foolish. In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don't like. We can only live together in that way. But if we are to live together, and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance, which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet

41- “If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. […] The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do. […] The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic, because in arithmetic there is knowledge, but in theology there is only opinion. So whenever you find yourself getting angry about a difference of opinion, be on your guard; you will probably find, on examination, that your belief is going beyond what the evidence warrants

42- “Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Even when the experts all agree, they may well be mistaken

43- “Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Remember your humanity, and forget the rest

44- “A stupid man’s report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand.” ~ Bertrand Russell

A stupid man's report of what a clever man says can never be accurate, because he unconsciously translates what he hears into something he can understand

45- “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

46- “People seem good while they are oppressed, but they only wish to become oppressors in their turn: life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim.” ~ Bertrand Russell

People seem good while they are oppressed, but they only wish to become oppressors in their turn: life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the victim

47- “Organized people are just too lazy to look for things” ~ Bertrand Russell

Organized people are just too lazy to look for things

48- “Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling?” ~ Bertrand Russell

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

49- “A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime.” ~ Bertrand Russell

A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime

50- “Almost all education has a political motive: it aims at strengthening some group, national or religious or even social, in the competition with other groups. It is this motive, in the main, which determines the subjects taught, the knowledge offered and the knowledge withheld, and also decides what mental habits the pupils are expected to acquire. Hardly anything is done to foster the inward growth of mind and spirit; in fact, those who have had the most education are very often atrophied in their mental and spiritual life.” ~ Bertrand Russell

Almost all education has a political motive: it aims at strengthening some group, national or religious or even social, in the competition with other groups. It is this motive, in the main, which determines the subjects taught, the knowledge offered and the knowledge withheld, and also decides what mental habits the pupils are expected to acquire. Hardly anything is done to foster the inward growth of mind and spirit; in fact, those who have had the most education are very often atrophied in their mental and spiritual life

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