Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
For all serious intellectual progress depends upon a certain kind of independence of outside opinion, which cannot exist where the will of the majority is treated with that kind of religious respect which the orthodox give to the will of God.
The mind is a strange machine which can combine the materials offered to it in the most astonishing ways.
It is not rational arguments but emotions that cause belief in a future life.
Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
Having knowledge of an unethical act and allowing it to continue can spread a contagion that can affect multiple beings in society.
It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. It is clear also that thought is not free if all the arguments on one side of a controversy are perpetually presented as attractively as possible, while the arguments on the other side can only be discovered by diligent search.
This seems plainly absurd; but whoever wishes to become a philosopher must learn not to be frightened by absurdities.
There Self must die; there the eagerness, the greed of untamed desire must be slain, for only so can the soul be freed from the empire of Fate.
Patriots always talk of dying for their country but never of killing for their country.
Prudence versus passion is a conflict that runs through history. It is not a conflict in which we ought to side wholly with either party.
Don't let the old break you; let the love make you.
All the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noon-day brightnessof human genius, are destined to extinctionin the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievementmust inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.
To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.
When I was young, most teachers of philosophy in British and American universities were Hegelians, so that, until I read Hegel, I supposed there must be some truth to his system; I was cured, however, by discovering that everything he said on the philosophy of mathematics was plain nonsense.
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.
There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination.
The theoretical understanding of the world, which is the aim of philosophy, is not a matter of great practical importance to animals, or to savages, or even to most civilised men.
Certain things are indispensable to the happiness of most men, but these are simple things: food and shelter, health, love, successful work and the respect of one's own herd.
Next to worry probably one of the most potent causes of unhappiness is envy.
The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.