Drunkenness is temporary suicide.

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell

Profession: Philosopher
Nationality: British

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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.

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

In the revolt against idealism, the ambiguities of the word experience have been perceived, with the result that realists have more and more avoided the word.

We are accustomed to take progress for granted: to assume without hesitation that the changes which have happened during the last hundred years were unquestionably for the better, and that further changes for the better are sure to follow indefinitely.

We shall be compelled to renounce the hope of finding philosophical proofs of religious beliefs. ...Hence, once more, the value of philosophy must not depend upon any supposed body of definitely ascertainable knowledge to be acquired by those who study it.

Men have physical needs, and they have emotions. While physical needs are unsatisfied, they take first place; but when they are satisfied, emotions unconnected with them become important in deciding whether a man is to be happy or unhappy.

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

And a society composed of men and women who do not bow too much to the conventions is a far more interesting society than one in which all behave alike.

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavour after a worthy manner of life.

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.

What Galileo and Newton were to the seventeenth century, Darwin was to the nineteenth.

If the collective intelligence of mankind were to degenerate, the kind of technique and daily life which science has produced would nevertheless survive, in all probability, for many generations, but it would not survive for ever, because, if seriously disturbed by a cataclysm, it could not be reconstructed.

Every community is exposed to two opposite dangers: ossification through too much discipline and reverence for tradition, on the one hand; on the other hand, dissolution, or subjection to foreign conquest, through the growth of an individualism and personal independence that makes co-operation impossible.

And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence.