Humorous Quotes attributed to Bertrand Russell
1872-1970, British Philosopher, Mathematician, Essayist
- A stupid man's report
of what a clever man says is never accurate because he unconsciously
translates what he hears into something he can understand.
- 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.
- Every time the subject (philosophy) came up they (his family) repeated
with unfailing regularity, 'What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never
- How dare we speak of the laws of chance? Is not chance the antithesis of
- I once saw a photograph of a large herd of wild elephants in Central
Africa Seeing an airplane for the first time, and all in a state of wild
collective terror... As, however, there were no journalists among them, the
terror died down when the airplane was out of sight.
- I would never die for my beliefs, because I might be wrong.
- If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who
considered his work important. (The Conquest of Happiness)
- If it is the devil that tempts the young to enjoy themselves, is it not,
perhaps, the same personage that persuades the old to condemn their
- In addition to cotton goods we exported tuberculosis and syphilis, but for
them there was no charge.
- It is permissible with certain precautions to speak in print of coitus,
but it is not permissible to employ the monosyllabic synonym for this word.
- Life is nothing but a competition to be the criminal rather than the
- Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds
for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
- Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.
- Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.
- (Nowadays) every housemaid expects at least once a week as much excitement
as would have lasted a Jane Austen heroine throughout a whole novel.
- Of remoter ancestors I can only discover one who did not live to a great
age, and he died of a disease which is now rare, namely, having his head cut
- One of the symptoms of approaching nervous
breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. (The Conquest
- Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.
- So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise
of intelligence; and in this respect ministers of religion follow gospel
authority more closely than in some others.
- Suppose atomic bombs had reduced the population of the world to one
brother and sister; should they let the human race die out?
- The degree of one's emotion varies inversely with one's
knowledge of the facts -- the less you know the hotter you get.
- The fundamental cause
of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the
intelligent are full of doubt.
- The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if
you are good you will be happy; I mean that if you are happy you will be
- The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
- This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again
incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.
- Trivial people suffer trivially, great men suffer greatly.
- We are told that Sin consists in acting contrary to God's commands, but we
are also told that God is omnipotent. If He is, nothing contrary to His will
can occur; therefore when the sinner disobeys His commands, He must have
intended this to happen.
- War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
- We love those who hate our enemies, and if we had no
enemies, there would be very few people whom we should love.
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