Welcome   >  Quotations  >  by authors     >  Bertrand Russell


Bertrand Russell

(1872 - 1970)

English author,
mathematician and philosopher

Quotations of Bertrand Russell

"I do not think that the real reason why people accept religion is anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970 / Why I am not a Christian)

"If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970 / Religion and Science)

"There is no nonsense so arrant that it cannot be made the creed of the vast majority by adequate government action."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970 / An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish)

"The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the... passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970 / Marriage and Morals)

"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. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilization. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknowledge, but I do not know of any others."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970 / Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? / 1930)

"An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

"I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

"So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

"It is odd that neither the Church nor modern public opinion condemns petting, provided it stops short at a certain point. At what point sin begins is a matter as to which casuists differ. One eminently orthodox Catholic divine laid it down that a confessor may fondle a nun's breasts, provided he does it without evil intent. But I doubt whether modern authorities would agree with him on this point."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

"An atheist, like a Christian, holds that we can know whether or not there is a God. The Christian holds that we can know there is a God; the atheist, that we can know there is not. The Agnostic suspends judgment, saying that there are not sufficient grounds either for affirmation or for denial. At the same time, an Agnostic may hold that the existence of God, though not impossible, is very improbable; he may even hold it so improbable that it is not worth considering in practice. In that case, he is not far removed from atheism."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

"To teach how to live without certainty and yet without being paralysed by hesitation is perhaps the chief thing that philosophy, in our age, can do for those who study it."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

"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."
(Bertrand Russell / 1872-1970)

Biography of Bertrand Russell

Welcome atheism     Home Quotation     Top of the page