Russell Quotes

Quotes tagged as "russell" Showing 1-21 of 21
Bertrand Russell
“If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.”
Bertrand Russell

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.”
Bertrand Russell, Marriage and Morals

Bertrand Russell
“When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the Fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions of temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending -- something dead, cold, and lifeless.”
Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell
“It is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition.”
Bertrand Russell

Amy A. Bartol
“May what lies ahead of this warrior or behind him never take from me what is inside of him, for it is mine.”
Amy A. Bartol, Intuition

Amy A. Bartol
“How do y'all say, 'hoorah' in Angel?
Rude Car.”
Amy A. Bartol, Incendiary

Russell Simmons
“A person's strength is to know their weaknesses.”
Russell Simmons, Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success

Amy A. Bartol
“Zee replies grimly, 'I understand that problem...Buns is a force of nature.'
'She is,' I say with a reluctant smile, 'you're kind of screwed, dude. She's definitely got her own ideas.'
Zee grins too. 'Do not laugh too hard, playa, yours is a Throne..karma...' he says, noddin' his head before grimacin' and addin', 'ouch'.
My smile broadens involuntarily. 'Zee, when did you become funny?' I ask.
'It is difficult to be funny in Human,' he says, before lookin' at his watch and than graspin' the cover of the portal computer. 'Learn my language and you will think I am hysterical.”
Amy A. Bartol, Incendiary

Gregory Bateson
“Earlier fundamental work of Whitehead, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Whorf, etc., as well as my own attempt to use this earlier thinking as an epistemological base for psychiatric theory, led to a series of generalizations: That human verbal communication can operate and always does operate at many contrasting levels of abstraction. These range in two directions from the seemingly simple denotative level (“The cat is on the mat”). One range or set of these more abstract levels includes those explicit or implicit messages where the subject of discourse is the language. We will call these metalinguistic (for example, “The verbal sound ‘cat’ stands for any member of such and such class of objects”, or “The word, ‘cat’ has no fur and cannot scratch”). The other set of levels of abstraction we will call metacommunicative (e.g., “My telling you where to find the cat was friendly”, or “This is play”). In these, the subject of discourse is the relationship between the speakers. It will be noted that the vast majority of both metalinguistic and metacommunicative messages remain implicit; and also that, especially in the psychiatric interview, there occurs a further class of implicit messages about how metacommunicative messages of friendship and hostility are to be interpreted.”
Gregory Bateson

J. Robert Oppenheimer
Bertrand Russell had given a talk on the then new quantum mechanics, of whose wonders he was most appreciative. He spoke hard and earnestly in the New Lecture Hall. And when he was done, Professor Whitehead, who presided, thanked him for his efforts, and not least for 'leaving the vast darkness of the subject unobscured'.”
J. Robert Oppenheimer, The Open Mind

Charlaine Harris
“I had never seen so many cute men in one place in my life. But I could tell they were not for me. Russell was like the gay vampire Hugh Hefner, and this was the Playboy Mansion, with an emphasis on the "boy.”
Charlaine Harris, Club Dead

Bertrand Russell
“William James used to preach the “will to believe.” For
my part, I should wish to preach the “will to doubt.” None
of our beliefs are quite true; all have at least a penumbra of
vagueness and error. The methods of increasing the degree of
truth in our beliefs are well known; they consist in hearing all
sides, trying to ascertain all the relevant facts, controlling our
own bias by discussion with people who have the opposite
bias, and cultivating a readiness to disregard any hypothesis
which has proved inadequate…
In religion and politics, on the contrary, though there is
as yet nothing approaching scientific knowledge, everybody
considers it de rigueur to have a dogmatic opinion, to be
backed up by inflicting starvation, prison, and war, and to
be carefully guarded from argumentative competition with
any different opinion.”
Bertrand Russell, Free Thought and Official Propaganda

Phillip Adams
“I've spent a life-time attacking religious beliefs and have not wavered from a view of the universe that many would regard as bleak. Namely, that it is a meaningless place devoid of deity.

However I'm unwilling simply to repeat the old arguments of the past when, in fact, God is a moving target and is taking all sorts of new shapes and forms. The arguments used against the long bow are not particularly useful when debating nuclear weapons, and the simple arguments against the old model gods are not sufficient when dealing with the likes of Davies et al.

For example, the notion that God didn't exist, doesn't exist but may come into existence through the spread of consciousness throughout the universe is too clever to be pooh-poohed along Bertrand Russell lines. And if I had the time I could give you half a dozen other scientific theologies that will need snappier footwork from the atheist of the future.”
Phillip Adams

Jason Medina
“Kitchen’s always open.”
Jason Medina, A Ghost In New Orleans

Bertrand Russell
“Perfect rationality consists, not in believing what is true, but in attaching to every proposition a degree of belief corresponding to its degree of credibility.”
Bertrand Russell, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Value

Bertrand Russell
“Religious toleration, to a certain extent, has been won
because people have ceased to consider religion so important
as it was once thought to be. But in politics and economics,
which have taken the place formerly occupied by religion,
there is a growing tendency to persecution, which is not by
any means confined to one party.

The persecution of opinion
in Russia is more severe than in any capitalist country. I met
in Petrograd an eminent Russian poet, Alexander Block,
who has since died as the result of privations. The Bolsheviks
allowed him to teach aesthetics, but he complained that they
insisted on his teaching the subject “from a Marxian point
of view.” He had been at a loss to discover how the theory of
rhythmics was connected with Marxism, although, to avoid
starvation, he had done his best to find out..

The examples of America and Russia illustrate the
conclusion to which we seem to be driven — namely, that so
long as men continue to have the present fanatical belief in
the importance of politics free thought on political matters
will be impossible, and there is only too much danger that the
lack of freedom will spread to all other matters, as it has done
in Russia. Only some degree of political skepticism can save
us from this misfortune.”
Bertrand Russell, Free Thought and Official Propaganda

Bertrand Russell
“Intelligence is impeded by any creed, no matter what, and kindness is inhibited by the belief in sin and punishment (this belief, by the way, is the only one that the Soviet Government has taken over from orthodox Christianity)”
Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

Bertrand Russell
“Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear.....Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion has gone hand-in-hand.”
Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

Bertrand Russell
“As soon as absolute truth is supposed to be contained in the saying of a certain man, there is a body of experts to interpret his sayings, and these experts infallibly acquire power, since they hold the key to truth. like any other privileged caste, they use their power for their own advantage.”
Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

Bertrand Russell
“it is flattering to suppose that the universe is controlled by a Being who shares our taste and prejudices.”
Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

Bertrand Russell
“The essence of nice people is that they hate life as manifested in tendencies to co-operation, in the boisterousness of children, and above all in sex, with the thought of which they are obsessed. In a word, nice people are those who have nasty minds.”
Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects