Some cynical words of wisdom from Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970), a philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel Prize-winning author.
“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.”
“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence to support this.”
“We still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man.”
“Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.”
“The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.”
“A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short.”
“Every man is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions, which move with him like flies on a summer day.”
“Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.”
“Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.”
“To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.”
“Freedom is the absence of obstacles to the realization of desires.”
“If all our happiness is bound up entirely in our personal circumstances, it is difficult not to demand of life more than it has to give.”
“It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.”
“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.”
Citation: “Russell’s Ruminations.” Uncle John’s Endlessly Engrossing Bathroom Reader. Ashland, OR: Bathroom Readers’, 2009. 334. Print.