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Posts Tagged ‘Bertrand Russell’

I believe in you and me.  I’m like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life – in any form.  I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for.  If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God.  But I don’t believe in a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice.
    ––     Frank Sinatra
[Can one draw comfort from believing in “God” without looking directly for it (God’s comfort)?  I seem to be able to.  Inshallah…    —    KMAB]
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There are two motives for reading a book:  one, that you enjoy it;  the other, that you can boast about it.
    —    Bertrand Russell
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One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.
   —   Bertrand Russell
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I do not myself believe that any person who is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment.
    —    Bertrand Russell
I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more.  For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.
    —    Isaac Asimov
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Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.
    —    Bertrand Russell
Sometimes I think we’re alone.  Sometimes I think we’re not.  In either case, the thought is staggering.
    —    Buckminster Fuller
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On This Day In:
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The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
    —    Bertrand Russell
[Happy Birthday, James!  Remember it is the enjoyment of life, not its duration that makes living one’s life meaningful.   We love you!    —    Mum and Dad]
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Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
    ―    Bertrand Russell
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There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge.
    —    Bertrand Russell
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The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.
    —    Bertrand Russell
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Faith cannot block out darkness, or doubt.  When on the cross, Jesus did not cry out “Here I come!” but “My God, why have you forsaken me?”  His disciples brimmed with doubts and misgivings.
Just as courage is persisting in the face of fear, so faith is persisting in the presence of doubt.  Faith becomes then a commitment, a practice and a pact that is usually sustained by belief.  But doubt is not just a roiling, or a vulnerability;  it can also be a strength.  Doubt acknowledges our own limitations and confirms — or challenges — fundamental beliefs, and is not a detractor of belief but a crucial part of it.
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If we don’t accept both the commonality and importance of doubt, we don’t allow for the possibility of mistakes or misjudgments.  While certainty frequently calcifies into rigidity, intolerance and self-righteousness, doubt can deepen, clarify and explain.  This is, of course, a subject far broader than belief in God.
The philosopher Bertrand Russell put it best.  The whole problem with the world, he wrote, is that “the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.
Of that at least we can be certain.  I’m pretty sure, anyway.
    —    Julia Baird
From her Op/Ed contribution to the New Your Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/26/opinion/julia-baird-doubt-as-a-sign-of-faith.html
[I originally found this quote at one of the blogs I follow:  http://davidkanigan.com/
The specific post is:  http://davidkanigan.com/2014/09/28/lets-hope-so/    —    kmab]
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The purpose of reason is to give us excuses for doing the things we want to do.
    —     Bertrand Russell
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…That all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noon-day brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruin – all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand.
     —    Bertrand Russell
[I do not dispute the eventual destruction of the earth or of our solar system.  I dispute the inevitable destruction of mankind and man’s spirit.  Barring an “extinction level event” before we are able to colonize space and visit other stars, man will endure.    —    KMAB]
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The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held:  instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.
    —    Bertrand Russell
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Most men would rather die than think, and most men do.
    —    Bertrand Russell
From:  “Why I Am Not a Christian & Other Essays on Religion & Related Subjects
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There is an artist imprisoned in each one of us.  Let him loose to spread joy everywhere!
     —   Bertrand Russell
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