Deep Thoughts, Shallow Waters, and the Orgy of Unreason.

As I was swimming in the neither deep nor shallow waters of the pool, random thoughts swirled around in my brain. For instance, is it possible to have deep thoughts and live a shallow life? While some view swimming as exercise, I find it a superb vehicle to review the day’s happenings, consider variations to recipes, and ruminate on a variety of topics.

Today’s post includes a variety of quotes authored by Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970. While vehemently disagreeing with many of Bertrand Russell’s opinions, I absolutely respect and enjoy much of his work. And so we begin.

Are free thinkers free to think? “It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. It is clear also that thought is not free if all the arguments on one side of a controversy are perpetually presented as attractively as possible, while the arguments on the other side can only be discovered by diligent search.”

Obliterate the orgy of unreason. “The power of reason is thought small in these days, but I remain an unrepentant rationalist. Reason may be a small force, but it is constant, and works always in one direction, while the forces of unreason destroy one another in futile strife. Therefore every orgy of unreason in the end strengthens the friends of reason, and shows afresh that they are the only true friends of humanity.”

Learn the fine art of abstaining from inferences. “Logic was, formerly, the art of drawing inferences; it has now become the art of abstaining from inferences, since it has appeared that the inferences we feel naturally inclined to make are hardly ever valid.”

Religion replaced by politics and economics? “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.”

What the world needs now is more happiness. “And if happiness were common, it would preserve itself, because appeals to hatred and fear, which now constitute almost the whole of politics would fall flat.”

Keep passions in perspective to avoid repudiating the rational. “Consequently people fight for and against quite irrelevant measures, while the few who have a rational opinion are not listened to because they do not minister to any one’s passions.”

Above quotes available at:  https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/173403-sceptical-essays

Looking for information about Bertrand Russell?

“As a philosopher, mathematician, educator, social critic and political activist, Bertrand Russell authored over 70 books and thousands of essays and letters addressing a myriad of topics. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950, Russell was a fine literary stylist, one of the foremost logicians ever, and a gadfly for improving the lives of men and women….”https://users.drew.edu/jlenz/brs-about-br.html

See also: https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1950/russell-facts.html

Steer clear of the deep end, and let me know your favorite Bertrand Russell quote. For now I’ll sign off to play a round or two of fetch with the dog!

LK Greer

 

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