Saturday, May 20, 2006

On Bertie



Bertrand Russel was a British philosopher who worked mostly in the 20th Century. I would advise all you Sporkists to go out and read just any of his books, because it will simply do you good, just to even read a few chapters and see what his mode of thought is.

He was an average guy, and wrote a whole bunch of books relating philosophy to modern-day events, like theology and politics. Here are some of the things he said:
  • I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.
  • After ages during which the earth produced harmless trilobites and butterflies, evolution progressed to the point at which it generated Neros, Genghis Khans, and Hitlers. This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.
  • Every man would like to be God, if it were possible; some few find it difficult to admit the impossibility.
  • Joy of life... depends upon a certain spontaneity in regard to sex. Where sex is repressed, only work remains, and a gospel of work for work's sake never produced any work worth doing.
  • Anything you're good at contributes to happiness.
  • Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  • Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so.
  • One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
  • Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country.
  • Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence; it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.
  • War does not determine who is right — only who is left.

This Movement hereby honours Bertrand Russel as a Sporkist. Rest in Peace, Bertie.

2 Comments:

Blogger Singer Gazelle said...

My favourite:

"One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny."

So true and getting more so as the "State" and its little minions (Prime Ministers and the like) act more and more as though they are the sole examples and arbiters of life and living.

Apathy is increasingly letting politicians get away with thinking that the Universe revolves around their own hairy little fundaments.

Politicians and "The State" should be the absolute minimum required to keep the streets, the young, the sick and the elderly clean, safe and repaired.

Our current (global) establishment has gone far, far beyond simply being something that facilitates the lives of individuals. It has become an end in itself and, if in the UK for example, you were to ask the sixty-five million who are not the six hundred and fifty in Westminster whom it is designed to benefit, this establishment would not be their choice.

The political tail is wagging the populous dog. Worse yet, the tail is wagging in submission to other tails which are wagging their respective populous dogs.

Governments are irrelevant and harmful unless it is easy to confuse their role with that of a friendly old caretaker who swaps out dud lightbulbs and keeps his old National Service revolver locked away, just in case. Their role should be nothing more.

To any aliens reading this blog - "my" Governments do not represent me!

12:37 pm  
Anonymous Electra said...

-Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.-

so great. enormously true, too.

i long for the world to become more accomodating of eccentricity. we seem to have lost our flair for being 'free spirited' and broad minded sometimes. we need to rekindle our relationship with understanding, if, by george, it ever existed to begin with.

10:22 pm  

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