Bertrand Russell - Happiness Quotes
43 Sourced Quotes
I think people who are unhappy are always proud of being so, and therefore do not like to be told that there is nothing grand about their unhappiness. A man who is melancholy because lack of exercise has upset his liver always believes that it is the loss of God, or the menace of Bolshevism, or some such dignified cause that makes him sad. When you tell people that happiness is a simple matter, they get annoyed with you.
Certain forms of sex which do not lead to children are at present punished by the criminal law: this is purely superstitious, since the matter is one which affects no one except the parties directly concerned... The peculiar importance attached, at present, to adultery is quite irrational... Moral rules ought not to be such as to make instinctive happiness impossible.
For my part, while I am as convinced a Socialist as the most ardent Marxian, I do not regard Socialism as a gospel of proletarian revenge, nor even, primarily, as a means of securing economic justice. I regard it primarily as an adjustment to machine production demanded by considerations of common sense, and calculated to increase the happiness, not only of proletarians, but of all except a tiny minority of the human race.
More and more people are becoming unable to accept traditional [religious] beliefs. If they think that, apart from these beliefs, there is no reason for kindly behaviour, the results may be needlessly unfortunate. That is why it is important to show that no supernatural reasons are needed to make [people] kind and to prove that only through kindness can the human race achieve happiness.
To abandon the struggle for private happiness, to expel all eagerness of temporary desire, to burn with passion for eternal things-this is emancipation, and this is the free man's worship... United with his fellow men by the strongest of all ties, the tie of a common doom, the free man finds that a new vision is with him always, shedding over every daily task the light of love.