THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF BERTRAND RUSSELL

Brian Carr.

Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook can be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to suppliment it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.

2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.

3. Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.

4. When you meet with opposition... endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do, the opinions will suppress you.

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

8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the later.

9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

-Bertrand Russell (From Bertrand Russell, an Introduction: by Brian Carr, page 65).


The University of Regensburg neither approves nor disapproves of the opinions expressed here. They are solely the responsibility of the person named below.

Gerald_Huber@r.maus.de

Last update: 15 July 1998