A Liberal Decalogue

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(1872 - 1970) ~ British Mathematician with a Socialist, Pacifist, Freethinker's Ideology : Russell's external career has been checkered. The descendant of one of the great families of the Whig aristocracy, he has always delighted in standing up for his radical convictions with willful stubbornness. In 1916, he was deprived of his lectureship at Trinity College, Cambridge, after his pacifist activities had brought him into conflict with the government... (From : Anarchy Archives.)
• "It is impossible to imagine a more dramatic and horrifying combination of scientific triumph with political and moral failure than has been shown to the world in the destruction of Hiroshima." (From : "The Bomb and Civilization," by Bertrand Russell, ....)
• "Either war or civilization must end..." (From : "The Bomb and Civilization," by Bertrand Russell, ....)
• "...if atomic bombs are used on both sides, it is to be expected that all large cities will be completely wiped out..." (From : "The Bomb and Civilization," by Bertrand Russell, ....)

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A Liberal Decalogue

A LIBERAL DECALOGUE

By Bertrand Russell

Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement 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, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor 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 latter.

 9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more 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."


"A Liberal Decalogue" is from The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 3: 1944-1969, pp. 71-2.

From : Drew.edu

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February 09, 2017 ; 7:28:21 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Added to http://www.RevoltLib.com.

October 19, 2017 ; 3:57:58 PM (America/Los_Angeles) :
Last Updated on http://www.RevoltLib.com.

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