Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bertrand Russel's autobiography

Included this Liberal Decalogue, that I thought was pretty rad. He wrote it in 1953, when he was 90 million years old, and it's way more valuable than those other ten rules, with their irritating moralizing and constant thining and thouing.

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
4. When you meet with opposition…endeavour to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent on 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. (553-554)

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