I stumbled across this recently. The ten commandments gave me much food for thought. I’ve promised myself that I’ll read more Bertrand Russell. I found this on the Open Culture blog, which is great at popping up with cultural stuff that you may or may not have heard about before. It’s also a great source for finding free films to watch or music to listen to. The photograph has no connection to Russell and no specific link to the commandments, but I don’t own any pictures of Russell and don’t like to use other peoples’ photos here. Taken in Lisbon, Portugal last summer.
Bertrand Russell: “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 worthwhile to produce belief 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, 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 latter.
9: Be scrupulously truthful, even when 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.
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