As we get older the portions of our life that do not enter into our ordinary relations become greater and greater. Most of our friends know nothing of large passages in our lives, so that an increasing part of our past experience is excluded from most of our personal relations. The inevitable result is that as men grow older they come to feel more solitary, and when they meet a friend of long ago, this feeling is suddenly relieved.
出典：Bertrand Russell: On old friends,Jan. 4th, 193３. In: Mortals and Others, v.1 (1975)
Where there is delight in a process, there will be style, and the activity of production will itself have aesthetic quality. But when men assimilate themselves to machines and value only the consequences of their work, not the work itself, style disappears, to be replaced by something which to the mechanised man appears more natural, though in fact it is only more brutal.
In praise of artificiality, Sept. 9, 1931. In: Mortals and Others, v.1 (1975)
Wars, pogroms, and persecutions have all been part of the flight from boredom; even quarrels with neighbours have been found better than nothing. Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.
出典：The Conquest of Happiness, 1930, chap. 4: boredom and excitement.
Some old people are oppressed by the fear of death. In the young there is a justification for this feeling. Young men who have reason to fear that they will be killed in battle may justifiably feel bitter in the thought that they have been cheated of the best things that life has to offer. But in an old man who has known human joys and sorrows, and has achieved whatever work it was in him to do, the fear of death is somewhat abject and ignoble. The best way to overcome it – so at least it seems to me – is to make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river: small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will not be unwelcome. I should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no longer do and content in the thought that what was possible has been done.
出典： Portraits from Memory and Other Essays, 1956.
Vanity is a motive of immense potency. Anyone who has much to do with children knows how they are constantly performing some antic, and saying “Look at me”. “Look at me” is one of the most fundamental desires of the human heart. It can take innumerable forms, from buffoonery to the pursuit of posthumous fame. There was a Renaissance Italian princeling who was asked by the priest on his deathbed if he had anything to repent of. “Yes”, he said, “there is one thing. On one occasion I had a visit from the Emperor and the Pope simultaneously. I took them to the top of my tower to see the view, and I neglected the opportunity to throw them both down, which would have given me immortal fame”. History does not relate whether the priest gave him absolution. One of the troubles about vanity is that it grows with what it feeds on. The more you are talked about, the more you will wish to be talked about. The condemned murderer who is allowed to see the account of his trial in the press is indignant if he finds a newspaper which has reported it inadequately. And the more he finds about himself in other newspapers, the more indignant he will be with the one whose reports are meagre. Politicians and literary men are in the same case. And the more famous they become, the more difficult the press-cutting agency finds it to satisfy them. It is scarcely possible to exaggerate the influence of vanity throughout the range of human life, from the child of three to the potentate at whose frown the world trembles. Mankind have even committed the impiety of attributing similar desires to the Deity, whom they imagine avid for continual praise.
出典： Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954,pt.2,chap.2: Politically Important Desires (Nobel Prize Acceptant Speech)
I began to argue with the metaphysical sycophants:
‘What you say is absurd,’ I expostulated. ‘You proclaim that non-existence is the only reality. You pretend that this black hole which you worship exists. You are trying to persuade me that the non-existent exists. But this is a contradiction: and, however hot the flames of Hell may become, I will never so degrade my logical being as to accept a contradiction.’
At this point the President of the sycophants took up the argument: ‘You go too fast, my friend,’ he said. ‘You deny that the non-existent exists? But what is this to which you deny existence? If the non-existent is nothing, any statement about it is nonsense. And so is your statement that it does not exist. I am afraid you have paid too little attention to the logical analysis of sentences, which ought to have been taught you when you were a boy. Do you not know that every sentence has a subject, and that, if the subject were nothing, the sentence would be nonsense? So, when you proclaim, with virtuous heat, that Satan – Who is the non-existent- does not exist, you are plainly contradicting yourself.’
‘You,’ I replied, ‘have no doubt been here for some time and continue to embrace somewhat antiquated doctrines. You prate of sentences having subjects, but all that sort of talk is out of date. When I say that Satan, Who is the non-existent, does not exist, I mention neither Satan nor the non-existent, but only the word ‘Satan’ and the word ‘non-existent.’ Your fallacies have revealed to me a great truth. The great truth is that the word ‘not’ is superfluous. Henceforth I will not use the word ‘not.”
出典： Nightmares of Eminent Persons, 1945, Introduction.
Every isolated passion is, in isolation, insane; sanity may be defined
as a synthesis of insanities. Every dominant passion generates a
dominant fear, the fear of its non-fulfilment. Every dominant fear
generates a nightmare, sometimes in the form of an explicit and
conscious fanaticism, sometimes in a paralysing timidity, sometimes
in an unconscious or subconscious terror which finds expression only in dreams. The man who wishes to preserve sanity in a dangerous world should summon in his own mind a Parliament of fears, in which each in turn is voted absurd by all the others. …
出典： Nightmares of Eminent Persons, 1945, Introduction.
‘Alas,’ Dr. Mal1ako replied, ‘there is, I fear, much in our holy religion that you have failed adequately to understand. Have you reflected upon the parable of the ninety-nine just men who needed no repentance, and caused less joy in Heaven than the one sinner who returned to the fold? … Has it ever occurred to you that one cannot be contrite without first sinning? Yet this is the plain teaching of the Gospels. … and if we are to believe the teachings of our holy religion, they will then be more pleasing to their Maker than the impeccably righteous, among whom hitherto you have been a notable example.’
This logic confounded me, and I became perplexed in the extreme.
出典: Satan in the Suburbs, and Other Stories, 1953.
The desire to obtain a confession was the basis of the tortures of the Inquisition. In Old China, torture of suspected persons was habitual, because a humanitarian Emperor had decreed that no man should be condemned except on his own confession. For the taming of the power of the police, one essential is that a confession shall never, in any circuttmstances, be accepted as evidence.
* inquisition (名）：審理；（大文字 The Inquisiiton)で（異端審理の）宗教裁判（所） ／ decree (動)：（法律として）布告する；定める ／ prima facie 一見したとこ ろでの ／plead (動)：弁護する ；嘆願する ／ Counsel (名)：勅撰法廷弁護士 ／ acquittal (名)：無罪放免，釈放 ／ convict (動)：有罪と宣告する；有罪と決する ／ law-abiding 遵法の，法を守る
出典： Power, a new social analysis, 1938, chap. 18: The Taming Power
私と同じ世代の人々と同様,私も「何もしないでなまけている者のところには,悪魔がやってきて,何か不幸の種を見つけ出す」（注：宗教詩人 Issac Watts, 1674-1748 の句。Moral songs for childrenにある。）という格言に則って,（いつも何かしているように）育てられた。私は非常に善良な子供だったので,言われたことは何でも信じ,良心の持ち主になり,私はその良心によって現在まで一生けんめい働き続けてきた。しかし,私の良心は,私の「行為」を支配してきたけれども,私の「考え」はすっかり変ってしまっている。私は次のように考えている。即ち,これまで,世界中で,あまりにも多くの仕事(労働)がなされており,仕事は善いものだという信念が,恐ろしく多くの害をひきおこしており,(それゆえ)現代の産業国家で教えさとす必要のあることは,今までいつも説教されてきたこととはまるきり違うものである,と。
Like most of my generation, I was brought up on the saying: ‘Satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.’ Being a highly virtuous child, I believed all that I was told, and acquired a conscience which has kept me working hard down to the present moment. But although my conscience has controlled my actions, my opinions have undergone a revolution. I think that there is far too much work done in the world, that immense harm is caused by the belief that work is virtuous, and that what needs to be preached in modern industrial countries is quite different from what always has been preached. Everyone knows the story of the traveller in Naples who saw twelve beggars lying in the sun (it was before the days of Mussolini), and offered a lira to the laziest of them. Eleven of them jumped up to claim it, so he gave it to the twelfth. This traveller was on the right lines. But in countries which do not enjoy Mediterranean sunshine idleness is more difficult, and a great public propaganda will be required to inaugurate it. I hope that, after reading the following pages, the leaders of the Y.M.C.A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.
出典： In Praise of Idleness, 1935, chap.1.