- BERTRAND RUSSELL ON TOLERANCE, LOVE AND HATRED
In the later years of his life the British philosopher Lord Bertrand Russell – a pipe lover like me – was asked in an interview for the future:
Q. «What would you think it’s worth telling future generations about the life you’ve lived and the lessons you’ve learned from it?»
His reply was as follows:
A. «I should like to say two things: one intellectual and one moral.
The intellectual thing I should want to say is this: When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only what are the facts and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts. That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say.
The moral thing I should wish to say... I should say love is wise, hatred is foolish. In this world which is getting more closely and closely interconnected we have to learn to tolerate each other, we have to learn to put up with the fact that some people say things that we don’t like. We can only live together in that way and if we are to live together and not die together we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital to the continuation of human life on this planet.»
Watch the video.