Four general maxims of Bertrand Russell from ‘The Conquest of Happiness’ that you should never forget

Four general maxims of Bertrand Russell from 'The Conquest of Happiness' that you should never forget

Benjamin Franklin said that diamonds were extremely hard, "like steel or trying to know yourself." He was right, because we give ourselves too much importance, on the one hand, and consider it a betrayal of coherence to change your mind. It does not matter that the world is complex and changing: our opinions must be fixed and simple, perhaps aphoristic.

Therefore, it is worth rescuing the teachings of the classics. Here are four general maxims of Bertrand Russell in The Conquest of Happiness to be tattooed on the brain, the skin where the even more festive scars have more meaning.

The 4 maxims

  1. Remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to you.
  2. Don’t overestimate your own merits.
  3. Don’t expect others to care about you as much as you do.
  4. Don’t think people think so much of you that they have any special interest in chasing you.

We all know this type of person, man or woman, who, according to their own explanations, is a constant victim of ingratitude, mistreatment and betrayal. People of this class are often very credible and win the sympathy of those who have not known them for a long time. As a general rule, there is nothing inherently implausible about every story they tell. There is no doubt that sometimes the kinds of mistreatment they complain about do occur. What ends up arousing the suspicions of the listener is the multitude of bad people that the sufferer has had the misfortune to meet. According to the law of probabilities, different people who live in a given society will suffer, throughout their lives, more or less the same amount of abuse. If a person from a certain environment claims to be the victim of universal abuse, the most probable thing is that the cause is in himself, and that either he imagines affronts that he has not really suffered, or he behaves unconsciously in such a way that it causes uncontrollable irritation.

Russell (1872 – 1970) supported the idea of ​​a scientific philosophy and proposed to apply logical analysis to traditional problems, such as the mind-body problem or the existence of the physical world . In the opinion of many, Bertrand Russell was possibly the most influential philosopher of the 20th century, at least in English-speaking countries, considered together with Gottlob Frege as one of the founders of Analytical Philosophy. He is also considered one of the most important logicians of the 20th century.

In addition, he is the creator of the analogy called Russell’s Teapot, whose function was to discredit the belief in things that could not be falsified. God included . Another more current version of it is the Flying Spaghetti Monster religion.

g Pastafarism (neologism derived from "pasta" and "Rastafarianism") or religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (MEV or FSM in English).

If I were to suggest that between Earth and Mars there is a porcelain kettle that revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit, no one could refute my assertion, provided I was careful to add that the kettle is so small that it cannot be seen even by humans. more powerful telescopes. But if I were to say that since my assertion cannot be refuted, to doubt it is an intolerable presumptuousness on the part of human reason, it would be rightly thought that I am speaking nonsense. However, if the existence of such a kettle were affirmed in ancient books, if it were taught every Sunday as a sacred truth, if it were installed in the minds of children at school, the hesitation to believe in its existence would be a sign of eccentricity, and whoever doubts would deserve the attention of a psychiatrist in an enlightened time, or that of the inquisitor in earlier times.