Bertrand Russell: A Message to Future Generations (1959 video)
"And if we are to live together and not to 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."
- Bertrand Russell
In 1959, Bertrand Russell, the Nobel Prize-winning philosopher, mathematician and peace activist was just short of his 87th birthday, when he gave wide-ranging interviews to the BBC and the CBC. In this capture, Russell giving life lessons (lessons about critical thinking, love and tolerance) to a generation living 1,000 years in the future.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these in any profound sense.
Interviewer (John Freeman):
"One last question: Suppose Lord Russell this film were to be looked at by our descendants, like a Dead Sea scroll in a thousand years time, what would you think it's worth telling that generation about the life you've lived and the lessons you've learned from it? "
"I should like to say two things, one intellectual and one moral: The intellectual thing, I should want to say to them, 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 could have beneficial 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 to them is very simple. I should say: Love is wise, hatred is foolish.
In this world, which is getting more and more 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 to 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."