Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian

The day of nice people, I fear, is nearly over; two things are killing it. The first is the belief that there is no harm in being happy, provided no one else is the worse for it; the second is the dislike of humbug, a dislike which is quite as much aesthetic as moral. Both these revolts were encouraged by the War, when the nice people in all countries were securely in control, and in the name of the highest morality induced the young people to slaughter one another. When it was all over the survivors began to wonder whether lies and misery inspired by hatred constituted the highest virtue. I am afraid it may be some time before they can again be induced to accept this fundamental doctrine of every really lofty ethic.

The essence of nice people is that they hate life as manifested in tendencies to cooperation, in the boisterousness of children, and above all in sex, with the thought of which they are obsessed. In a word, nice people are those who have nasty minds.”

Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian, pg. 156

Fascinating couple of paragraphs. I think it illustrates beautifully what happens when a lofty ethic is peddled without authenticity of heart. God’s moral standards help decipher life for the one who sets his hope in Him. But to those who look at the standards themselves for life and joy, they will find emptiness and their own delusive hearts (nasty minds).

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