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The Four Desires Driving All Human Behavior: Bertrand Russell's Magnificent Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/09/21/bertrand-russell-nobel-prize-acceptance-speech/

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The Four Desires Driving All Human Behavior: Bertrand Russell's Magnificent Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech
Bertrand Russell (May 18, 1872-February 2, 1970) endures as one of humanity's most lucid and luminous minds - an oracle of timeless wisdom on everything from what "the good life" really means to why "fruitful monotony" is essential for happiness to love, sex, and our moral superstitions.

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Infinite desires

Infinite desires

Bertrand Russell, at his Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech, pointed out that all human activity is prompted by desireIf you want to know what man will do, you must know the whole system of their desires with their relative strengths.

Humans have some infinite desires, which can never be fully gratified. The four endless desires are acquisitiveness, rivalry, vanity, and love of power.

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Acquisitiveness

Acquisitiveness is the desire to possess as much as possible of goods, or the title of goods

Regardless of how much you acquire, you will always wish for more.

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Rivalry

Many men will happily face impoverishment if they can thereby manage to ruin their rivals.


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Vanity

People desire to be admired. Vanity needs glory for its satisfaction. 

Even from childhood, children are always performing some antic, and demand to be looked at.

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The love of power

Power is insatiable: the vice of energetic men and the strongest drive in the lives of important men. The more power is experienced, the greater the love of power.

In an autocratic regime, the holders of power become more tyrannical when they experience the delights that power brings. The man who moves from the love of power is more willing to inflict pain than to permit pleasure.

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Love of power is not always negative

From the need to dominate the unknown comes the desires like the pursuit of knowledge and all scientific progress.
How you use this power depends upon the social system and your abilities.

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The love of excitement

The desire to escape from boredom is very powerful to almost all human beings. 

But a great deal of modern work is sedentary so we most find other means to use our physical energy that produces love of excitement. And nothing is more exciting than a moment of sudden discovery or invention.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Boredom: Our Old Friend

In most of the ancient literature and philosophy, boredom is considered a personal, social and moral weakness.

Philosophers talk about boredom as proof that life is essentially meaningless,...

The Neutral Signal With Many Outcomes

Boredom is a signal to your body that the current activity is not meaningful and we should be doing something else, or be somewhere else. Many recent studies have associated boredom with the urge to flaunt social distancing rules and quarantine regulations.

Boredom by itself is a neutral signal but can affect a person in varied ways depending on his life situation and the current environment.

Boredom Is Like Pain

Boredom by itself does not feel great, but just like pain, it is a body’s emotional call to action. It nudges us to look for an alternate set of behaviours and try to add more significance to our activities.

We normally try to balance paying attention and finding meaning, wanting to do something but not wanting to do anything in particular.

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The Meaning of a Good Life

The Meaning of a Good Life

One of the oldest philosophical questions is the meaning of living well. Philosophers have delved into the hidden complexities of how should one live and what is the concept of the good lif...

Plato And Socrates on Living a Moral Life

  • The Greek philosopher Socrates stated that it is better to suffer and die than to be corrupted and use one’s wealth and power in a dishonourable way.
  • Plato claimed that being morally good has an inner harmony, while a dishonest, wicked person is always at unease, and in a disharmonious state of being.

Morality and Religions

  • Believers Of God, both in east and west, believe that good, pious deeds and intentions are rewarded by God; many people do not receive their reward in this life.
  • Hindus believe that Karma will ensure that their good deeds will be rewarded, while evil actions and desires will be punished, either in this life or in future lives.

Leonardo Da Vinci on how to be successful

  • Action: It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
  • ...

Advice from Bertrand Russell

  • Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  • Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  • Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  • Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  • Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  • Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  • Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

Polymaths and mastery

Polymaths manage to achieve mastery across multiple industries, arts, or fields of study. What sets them apart? The willingness and drive to learn new.