Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new
decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The
Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set
forth as follows:
1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the
evidence is sure to come to light.
3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or
your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a
victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary
authorities to be found.
6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do
the opinions will suppress you.
7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was
8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent that in passive agreement, for, if
you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement
than the latter.
9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more
inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
10. 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."
"A Liberal Decalogue" is from "The Autobiography of Bertrand
Russell, Vol. 3: 1944-1969", pp. 71-2.