Geometry.Net - the online learning center
Home  - Philosophers - Russell Bertrand Bookstore
Page 1     1-20 of 80    1  | 2  | 3  | 4  | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

         Russell Bertrand:     more books (99)
  1. The analysis of mind by Bertrand Russell, 2010-08-25
  2. The Problems of Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, 2010-03-31
  3. Political Ideals by Bertrand Russell, 2010-07-24
  4. The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism by Bertrand Russell, 2010-03-07
  5. The problem of China by Bertrand Russell, 2010-09-08
  6. The Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell (Routledge Classics) by Bertrand Russell, 2009-04-06
  7. The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell, 1996-03-17
  8. A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell, 1967
  9. Mysticism and Logic: And Other Essays (1918) by Bertrand Russell, 2009-06-12
  10. Why I Am Not A Christian And Other Essays On Religion And Related Subjects by Bertrand Russell, 2008-05-18
  11. Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays by Bertrand Russell, 2010-03-07
  12. Religion and Science by Bertrand Russell, 1997-05-29
  13. Autobiography (Routledge Classics) by Bertrand Russell, 2009-08-13
  14. In Praise of Idleness: And Other Essays (Routledge Classics) by Bertrand Russell, 2004-03-04

1. Index Of /Authors/Russell_Bertrand
. Parent Directory _vti_cnf/ 30-Nov-2007 1612 - What Is the Soul.......Index of /Authors/russell_bertrand. Name Last modified Size;O=A

2. Russell, Bertrand Arthur William (1872-1970)
A British philosopher, mathematician, and logician who rose to prominence with his first major work, The Principles of Mathematics (1902),
entire Web this site
Russell, Bertrand Arthur William (1872-1970)
A British philosopher, mathematician, and logician who rose to prominence with his first major work, The Principles of Mathematics (1902), in which he attempted to remove mathematics from the realm of abstract philosophical notions and to give it a precise scientific framework. Russell then collaborated for eight years with the British philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead to produce the monumental work Principia Mathematica (3 volumes, 1910-1913). This work showed that mathematics can be stated in terms of the concepts of general logic , such as class and membership in a class. It became a masterpiece of rational thought.
Russell and Whitehead proved that numbers can be defined as classes of a certain type, and in the process they developed logic concepts and a logic notation that established symbolic logic as an important specialization within the field of philosophy. In his next major work, The Problems of Philosophy (1912), Russell borrowed from the fields of sociology, psychology, physics, and mathematics to refute the tenets of idealism, the dominant philosophical school of the period, which held that all objects and experiences are the product of the intellect. Russell, a realist, believed that objects perceived by the senses have an inherent reality independent of the mind.

3. Astrology Of Bertrand Russell With Horoscope Chart, Quotes, Biography, And Image
Astrology of Bertrand Russell with horoscope chart, quotes, biography, and images.
Bertrand Russell

I mages and Physiognomic Interpretation to Volume 3 Table of Contents The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. A life without adventure is likely to be unsatisfying, but a life in which adventure is allowed to take whatever form it will is sure to be short. Against my will, in the course of my travels, the belief that everything worth knowing was known at Cambridge gradually wore off. In this respect my travels were very useful to me. All movements go too far. Almost everything that distinguishes the modern world from earlier centuries is attributable to science, which achieved its most spectacular triumphs in the seventeenth century. Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths. Boredom is... a vital problem for the moralist, since half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.

4. Russell Bertrand: Is This You?
fontweight bold; a href= http// Russell Bertrand /a /span , based on your name and a process known to
Is This Your Name?
What we know about 'Russell Bertrand'...
Origin: French
Meaning: Red Head
Top 5 Facts:
  • of the letters are vowels. Of one million first and last names we looked at, 87.6% have a higher vowel make-up. This means you are poorly envoweled Tip: Would someone you know get a smile out of this? You can click on one of the '+' links (like the one below) to display info to pass on in your own email. You don't have to give out any email addresses. Email to a friend or Add to your Blog (displays below)
    Send by email
    Are you Well Envoweled? We checked 1,000,000 names and 87.6% had more vowels than ' Russell Bertrand '. That means you are poorly envoweled Much more at
    Add to your webpage: Copy and paste the html code below into your own page. If you click inside the box the code should be automagically selected for you.
    To close this panel, click on the 'Email to friend' link again. Backwards, it is
  • 5. Bertrand Russell
    Translate this page Der Philosoph, Logiker, Mathematiker und Sozialkritiker Bertrand Russell wurde am 18.Mai 1872 als drittes Kind von Lord John Amberlys und seiner Frau Lady
    Download PDF Download Word Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970) Am 2. Februar 1970 starb Bertrand Russell in Penrhyndendraeth in Wales. Russells Philosophie:
    Die 10 Gebote des Liberalismus 1. Fühle dich keiner Sache völlig gewiss. 2. Trachte nicht danach, Fakten zu verheimlichen, denn eines Tages kommen die Fakten bestimmt ans Licht 3. Versuche niemals, jemanden am selbständigen Denken zu hindern; es könnte dir gelingen. 4. Wenn dir jemand widerspricht, und sei es dein Ehegatte oder dein Kind, bemühe dich, ihm mit Argumenten zu begegnen und nicht mit der Autorität, denn ein Sieg der Autorität ist unrealistisch und illusionär. 5. Habe keinen Respekt vor der Autorität anderer, denn es gibt in jedem Fall auch Autoritäten, die gegenteiliger Ansichten sind. 6. Unterdrücke nie mit Gewalt Überzeugungen, die du für verderblich hälst, sonst unterdrücken diese Überzeugungen dich. 7. Fürchte dich nicht davor, exzentrische Meinungen zu vertreten; jede heutige Meinung war einmal exzentrisch. 8. Freue dich mehr über intelligenten Widerspruch als über passive Zustimmung; denn wenn die Intelligenz so viel wert ist, wie sie dir wert sein sollte, dann liegt im Widerspruch eine tiefere Zustimmung.

    6. Bertrand Russell Quotes
    A collection of quotes attributed to British philosopher and social reformer Bertrand Russell.
    Browse quotes by subject Browse quotes by author
    BERTRAND RUSSELL QUOTES Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom. BERTRAND RUSSELL, An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish Brief and powerless is man's life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. BERTRAND RUSSELL, Philosophical Essays Machines are worshipped because they are beautiful and valued because they confer power; they are hated because they are hideous and loathed because they impose slavery. BERTRAND RUSSELL, Sceptical Essays Extreme hopes are born of extreme misery. BERTRAND RUSSELL, Unpopular Essays Boredom is ... a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it. BERTRAND RUSSELL, The Conquest of Happiness Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver ... in the end, the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own. BERTRAND RUSSELL, What I Believe Marriage is for woman the commonest mode of livelihood, and the total amount of undesired sex endured by women is probably greater in marriage than in prostitution.

    7. Bertrand Russell Biography
    Search Biographies. Browse Biographies. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
    Biography Base Home Link To Us Search Biographies: Browse Biographies A B C D ... Z Bertrand Russell Biography Bertrand Arthur William Russell , 3rd Earl Russell (May 18, 1872 - February 2, 1970) was one of the most influential mathematicians, philosophers and logicians working (mostly) in the 20th century, an important political liberal, activist and a populariser of philosophy. Millions looked up to Russell as a sort of prophet of the creative and rational life; at the same time, his stance on many topics was extremely controversial. He was born in 1872, at the height of Britain's economic and political ascendancy, and died of influenza in 1970, when Britain's empire had all but vanished and her power had been drained in two victorious but debilitating world wars. At his death, however, his voice still carried moral authority, for he was one of the world's most influential critics of nuclear weapons and the American war in Vietnam.
    In 1950, Russell was made Nobel Laureate in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought".
    Russell's philosophical and logical work
    In mathematical logic, Russell established Russell's paradox, which exposed an inconsistency in naïve set theory and led directly to the creation of modern axiomatic set theory. It also crippled Gottlob Frege's project of reducing mathematics to logic. Nonetheless, Russell defended logicism (the view that mathematics is in some important sense reducible to logic) and attempted this project himself, along with Alfred North Whitehead, in the Principia Mathematica, a clean axiomatic system on which all of mathematics can be built, but which was never fully completed. Although it did not fall prey to the paradoxes in Frege's approach, it was later proven by Kurt Gödel that—for exactly that reason—neither Principia Mathematica nor any other consistent logical system could prove all mathematical truths, and hence Russell's project was necessarily incomplete.

    8. Bertrand Russell
    Relationship, Name, Date Period. Lover, Ottoline Morrell, 1873-1938. Friend, G E Moore, 1873-1958. Friend/Critic, Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1889-1951
    Modern Humanities
    Skip Access Home Site News Site Map Search Terms Help Feedback Contact
    Bertrand Russell
    3rd Earl Russell, Bertrand Arthur William Biographical Summary Date of Birth 18 May 1872 Place of Birth Trelleck Date of Death Place of Death Monument Philosopher Shortcuts Personal Relationships Locale Oeuvre Biographical Details Personal Relationships Relationship Name Date - Period Lover Ottoline Morrell Friend G E Moore Friend/Critic Ludwig Wittgenstein Brother-in-Law Bernhard Berenson Student T S Eliot Brother-in-Law Logan Pearsall Smith Group Apostles Group Ottoline's Return to Top Locale Where Why When Trelleck, Gwent Birth place 18 May 1872 Trinity College Cambridge Student Paris British Embassy Attaché Trinity College Cambridge Fellow Russia To meet: Lenin, Trotsky and Gorky Peking Teacher Telegraph House, Harting, Petersfield Residence/School (Progressive) City College, New York, United States of America lecturer contract terminated in 1940, Plas Penrhyn, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merionethshire Residence Return to Top Oeuvre Title Genre Date - Edition German Social Democracy Foundations of Geometry Essay Philosophy of Leibniz The Principles of Mathematics Philosophical Essays Essays Principia Mathematics Problems of Philosophy Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy Principles of Social Reconstruction Mysticism and Logic Roads to Freedom Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy The Practise and Theory of Bolshevism The Analysis of Mind The Problem of China The A B C of Atoms The Prospects of Industrial Civilization Icarus

    russell_bertrand.pdf. Papers must be received by January 7. Papers will be reviewed by a committee. Notification of acceptance will be made via email in
    and Undergraduate Philosophy Conference
    The University of Memphis
    April 17-18, 2009
    Please note the change to April
    The thirty-third annual Midsouth Philosophy Conference is scheduled for Friday afternoon and Saturday, April 17-18 , at The University of Memphis. Papers in any area are welcome. There will be a $20 registration fee, payable at the conference. Papers must not exceed a length of 3000 words . On the first page of your paper, include the following nine items: (1) word count - 3000 words maximum
    (2) author's name
    (3) academic status (professor, unaffiliated, graduate student)
    (4) institutional affiliation (if any)
    (5) mailing address
    (6) email address
    (7) telephone number
    (8) the paper's title
    (9) and an abstract - 100 words maximum Submissions which do not include all nine items will not be considered.

    10. Click Here (source) Bertrand Russell (18 May 1872 - 2 Feb 1970
    (source). Bertrand Russell. (18 May 1872 2 Feb 1970). English logician and philosopher. He was known for his work in mathematical logic,
    Bertrand Russell - Quotations (source) Bertrand Russell (18 May 1872 - 2 Feb 1970)
    English logician and philosopher. He was known for his work in mathematical logic, but was also active in social and political campaigns, advocating pacifism and nuclear disarmament. [more biography...]
    Mysticism and Logic (source)
    The Conquest of Happiness (source)
    as quoted in Darwin's Dangerous Idea by D.C. Dennet (1995) (source)
    Sceptical Essays (source)
    Principles of Social Reconstruction (source)
    Principles of Social Reconstruction (source)
    Lecture II, "Instinct and Habit"
    The Analysis of Mind (source)
    The Impact of Science on Society (source) Portraits from Memory and Other Essays (source) Portraits from Memory and Other Essays (source) Autobiography (source) The Impact of Science on Society (source) Autobiography (source) Autobiography (source) In Praise of Idleness and Other Essays (source) Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology. Perpetual Motion Science Stories Chemistry Stories Quotations ... PLEASE!!

    11. Biografia De Bertrand Russell
    Translate this page Breve semblanza del filósofo.
    Inicio Buscador Las figuras clave de la historia Reportajes Los protagonistas de la actualidad Bertrand Russell (Trelleck, 1872 - Plas Penrhyn, 1970) Filósofo y matemático británico. Su abuelo, el notable político y orador John Russell, había sido nombrado conde por la reina Victoria, y desempeñó los cargos de primer lord del Tesoro y primer ministro. Los padres del joven Bertrand, de mentalidad liberal con ciertos matices radicales, hubieran deseado para su hijo una brillante carrera política. Y así, luego de la formación recibida en el Trinity College de Cambridge, el joven fue enviado en 1888 y para largo tiempo a los Estados Unidos, a fin de que pudiera estudiar allí la vida política y las instituciones del país. De nuevo en la patria y, en calidad de "fellow", en el Trinity College, se vio alejado de tal institución en 1916 debido a la actitud pacifista intransigente adoptada en el curso de la primera Guerra Mundial. Ello le valió asimismo cuatro meses de cárcel, durante los cuales redactó su Introducción a la filosofía matemática Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy Anteriormente, en 1900, había publicado un importante libro acerca de Leibniz, y en 1910

    12. Biography Center : Biographies Of Bertrand Russell In
    Biographies of Russell Bertrand and, for more detail Biography of , , use=hc,
    Home Suggest a Biography Forum Contact ... Highest Rated Browse by Letter : A B C D ... Z Russell Bertrand -99999 ) Category ( ) suggest a correction
    Rating Rating Rate 0(broken link) Comment on this link Rating Rating Rate 0(broken link) Comment on this link Title : Bertrand Russell - World of Biography
    Description : The Life, Events, Works, Achievements, Quotes of Bertrand Russell Suggest another Link for this biography Biographies beginning with Biographes by Category Most popular biographies ... Add details to this biogaphy is a directory of other biographies on the web. We allow comments on the links we supply, as well as an opportunity for you to rate these bio's. When you suggest a biography, you have the option of using our web based editor to enter a biography of your own. We receive numerous requests every day to add links Needless to say, most of the links have nothing to do with biographies and are generally discarded. If we miss your suggestion, please feel free to submit your biographies again for review. We also get a lot of requests for posting links on biography center. People are willing to pay a decent price for this however, we do not participate in this sort of activity. Please don’t ask.

    13. Famous Quote
    Visit this site for famous quotes look for a well known quote from this celebrity! Read this Famous Quote. View this Famous Quote and access many more.
    One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.
    Bertrand Russell
    Famous Quotes
    The famous quote detailed above is well known as an example of the famed verbal and spoken communication, citation or quotation used by the famous person. Some of these quotes will be familiar and some even deemed to be legendary and sometimes notorious quotes and quotations. These provide a vast selection of a famous funny quote, a motivational quote, a love quote, an inspirational quote, a cute quote, a persuasive quotation, a movie quote, a political quote and sad quotes often mis-spelt as qoute and qoutation. famous quotes and quotations

    14. Bertrand Russell - ANobii
    Russell Bertrand, books, reviews, news, discussions, profile and more!
    Filter: World USA Select your city
    To see everyone, click "World" [x] Different contents may appear as you choose different location filters [x]
    Bertrand Russell
    All works
    Most shelved Publication Date (New to Old) Publication Date (Old to New) Book Name (A to Z) Book Name (Z to A) User Rating (High to Low)

    15. Bertrand Russell - MSN Encarta
    Russell, Bertrand Arthur William, 3rd Earl Russell (18721970), British philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel laureate, whose emphasis on logical
    var s_account="msnportalencartacaen"; Home Hotmail Spaces Video ... more Hotmail Messenger My Page Sympatico Mail Autos Careers Classifieds Entertainment ... More Reference Thesaurus Translation Multimedia Other Resources Top-10 List Language Help Products Guides ... Help Editors' Picks Great books about your topic, Bertrand Russell , selected by Encarta editors Related Items more... Encarta Search Search Encarta about Bertrand Russell
    Bertrand Russell
    Encyclopedia Article Find Print E-mail Multimedia 1 item Article Outline Introduction Pacifist and Socialist Philosopher and Author I
    Print this section Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), British philosopher, mathematician, and Nobel laureate, whose emphasis on logical analysis influenced the course of 20th-century philosophy. Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3 rd Earl Russell, was born in Trelleck, Wales, on May 18, 1872, and educated at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. After graduation in 1894, he traveled in France, Germany, and the United States and was then made a fellow of Trinity College. From an early age he developed a strong sense of social consciousness; at the same time, he involved himself in the study of logical and mathematical questions, which he had made his special fields and on which he was called to lecture at many institutions throughout the world. He achieved prominence with his first major work, The Principles of Mathematics (1902), in which he attempted to remove mathematics from the realm of abstract philosophical notions and to give it a precise scientific framework.

    16. Bertrand Russell
    Programme Name Details. Envy Of The World, The Humphrey Carpenter investigates how the Third captured the intellectual highground with talks by the
    "Bertrand Russell"
    was found in the details of the these programme(s):
    Amazon UK
    Bertrand Russell
    Cast and Crew Index

    Dates Index
    Amazon US
    Programme Name: Details: Envy Of The World, The ...Humphrey Carpenter investigates how the Third captured the intellectual high-ground with talks by the likes of Isaiah Berlin and BERTRAND RUSSELL . The `Hilda Tablet' plays of Henry Reed offered a lighter touch, and the Third broadcast one of the most famous programmes ever - `Under Milk Wood'. In 1957, cuts to the Third provoked a high-profile protest campaign. Today's programme includes the first broadcast ever of a speech by T S Eliot as part of the protest.... From This Moment On ...Nigel Wrench recalls the CND demonstration in Trafalgar Square in February 1961, led by many famous people including philosopher BERTRAND RUSSELL Kurd's-eye View ...Could it be that Hazhir's liking for A J Ayer and BERTRAND RUSSELL has its roots in the orchards surrounding the town where he spent his childhood, in which farmer-philosophers would sit and talk late into the night?... Old Stubborn Guts ...A look at academics and intellectuals. Included in this selection are JK Galbraith, Noam Chomsky, EF Schumacher and

    17. Philosophistry: Russell, Bertrand Archives
    Bertrand Russell Good Quote. Wisdom Quotes. What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires desires of which he
    August 29, 2003
    Bertrand Russell - Good Quote
    Wisdom Quotes What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way. Posted by philipd at 09:38 PM Comments (0)
    August 09, 2003
    Bertrand Russell on Christianity
    Why I Am Not A Christian (Bertrand Russell) Posted by philipd at 10:31 PM Comments (0)
    Am I An Atheist Or Agnostic
    Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic? (Bertrand Russell). // Basically said: "I'm an agnostic in philosophy but an atheist in practice" // Agree... Posted by philipd at 10:29 PM Comments (0)
    Bertrand Russell []
    Bertrand Russell [] Posted by philipd at 10:29 PM Comments (0)

    18. Your Directory : Russell%2C Bertrand
    Your Directory selected category is Top Society Philosophy Philosophers R Russell%2C_Bertrand.
    Search: Categories Suggest URL Top Society Philosophy ... R
    Russell, Bertrand
    Help Developed by Virtek

    19. Rent Paperback Books By Bertrand Russell
    Contact Us TellA-Friend FAQs Gift Memberships Paperbacks Books CD MP3-CD Audiobooks MP3-CD Audiobooks Combo Plans

    20. Why I Am Not A Christian Bertrand Russell March 6, 1927 National
    Why I Am Not A Christian Bertrand Russell March 6, 1927 National Secular Society, South London branch Battersea Town Hall I Am Not A Christian.T
    Why I Am Not A Christian Bertrand Russell March 6, 1927 National Secular Society, South London branch Battersea Town Hall - As your chairman has told you, the subject about which I am to speak tonight is "Why I Am Not a Christian." Perhaps it would be as well, first of all, to try to make out what one means by the word "Christian." It is used these days in a very loose sense by a great many people. Some people mean no more by it than a person who attempts to live a good life. In that sense I suppose there would be Christians of all sects and creeds; but I do not think that is the proper sense of the word, if only because it would imply that all the people who are not Christians all the Buddhists, Confucians, Mohammedans, and so on are not trying to live a good life. I do not mean by a Christian any person who tries to live decently according to his lights. I think you must have a certain amount of definite belief before you have a right to call yourself a Christian. The word does not have quite such a full-blooded meaning now as it had in the times of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. In those days, if a man said that he was a Christian, it was known what he meant. You accepted a whole collection of creeds which were set out with great precision, and every single syllable of those creeds you believed with the whole strength of your convictions. What Is A Christian? Nowadays it is not quite that. We have to be a little more vague in our meaning of Christianity. I think, however, that there are two different items which are essential to anyone calling himself a Christian. The first is one of a dogmatic nature namely, that you must believe in God and immortality. If you do not believe in those two things, I do not think you can properly call yourself a Christian. Then, further than that, as the name implies, you must have some kind of belief about Christ. The Mohammedans, for instance, also believe in God and immortality, and yet they would not call themselves Christians. I think that you must have at the very lowest the belief that Christ was, if not divine, at least the best and very wisest of men. If you are not going to believe that much about Christ, I do not think you have any right to call yourself a Christian. Of course, there is another sense, which you find in "Whitaker's Almanack" and in geography books, where the population of the world is said to be divided into Christians, Mohammedans, Buddhists, fetish worshippers, and so on; but in that sense we are all Christians. The geography counts us all in, but that is a purely geographical sense, which I suppose we can ignore. Therefore I take it that when I tell you why I am not a Christian I have to tell you two different things: first, why I do not believe in God and in immortality; and, secondly, why I do not think that Christ was the very best and wisest of men, although I grant him a very high degree of moral goodness. But for the successful efforts of unbelievers in the past, I could not take so elastic a definition of Christianity as that. As I said before, in the olden days it had a much more full-blooded sense. For instance, it included the belief in hell. Belief in eternal hell-fire was an essential item of Christian belief until pretty recent times. In this country, as you know, it ceased to be an essential item because of a decision of the Privy Council, and from that decision the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York dissented; but in this country our religion is settled by Act of Parliament, and therefore the Privy Council was able to override Their Graces and Hell was no longer necessary to a Christian. Consequently I shall not insist that a Christian must believe in hell. The Existence Of God To come to this question of the existence of God: it is a large and serious question, and if I were to attempt to deal with it in any adequate manner I should have to keep you here until Kingdom Come, so that you will have to excuse me if I deal with it in a somewhat summary fashion. You know, of course, that the Catholic Church has laid it down as dogma that the existence of God can be proved by the unaided reason. This is a somewhat curious dogma, but it is one of their dogmas. They had to introduce it because at one time the freethinkers adopted the habit of saying that there were such and such arguments which mere reason might urge against the existence of God, but of course they knew as a matter of faith that God did exist. The arguments and reasons were set out at great length, and the Catholic Church felt that they must stop it. Therefore they laid it down as dogma that the existence of God can be proved by the unaided reason and they had to set up what they considered were arguments to prove it. The First Cause Argument Perhaps the simplest and easiest to understand is the argument of the First Cause. (It is maintained that everything we see in the world has a cause, and as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First Cause you give the name of God.) That argument, I suppose, does not carry much weight nowadays, because, in the first place, cause is not quite what it used to be. The philosophers and the men of science have got going on cause, and it has not anything like the vitality it used to have; but apart from that, you can see that the argument that there must be a First Cause is one that cannot have any validity. I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill's autobiography, and I there found this sentence: "My father taught me that the question 'Who made me?' cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question "Who made god'" that very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument. It is exactly of the same nature as the Hindu's view, that the world rested upon an elephant, and the elephant rested upon a tortoise; and when they said, "How about the tortoise?" the Indian said, "Suppose we change the subject." The argument is really no better than that. There is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed. There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause. The Natural-Law Argument Then there is a very common argument from Natural Law. That was a favorite argument all through the eighteenth century, especially under the influence of Sir Isaac Newton and his cosmogony. People observed the planets going around the sun according to the law of gravitation, and the thought that God had given a behest to these planets to move in a particular fashion, and that was why they did so. That was, of course, a convenient and simple explanation that saved them the trouble of looking any further for any explanation of the law of gravitation. Nowadays we explain the law of gravitation in a somewhat complicated fashion that Einstein has introduced. I do not propose to give you a lecture on the law of gravitation, as interpreted by Einstein, because that again would take some time; at any rate, you no longer have the sort of Natural Law that you had in the Newtonian system, where, for some reason that nobody could understand, nature behaved in a uniform fashion. We now find that a great many things we thought were Natural Laws are really human conventions. You know that even in the remotest depth of stellar space there are still three feet to a yard. That is, no doubt, a very remarkable fact, but you would hardly call it a law of nature. And a great many things that have been regarded as laws of nature are of that kind. On the other hand, where you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find they are much less subject to law than people thought, and the laws at which you arrive are statistical averages of just the sort that would emerge from chance. There is, as we all know, a law that says if you throw dice you will get double sixes only about once in thirty-six times, and we do not regard that as evidence to the contrary that the fall of the dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time we should think that there was design. The laws of nature are of that sort as regards to a great many of them. They are statistical averages such as would emerge from the laws of chance; and that makes the whole business of natural law much less impressive than it formerly was. Quite apart from that, which represents the momentary state of science that may change tomorrow, the whole idea that natural laws imply a lawgiver is due to a confusion between natural and human laws. Human laws are behests commanding you to behave a certain way, in which you may choose to behave, or you may choose not to behave; but natural laws are a description of how things do in fact behave, and being a mere description of what they in fact do, you cannot argue that there must be supposedly someone who told them to do that, because even supposing there were, you are faced with the question, "Why did god issue just those and no others?" If you say that he did it simply from his own good pleasure, and without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted. If you say, as more orthodox theologians do, that in all the laws which God issues he had a reason for giving those laws rather than others the reason, of course, being to create the best universe, although you would never think it to look at it if there were a reason for the laws which God gave, then God himself was subject to law, and therefore you do not get any advantage by introducing God as an intermediary. You really have a law outside and anterior to the divine edicts, and God does not serve your purpose, as he is not the ultimate lawgiver. In short, this whole argument from natural law no longer has anything like the strength that it used to have. I am traveling on in time in my review of these arguments. The arguments that are used for the existence of God change their character as time goes on. They were at first hard intellectual arguments embodying certain quite definite fallacies. As we come to modern times they become less respectable intellectually and more and more affected by a kind of moralizing vagueness. The Argument from Design The next step in the process brings us to the argument from design. You all know the argument from design: everything in the world is made just so that we can manage to live in the world, and if the world was ever so little different, we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design. It sometimes takes a rather curious form; for instance, it is argued that rabbits have white tails in order to be easy to shoot. I do not know how rabbits would view that application. It is an easy argument to parody. You all know Voltaire's remark, that obviously the nose was designed to be such as to fit spectacles. That sort of parody has turned out to be not nearly so wide of the mark as it might have seemed in the eighteenth century, because since the time of Darwin we understand much better why living creatures are adapted to their environment. It is not that their environment was made to be suitable to them, but that they grew to be suitable to it, that is the basis of adaptation. There is no evidence of design about it. When you come to look into this argument from design, it is a most astonishing thing that people can believe that this world, with all the things that are in it, with all its defects, should be the best that omnipotence and omniscience have been able to produce in millions of years. I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan or the fascists? Moreover, if you accept the ordinary laws of science, you have to suppose that human life and life in general on this planet will die out in due course: it is a stage in the decay of the solar system; at a certain stage of decay you get the sort of conditions and temperature and so forth which are suitable to protoplasm, and there is life for a short time in the life of the whole solar system. You see in the moon the sort of thing to which the earth is tending something dead, cold, and lifeless. I am told that that sort of view is depressing, and people will sometimes tell you that if they believed that, they would not be able to go on living. Do not believe it; it is all nonsense. Nobody really worries about what is going to happen millions of years hence. Even if they think they are worrying much about that, they are really deceiving themselves. They are worried about something much more mundane, or it may merely be bad digestion; but nobody is really seriously rendered unhappy by the thought of something that is going to happen in this world millions and millions of years hence. Therefore, although it is of course a gloomy view to suppose that life will die out at least I suppose we may say so, although sometimes when I contemplate the things that people do with their lives I think it is almost a consolation it is not such as to render life miserable. It merely makes you turn your attention to other things. The Moral Arguments for Deity Now we reach one stage further in what I shall call the intellectual descent that the Theists have made in their argumentations, and we come to what are called moral arguments for the existence of God. You all know, of course, that there used to be in the old days three intellectual arguments for the existence of God, all of which were disposed of by Immanuel Kant in the "Critique of Pure Reason;" but no sooner had he disposed of those arguments than he invented a new one, a moral argument, and that quite convinced him. He was like many people: in intellectual matters he was skeptical, but in moral matters he believed implicitly in the maxims that he had imbibed at his mother's knee. That illustrates what the psychoanalysts so much emphasize the immensely stronger hold that our very early associations have than those of later times. Kant, as I say, invented a new moral argument for the existence of God, and that in varying forms was extremely popular during the nineteenth century. it has all sorts of forms. One form is to say there would be no right and wrong unless god existed. I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not: that is another question. The point I am concerned with is that, if you are quite sure there is a difference between right and wrong, then you are in this situation: is that difference due to God's fiat or is it not? If it is due to God's fiat, then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong, and it is no longer a significant statement to say that God is good. If you are going to say, as theologians do, that God is good, you must then say that right and wrong have some meaning which is independent of God's fiat, because God's fiats are good and not bad independently of the fact that he made them. If you are going to say that, you will have to say that it is not only through God that right and wrong came into being, but that they are in their essence logically anterior to God. you could, of course, if you liked, say that there was a superior deity who gave orders to the God that made this world, or could take up a line that some of the Gnostics took up a line which I often thought was a very plausible one that as a matter of fact this world that we know was made by the Devil at a moment when God was not looking. There is a good deal to be said for that, and I am not concerned to refute it. The Argument for the Remedying of Injustice Then there is another very curious form of moral argument, which is this: they say that the existence of God is required to bring justice into the world. In the part of the universe that we know there is a great injustice, and often the good suffer, and the often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is more annoying; but if you are going to have justice in the universe as a whole you have to suppose a future life to redress the balance of life here on earth. So they say that there must be a God, and that there must be Heaven and Hell in order that in the long run there may be justice. That is a very curious argument. If you looked at the matter from a scientific point of view, you would say, "After all, I only know this world. I do not know about the rest of the universe, but so far as one can argue from probabilities one would say that probably this world is a fair sample, and if there is injustice here then the odds are great that there is injustice elsewhere also." Supposing you got a crate of oranges that you opened, and you found all the top layer of oranges bad, you would not argue, "The underneath ones must be good, so as to redress the balance." You would say, "Probably the whole lot is a bad consignment"; and that is really what a scientific person would argue about the universe. He would say, "Here we find in this world a great deal of injustice, and so far as that goes that is a reason for supposing that justice does not rule in this world, and therefore so far as it goes it supports a moral argument against deity and not in favor of one." Of course I know that the sort of intellectual arguments that I have been talking to you about is not really what moves people. What really moves people to believe in God is not any intellectual argument at all. Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason. Then I think that the next most powerful reason is the wish for safety, a sort of feeling that there is a big brother who will look after you. That plays a very profound part in influencing people's desire for a belief in God. The Character Of Christ I now want to say a few words upon a topic which I often think is not quite sufficiently dealt with by rationalists, and that is the question whether Christ was the best and the wisest of men. It is generally taken for granted that we should all agree that that was so. I do not myself. I think that there are a good many points upon which I agree with Christ a great deal more than the professing Christians do. I do not know that I could go with Him all the way, but I could go with Him much further than most professing Christians can. You will remember that He said, "Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." That is not a new precept or a new principle. It was used by Lao-Tse and Buddha some 500 or 600 years before Christ, but it is not a principle which as a matter of fact Christians accept. I have no doubt that the present prime minister (Stanley Baldwin), for instance, is a most sincere Christian, but I should not advise any of you to go and smite him on one cheek. I think you might find that he thought this text was intended in a figurative sense. Then there is another point which I consider excellent. You will remember that Christ said, "Judge not lest ye be judged." That principle I do not think you would find was very popular in the law courts of Christian countries. I have known in my time a number of judges who were very earnest Christians, and none of them felt that they were acting contrary to Christian principles in what they did. Then Christ says, "Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away." This is a very good principle. Your chairman has reminded you that we are not here to talk politics, but I cannot help observing that the last general election was fought on the question of how desirable it was to turn away from him that would borrow of thee, so that one must assume that the liberals and conservatives of this country are composed of people who do not agree with the teaching of Christ, because they certainly did not behave that way on that occasion. Then there is one other maxim of Christ's teaching which I think has a great deal of good in it, but I do not find that it is very popular among some of our Christian friends. He says, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor." That is a very excellent maxim, but, as I say, it is not much practised. All these, I think, are good maxims, although they are a little difficult to live up to. I do not profess to live up to them myself; but then, after all, it is not quite the same thing as for a Christian. Defects in Christ's Teaching Having granted the excellence of these maxims, I come to certain points in which I do not believe that one can grant either the superlative wisdom or the superlative goodness of Christ as depicted in the Gospels; and here I may say that one is not concerned with the historical question. Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about him, so that I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one. I am concerned with Christ as he appears in the Gospels, taking the Gospel narrative as it stands, and there one does find some things that do not seem to be very wise. For one thing, he certainly thought his second coming would occur in clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time. There are a great many texts that prove that. He says, for instance, "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man comes into his kingdom"; and there are a lot of places where it is quite clear that he believed his second coming would happen during the lifetime of many then living. That was the belief of his earlier followers, and it was the basis of a good deal of his moral teaching. When He said, "Take no thought for the morrow," and things of that sort, it was very largely because He thought the second coming was going to be very soon, and that all ordinary mundane affairs did not count. I have, as a matter of fact, known some Christians who did believe the second coming was imminent. I knew a parson who frightened his congregation terribly by telling them the second coming was very imminent indeed, but they were much consoled when they found that he was planting trees in his garden. The early Christians really did believe it, and they did abstain from such things as planting trees in their gardens, because they did accept from Christ the belief that the second coming was imminent. In this respect, clearly He was not so wise as some other people have been, and He certainly was not superlatively wise. The Moral Problem Then you come to moral questions. There is one very serious defect to my mind in Christ's moral character, and that is that He believed in Hell. I do not myself feel that any person that is really profoundly humane can believe in everlasting punishment. Christ certainly as depicted in the Gospels did believe in everlasting punishment, and one does find repeatedly a vindictive fury against those people who would not listen to His preaching an attitude which is not uncommon with preachers, but which does somewhat detract from superlative excellence. You do not, for instance, find that attitude in Socrates. You find him quite bland and urbane toward the people who would not listen to him; and it is, to my mind, far more worthy of a sage to take that line than to take the line of indignation. You probably all remember the sorts of things that Socrates was saying when he was dying, and the sort of things that he generally did say to people who did not agree with him. You will find that in the Gospels Christ said, "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell." That was said to people who did not like His preaching. It is not really to my mind quite the best tone, and there are a great many of these things about Hell. There is, of course, the familiar text about the sin against the Holy Ghost: "Whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven him neither in this world nor in the world to come." That text has caused an unspeakable amount of misery in the world, for all sorts of people have imagined that they have committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, and though that it would not be forgiven them either in this world or in the world to come. I really do not think that a person with a proper degree of kindliness in his nature would have put fears and terrors of this sort into the world. Then Christ says, "The Son of Man shall send forth his His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth"; and He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. Then you all, of course, remember about the sheep and the goats; how at the second coming He is going to divide the sheep from the goats, and He is going to say to the goats, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." He continues, "And these shall go away into everlasting fire." Then He says again, "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into Hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." He repeats that again and again also. I must say that I think all this doctrine, that hell-fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty. It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world, and gave the world generations of cruel torture; and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take Him as his chroniclers represent Him, would certainly have to be considered partly responsible for that. There are other things of less importance. There is the instance of the Gadarene swine, where it certainly was not very kind to the pigs to put the devils into them and make them rush down the hill into the sea. You must remember that He was omnipotent, and He could have made the devils simply go away; but He chose to send them into the pigs. Then there is the curious story of the fig tree, which has always rather puzzled me. You remember what happened about the fig tree. "He was hungry; and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came if haply He might find anything thereon; and when he came to it He found nothing but leaves, for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it: 'No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever' ... and Peter ... saith unto Him: 'Master, behold the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.'" This is a very curious story, because it was not the right time of year for figs, and you really could not blame the tree. I cannot myself feel that either in the matter of wisdom or in the matter of virtue Christ stands quite as high as some other people known to history. I think I should put Buddha and Socrates above Him in those respects. The Emotional Factor As I said before, I do not think that the real reason that people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to do to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. You know, of course, the parody of that argument in Samuel Butler's book, Erewhon Revisited. You will remember that in Erewhon there is a certain Higgs who arrives in a remote country, and after spending some time there he escapes from that country in a balloon. Twenty years later he comes back to that country and finds a new religion in which he is worshipped under the name of the "Sun Child," and it is said that he ascended into Heaven. He finds that the feast of the Ascension is about to be celebrated, and he hears Professors Hanky and Panky say to each other that they never set eyes on the man Higgs, and they hope they never will; but they are the High Priests of the religion of the Sun Child. He is very indignant, and he comes up to them, and he says, "I am going to expose all this humbug and tell the people of Erewhon that it was only I, the man Higgs, and I went up in a balloon." He was told, "You must not do that, because of all the morals of this country are bound round this myth, and if they once know that you did not ascend into Heaven they will all become wicked"; and so he is persuaded of that and he goes quietly away. That is the idea that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called Ages of Faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion. You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress of humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or ever mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. How The Churches Have Retarded Progress You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so, I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, "This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children." Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering could maintain that it is right and proper that this state of things should continue. That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. "What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy." Fear, The Foundation Of Religion Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by the help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the Christian religion, against the churches, and against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a better place to live in, instead of the sort of place the churches in all these centuries have made it. What We Must Do We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of a god is a conception derived from the ancient oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.

    A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

    Page 1     1-20 of 80    1  | 2  | 3  | 4  | Next 20

    free hit counter