• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Bertrand Russell and Atheism.

Extracts from this document...


Bertrand Russell and Atheism Bertrand Arthur William Russell (May 18, 1872 - February 2, 1970), the third Earl Russell, was a philosopher and influential logician, an important political liberal, activist and philosopher. 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. Russell was a self-proclaimed atheist, meaning that he believed in no God or higher power. In fact, he even went so far as to say that life is purposeless! He stated: That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man's achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins--all these things, if not quite beyound dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. ...read more.


Both approaches are flawed. I don't doubt that people have faith, but I see no good reason for thinking that having faith can lead to some truth about reality. One cannot rationally argue that faith leads to truth; one can only have faith that faith leads to truth. But again, the claim that having faith that faith leads to truth leads to truth can only be supported through faith. Thus there is no good reason to think faith leads to truth. There are many other arguments against atheism. The "cosmological" argument (in one rendition) claims (1) that everything must have a cause, but (2) an infinite chain of causes is impossible, therefore (3) there must be a First Cause: God. However, this argument contradicts itself. If everything must have a cause, so must the First Cause. The argument from religious experience claims that, because people have similar religious experiences, there must be some truth behind them. But UFO abductees also tell strikingly similar stories - must we believe them, too? The moral argument claims that without God, there would be no absolute moral standards. I disagree. I believe that everyone has their own moral code that they follow, irregardless of a God or religion. ...read more.


There are countless religions, and churches. Even those who fall under the same religion get split because they tend to believe one thing that another sector does not. How many 'holy wars' have been fought in the name of religion and God? Pain, suffering, and dying are not holy to me. I also find it repulsive that Saddam Hussein has called our war a holy war, or jihad, and an attack on their religion. He has also called on the people to defend their beliefs by giving their lives and causing countless deaths through suicide missions, similar to the attack on the World Trade Centers. For me, my belief does not harm anyone. I do not look down on others who may believe in another religion. I would not call on anyone to 'defend' science or my belief. Who knows, I could very well be wrong and will be judged accordingly. However, without better evidence or arguments, then, I believe there is no good reason to succumb to the positive belief, "God exists." On his 90th birthday, the atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell was (supposedly) asked what he would say if he died, went to heaven, and met God. Russell's eyes lit up, and he replied, "Why, I should say, 'God, you gave us insufficient evidence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Good and Evil

    Most Christians believe that God has set the world going and left it to follow its natural course, so it would be wrong for him to get involved. If God were to stop suffering myself and Christians would say when would God see it right to intervene and when not

  2. Truth and unconditional truth

    by everyone, and this is why the world today encounters many awful dilemmas. The truth is hidden and may never be established because various sources become untrustworthy. John Lukacs once said, "For it is in the long run that, somehow, truth may survive - through the decay of untruth."

  1. God and Evil - Atheism

    The phrase "What have I done to deserve this" is basically that someone has done something bad, and so something evil has happened to him or her as a punishment. Evil as a Test This basically means that when evil comes to us in any form, it is a test

  2. A Big Bang Cosmological Argument for God's Nonexistence

    Thus general relativity predicts a beginning of time.'10 (iv) The last aspect of big bang cosmology that I need as a premise in my argument for atheism is Hawking's principle of ignorance, which states that singularities are inherently chaotic and unpredictable. In Hawking's words, A singularity is a place where the classical concepts of space and time break down

  1. Explain the Ontological argument.

    Kant what is effectively arguing 'If I experience the world of objective morality, what must I be accepting is true?' Kant concluded that there were three types of assumptions; freedom, immorality and God. Kant named these the postulates of morality.

  2. Is There Life After Death?

    At the same time, why should it not be everything that we want it to be. An interesting theory of Heaven that I agree with due to scientific experiments with mediators and psychics. According to one theory, spirits are energy sources that run the body during life and once they

  1. Why Some People Become Atheist

    God said in his commandments that 'thou shall not kill', but look what happened in the world's history, millions of people died because of the Holocaust. That is why, some people such as Susan B. Anthony stated: "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to

  2. Does science lead to atheism?

    By denying it, not only a scientist or a science enthusiast reducing the laws to mere accidents, but is also undermining his position to that of a lottery judge. What I have found, from my personal experience, that study of science in fact reinforces the concept of God.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work