Bertrand Russell - Why I am Not a Christian (225.0 Kb)

Cover of Bertrand Russell's Book Why I am Not a ChristianBook downloads: 246
The lecture that is here presented was delivered at the Battersea Town Hall under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society, England. It should be added that the editor is willing to share full responsibility with the Hon. Bertrand Russell in that he is in accord with the political and other opinions expressed.] [The previous statement was included in the original, and is not made by Positive Atheism.]As your chairman has told you, the subject about which I am going to speak to you tonight is "W... More >>>Note that, unfortunately, not all my books can be downloaded or ordered on CD due to the restrictions of copyright. However, most of the books on this site do not have copyright restrictions. If you find any copyright violation, please contact me at [email protected]. I am very attentive to the issue of copyright and try to avoid any violations, but on the other hand to help all fans of magic to get access to information.
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Author:      Bertrand Russell
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The lecture that is here presented was delivered at the Battersea Town Hall under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society, England. It should be added that the editor is willing to share full responsibility with the Hon. Bertrand Russell in that he is in accord with the political and other opinions expressed.] [The previous statement was included in the original, and is not made by Positive Atheism.]

As your chairman has told you, the subject about which I am going to speak to you 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 in 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 in all sects and creeds but I do not think that 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 that 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.

About Author:

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS[58] (18 May 1872 - 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had "never been any of these things, in any profound sense". He was born in Monmouthshire into one of the most prominent aristocratic families in the United Kingdom.

In the early 20th century, Russell led the British "revolt against idealism". He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy along with his predecessor Gottlob Frege, colleague G. E. Moore, and protege Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians. With A. N. Whitehead he wrote Principia Mathematica, an attempt to create a logical basis for mathematics. His philosophical essay "On Denoting" has been considered a "paradigm of philosophy". His work has had a considerable influence on mathematics, logic, set theory, linguistics, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, computer science (see type theory and type system), and philosophy, especially the philosophy of language, epistemology, and metaphysics.

Russell mostly was a prominent anti-war activist; he championed anti-imperialism. Occasionally, he advocated preventive nuclear war, before the opportunity provided by the atomic monopoly had passed, and "welcomed with enthusiasm" world government. He went to prison for his pacifism during World War I. Later, he campaigned against Adolf Hitler, then criticised Stalinist totalitarianism, attacked the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War, and was an outspoken proponent of nuclear disarmament. In 1950 Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought".