RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149D Sir Bertrand Russell

____

Image result for bertrand russell

 

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Image result for harry kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

__

Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatsoever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.

Image result for bertrand russell

__

Image result for bertrand russell wives

 

__

Image result for lady katharine tait

__

Image result for lady katharine tait

 

__

Image result for lady katharine tait

 

__

Image result for lady katharine tait

Lady Katharine Tait

Image result for lady katharine tait

__

Image result for lady katharine tait

An Atheist’s Daughter

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), a British mathematician and philosopher, was applauded as one of the world’s profound thinkers. In 1959 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature on the basis that he was “a defender of humanity and freedom of thought.” He authored more than 40 books covering such subjects as philosophy, education, sex, and morality.

Religious Philosophy

At times, Russell claimed to be an atheist. In his essay, “Why I Am Not a Christian,” he wrote: “I do not believe in God” (1957, 5).

On other occasions, he positioned himself as an agnostic. In the volume, Religions of America, Russell was asked to contribute an article titled, “What is an agnostic?”, since he was perceived as being such. In that piece, however, he conceded that “for practical purposes” the agnostics are “at one with the atheists” (Rosten, 1975, 286).

In a bizarre, absolutely unrealistic sense, Russell did not mind being called a Christian. In one essay, in discussing, “Can an Agnostic be a Christian?”, he wrote: “If you mean by a ‘Christian’ a man who loves his neighbor, who has wide sympathy with suffering, and who ardently desires a world freed from the cruelties and abominations that at present disfigure it, then, certainly, you will be justified in calling me a Christian” (Tait, 1975, 289).

Russell’s views of religion and morality caused a furor in the early decades of the 20th century. In 1940 he was fired from the College of the City of New York, and yet, his ideas probably prepared the way for the widespread climate of anti-religious sentiment so prominent in today’s society.

I have been interested in Russell’s writings for many years, and a number of his volumes make their rude presence felt among the noble ones on my shelves. I also have an autobiography, along with several biographies, of the controversial gentleman. I collected them for the sake of analysis and review, and, quite frankly, I have concluded that the noted philosopher was much overrated and erratically inconsistent. In fact, one authority observed that Russell not infrequently argued conflicting ethical positions; he “traversed all of the major positions in contemporary ethics in the course of his writings” (Stolnitz, 511). All of them, that is, except the right one!

Katharine’s Testimony

Several years ago, while browsing in a bookshop in the east, a volume with Russell’s photograph on the dust cover caught my eye. The title was, My Father—Bertrand Russell, by Katharine Tait.

Katharine Tait was Russell’s only daughter. She was born in London in 1923 and was educated at her parents’ innovative school, Beacon Hill. It was a small academy dedicated to the promotion of “free thought”; in other words, atheistic humanism.

In this fascinating book the author attempts to explain what it was like having Bertrand Russell for a father. It is not a lovely picture. The following glimpses into Russell’s life and teachings come from one who loved him with devotion, though not always agreeing with him. It could not be more objective.

Marriage

Tait is very candid about her father’s adulterous adventures. “Once my father had freed himself of his original Puritanism, he was never again a one-woman man, though each new love might seem to be the ideal, he did not want to be irrevocably committed” (101-102).

“Having given up strict monogamy with the end of his first marriage, he no longer felt any need to restrict his affections, which he distributed most liberally throughout the rest of his life” (46).

When he was once asked, “if it wasn’t unkind of him to love and leave so many women,” he replied: “Why? Surely they can find other men” (106).

The celebrated figure lived on the “alley cat” level, but such never bothered his skeptical fans; with them, there is no moral code. Or, as Russell himself once put it, “Outside human desire there is no moral standard” (1957, 62). Adolf Hitler and Charlie Manson would have endorsed this philosophical code entirely.

Apparently, however, the British scholar was unwilling to accept the consequences of his own “freedom.” For instance, he felt that “adulterous intercourse” should not “lead to children” (104), for a “stable marriage was important to the children” (102). Apparently it was not “important” in the case of his own daughter.

Though he wanted his sexual license to be unrestrained, when one of his wives became pregnant by another man, Russell was “hurt and angered and wounded in his family pride” (107).

Katharine wrote: “Once I asked him if I should sleep with an amiable young man of my acquaintance. ‘Do you love him?’ ‘No, not really.’ ‘Then I shouldn’t. It’s best to save that for someone you love and not treat it lightly’” (155-156). This was the epitome of inconsistency.

Is it not odd how libertine men can be so protective of their daughters, while caring nothing for the daughters of others? Tait had this interesting comment: “…it turned out that the new morality was no easier and no more natural than the ideal of rigorous life-long monogamy it was intended to replace.” And again: “Free marriage had proved more difficult than he had expected, its failure painful and expensive” (103, 118).

Man’s Origin

Russell was an ardent proponent of Darwinism. He taught his children that “mankind was no more than an accident of evolution” (178). When he traveled with his family, his daughter recalls, “he suggested that we might lean out the windows when we passed other cars and shout out: ‘Your grandfather was a monkey.’ This was to convince them of the correctness of Darwin’s theory of evolution” (4).

Tait charged: “When he wanted to attack religion, he sought out its most egregious errors and held them up to ridicule, while avoiding serious discussion of the basic message” (188).

It is small wonder that the philosopher had such a depressing outlook upon his fellows. In his autobiography he wrote:

“The sea, the stars, the night wind in waste places, mean more to me than even the human beings I love best, and I am conscious that human affection is to me at bottom an attempt to escape from the vain search for God” (1968, II, 36).

But the confused gentleman could not live with his views.

“Christians were mocked for imagining that man is important in the vast scheme of the universe, even the high point of all creation—yet my father thought man and his preservation the most important thing in the world, and he lived in hopes of a better life to come” (184).

Morality

Russell believed that a parent must teach his child “with its very first breath that it has entered into a moral world” (59). And yet, as with all atheists, he had a most difficult time explaining why, if man is simply the produce of natural forces, children should be taught morality. Ms. Tait recalled various conversations relative to moral matters in which she and her father engaged when she was a youngster.

“I don’t want to! Why should I?” she pressed. She noted that a conventional parent might reply: “Because I say so … your father says so … God says so….” Russell, however, would say to his children: “Because more people will be happy if you do than if you don’t.”

“So what?”, she would respond, “I don’t care about other people.”
“But you should,” her father would retort.

In her innocence she would exclaim: “But why?” To her question the redundant rejoinder would be: “Because more people will be happy if you do than if you don’t.”

Tait observed: “We felt the heavy pressure of his rectitude and obeyed, but the reason was not convincing—neither to us nor to him” (184-185).

The confused celebrity could hardly impress his children with any kind of moral sense of responsibility when, as noted above, he himself taught: “Outside human desire there is no moral standard” (1957, 62).

A Vain Search for Peace

As mentioned earlier, Professor Russell once said that “human affection” was but “an attempt to escape the vain search for God.” His daughter declared:

“I believe myself that his whole life was a search for God…. Indeed, he had first taken up philosophy in hope of finding proof of the evidence of the existence of God … Somewhere at the back of my father’s mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul [which he did not believe he had—WJ] there was an empty space that had once been filled by God, and he never found anything else to put in it” (185).

That statement is not quite correct. When God was banished from his heart, he replaced the vacuum with frustration, anger, and atheistic attempts to destroy the faith that flourished in the hearts of others. Such an evil disposition compounds one’s culpability considerably.

The wretchedness of his emotional state at times reached depths of great pathos. In a letter penned in 1920, he wrote:

“But I do know the despair in my soul. I know the great loneliness, as I wander through the world like a ghost, speaking in tones that are not heard, lost as if I had fallen from some other planet” (1968, I, 145).

Ray Monk is a professor of philosophy at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. In his highly acclaimed book, Bertrand Russell—The Spirit of Solitude 1872-1921 (xix), he records the words of a poem composed by Russell, and addressed, “To Edith.”

Through the long years
I have sought peace,
I found ecstasy,
I found anguish,
I found madness,
I found loneliness.
I found the solitary pain
that gnaws the heart,
But peace I did not find.

Such was a fitting epitaph for a tragic life.

REFERENCES
  • Monk, Ray (1996), Bertrand Russell – The Spirit of Solitude 1872-1921 (New York: The Free Press).
  • Rosten, Leo, ed. (1975), Religions of America (New York: Simon & Schuster).
  • Russell, Bertrand (1957), Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays (New York: Simon & Schuster).
  • Russell, Bertrand (1968), Autobiography (Boston: Atlantic-Little Brown), Two Volumes.
  • Stolnitz, Jerome (1956), “Bertrand Russell,” Encyclopedia of Morals, Vergilius Ferm, ed. (New York: Philosophical Library).
  • Tait, Katharine (1975), My Father – Bertrand Russell (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich).
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
1 Thessalonians 5
CITE THIS ARTICLE
Jackson, Wayne. “An Atheist’s Daughter.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: June 3, 2017. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1268-atheists-daughter-an

_

Image result for francis schaeffer

Above Bertrand Russell said he rejected Christianity “Because I see no evidence whatsoever” indicating that Christianity is true. I wish he had considered the following:
Francis Schaeffer noted in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE:
Firstly, these are space-time
proofs in written form, and consequently
capable of careful consideration. Then,
secondly, these proofs are of such a
nature as to give good· and sufficient
evidence that Christ is the Messiah as
prophesied in the Old Testament, and
also that he is the Son of God. So that,
thirdly, we are not asked to believe until
we have faced the question as to whether
this is true on the basis of the space-time evidence. 
_______
Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Related posts:

 

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part C (Kroto’s admiration of Bertrand Russell examined)

Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:   Gareth Stedman […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were  atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 (More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his […]

John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

______ Top 10 Woody Allen Movies PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 01 PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 02 __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: