RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149F Sir Bertrand Russell “A Free Man’s Worship” Response part 2 from John Piippo

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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

 

earlier posts:Photo of Bertrand Russell
Photo by Larry Burrows

Bertrand Russell

First published Thu Dec 7, 1995; substantive revision Thu Jun 29, 2017

Bertrand Arthur William Russell (1872–1970) was a British philosopher, logician, essayist and social critic best known for his work in mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. His most influential contributions include his championing of logicism (the view that mathematics is in some important sense reducible to logic), his refining of Gottlob Frege’s predicate calculus (which still forms the basis of most contemporary systems of logic), his defense of neutral monism (the view that the world consists of just one type of substance which is neither exclusively mental nor exclusively physical), and his theories of definite descriptionslogical atomism and logical types.

Together with G.E. Moore, Russell is generally recognized as one of the main founders of modern analytic philosophy. His famous paradoxtheory of types, and work with A.N. Whitehead onPrincipia Mathematica reinvigorated the study of logic throughout the twentieth century (Schilpp 1944, xiii; Wilczek 2010, 74).

Over the course of a long career, Russell also made significant contributions to a broad range of other subjects, including ethics, politics, educational theory, the history of ideas and religious studies, cheerfully ignoring Hooke’s admonition to the Royal Society against “meddling with Divinity, Metaphysics, Moralls, Politicks, Grammar, Rhetorick, or Logick” (Kreisel 1973, 24). In addition, generations of general readers have benefited from his many popular writings on a wide variety of topics in both the humanities and the natural sciences. Like Voltaire, to whom he has been compared (Times of London 1970, 12)), he wrote with style and wit and had enormous influence.

After a life marked by controversy—including dismissals from both Trinity College, Cambridge, and City College, New York—Russell was awarded the Order of Merit in 1949 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Noted also for his many spirited anti-nuclear protests and for his campaign against western involvement in the Vietnam War, Russell remained a prominent public figure until his death at the age of 97.

Interested readers may listen to two sound clips of Russell speaking or consult the Bertrand Russell Society’s video archive for video clips of and about Russell. (Members of the Society have access to a significantly larger video library than is available to the general public.)

1. Russell’s Chronology

A short chronology of the major events in Russell’s life is as follows:

  • (1872) Born May 18 at Ravenscroft in Trelleck, Monmouthshire, UK.
  • (1874) Death of mother and sister.
  • (1876) Death of father; Russell’s grandfather, Lord John Russell (the former Prime Minister), and grandmother succeed in overturning Russell’s father’s will to win custody of Russell and his brother, rather than have them raised as free-thinkers.
  • (1878) Death of grandfather; Russell’s grandmother, Lady Russell, supervises Russell’s upbringing at Pembroke Lodge, London.
  • (1883) Receives his first lessons in geometry from his brother Frank.
  • (1890) Enters Trinity College, Cambridge; meets Whitehead.
  • (1893) Awarded first-class B.A. in Mathematics.
  • (1894) Completes the Moral Sciences Tripos (Part II); appointed Honorary British Attaché in Paris; marries Alys Pearsall Smith.
  • (1895) Studies at the University of Berlin.
  • (1896) Appointed lecturer at the London School of Economics; lectures in the United States at Johns Hopkins and Bryn Mawr.
  • (1899) Appointed lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • (1900) Meets Peano at the First International Congress of Philosophy in Paris.
  • (1901) Reappointed lecturer at Cambridge; discovers Russell’s paradox.
  • (1902) Corresponds with Frege.
  • (1905) Develops his theory of descriptions.
  • (1907) Runs for parliament and is defeated.
  • (1908) Elected Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • (1910) Fails to receive Liberal Party nomination for parliament because of his atheism; reappointed lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • (1911) Meets Wittgenstein; elected President of the Aristotelian Society; separates from Alys.
  • (1913) Lectures at the École des Hautes Sociales in Paris.
  • (1914) Visits Harvard and teaches courses in logic and the theory of knowledge; meets T.S. Eliot.
  • (1915) Reappointed lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge.
  • (1916) Fined 100 pounds and dismissed from Trinity College as a result of anti-war writings; denied a passport and so unable to lecture at Harvard.
  • (1918) Imprisoned for five months as a result of anti-war writings.
  • (1920) Visits Russia.
  • (1921) Divorce from Alys and marriage to Dora Black; visits China and Japan.
  • (1922) Runs for parliament and is defeated.
  • (1923) Runs for parliament and is defeated.
  • (1924) Lectures in the United States.
  • (1927) Lectures in the United States; opens experimental school with Dora.
  • (1929) Lectures in the United States.
  • (1931) Lectures in the United States; becomes the third Earl Russell upon the death of his brother.
  • (1935) Divorce from Dora.
  • (1936) Marriage to Patricia (Peter) Helen Spence.
  • (1938) Appointed visiting professor of philosophy at Chicago.
  • (1939) Appointed professor of philosophy at the University of California at Los Angeles.
  • (1940) Appointment at City College New York revoked prior to Russell’s arrival as the result of public protests and a legal judgment in which Russell was found to be “morally unfit” to teach at the college; delivers the William James Lectures at Harvard.
  • (1941) Appointed lecturer at the Barnes Foundation in Pennsylvania.
  • (1942) Dismissed from Barnes Foundation, but wins a lawsuit against the Foundation for wrongful dismissal.
  • (1944) Reappointed a Fellow of Trinity College.
  • (1948) Involved in a plane crash en route to Norway, he and other passengers save themselves by swimming in the ocean until help arrives.
  • (1949) Awarded the Order of Merit; elected a Lifetime Fellow at Trinity College.
  • (1950) Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature; visits Australia.
  • (1951) Lectures in the United States.
  • (1952) Divorce from Patricia (Peter) and marriage to Edith Finch.
  • (1955) Releases Russell-Einstein Manifesto.
  • (1957) Elected President of the first Pugwash Conference.
  • (1958) Becomes founding President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
  • (1961) Imprisoned for one week in connection with anti-nuclear protests.
  • (1963) Establishes the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation.
  • (1967) Launches the International War Crimes Tribunal.
  • (1970) Dies February 02 at Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales.

 

 

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)

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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever 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

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John Piippo

Theological/philosophical/cultural/spiritual thoughts about God and the Real Jesus.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Bertrand Russell’s “A Free Man’s Worship” (For My Philosophy of Religion Students)

Philosophy of Religion Exam 3, Question 2:

EXPLAIN BERTRAND RUSSELL’S “A FREE MAN’S WORSHIP”

What, then, are the beliefs of atheism? Some (but not all) atheists have come forth with them. The famous British philosopher and atheist Bertrand Russell has done so, in his 1907 essay “A Free Man’s Worship.” I think Russell has done an admirable and logical job; i.e., were I an atheist I would believe these things. (I’d probably side with Nietzsche on 5.)

1. Russell is an atheist who presents the logic of atheism. That is, if atheism is true, then here is what life is like.

2. State Russell’s 4 Pillars of Atheism.

#1 –  Humanity is the product of causes that had no prevision of his appearing.
I am certain Russell is correct on this. If there is no Creator-God, then the universe and all that is in it is not some “creation,” like every work of art has a creator-artist. If there is no Supreme Personal Agent who has made everything and is responsible for everything, and who is the cause of it all, then no one or no thing or no being “had us on their mind” when the universe began. Sometimes I hear someone who self-designates as an “atheist” and believes there is some reason or purpose for their existence. They don’t realize that, on atheism, such thinking is nonsense. Humanity just is, for no reason.

#2 –  Humanity is but the result of an accidental collocation of atoms.
A “collocation” is a “coming together,” a “being located together,” a “co”-“location.” An “accidental collocation” is an unplanned, random “coming together.” For example, I am writing this from my home office, located on the second floor of our house. I’m looking down on our front lawn, and leaves from one of our maple trees are scattered randomly. Why are the leaves scattered as they are? Not because an intelligent agent arranged or designed them that way. Purely natural conditions caused them to lie where they do. Beyond this, there is no meaning or purpose. Sometimes I read an atheist who believes their existence is more than some cosmic accident. But this is more nonsense. On atheism the formation of humanity is no more or greater than the random, accidental blowing of the leaves on my front lawn.

#3 –  There is no personal existence after death.
Russell was once asked what he thought would happen to him after he dies. He responded, “I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my own ego will survive.” (In Paul Edwards, “Great Minds: Bertrand Russell,” Free Inquiry,December 2004/January 2005, 46) If the worldview of atheism is true, then I am certain this logically follows. On atheism all that exists is matter (accidental collocations of atoms). There is no non-physical, non-material reality. Persons have no spiritual being or essence or “soul” or “mind” that survives physical death. Obviously, on atheism, “soul friends” don’t exist. “You” and “I” simply will not be, on death. 

#4 – All the heroism and human fire in the world cannot stop the fact that all man’s accomplishments will ultimately be destroyed and come to nothing in the vast heat-death of the universe.
According to physics, this is true. Of course, it’s not going to happen tomorrow. Nonetheless, on atheism, it will happen. Nothing can stand in the way of Nature (Russell capitalizes it). I use this analogy to explain. Imagine life is a voyage on the Titanic. Imagine also that we know the fate of the Titanic, and that nothing can prevent it. We can choose to polish and rearrange the deck chairs if we desire to do so. But in the end all this labor will be undone. All heroic talk of “Let’s make a better world” is, ultimately, futile. This atheistic fact has caused a number of atheists to despair (see especially atheistic existentialists)

3. State Russell’s “Temple”

For Russell, these four truths are certain. They form the pillars of a “temple” upon which humanity erects a scaffolding and dwells within. Russell writes: “Within the scaffolding of these truths, which are nearly certain and cannot reasonably be denied, humanity must build its temple for worship on a foundation of unyielding despair. (“Unyielding” refers to the inexorable destructiveness of Nature. “Despair” describes the emotion felt about the absurdity and meaninglessness of life.

4. Russell is amazed at… 

Astoundingly, nature has produced “man” as a conscious and self-reflexive being. (Here is the matter of consciousness arising from unconscious matter, no less astounding today than it was in Russell’s time.)

5. Worship Goodness, not Nature (Power)
Even though nature is and will do its horrific thing, in our minds we are free and should not bow to Nature (as Nietzsche calls us to do). This is our freedom in the face of the inevitable – free to create, act, live, be moral, rational agents.

John Piippo at 8:55 AM

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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 […]

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