Tag Archives: Roy Glauber

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

 

_

Image result for bertrand russell

Person(s) in Photograph: Bertrand Russell, Albert Schweitzer, unidentified persons

__

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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, 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,

_

Bertrand Russell

 Birthday: 
 Birthplace: 
 Star Sign: 
 Profession: 
 Died: 

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, mathematician, logician, social activist, writer, critic, pacifist, and intellectual. He owned a huge fame for his works on analytical philosophy, mathematical logic, linguistics, anti-imperialism, human rights and so on. In the academic fields of mathematics and logic, he is famous for his great works including ‘Principia Mathematica’.

Bertrand Russell born on May 18, 1872, in Monmouthshire, UK. He got an influential and intellectual family by birth. His parents, Lord and Lady Amberly supported Birth control when many people thought it as blasphemous. Lord Amberly was an atheist, which influenced child Russell very much. Russell lost his parents at childhood. After that, his grandmother started to look after Russell and his two siblings; Frank and Rachel. Russell’s education started at home with the help of his brother, Frank and some tutors. Frank taught him euclidean geometry, which changed his life.

 Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

Russell went to Trinity College of Cambridge University in 1890. In 1895, he became wrangler and obtained a first class with distinction in philosophy. The college authority elected him as a fellow. After leaving college, he worked as an attache in the British embassy in France. Later he worked as an academician and lecturer in different Universities in Europe. He also America including Cambridge and Harvard.

Russell’s early works began with his affection on mathematics and logic. Although his outlook towards social and political theories led him to publish ‘German Social Democracy’. He wrote many articles on logic and foundation of mathematics, such as ‘An Essay on the foundations of Geometry’, ‘The Principles of Mathematics’, ‘An introduction to the Mathematical Philosophy’, ‘Mysticism and logic’, ‘Our Knowledge about External World’ and so on. His later works were on political and social activism, which led him to swim against the current of traditional belief systems. ‘Marriage and Morals’, ‘Why I am not a Christian’, ‘war crimes in Vietnam’, ‘Unarmed Victory’, ‘Religion and Science’, ‘Theory and Practice of Bolshevism in Russia’, ‘Problems of China’ are his renowned works. He also achieved Nobel prize in literature in 1950.

Read Biography of:   Elon Musk

Russell married four times. His first wife was Alys Pearsall Smith. Dora Russell, Patricia Spence, and Edith Finch Russell were his wives in his later part of life. Bertrand Russell died on February 2 in 1970. The present world still recognizes him as one of the greatest thinkers of the modern time.

Born: May 18, 1872, Trellech, United Kingdom
Died: February 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, United Kingdom
Influenced: Sidney Hook, Noam Chomsky, Isaac Asimov, More

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 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

_

THE BREAKDOWN IN PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE

THEME: IF THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES, THEN THE PARTICULARS, THE INDIVIDUAL THINGS, HAVE NO MEANING.

What is meant by universal?  What is meant by particular? Examples?

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

Clear place we see this is in morals: “Who are you to be judge over us?”  If no universal giving meaning to marriage and sex, then each man defines marriage and sex according to what is right in his own eyes.

Why is that the result?

If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict. We are merely left with conflicting opinions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 166). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

Schaeffer makes the point that it is not just morality that takes a hit without absolutes, meaning in existence itself, knowing that we know what we know, takes a hit without absolutes.

What were the characteristics of the non-Christian philosophers before the shift he describes in this chapter?

  1. Rationalists – man (though he is finite and limited) can begin from himself and gather enough particulars to make his own universals.
  2. Serious about reason – thought in terms of antithesis. A is A, and A is not non-A.
  3. Optimistic that man could find an absolute to give meaning starting with himself.

What were the shifts that came?

Shifts in science, shifts in philosophy and shift in theology.

SCIENCE

Move from the uniformity of natural causes in an open system to a uniformity of natural causes in a closed system.  Everything within the cause-and-effect machine, including psychology and sociology.

Notice especially that the scientists who gave birth to the earlier great breakthroughs of science would not have accepted this concept. It arose not because of that which could be demonstrated by science, but because the scientists who took this new view had accepted a different philosophic base. The findings of science, as such, did not bring them to accept this view; rather, their world-view brought them to this place. They became naturalistic or materialistic in their presuppositions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 168). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

What is the effect of this presupposition?

Man becomes part of the machine.  Life is pointless and devoid of meaning.

In moving to a completely closed system, Schaeffer says that “man disappears”?  Why?

Everything is a part of the cosmic machine, including people. To say this another way: prior to the rise of modern modern science (that is, naturalistic science, or materialistic science), the laws of cause and effect were applied to physics, astronomy, and chemistry. Today the mechanical cause-and-effect perspective is applied equally to psychology and sociology.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, pp. 167–168). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

What does this totally mechanized system do to the concept of freedom of choice?

“Love dies, there is no place for love in a totally closed cause-and-effect system.”

How is this different from a worldview where God determines all things according to the counsel of His will?

 

The mechanized cause-and-effect world led to another principle called “survival of the fittest.”  What has been the logical conclusion of that concept?

Abortion of black babies.  Abortion of only the girls or the boys.  Social engineering is a more subtle gas chamber.  As is socialized medicine…

PHILOSOPHY

The trend was from optimism to pessimism.  Why?

Move from reason is king to feeling is king.  Happiness is the trutha…

You see the tension between “lower story” – reason leads to the closed system, but we can’t live that way.  So, gradual movement to the “upper story” – irrational “leap of faith” to give the basis for meaning without reason.

It became clear that those who held the rationalistic position on the sole basis of their own reason increasingly were forced to conclude that everything, including man, is a machine. But one could not hold simultaneously the concept of everything’s being a machine and the ideal of a person’s having freedom. Thus, the concept of a unified knowledge of what reality is (on the basis of reason alone)—which almost all previous thinkers had as their aspiration—was under great strain. By the time of Rousseau and his followers there was a tendency for the concepts (everything as a machine and man’s autonomous freedom) to split apart and go marching off in divergent directions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 177). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

There was discussion of making nature the moral basis, the idea of Natural Law.  What’s the problem with that?

Nature is both cruel and non-cruel.  “What is is right.”  Leads to Sadism.

What was Hegel’s solution to the tension?

Synthesis rather than antithesis.  Truth in both thesis and antithesis, so synthesize them.  Another contradiction in the new synthesis and whole process starts again.  Thus the universe and man’s understanding of it unfolds in a series of teachable moments.  “In short, the universe with its consciousness – man – evolves.”

Man is the consciousness of the universe?

Is this not the mentality of our day?  “Only the Sith deal in absolutes.”

Here, then, becomes the synthesis of the “upper story” and the “lower story”:

This equation of the impersonal plus time plus chance producing the total configuration of the universe and all that is in it, modern people hold by faith. And if one does in faith accept this, with what final value is he left? In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, pp. 181–182). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

The unifying principle is biological continuity of the human race.

_

Image result for bertrand russell

___

Image result for francis schaeffer

Image result for francis schaeffer

__

 

Francis Schaeffer on pages 178 to 179 of volume 1 THE GOD WHO IS THERE asserted:

I do not believe that there is a leap of faith needed; there are good and sufficient reasons to know why Christianity is true–and more than that, that is the Bible’s insistence. The Bible’s emphasis is that there are good and sufficient reasons to know Christianity is true, so much so that we are disobedient and guilty if we do not believe it.

The Christian system (what is taught in the whole Bible) is a unity of thought. Christianity is not just a lot of bits and pieces–there is a beginning and an end, a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. Some of the other systems answer some of the questions but leave others unanswered. I believe it is only Christianity that gives the answers to all the crucial questions.

What are those questions? The questions are those which are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. God shuts us up to reality. We cannot escape the reality of what is, no matter what we say we believe or think.

This reality of which I speak falls into two parts: the fact that the universe truly exists and it has form, and then what I would call the “mannishness” of man–which is my own term for meaning that man is unique. People have certain qualities that must be explained.

God has shut up all people to these things, and I always like to go back to the statement of Jean-Paul Sartre, though he had no answer for his own statement, and that is that the basic philosophic question is that something is there. Things do exist, and this demands an explanation for their existence. I would then go beyond Sartre’s statement to one by Albert Einstein. Einstein said that the most amazing thing about the universe is that we can know something truly about it.In other words, it has a form that is comprehensible, even though we cannot exhaust it. And then I would say beyond that–no matter what people say they are, they are what they are, that is, man is unique as made in the image of God. Any system of thought, to be taken seriously, has to at least try to explain these two great phenomena of the universe and man. In other words, we are talking about objective truth related to reality and not just something within our own heads.

Now I would like to add a corollary to this: in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially the extensive notes of the fifth chapter, there is a third thing and that is the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside of your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to be rooted in history. Whether we are considering the history of the Old Testament, whether we are considering the history of Christ, including the resurrection, or Paul’s journeys, it is insisted on as real history. So now we have three interwoven parts. Usually I have dealt with the twentieth-century person, but the third is also there. We have to face the reality of the universe and its having an existence and having a form. We have to face the reality in the uniqueness of man. We are able to discuss the fact that the Bible is rooted in history.

____

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible:

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

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149U 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

__

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto (on right and  Reg Colin on left):

 

Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

 

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,

About 

BERTRAND RUSSELL 

As a philosopher, mathematician, educator, social critic and political activist, Bertrand Russell authored over 70 books and thousands of essays and letters addressing a myriad of topics. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950, Russell was a fine literary stylist, one of the foremost logicians ever, and a gadfly for improving the lives of men and women.Born in 1872 into the British aristocracy and educated at Cambridge University, Russell gave away much of his inherited wealth. But in 1931 he inherited and kept an earldom. His multifaceted career centered on work as a philosophy professor, writer, and public lecturer.(Here is a detailed chronology of Russell’s life, an overview of his analytic philosophy, and a complete bibliography of all his publications.)

Russell was an author of diverse scope. His first books were German Social DemocracyAn Essay on the Foundations of Geometry, and A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. His last books were War Crimes in Vietnam and The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. Other noteworthy books include Principles of MathematicsPrincipia Mathematica (with A.N. Whitehead), Anti-Suffragist AnxietiesThe Problems of PhilosophyIntroduction to Mathematical PhilosophySceptical EssaysWhy I Am Not a Christian, and A History of Western Philosophy.

He was arguably the greatest philosopher of the 20th century and the greatest logician since Aristotle. Analytic philosophy, the dominant philosophy of the twentieth century, owes its existence more to Russell than to any other philosopher. And the system of logic developed by Russell and A.N. Whitehead, based on earlier work by Dedekind, Cantor, Frege, and Peano, broke logic out of its Aristotelian straitjacket. He was also one of the century’s leading public intellectuals and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950 “in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.”

Russell was involved, often passionately, in numerous social and political controversies of his time. For example, he supported suffragists, free thought in religion and morals, and world government; he opposed World War I and the Vietnam War, nationalism, and political persecution. He was jailed in 1918 for anti-war views and in 1961 for his anti-nuclear weapons stance.

He was married 4 times and had 3 children. With Dora Russell, he founded the experimental Beacon Hill School. He knew or worked with many of the most prominent figures in late 19th and 20th century philosophy, mathematics, science, literature, and politics.

Active as a political and social critic until his end, Russell died in 1970 at the age of 97.

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 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._

How should we think about atheists who have no problem with atheism?

Yesterday my article “Do you have enough faith to be a theist? Or an atheist?” drew an interesting comment from a reader named Bilbo who reflected:

“At a very dark perod [sic] in my life, when I was angry at God for everything, I tried living as an atheist for a few years. The bleakness of a godless universe overwhelmed me. I realized that I could not live in such a world, and gave up my attempt at being an atheist. My hat is off to those of you hardy enough to do so.”

Bilbo’s comment reflects the experience of many. Indeed, that kind of experience serves as the basis for an existential argument for God’s existence. I discuss the existential argument for God’s existence in the aptly titled “In defense of existential arguments for belief in God” (which, interestingly enough, was prompted by Bilbo as well!) See also “The Existential Argument and Sam Harris’ Big Diamond.”

Even as theists like Bilbo attest that they were drawn to theism because they found atheism unlivable, atheists often retort that they have no problem with a godless universe. (To be sure, not all atheists are so cavalier about the loss. Some atheists grit their teeth and accept the loss of meaning in the manner of Bertrand Russell’s famous excerpt from “A Free Man’s Worship”:  “Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair can the soul’s habitation be safely built.”)

But what can be said to the atheist who attests to having no problem whatsoever with the loss of objective meaning and the prospect of impending individual and collective annihilation?

In one sense, one might see this as a standoff of intuitions. And it may be that. But a theist like Bilbo is not obliged to interpret it in those terms. He might instead conclude that the atheist who attests to having no existential problem whatsoever with their worldview is simply failing to grasp certain facts that ought to cause them problems.

Imagine, for example, that your friend invites you over to his house. You walk in the door and are immediately overcome by the stench of raw sewage. “What’s that smell?” you say, doing your best to retain a nonchalant demeanor even as you barely suppress a gag. “Smell?” he replies, “I don’t smell anything.”

Can you imagine if he then suggested that because he doesn’t smell it, the problem must lie with you? That would be absurd. Similarly, when an atheist claims to have no problem with the existential predicament posed by her worldview, the theist is certainly within her rights to conclude that the atheist is simply failing to grapple with an objective loss in parallel to the man unable to grasp the foul smell.

(Bertrand Russell in 1916)

Image result for bertrand russell

Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day. 

____

 

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 […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149T 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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, 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,

Bertrand Russellin full Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell of Kingston Russell, Viscount Amberley of Amberley and of Ardsalla (born May 18, 1872, Trelleck, MonmouthshireWales—died Feb. 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth), British philosopher, logician, and social reformer, founding figure in the analytic movement in Anglo-American philosophy, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Russell’s contributions to logicepistemology, and the philosophy of mathematics established him as one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th century. To the general public, however, he was best known as a campaigner for peace and as a popular writer on social, political, and moral subjects. During a long, productive, and often turbulent life, he published more than 70 books and about 2,000 articles, married four times, became involved in innumerable public controversies, and was honoured and reviled in almost equal measure throughout the world. Russell’s article on the philosophical consequences of relativity appeared in the 13th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

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 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

_

THE CHURCH AT THE END OF THE 20TH CENTURY, by Francis Schaeffer (pages 83-84):

THE ATOMIC BOMB

Sixth, of course, is the pressure of the A-bomb. For a certain kind of person this builds up a titanic pressure. Because modern man has nobody in the universe but man.

(a young Bertrand Russell below)

Image result for bertrand russell

Sixth, of course, is the pressure of the A-bomb or the H-bomb. For a certain kind of person this builds up a titanic pressure. Why? Because modern man has nobody in the universe but man. There is no God, there are no angels. And scientifically so far there is no proof that there is any other conscious life anywhere in the universe except on the earth. The only value that is left to a man like Bertrand Russell is the biological continuity of the human race. As Charlie Chaplin put it, “I feel lonely.”

Image result for charlie chaplin

_

Chaplin with Einstein below

Image result for charlie chaplin

Modern man is lonely in a cosmic sense because as far as he is concerned, he is the only conscious observer. He has been thrown up by chance, and he is the only observer there is. If the hydrogen bombs drop in their total force and wipe out the human race, all that is left will be the universe, hard and cold, with nobody to look at it, nobody to observe it, nobody to see its beauty, nobody to see its order. There will be no one to see the blowing of a tree, hear the song of a bird, see the formation of a cloud or the rising of the sun. This is where modern man is living. And it is terrifying.What is the use? If the hydrogen bombs fall, the world is silent.

Think for a moment, if you will, what this would mean. Suppose you wrote the greatest sonnet that was ever written, and you put it on tape and  hooked it up to a machine that has the highest amplification that any machine has ever been able to give. Suppose you hooked this up to solar batteries so that it would play for 1,000 years. Suddenly, then, suppose the hydrogen bomb dropped.  There is no God, there are no angels, thee is no conscious intelligent life anywhere else in the universe and in all the galaxies that would be able to be conscious of the playing of the sonnet. What difference would it make if the sonnet played on in the unhearing, unheeding coldness of the galaxies even for 5,000 years? This is modern man’s pressure.

None of us want the bomb to fall, but do note that for modern man, what we have said above gives him a special terror.

Image result for atomic bomb

The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 rose some 11 mi (18 km) above the bomb’s hypocenter.

__

Image result for francis schaeffer

 

__

 

Francis Schaeffer on pages 178 to 179 of volume 1 THE GOD WHO IS THERE asserted:

I do not believe that there is a leap of faith needed; there are good and sufficient reasons to know why Christianity is true–and more than that, that is the Bible’s insistence. The Bible’s emphasis is that there are good and sufficient reasons to know Christianity is true, so much so that we are disobedient and guilty if we do not believe it.

The Christian system (what is taught in the whole Bible) is a unity of thought. Christianity is not just a lot of bits and pieces–there is a beginning and an end, a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. Some of the other systems answer some of the questions but leave others unanswered. I believe it is only Christianity that gives the answers to all the crucial questions.

What are those questions? The questions are those which are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. God shuts us up to reality. We cannot escape the reality of what is, no matter what we say we believe or think.

This reality of which I speak falls into two parts: the fact that the universe truly exists and it has form, and then what I would call the “mannishness” of man–which is my own term for meaning that man is unique. People have certain qualities that must be explained.

God has shut up all people to these things, and I always like to go back to the statement of Jean-Paul Sartre, though he had no answer for his own statement, and that is that the basic philosophic question is that something is there. Things do exist, and this demands an explanation for their existence. I would then go beyond Sartre’s statement to one by Albert Einstein. Einstein said that the most amazing thing about the universe is that we can know something truly about it.In other words, it has a form that is comprehensible, even though we cannot exhaust it. And then I would say beyond that–no matter what people say they are, they are what they are, that is, man is unique as made in the image of God. Any system of thought, to be taken seriously, has to at least try to explain these two great phenomena of the universe and man. In other words, we are talking about objective truth related to reality and not just something within our own heads.

Now I would like to add a corollary to this: in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially the extensive notes of the fifth chapter, there is a third thing and that is the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside of your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to be rooted in history. Whether we are considering the history of the Old Testament, whether we are considering the history of Christ, including the resurrection, or Paul’s journeys, it is insisted on as real history. So now we have three interwoven parts. Usually I have dealt with the twentieth-century person, but the third is also there. We have to face the reality of the universe and its having an existence and having a form. We have to face the reality in the uniqueness of man. We are able to discuss the fact that the Bible is rooted in history.

____

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible:

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 […]

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

 

 

_

Image result for bertrand russell nobel prize

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

__

 

Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

 

__

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,

_

Bertrand Russell – Biographical

Bertrand Arthur William Russell was born at Trelleck on 18th May, 1872. His parents were Viscount Amberley and Katherine, daughter of 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley. At the age of three he was left an orphan. His father had wished him to be brought up as an agnostic; to avoid this he was made a ward of Court, and brought up by his grandmother. Instead of being sent to school he was taught by governesses and tutors, and thus acquired a perfect knowledge of French and German. In 1890 he went into residence at Trinity College, Cambridge, and after being a very high Wrangler and obtaining a First Class with distinction in philosophy he was elected a fellow of his college in 1895. But he had already left Cambridge in the summer of 1894 and for some months was attaché at the British embassy at Paris.

In December 1894 he married Miss Alys Pearsall Smith. After spending some months in Berlin studying social democracy, they went to live near Haslemere, where he devoted his time to the study of philosophy. In 1900 he visited the Mathematical Congress at Paris. He was impressed with the ability of the Italian mathematician Peano and his pupils, and immediately studied Peano’s works. In 1903 he wrote his first important book, The Principles of Mathematics, and with his friend Dr. Alfred Whitehead proceeded to develop and extend the mathematical logic of Peano and Frege. From time to time he abandoned philosophy for politics. In 1910 he was appointed lecturer at Trinity College. After the first World War broke out, he took an active part in the No Conscription fellowship and was fined £ 100 as the author of a leaflet criticizing a sentence of two years on a conscientious objector. His college deprived him of his lectureship in 1916. He was offered a post at Harvard university, but was refused a passport. He intended to give a course of lectures (afterwards published in America as Political Ideals, 1918) but was prevented by the military authorities. In 1918 he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for a pacifistic article he had written in the Tribunal. His Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919) was written in prison. His Analysis of Mind (1921) was the outcome of some lectures he gave in London, which were organized by a few friends who got up a subscription for the purpose.

In 1920 Russell had paid a short visit to Russia to study the conditions of Bolshevism on the spot. In the autumn of the same year he went to China to lecture on philosophy at the Peking university. On his return in Sept. 1921, having been divorced by his first wife, he married Miss Dora Black. They lived for six years in Chelsea during the winter months and spent the summers near Lands End. In 1927 he and his wife started a school for young children, which they carried on until 1932. He succeeded to the earldom in 1931. He was divorced by his second wife in 1935 and the following year married Patricia Helen Spence. In 1938 he went to the United States and during the next years taught at many of the country’s leading universities. In 1940 he was involved in legal proceedings when his right to teach philosophy at the College of the City of New York was questioned because of his views on morality. When his appointment to the college faculty was cancelled, he accepted a five-year contract as a lecturer for the Barnes foundation, Merion, Pa., but the cancellation of this contract was announced in Jan. 1943 by Albert C. Barnes, director of the foundation.

Russell was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1908, and re-elected a fellow of Trinity College in 1944. He was awarded the Sylvester medal of the Royal Society, 1934, the de Morgan medal of the London Mathematical Society in the same year, the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1950.

In a paper “Logical Atomism” (Contemporary British Philosophy. Personal Statements, First series. Lond. 1924) Russell exposed his views on his philosophy, preceded by a few words on historical development.1

Principal publications
German Social Democracy, 1896
Foundations of Geometry, 1897
A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz, 1900
Principles of Mathematics, vol. 1, 1903
Philosophical Essays, 1910
(with Dr. A. N. Whitehead) Principia mathematica, 3 vols, 1910-13
The Problems of Philosophy, 1912
Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, 1944
Principles of Social Reconstruction, 1916
Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, 1918
Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism, 1918
Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919
The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, 1920
The Analysis of Mind, 1921
The Problem of China, 1922
The ABC of Atoms, 1923
(with Dora Russell) The Prospects of Industrial Civilisation, 1923
Logical Atomism, 1924
The ABC of Relativity, 1925
On Education, 1926
The Analysis of Matter, 1927
An Outline of Philosophy, 1927
Sceptical Essays, 1928
Marriage and Morals, 1929
The Conquest of Happiness, 1930
The Freedom and Organisation 1814-1914, 1934
In Praise of Idleness, 1935
Which Way to Peace?, 1936
(with Patricia Russell editor of) The Amberley Papers, 2 vols, 1937
Power: a new Social Introduction to its Study, 1938
An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, 1941
History of Western Philosophy, 1946
Human Knowledge, its Scope and Limits, 1948
Authority and the Individual, 1949
Unpopular Essays, 1950

1) The matter for this sketch is taken from general English reference books.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1950, Editor Arne Holmberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1951

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/ Nobel Lectures/The Nobel Prizes. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate.

For more updated biographical information, see:
Russell, Bertrand, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. (3 vols.) Allen & Unwin: London, 1967-1969.

Bertrand Russell died on February 2, 1970.

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 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 nobel prize

ISSUES IN PERSPECTIVE
Dr. James P. Eckman, President Emeritus
Grace University, Omaha, Nebraska
October 1, 2016
Note to Evangelicals: “Let’s Start Talking About Our Theology, Not
Politics”
Although American civilization manifests a radical pluralism when it comes to worldview
choices, secularism is the preferred face of this culture. As a culture, we respect the right of a
person to choose, but we do not like to discuss the nature of those religious choices. Instead of
engaging in the implications and the consistency of a worldview choice, our culture prefers
silence. When worldview choices are discussed, it quickly drifts to politics, not theology. The
end result is that the public square in indeed naked (to use the late John Neuhaus’s words.) As
a Christian, I find all of this especially disturbing. My fellow evangelicals seem more prone to
talk about the virtues of Donald Trump than the uniqueness of the Christian worldview.
Columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. has noted this in a recent column when he observed the following:
• “Religion has been subsumed by politics.
• Many liberals have accepted the view that religion now lives almost entirely on the right
end of politics.
• The popular media tend to focus on the most extreme and outlandish examples of
religion rather than the more thoughtful kind.
• The quieter forms of religious expression—left, right and center—rarely win notice on
covers of magazines or anywhere else.”
The politicization of religion is obvious in our culture today, for, when it is discussed, rarely do
we talk about the nature of God or how to contemplate the Exodus or the Resurrection.
Immediately, we focus on culture war issues (e.g., abortion, same-sex marriage or whom you
will vote for as president). It is not that these matters are unimportant; they are important.
But the unintended result is the cultivation of superficiality and shallowness when it comes to
religious conviction. For some, the test of whether someone is really a Christian is that person’s
view on these culture war issues or on a particular candidate in the upcoming election. Dionne
quotes Berkeley historian, David Hollinger: “The absence of sustained, public scrutiny of
religious ideas in our time has created a vacuum filled with easy God talk.” For the secular wing
of American culture, genuine Christianity is the promotion of right-wing extremism or
conservative politics.

Consider two examples of how genuine, biblical Christianity is about more than conservative
politics:
1. One of the most famous atheists of the last two decades was Christopher Hitchens. He
died of esophageal cancer in 2011. Larry Taunton, of the Fixed Point Foundation and a
devout Christian intellectual, organizes debates between Christians and atheists. In 2010,
he organized a series of debates in various parts of America and, for some of these debates,
he actually drove Hitchens to these events. That means they had hours to talk and reflect
on their respective worldviews. In a recent book by Taunton, he summarizes details of
those drives. In one, Hitchens was reading from the Gospel of John out loud and asking
what was “the precise reason Jesus wept at the death of Lazarus.” He asked Taunton,
“where is grace in the Old Testament?,” which resulted in a discussion about God’s
covenant with Abraham. Taunton offers no evidence that Hitchens ever made a decision of
faith, but these long conversations between Hitchens and Taunton were not about politics
or culture war issues. They were about Jesus, His miracles and key theological ideas in
Scripture. Taunton demonstrated real affection for Hitchens as a man and a willingness to
engage him not at the level of the superficial but at a level that challenged Hitchens’s
worldview.
2. The other example gives focus to one of the most famous atheists of the 20th century—
Bertrand Russell. Along with A.N. Whitehead, Russell was the founder of analytic
philosophy. He stressed the absolute nature of impersonal, physical matter. There is no
God, only matter; He advocated for the eternality of the material universe. The result was a
bleak view of human life, its meaning and its purpose. Consider this extended quotation:
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 labors 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 the
universe in ruins. . . . Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the
firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be
safely built (Why I Am Not a Christian, editor Paul Edwards [New York: Simon
and Schuster, 1957], p. 107).
There are several interesting observations about Russell’s “world which science built for our
belief.”
1. To Russell, humans are “accidental collocations of atoms.” Yet, Russell uses terms not
associated with accidents: “loves,” “beliefs,” “despair” and “soul.” These words do not
fit with his worldview. As John Piper argues, he borrows these terms from another
worldview. He is using language beyond physical matter, an odd thing for a materialist
to do.
2. Piper asks, did Russell live “his philosophy?” How did he talk to his three children about
their hurts, their pains, their sorrows, for after all his three children were merely “an
accidental collocation of atoms.” How did he talk with his three wives? Did he speak of
them or to them as “accidental collocations of atoms?” Could he, did he, tell them he
loved them? As a rabid materialist, what did love actually mean to him?
3. Russell’s self-annihilating worldview concludes that “only on the firm foundation of
unyielding despair can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.” In other words,
the soul’s habitation is built upon nothing, for humanity can only look forward to
“extinction in the vast death of the solar system.”
The Bible affirms the reality of death, sorrow and despair, but it identifies the cause—sin. And
it identifies the solution to this cause, namely the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
Easter Sunday is the triumph over the tragic, desperate, unfounded worldview of ardent secular
materialists such as Bertrand Russell. 1 Corinthians 15:17-20 makes the strong case for hope
not despair, for triumph not defeat and for a foundation that cannot be shaken:
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then
those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this
life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead. . . . [ESV]
As we move forward in this confusing culture, we who love the Lord and love His Word, let’s
make a vow: Let’s covenant together to start talking more about what we believe than about
politics. Let’s start talking more about the sound doctrine that produces godly living than the
political culture. Let’s watch less Fox News and read more of the Bible. When someone asks
about our beliefs, let’s direct the conversation to Jesus, who He is and what He has done. Let’s
disassociate ourselves from the political illusion and embrace and proclaim Jesus as the solution
to the challenges of the human condition.
See E.J. Dionne, Jr., “A Secular Society Needs a Little Religion . . .” in the Omaha World Herald
(28 August 2016); Mark Oppenheimer’s article on Christopher Hitchens and Larry Taunton in
the New York Times (14 May 2016); and John Piper, “Strange Collocation” in World (24 October
2009), p. 46.

Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

Two things should be mentioned about the time of Moses in Old Testament history.

First, consider the archaeological evidence that relates to the period. True, it is not of the same explicitness that we have found, say, in relation to the existence of Ahab or Jehu or Jehoiakim. We have no inscription from Egypt which refers to Moses being taken out of the bulrushes and removed from the waterproof basket his mother had made him. But this does not mean that the Book of Exodus is a fictitious account, as some critics has suggested. Some say it is simply an idealized reading-back into history by the Jews under the later monarchy. There is not a reason why these “books of Moses,” as they are called, should not be treated as history, just as we have been forced to treat the Books of Kings and Chronicles dating 500 years later.

There is ample evidence about the building projects of the Egyptian kings, and the evidence we have fits well with Exodus. There are scenes of brick-making (for example, Theban Tomb 100 of Rekhmire). Contemporary parchments and papyri tell of production targets which had to be met. One speaks of a satisfied official report of his men as “making their quota of bricks daily” (Papyrus Anastasi III vso, p.3, in the British Museum. Also Louvre Leather Roll in the Louvre, Paris, col ii, mentions quotes of bricks and “taskmasters”). Actual bricks found show signs of straw which had to be mixed in with the clay, just as Exodus says. This matter of bricks and straw is further affirmed by the record that one despairing official complained, “There are no men to make bricks nor straw in my area.”

We know from contemporary discoveries that Semites were found at all levels of Egypt’s cosmopolitan society. (Brooklyn Museum, New York, no. 35, 1446. Papyrus Brooklyn). There is nothing strange therefore about Joseph’s becoming so important in the pharaoh’s court.

The store cities of Pithom and Raamses (Rameses) mentioned in Exodus 1:11 are well known in Egyptian inscriptions. Raamses was actually in the east-Delta capital, Pi-Ramses (near Goshen), where the Israelites would have had ample experience of agriculture. Thus, the references to agriculture found in the law of Moses would not have been strange to the Israelites even though they were in the desert at the time the law was given. Certainly there is no reason to say, as some critics do, that these sections on agriculture were an indication of a reading-back from a latter period when the Jews were settled in Canaan.

The form of the covenant made at Sinai has remarkable parallels with the covenant forms of other people at that time. (On covenants and parties to a treaty, the Louvre; and Treaty Tablet from Boghaz Koi (i.e., Hittite) in Turkey, Museum of Archaeology in Istanbul.) The covenant form at Sinai resembles just as the forms of letter writings of the first century after Christ (the types of introductions and greetings) are reflected in the letters of the apostles in the New Testament, it is not surprising to find the covenant form of the second millennium before Christ reflected in what occurred at Mount Sinai. God has always spoken to people within the culture of their time, which does not mean that God’s communication is limited by that culture. It is God’s communication but within the forms appropriate to the time.

The Pentateuch tells us that Moses led the Israelites up the east side of the Dead Sea after their long stay in the desert. There they encountered the hostile kingdom of Moab. We have firsthand evidence for the existence of this kingdom of Moab–contrary to what has been said by critical scholars who have denied the existence of Moab at this time. It can be found in a war scene from a temple at Luxor (Al Uqsor). This commemorates a victory by Ramses II over the Moabite nation at Batora (Luxor Temple, Egypt).

Also the definite presence of the Israelites in west Palestine (Canaan) no later than the end of the thirteenth century B.C. is attested by a victory stela of Pharaoh Merenptah (son and successor of Ramses II) to commemorate his victory over Libya (Israel Stela, Cairo Museum, no. 34025). In it he mentions his previous success in Canaan against Aschalon, Gize, Yenom, and Israel; hence there can be no doubt the nation of Israel was in existence at the latest by this time of approximately 1220 B.C. This is not to say it could not have been earlier, but it cannot be later than this date.

____

 

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 […]

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

 

 

 

Image result for 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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, 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,

_

Bertrand Russell

 Birthday: 
 Birthplace: 
 Star Sign: 
 Profession: 
 Died: 

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, mathematician, logician, social activist, writer, critic, pacifist, and intellectual. He owned a huge fame for his works on analytical philosophy, mathematical logic, linguistics, anti-imperialism, human rights and so on. In the academic fields of mathematics and logic, he is famous for his great works including ‘Principia Mathematica’.

Bertrand Russell born on May 18, 1872, in Monmouthshire, UK. He got an influential and intellectual family by birth. His parents, Lord and Lady Amberly supported Birth control when many people thought it as blasphemous. Lord Amberly was an atheist, which influenced child Russell very much. Russell lost his parents at childhood. After that, his grandmother started to look after Russell and his two siblings; Frank and Rachel. Russell’s education started at home with the help of his brother, Frank and some tutors. Frank taught him euclidean geometry, which changed his life.

 Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

Russell went to Trinity College of Cambridge University in 1890. In 1895, he became wrangler and obtained a first class with distinction in philosophy. The college authority elected him as a fellow. After leaving college, he worked as an attache in the British embassy in France. Later he worked as an academician and lecturer in different Universities in Europe. He also America including Cambridge and Harvard.

Russell’s early works began with his affection on mathematics and logic. Although his outlook towards social and political theories led him to publish ‘German Social Democracy’. He wrote many articles on logic and foundation of mathematics, such as ‘An Essay on the foundations of Geometry’, ‘The Principles of Mathematics’, ‘An introduction to the Mathematical Philosophy’, ‘Mysticism and logic’, ‘Our Knowledge about External World’ and so on. His later works were on political and social activism, which led him to swim against the current of traditional belief systems. ‘Marriage and Morals’, ‘Why I am not a Christian’, ‘war crimes in Vietnam’, ‘Unarmed Victory’, ‘Religion and Science’, ‘Theory and Practice of Bolshevism in Russia’, ‘Problems of China’ are his renowned works. He also achieved Nobel prize in literature in 1950.

Read Biography of:   Elon Musk

Russell married four times. His first wife was Alys Pearsall Smith. Dora Russell, Patricia Spence, and Edith Finch Russell were his wives in his later part of life. Bertrand Russell died on February 2 in 1970. The present world still recognizes him as one of the greatest thinkers of the modern time.

Born: May 18, 1872, Trellech, United Kingdom
Died: February 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, United Kingdom
Influenced: Sidney Hook, Noam Chomsky, Isaac Asimov, More

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 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

__

Lewis Wolpert’s Presumption of Atheism and the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ Objection to Belief in God


(Paul Kurtz)

Image result for paul kurtz

‘The secular humanist outlook… is committed to… scepticism of a theistic God… for it finds insufficient evidence…’ – Paul Kurtz[1]

Image result for Lewis Wolpert

(Lewis Wolpert pictured above)

Cell biologist Lewis Wolpert has recently attained a measure of notoriety with the British public, primarily through the publication of his book Six Impossible Things Before BreakfastThe Evolutionary Origins of Belief (Faber, 2006) and through his participation in a public debate on the existence of God with Christian philosopher William Lane Craig; a debate held on 27th February 2007 at Westminster Central Hall in London, hosted by the well-known journalist John Humphrys and reported by him in a major article for the Daily Telegraph.[2] Professor Wolpert, who is a vice president of the British Humanist Association, admits that he ‘stopped believing in God when I was 15 or 16 because he didn’t give me what I asked for’[3]; but he has subsequently and repeatedly justified his atheism by asserting that: ‘There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of God.’[4]

Problems with the Presumption of Atheism

Reliance upon the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection is a risky gambit for the atheist, for as philosopher William Rowe observes: ‘To fail to provide any arguments for the non-existence of God is… to virtually concede the debate to the person who at least gives some arguments, however weak, in behalf of the position that God exists.’[5] Atheism put forward on the basis that there is insufficient evidence for belief in God (and that in the absence of such evidence it is atheism that should be given the benefit of the doubt rather than theism or agnosticism) stands before the constant possibility that new evidence, or a better formulation and appreciation of old evidence, might turn up. Such atheism cannot afford to be dogmatic, for: ‘even if the theist could not muster good arguments for God’s existence, atheism still would not be shown to be true.’[6] As atheist philosopher Kai Nielsen admits: ‘To show that an argument is invalid or unsound is not to show that the conclusion of the argument is false…. All the proofs of God’s existence may fail, but it still may be the case that God exists.’[7]

According to Robert A. Harris: ‘a common sense look at the world, with all its beauty, apparent design, meaning, and vibrancy, would seem to predispose a neutral observer to presume that God exists unless good evidence for his non-existence could be brought to bear… The fact that materialists often struggle with this issue, working to explain away the design of the creation, for example, would seem to back up this claim.’[8] Nevertheless, British humanist Richard Norman asserts that: ‘the onus is on those who believe in a god to provide reasons for that belief. If they cannot come up with good reasons, then we should reject the belief.’[9] It was another British philosopher, Antony Flew (who recently became a theist[10]), who most famously urged that the ‘onus of proof must lie upon the theist’,[11] and that unless compelling reasons for God’s existence could be given there should be a ‘presumption of atheism.’ However, by ‘atheism’ Flew meant merely ‘non-theism’, a non-standard definition of ‘atheism’ that includes agnosticism but excludes atheism as commonly understood. The presumption of atheism is therefore not particularly interesting unless (as with Richard Norman explicitly and Lewis Wolpert implicitly) it really is the presumption of atheism rather than the presumption of agnosticism. However, the former is far harder to defend than the latter:

the ‘presumption of atheism’ demonstrates a rigging of the rules of philosophical debate in order to play into the hands of the atheist, who himself makes a truth claim. Alvin Plantinga correctly argues that the atheist does not treat the statements ‘God exists’ and ‘God does not exist’ in the same manner. The atheist assumes that if one has no evidence for God’s existence, then one is obligated to believe that God does not exist – whether or not one has evidence againstGod’s existence. What the atheist fails to see is that atheism is just as much a claim to know something (‘God does not exist’) as theism (‘God exists’). Therefore, the atheist’s denial of God’s existence needs just as much substantiation as does the theist’s claim; the atheist must give plausible reasons for rejecting God’s existence… in the absence of evidence for God’s existence, agnosticism, not atheism, is the logical presumption. Even if arguments for God’s existence do not persuade, atheism should not be presumed because atheism is not neutral; pure agnosticism is. Atheism is justified only if there is sufficient evidence against God’s existence.[12]

As Scott Shalkowski writes: ‘suffice it to say that if there were no evidence at all for belief in God, this would [at best] legitimize merely agnosticism unless there is evidence against the existence of God.’[13] Steven Lovell similarly points out that, to avoid a double standard, the atheist cannot use the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ argument alone, but must combine it with one or more of the other objections to belief:

Time and again I’ve heard people say that they don’t believe in God because they think there is insufficient evidence for His existence. If the person saying this is an atheist (one who thinks that God doesn’t exist, that ‘God exists’ is a false statement), then they imply that they do have enough evidence for their atheism. Clearly, if we reject belief in God due to (alleged) insufficient evidence, then we would be irrational to accept atheism, if the evidence for God’s non-existence were similarly insufficient. It would be a radical inconsistency. If theistic belief requires evidence, so must atheistic belief. If we have no evidence either way, then the logical conclusion would be agnosticism.[14]

There are, then, a number of serious problems with using the claim that there is insufficient evidence to justify belief in God to justify a default ‘presumption of atheism’ as Wolpert does.

A Popular Objection to Theism

Despite these problems, the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection to theism is widely used by contemporary atheists. A 1998 survey of 1,700 American skeptics conducted by Skeptics Society director Michael Shermer and MIT social scientist Frank Sulloway showed that 37.9% of non-theistic skeptics said they didn’t believe in God because there is no proof. The 2005 Dare to Engage Questionnaire, which surveyed nearly five hundred 15-18 years old students, found that among self-designated atheists (20% of respondents) who took the opportunity to give an explanation of their disbelief, the third most popular response (given by 13% of those giving a reason for their atheism) was that there is a pervasive lack of evidence for God.Image result for bertrand russell

The ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection can be traced back to Bertrand Russell. Asked what he would say if he found himself standing before God on the judgement day being asked, ‘Why didn’t you believe in me?,’ Russell replied: ‘I’d say, “Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!”’ Richard Dawkins says that in the same situation: ‘I’d quote Bertrand Russell: “Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.”’[15] (There is an interesting difference in attitude on this point between Russell et alon the one hand, and H.L. Mencken on the other hand, who answered essentially the same question by saying: ‘If I do fetch up with the twelve apostles, I shall say, “Gentlemen, I was wrong”.’[16] In this context we should not shy away from the fact that atheists may – and note that I say may rather than will – fail to appreciate genuine evidence for theism due to non-rational factors. As Piers Benn acknowledges: ‘since some theistic religions teach that sin can impair our thinking, we risk begging the question against those religions if we assume that if we can see no good reason for believing them, then they are almost certainly false.’[17])

According to Richard Dawkins’ latest book, The God Delusion[18], if one examines natural theology: ‘the arguments turn out to be spectacularly weak.’[19] He actually goes so far as to say that: ‘there is no evidence in favour of the God Hypothesis.’[20]This is an astonishing claim for Dawkins to make, since he once defined biology as ‘the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.’[21] There is, then, according to Dawkins himself, at the very least, prima facie evidence for the God hypothesis. The Humanist Manifesto II, drafted by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, declares with more caution than Dawkins, or Wolpert, that: ‘We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural… theism… is an unproven and outmoded faith.’[22] (The term ‘outmoded’ here is a fine example of what C.S. Lewis called ‘chronological snobbery’.[23])Image result for richard dawkins

Taking a historical view on the same objection, Kai Nielson states that:

Image result for Kai Nielsen

Starting with the early Enlightenment figures, finding acute and more fully developed critiques in Hume and Kant, and carried through by their contemporary rational reconstructers (e.g., Mackie, and Martin), the various arguments for the existence of God have been so thoroughly refuted that few would try to defend them today and even those few who do, do so in increasingly attenuated forms.[24]

Professor Wolpert likewise praises David Hume’s scepticism, stating: ‘Hume is the only philosopher I take seriously…[25] However, such claims are surprisingly out of touch with the reality of contemporary practice in the philosophy of religion. What William Lane Craig calls ‘the obsolete, 18th century objections of Hume and Kant’[26] have received substantial replies from contemporary philosophers.[27] David Hume, in particular, is widely regarded as an over-rated thinker who inspires much unnecessary kow-towing.[28] According to James F. Sennett and Douglas Groothuis: ‘Natural theology is alive and well in contemporary philosophy; the supposed Humean refutation of the enterprise is a myth whose exposure is long overdue.’[29]

Many contemporary philosophers give their endorsement to the project of natural theology, and while individual arguments for God may often be defended in more rigorously cautious terms than was the norm in medieval scholasticism, today’s natural theology can hardly be called ‘attenuated’ when philosophers like Robert C. Koons are prepared to say that: ‘the evidence for theism has never been so clear and so strong as it is now.’[30]

However, questioning the claim that there is insufficient evidence for God’s existence is not the only way of responding to Wolpert’s ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection. Many philosophers question the assumption that it is necessarily irrational to believe in God in the absence of evidential justification. After all, there are plenty of other beliefs about reality that appear to be rational to hold in the complete absence of evidential justification (e.g. the belief that the world is not a computer simulation as in the film The Matrix), and the demand for evidence can neither be fulfilled ad infinitum (i.e. it is impossible to justify all our beliefs) nor be consistently applied to itself (what evidential justification is there for the belief that all beliefs must have evidential justification in order to be rational?).

Questioning the Demand for Evidence

‘A truth can come into the mind in two ways, namely as known in itself, and as known through another. What is known in itself is like a principle, and is perceived immediately by the mind….’ – Thomas Aquinas [31]

Sam Harris is another prominent atheist who, like Wolpert, condemns theists for adhering to a belief without any evidential basis: ‘While believing strongly, without evidence, is considered a mark of madness or stupidity in any other area of our lives, faith in God still holds immense prestige in our society.’[32] Harris makes two mistakes in the space of this sentence. On the one hand, few theists would concede Harris’ assumption that their belief in God is predicated upon an absence of evidence. On the other hand, evidence is not always necessary for rational belief. Contra Harris, believing strongly without evidence is in fact considered a mark of rationality and common sense in many areas of life. For example, seriously doubting that the universe is older than five minutes old would rightly be considered a mark of madness or stupidity by most people; but the belief that the universe is older than this, rather than having been created five minutes ago complete with every empirical appearance of greater age (a belief held by Harris), must by the very nature of the case be accepted without evidential support. Hence ‘being rational’ and ‘having evidential support’ cannot be one and the same thing. It is all well and good to demand that people hold all their beliefs rationally(for example, we shouldn’t pick our beliefs at random and we shouldn’t hold them in the face of overwhelming counter-evidence), but there is little sense in demanding that people hold all their beliefs on the basis of evidence.

Harris writes that ‘An atheist is simply a person who believes that [theists] should be obliged to present evidence for [God’s] existence…’,[33] but the fact that the demand that every belief be justified with evidence is self-defeating (on the one hand, what is the evidence for this claim? On the other hand, how would one ever satisfy this demand?) means that the basic ‘not enough evidence’ argument deployed by Dawkins, Harris, Wolpert and other atheists is unsound because it is built upon a false premise. As philosopher John O’Leary-Hawthorne points out: ‘The basic argument from no evidence relies on the idea that in order to rationally believe something we need evidence for it. But from the perspective of many philosophers, the latter claim represents a gross oversimplification.’[34]

For example, we often find ourselves with perceptual beliefs (e.g. ‘I see a tree’) not because we have argued our way to the belief in question, but simply because our cognitive faculties lead us to hold that belief. Then again, I simply remember drinking coffee with friends yesterday; I don’t argue my way to the conclusion that I had coffee with friends yesterday based upon the available evidence. Despite the fact that my memory has proven unreliable on some occasions (something I only know through memory), there is no need for me to obtain independent evidence as to whether or not I drank coffee with friends yesterday in order for my belief in this matter to be rational, a belief that I am within my epistemic rights to accept as an item of knowledge on my part. The veridical nature of my memory in this matter is one of my ‘basic’ beliefs. Fundamental moral beliefs are likewise basic beliefs: ‘Somewhere in one’s moral reasoning one reaches a set of beliefs that are bearers of intrinsic value; they are not valued as a means to some other end or for some extrinsic reason. At this level one reaches one’s basic moral beliefs.’[35] There are in point of fact: ‘A whole host of other kinds of beliefs are also typically basic. There are, for example, elementary truths of logic… There are certain mathematical beliefs. And there are certain framework or fundamental beliefs such as belief in an external worldbelief in the self, etc. These are foundational beliefs that we typically reason from and not to…’[36] Indeed, the existence of some basic beliefs in our web of beliefs is an epistemic necessity, for as Roy Clouser points out:

it is impossible that the only beliefs we have the right to be certain about are the ones that we have proven… First, if everything needed to be proven, then the premises of every proof would also need to be proven. But if you need to prove the premises of every proof, you would then need a proof for your proof, and a proof for the proof of your proof, and so on – forever. Thus it makes no sense to demand that everything be proven because an infinite regress of proofs is impossible. So when the premises of an argument are themselves in need of proof, the series of arguments needed to prove its premises must eventually end with an argument whose premises are all ‘basic’, that is, not in need of proof… not all beliefs need proof, and proving anything depends on having beliefs that don’t need it… A second reason why not every belief needs proof is that the rules for drawing inferences correctly, the truths of logic and mathematics, cannot themselves have proofs because they are the very rules we must use in order to prove anything. If we were to use them to construct proofs of themselves, the proofs would already be assuming the truth of the very rules we were trying to prove! So proofs need belief in unproven rules as well as premises that we can know without proof…[37]

Without rejecting the claim that there are good arguments for belief in God, it can be cogently argued that belief in God can be rational without being based upon arguments for his existence. As Alan G. Padgett writes: ‘belief in God can be and often is perfectly legitimate and proper without any philosophical arguments. In other words, Christian faith does not depend upon the practice of philosophy (specifically natural theology) but rather upon more direct, immediate, and spiritual sources of the knowledge of God.’[38] Such ‘properly basic’ belief in God is not a matter of ‘blind faith’, since it is not the result of simply picking a belief out of the air and since it remains sensitive to the need to defend belief against evidential challenges.

William Lane Craig attempted to point out this defect in the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ argument to Professor Wolpert before their recent debate on the existence of God in London, but without success…

Craig vs. Wolpert – a mini-debate from Radio 4

In a mini debate between William Lane Craig and Lewis Wolpert held on BBC Radio 4 prior to their lengthier public encounter on the subject of God’s existence, Wolpert simply failed to understand Craig’s philosophical points about the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection. Having said that he thinks there is evidence for God (Craig mentions the Kalam cosmological argument, the moral argument and the fine tuning design argument), Craig challenged Wolpert’s assumption that one must have evidence for God in order to rationally believe in God. Craig points to the existence of so-called ‘properly basic beliefs’, that is, beliefs that are rational to hold but which are not justified on the basis of other beliefs. If there were no properly basic beliefs humans could not rationally believe anything, because we would have to have an infinite regress of evidence for all our beliefs, which is impossible. Despite having had this explained to him with the use of several analogies, Wolpert revealed that he just didn’t get the point by simply repeating the same ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection.

Far from incidentally, the same point about infinite regress and explanation came into play when Craig answered Wolpert’s use of the ‘Who designed the designer?’ objection to the design argument (an objection beloved by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion). Craig pointed out that for an explanation of some set of data to be rational, one need not have an explanation of the explanation – if one did have to do that then explanation would be impossible because to explain anything would invoke an infinite regress, in which case science would be impossible. Hence Wolpert’s use of the ‘explain that explanation’ demand is rather ironic!

Philosopher Tom Price has provided a concise summary of the public debate between Craig and Wolpert following their Radio 4 encounter, a debate which showed Wolpert failing to learn the lesson of his mini-debate with Craig:

Craig: God exists, here is the evidence.
Wolpert: God doesn’t exist, there is no evidence.
Craig: God exists, here is the evidence.
Wolpert: God doesn’t exist, who made God?
Craig: God does exist, he is an uncaused eternal being. Here is the evidence.
Wolpert: God doesn’t exist. He hasn’t done anything in the last 2,000 years.
Craig: That’s chronological snobbery. You don’t tell the time with an argument, you don’t tell if an argument is true or false, of if evidence is good or bad with a watch.
Wolpert: God doesn’t exist. We believe because we have a notion of cause and effect, this leads to toolmaking, and also to belief in God.
Craig: That’s the genetic fallacy. To confuse the origin of a belief with its truth or falsity. You need to deal with the arguments and evidence that I have presented.
Wolpert: God doesn’t exist. There is no evidence. Who made God?
Craig: Here is the evidence. God is an uncaused being. God does exist.
Wolpert: God doesn’t exist. There is no evidence.
Craig: God does exist. Here is the evidence.[39]

Or as John Humphrys, who chaired the debate, reports:

you might assume that a debate between someone like Craig and someone like Wolpert – a Jew who lost his faith when he was 15 – would produce a riveting intellectual knockabout at least and a profound discussion of whether God is delusion or reality at best. Sadly it didn’t work out like that. They might as well have been talking in different languages.

Here’s the essence of Craig’s case:

  • God created the universe. The proof lies in the premise that whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist; therefore it has a cause. It was brought into existence by something which is greater than (and beyond) it. And that something was a ‘personal being’.
  • God ‘fine tunes’ the universe… There is no other logical explanation for the way things operate.
  • Without God there can be no set of [objective] moral values.
  • The ‘historical facts’ of the life of Jesus prove the basis for Christianity.
  • God can be known and experienced [in a properly basic manner].

And here’s the essence of Wolpert’s rebuttal: its all bunkum. Every bit of it.[40]

Wolpert’s defence of atheism consisted of a few irrelevant, invalid arguments against the rationality of belief in God’s existence on the one hand (instances of chronological snobbery and the genetic fallacy respectively) and a total failure to interact with the purported evidence for God on the other hand, apparently on the grounds ‘that there is no evidence’ with which to interact! Given Craig’s use of the Kalam cosmological argument, it is interesting to note that Wolpert candidly admits he has no alternative explanation for the Big Bang: ‘And then, of course, there’s the whole problem of where the universe itself came from. And that is a great mystery. Big bang, big schmang! How did that all happen? I haven’t got a clue.’[41] How can someone who makes such repeated use of the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection fail so totally to even ‘deal with the argument and evidence’ presented by Craig? The answer to this question recently became clear in an interview between Wolpert and another Christian philosopher…

Wolpert’s Question-Begging Obscurantism

In the hands of Lewis Wolpert, the ‘insufficient evidence’ objection is not at all what it seems. Wolpert says that atheism is justified because: ‘There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of God.’[42] However, this assertion amounts to a magician-worthy piece of misdirection, a philosophical slight-of-hand. Professor Keith Ward of Oxford University had the following revealing exchange with Wolpert concerning his ‘Insufficient Evidence’ justification in the course of an interview for the March 2007 edition of Third Way magazine:

Ward: What sort of evidence would count for you? Would it have to be scientific evidence of some sort?
Wolpet: Well, no… I think I read somewhere: If he turned the pond on Hamstead Heath into good champagne, it would be quite impressive…
Ward: A miracle would be sufficient?
Wolpert: But then you have to remember what David Hume said, that you wouldn’t believe in a reported miracle unless ‘the falsehood of [the] testimony would be more miraculous than the event which [it] relates.’
Ward: Its one of his worst arguments, in my view.
Wolpert: Hume is the only philosopher I take seriously. I’m big against philosophy…[43]

Wolpert justifies his atheism by complaining that there is no evidence for the existence of God. So what sort of evidence would he accept? Would he accept scientific evidence? On Humean grounds (grounds that are widely accepted by contemporary philosophers to be defunct), he would not. Later in the same interview Ward asked Wolpert whether (in principle) there could be evidence of providence in history? Wolpert replied that there ‘absolutely [could] not’[44] be any such evidence. Wolpert seems to include the evidence of religious experience among purported scientific evidence for God, because having provided a standard explanation of such experience in terms of evolutionary psychology (and despite admitting ‘I don’t have a good explanation, to be quite honest’[45] for why he himself has escaped the evolutionary pressure to believe), Wolpert feels that he can dismiss all such experiences as delusional (an unsurprising move for someone who is a self-confessed ‘reductionist and a materialist’[46]). If Wolpert rules out scientific evidence for theism, will he accept philosophical evidence? He will not, because he is ‘big against philosophy’ (although he will embrace a double standard in order to allow Hume into the fold, to shore it up against scientific evidence for deity).

Having excluded a priori the very possibility of there being any evidence for God it is perhaps unsurprising that Wolpert can find none, or that he would fail to engage with purported evidence for God offered to him by Professor Craig. What is surprising is that having excluded a priori the possibility of there being any evidence for God, Wolpert should shirk the task of showing why Craig’s evidence is insufficient (where exactly do Craig’s arguments for God go wrong? Do they have false premises? Do they have invalid logic? Wolpert does not say) whilst continuing to justify his atheism primarily by repeating that ‘the evidence for God is not very good from my point of view.’[47]

Wolpert’s complaint is ultimately not that there is insufficient evidence for theism. Rather it is that since the possibility of there being sound evidence for theism would require materialism to be false, and since materialism is true, there can’t possibly be any sound evidence for theism. In other words Wolpert doesn’t merely think that there isn’t any evidence for God, he thinks that there can’t be any evidence for God. These are significantly different claims, and so it is non-trivial when Wolpert substitutes one for the other. There would be nothing wrong with taking this approach if Wolpert provided arguments purporting to show that materialism is true (or at least that theism is false), if he was prepared to enter into philosophical debate concerning the soundness of those arguments, and if he was prepared to extend the same courtesy to the theistic arguments of academics like Craig or Ward. Unfortunately Wolpert does not appear to be interested in fulfilling any of these conditions. Wolpert simply repeats the mantra that there is no evidence for God. Like doubting Thomas Lewis Wolpert says ‘I will not believe unless I see’; but unlike Thomas he keeps his eyes resolutely shut.

Wolpert and the Origin of Life

For example, during his interview with Keith Ward, Wolpert commented that:

How the cell came about is just… Wow! It’s absolutely mind-blowing. It’s truly miraculous – almost in a religious sense. I think we understand quite a lot about evolution – although even in later evolution there are problems for which we don’t have good explanations – but the origin of life itself, the origin of the cell itself, that’s not solved at all.[48]

Having heard such an interesting admission of scientific ignorance Ward asked Wolpert whether he was happy to be described as a neo-Darwinian, and the following revealing exchange followed:

Wolpert: I’m afraid I would have to say that, yes.
Ward: So, even though you find it ‘miraculous’, you think we must account for the emergence of life purely in terms of random mutation and natural selection?
Wolpert: That’s the line we must pursue, yes.
Ward: Why ‘must’?
Wolpert: Because there really is no other way. Otherwise, you can only invoke God.[49]

In other words, Wolpert believes that the inherent capacities of the natural world (putting aside the cosmological question of why there is a natural world in the first place) must account for – and therefore must be capable of accounting for – both the origin and diverse nature of life on Earth because this conclusion is philosophically deduced (not because it is scientifically inferred) from the assumption that God could not possibly feature in the true account of these matters – presumably because, as a materialist, Wolpert believes that there is no God to feature in the true account of these matters. Once again Wolpert closes his eyes to the possibility of evidence pointing towards God’s existence by simply assuming that God does not exist! Once again, Wolpert’s use of the ‘Insufficient Evidence’ objection to belief in God is exposed as a rhetorical façade hiding a circular argument.

Conclusion

‘I am going to confront you with evidence before the Lord’ (1 Samuel 12:7)

Atheists, agnostics and theists alike should avoid Lewis Wolpert’s narrow-minded approach to the question of God’s existence, an approach that amounts to saying ‘My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with the evidence.’ We all have our own personal default position on the subject of God’s existence, but we owe it to each-other and to ourselves (and perhaps we even owe it to God) to take the alternatives seriously enough to decry blind faith.

Recommended Resources

Paul Copan, ‘The Presumptuousness of Atheism’ @ www.rzim.org/publications/essay_arttext.php?id=3

William Lane Craig, ‘The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe’ @ www.leaderu.com/truth/3truth11.html

William Lane Craig, ‘The Teleological Argument and the Anthropic Principle’ @ www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/teleo.htmlWilliam Lane Craig, ‘Review: The Design Inference’ @ www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/design.htmlWilliam Lane Craig, ‘The Indispensability of Theological Meta-Ethical Foundations for Morality‘ @ www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/meta-eth.html

William Lane Craig, ‘Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ’ @ www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth22.html

John Gray, ‘Myths of Meaning: Breaking the Spell & Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast’ @ www.newstatesman.com/200603200044

John Humphrys, ‘The Return of God?’ @ www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/03/03/nrgod03.xml

Here is another eye-witness report of the Craig-Wolpert debate (The Peter Williams who has a comment on this page is not Peter S. Williams!)

Duncan McMillan, ‘Origins of Belief [a review of Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast]’ @ www.union.ic.ac.uk/media/iscience/article_template_typ.php?articleid=108

Keith Ward & Lewis Wolpert, ‘The Hard Cell’, Third Way, March 2007

Peter S. Williams, ‘The Faith Based Dawkins’ @ www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=166

Peter S. Williams, ‘A Change of Mind for Antony Flew’ @ www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_antonyflew.htm

Peter S. Williams, ‘Design and the Humean Touchstone’ @ www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_humeantouchstone.htm

Peter S. Williams, ‘An Introduction to Intelligent Design Theory’ @ www.cis-centralsouth.org.uk/media/2006-intelligent-design/PeterWilliams.vbr.mp3

R. Douglas Geivett & Gary R. Habermas (ed.’s), In Defence of Miracles, (Apollos, 1997)

James F. Sennett & Douglas Groothuis (ed.’s), In Defence of Natural TheologyA Post-Humean Assessment, (IVP, 2005)


[1] Paul Kurtz, ‘Creating Secular and Humanist Alternatives to Religion’ in Free Inquiry, August/September 2006, volume 26, no. 5, p. 7.

[3] Lewis Wolpert, ‘The Hard Cell’, Third Way, March 2007, p. 16.

[4] ibid, p. 17.

[5] William Rowe ‘Reflections on the Craig-Flew Debate’ in Stan W. Wallace (ed.), Does God ExistThe Craig-Flew Debate, (London: Ashgate, 2003), p. 70-71.

[6] Paul Copan, ‘The Presumptuousness of Atheism’ @ www.rzim.org/publications/essay_arttext.php?id=3

[7] Kai Nielsen, Reason and Practice, (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), p. 143-44.

[8] Robert A. Harris, The Integration of Faith and LearningA Worldview Approach, (Eugene: Cascade, 2004), p. 83.

[9] Richard Norman, On Humanism, (Routledge, 2004), p. 16.

[10] cf.  Peter S. Williams, ‘A Change of Mind for Antony Flew’ @ www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_antonyflew.htm

[11] Antony Flew, The Presumption of Atheism, (London: Pemberton, 1976), p. 14.

[12] Copan, ‘The Presumptuousness of Atheism’ @ www.rzim.org/publications/essay_arttext.php?id=3

[13] Scott A. Shalkowski, ‘Atheological Apologetics’ in R. Douglas Geivett & Brendan Sweetman (ed.’s), Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology, (Oxford, 1992), p. 63.

[14] Steven Lovell, ‘Evidence and Atheism’ @ www.csl-philosophy.co.uk/

[15] Richard Dawkins, ‘Richard Dawkins: you Ask The Questions Special’, Independent, 5th December 2006 @ http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article2037496.ece

[16] H.L. Mencken, quoted by Alistair Cooke in Clifton Fadiman (ed.), p. 123.

[17] Piers Benn, ‘Is Atheism A Faith Position?’, Think, issue thirteen, summer 2006, p. 27.

[18] On The God Delusion, cf: Terry Eagleton, ‘Lunging, Flailing, Mispunching’, London Review of Books Vol. 28 No. 20, 19 October 2006 @ www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n20/eagl01_.html;

Jim Holt, ‘Beyond Belief’, New York Times @ www.nytimes.com/2006/10/22/books/review/Holt.t.html?_r=1&8bu&emc=bu&oref=slogin;

Alister E. McGrath, ‘The Dawkins Delusion’ @ www.theosthinktank.co.uk/The_Dawkins_Delusion.aspx?ArticleID=50&PageID=47&RefPageID=11; ‘Is God a Delusion? Atheism and the Meaning of Life’ @ www.citychurchsf.org/openforum/Audio/OF_Alister_McGrath.mp3;

Thomas Nagel, ‘The Fear of Religion’, The New Republic Online @ www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20061023&s=nagel102306;

H. Allen Orr, ‘A Mission to Convert’, New York Review of Books @ www.nybooks.com/articles/19775;

Alvin Plantinga, ‘Review of The God Delusion’ @ www.home.no/knodt/ReviewGodDelusionPlantinga.doc;

Richard Swinburne, ‘Response to Richard Dawkins’s Criticisms in The God Delusion’ @ http://users.ox.ac.uk/~orie0087/framesetpdfs.shtml;

Peter S. Williams, ‘The Big Bad Wolf, Theism and the Foundations of Intelligent Design: A Review of Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion’ @ www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_goddelusionreview.htm & www.iscid.org/boards/ubb-get_topic-f-10-t-000112.html;

‘Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Dawkins’ Failed Rebuttal of Natural Theology’ @ www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_goddelusionreview2.htm;

‘Peter S. Williams Discusses The God Delusion’ @ www.damaris.org/content/content.php?type=5&id=512;

The God Delusion Deconstructed – Southampton University’ @ www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~pjb304/SUCU_talks/eternity/2007-02-15-PeteWilliams-TheGodDelusionDeconstructed.mp3

[19] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, (London: Bantam Press, 2006), p. 2.

[20] ibid, p. 59.

[21] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, (Penguin, 1990), Preface, p. x.

[22] Paul Kurtz & Edwin H. Wilson, Humanist Manifesto II (1973) @

www.americanhumanist.org/about/manifesto2.php, my italics.

[24] Kai Nielson, ‘Naturalistic explanations of theistic belief’, A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion, p. 403.

[25] ibid.

[26] William Lane Craig, ‘The Evidence for Christianity’ @ www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=100&TopicID=&CategoryID

[27] On Kant, cf. Norman L. Geisler, Christian Apologetics, (Baker, 1976)

[28] cf: R. Douglas Geivett & Gary R. Habermas (ed.’s), In Defence of Miracles, (Apollos, 1997); James F. Sennett & Douglas Groothuis (ed.’s), In Defence of Natural TheologyA Post-Humean Assessment, (Downers Grove: IVP, 2005); Richard Swinburne, ‘The Argument from Design’ in R. Douglas Geivett & Brendan Sweetman (ed.’s), Contemporary Perspectives on Religious Epistemology, (Oxford University Press, 1992); Charles Taliaferro & Anders Hendrickson, ‘Hume’s Racism and His Case Against the Miraculous’, Philosophia Christi, Volume 4, Number 2, 2002; Peter S. Williams, ‘Design and the Humean Touchstone’ @ www.arn.org/docs/williams/pw_humeantouchstone.htm

[29] James F. Sennett & Douglas Groothuis, editors of In Defence of Natural TheologyA Post-Humean Assessment, (IVP, 2005), p. 15.

[30] Robert C. Koons, ‘Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict’, in Paul Copan & Paul K. Moser (ed.’s), The Rationality of Theism, (London: Routledge, 2003), p. 73.

[31] Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, (Benzinger Brothers, 1911) Ia., Q84, a2, quoted in Louis P. Pojman, What Can We KnowAn Introduction to a Theory of Knowledge, (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1995), p. 89.

[32] Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, (Bantam, 2007), p. 67.

[33] ibid, p. 51.

[34] John O’Leary-Hawthorne, ‘Arguments for Atheism’ in Michael J. Murray (ed.), Reason for the Hope Within, (Eerdmans, 1999), p. 124.

[35] Kelly James Clark, Return to Reason, (Eerdmans, 1998), p. 130.

[36] ibid, p. 129.

[37] Roy Clouser, Knowing with the heart, (IVP, 1999), p. 68-71.

[38] Alan G. Padgett, ‘The Relationship Between Theology and Philosophy’, James K. Beilby (ed.), For Faith and Clarity, (Baker, 2006), p. 39.

[41] Lewis Wolpert, ‘The Hard Cell’, Third Way, March 2007, p. 18.

[42] ibid, p. 17.

[43] ibid.

[44] ibid.

[45] ibid, p. 18.

[46] ibid, p. 17.

[47] ibid, p. 16.

[48] ibid, p. 18.

[49] ibid

Image result for bertrand russell

___

Image result for francis schaeffer

__

Image result for francis schaeffer

__

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer on pages 178 to 179 of volume 1 THE GOD WHO IS THERE asserted:

I do not believe that there is a leap of faith needed; there are good and sufficient reasons to know why Christianity is true–and more than that, that is the Bible’s insistence. The Bible’s emphasis is that there are good and sufficient reasons to know Christianity is true, so much so that we are disobedient and guilty if we do not believe it.

The Christian system (what is taught in the whole Bible) is a unity of thought. Christianity is not just a lot of bits and pieces–there is a beginning and an end, a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. Some of the other systems answer some of the questions but leave others unanswered. I believe it is only Christianity that gives the answers to all the crucial questions.

What are those questions? The questions are those which are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. God shuts us up to reality. We cannot escape the reality of what is, no matter what we say we believe or think.

This reality of which I speak falls into two parts: the fact that the universe truly exists and it has form, and then what I would call the “mannishness” of man–which is my own term for meaning that man is unique. People have certain qualities that must be explained.

God has shut up all people to these things, and I always like to go back to the statement of Jean-Paul Sartre, though he had no answer for his own statement, and that is that the basic philosophic question is that something is there. Things do exist, and this demands an explanation for their existence. I would then go beyond Sartre’s statement to one by Albert Einstein. Einstein said that the most amazing thing about the universe is that we can know something truly about it.In other words, it has a form that is comprehensible, even though we cannot exhaust it. And then I would say beyond that–no matter what people say they are, they are what they are, that is, man is unique as made in the image of God. Any system of thought, to be taken seriously, has to at least try to explain these two great phenomena of the universe and man. In other words, we are talking about objective truth related to reality and not just something within our own heads.

Now I would like to add a corollary to this: in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially the extensive notes of the fifth chapter, there is a third thing and that is the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside of your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to be rooted in history. Whether we are considering the history of the Old Testament, whether we are considering the history of Christ, including the resurrection, or Paul’s journeys, it is insisted on as real history. So now we have three interwoven parts. Usually I have dealt with the twentieth-century person, but the third is also there. We have to face the reality of the universe and its having an existence and having a form. We have to face the reality in the uniqueness of man. We are able to discuss the fact that the Bible is rooted in history.

____

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible:

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 […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149Q 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

__

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto (on right and  Reg Colin on left):

Related image

______

 

 

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,

About 

BERTRAND RUSSELL 

As a philosopher, mathematician, educator, social critic and political activist, Bertrand Russell authored over 70 books and thousands of essays and letters addressing a myriad of topics. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950, Russell was a fine literary stylist, one of the foremost logicians ever, and a gadfly for improving the lives of men and women.Born in 1872 into the British aristocracy and educated at Cambridge University, Russell gave away much of his inherited wealth. But in 1931 he inherited and kept an earldom. His multifaceted career centered on work as a philosophy professor, writer, and public lecturer.(Here is a detailed chronology of Russell’s life, an overview of his analytic philosophy, and a complete bibliography of all his publications.)

Russell was an author of diverse scope. His first books were German Social DemocracyAn Essay on the Foundations of Geometry, and A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz. His last books were War Crimes in Vietnam and The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. Other noteworthy books include Principles of MathematicsPrincipia Mathematica (with A.N. Whitehead), Anti-Suffragist AnxietiesThe Problems of PhilosophyIntroduction to Mathematical PhilosophySceptical EssaysWhy I Am Not a Christian, and A History of Western Philosophy.

He was arguably the greatest philosopher of the 20th century and the greatest logician since Aristotle. Analytic philosophy, the dominant philosophy of the twentieth century, owes its existence more to Russell than to any other philosopher. And the system of logic developed by Russell and A.N. Whitehead, based on earlier work by Dedekind, Cantor, Frege, and Peano, broke logic out of its Aristotelian straitjacket. He was also one of the century’s leading public intellectuals and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950 “in recognition of his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.”

Russell was involved, often passionately, in numerous social and political controversies of his time. For example, he supported suffragists, free thought in religion and morals, and world government; he opposed World War I and the Vietnam War, nationalism, and political persecution. He was jailed in 1918 for anti-war views and in 1961 for his anti-nuclear weapons stance.

He was married 4 times and had 3 children. With Dora Russell, he founded the experimental Beacon Hill School. He knew or worked with many of the most prominent figures in late 19th and 20th century philosophy, mathematics, science, literature, and politics.

Active as a political and social critic until his end, Russell died in 1970 at the age of 97.

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 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._

In the light of an assured future

Rate This

In the light of an assured future‘For I know that my Redeemer lives and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another’ (Job 19.25-27).

‘I believe that when I die I shall rot and nothing of my ego shall survive’ (Bertrand Russell).

The only characteristic these two well-known statements share is their expression of certainty. The nature of that certainty is, of course, in each case, massively different.

Bertrand Russell regarded death as the means by which both body and ego were extinguished forever. For him, this was not a matter of conjecture, but certainty. Theology was rejected as ‘a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance’ (see his History of Western Philosophy). Life’s questions were to be addressed against the background of ‘the terror of cosmic loneliness’. In other words, no divine source of information exists which can reveal answers to mankind’s deepest questions, or offer certainty in an uncertain universe. Wisdom in this world is to be found within the realm of philosophy. Beyond that are merely the bleak certainties of a Creator-less universe and the finality of an unavoidable death of body, ego and all conscious existence: ‘….when I die I shall rot…’

Continuing influence

Of course, one of the remarkable things about Russell’s brand of humanistic philosophy is that it continues to shape the thinking of many people, notwithstanding his death over 40 years ago. We live in a world dominated by temporal preoccupations and the arrogance of human intellect, dismissive of God, divine revelation and matters of eternal destiny.

We just have to do our best to make sense of the world around us, in the cold certainty that there is nothing else to cling to. That is the basic point, according to this perspective.

Stark contrast

In stark contrast, however, stands the Book of Job, offering us certainty and hope amidst the many sufferings and uncertainties of this life. Indeed, the certainty and hope articulated in the verses above provide a model for Christian faith.

First, there is the certainty that ‘my Redeemer’ lives. Job’s Redeemer God is a living God and, in Christ, he supplies the way of redemption from sin for fallen mankind and conquers death. For the Christian, the resurrection is a foundation stone. This is clear from the logic of 1 Corinthians 15.17-19 (‘And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! …If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable’). Bertrand Russell would have regarded any notion of resurrection as pure fantasy, but for the Christian, his own resurrection is founded entirely upon the historical fact of Christ’s resurrection.

Second, there is the certainty of the future completion of God’s salvation plan with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Book of Job, this is prefigured in Job’s realisation that ‘…at the last he will stand upon the earth’. Job’s living Redeemer — the Christian’s Redeemer too — will one day present himself ‘upon the earth’ as Lord of all things and supreme judge, at the end of the present age.

Third, Job has assurance that physical death does not bring annihilation, but a transformed relationship with the living God: ‘…yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold, and not another’. Job’s relationship with his Redeemer is the basis of this assurance, enabling him to look beyond his own death to the remarkable prospect of seeing God face to face. Confidence of this kind also lies within the Christian’s grasp. ‘Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when he is revealed, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3.2). ‘They shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads’ (Revelation 22.4).

Our response?

These great truths do not simply form the bedrock of our future hope; they call for a response now. We should be spurred on in the Christian life, knowing that eternity can be embraced with confidence. The despair of Russell’s ‘cosmic loneliness’ is dispelled by the firm assurance of an everlasting relationship with the Lord. That should lead to a life of resolute Christian obedience in this world.

1 Corinthians 15 concludes with the following exhortation: ‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord’. In other words, confident of the knowledge of an assured future, in which, like Job, the Christian will see his all-powerful, holy, Redeemer God face to face, the Christian should not waver or give up, but should persist in the Lord’s work, knowing that it is purposeful and will lead to the eventual privilege and glory of seeing the Lord.

Our world

We live in a world full of conflict and social unrest, family breakdown, economic uncertainty and moral and spiritual confusion. Indeed, these are the hallmarks of its fallen state. As biblical truth seems to be pushed ever further from our country’s understanding of itself, the Christian is called to stand firm and be steadfast in the work of the Lord, knowing that a certain future has been secured: ‘…yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold and not another’.

As evangelical Christians, we should pray that we are spurred on by these truths to live for Christ in opposition to the lies and emptiness of humanistic philosophy. We should also pray that the Church of England will once again be captivated by them too, for our nation’s sake.

James Crabtree, 
Chairman of the Church Society Council

This article was first published in Church Society’s CrossWay magazine, and is published with permission.

(This article was first published in the April 2012 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to EN or contact us for more information.
www.e-n.org.uk 0845 225 0057)

 

Image result for bertrand russell

Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

So the story goes on. We have stopped at only a few incidents in the sweep back to the year 1000 B.C. What we hope has emerged from this is a sense of the historical reliability of the Bible’s text. When the Bible refers to historical incidents, it is speaking about the same sort of “history” that historians examine elsewhere in other cultures and periods. This borne out by the fact that some of the incidents, some of the individuals, and some of the places have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries in the past hundred years has swept away the possibility of a naive skepticism about the Bible’s history. And what is particularly striking is that the tide has built up concerning the time before the year 1000 B.C. Our knowledge about the years 2500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. has vastly increased through discoveries sometimes of whole libraries and even of hitherto unknown people and languages.

There was a time, for example, when the Hittite people, referred to in the early parts of the Bible, were treated as fictitious by critical scholars. Then came the discoveries after 1906 at Boghaz Koi (Boghaz-koy) which not only gave us the certainty of their existence but stacks of details from their own archives!

Image result for Boghazkoi

____

3 That Changed The World – Boghazkoi Clay Tablets

Posted in Current AffairsHistoryIndiaMediapoliticsReligion by Anuraag Sanghi on December 25, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 Votes

Egyptian temple complex of Abu Simbel, Southern Egypt. (Photograph by David S. Boyer, Courtesy – National Geographic). Click for larger photograph.

Ramesses-II goes to war

1301 BC. An Egyptian land army, numbering more than 20,000, (divided in 4 divisions), set out on a campaign, lead by Pharoah Ramesses-II of the XIX Dynasty.

Ramesses-II, lived for more than 90 years, was probably the Pharaoh at the time of Exodus of Hebrews under Moses.

Ramesses-II is known in history for the construction during his reign. Most notably, the Temple Of Abu Simbel, Temple Of Nefertari. How would Abu Simbel read in Sanskrit – ‘abu’ is elephant, ‘simba’ is sinh i.e. lion and ‘bal’ is strength.

Cause of War Of Kadesh

Of the two warring sides, one was the Egyptian Pharoah RamessesII (1279-1212 BCE). With a land army of 20,000, and a naval Egyptian force set sail, in ships, to reach Byblos and squeeze the Hittites in the world’s first pincer movement. Ramesses-II set out to punish a small kingdom. Of Hittites, for trying to lure the Amurrus, Egyptian vassals, to the Hittite side.

Bedouin Slaves Being Beaten – Battle Of Kadesh

A lesser known (to modern history) element, were the Hittites led by Muwutalli-II, who had cobbled an alliance of small kingdoms.

Both these kingdoms were interested in the Syria and Palestine areas through which trade was carried out with India. Syriac and Palestinian lands were controlled by the Amurru – who were Egyptian vassals. The Hittites were a liberalising element in the Middle East /West Asia and possibly the Amurrus had defected to protect their political identity.

The campaign

During the march, leading to the Kadesh battle, the Egyptian army captured two Bedouin “spies”. These “spies”, after being sufficiently beaten, “revealed” to the Pharoah important information – giving confidence to the Pharoah that the Hittites feared the approaching Egyptian army. The truth was the opposite.

Battle Of Kadesh

The Greatest Chariot Battle In History

What followed was a historic chariot battle.

The awaiting Hittites ambushed the Egyptian army. These spies, in fact, were Hittites – sent to misinform the Egyptians!! An estimated 2500 Hittite (Ramesses’ estimate) chariots saw action. For two days the battle of Kadesh raged. Fought on the banks of the Orontes River in Syria.

The Egyptian king was saved at the last minute by the appearance of his reserve troops.

The Historic Treaty

After this battle, the Egyptians and the Hittites sat down and wrote their versions of this battle – which makes it rather unique. One of the few times in ancient history, where we get both versions of the battle. Two copies of the treaty were made. One, in Egyptian hieroglyphics and the other, in Hittite-Akaddian, and both survived. Only one difference in both the copies – the Egyptian version (recorded on a silver plaque) states that the Hittite king who wanted peace. In the Hittite copy, it was Ramesses-II who sent emissaries.

Queen Nefertari (Photograph by Kenneth Garrett 1997, NGM, From Treasures of Egypt, 2003.).

The two queens – critical factor

Peace broke when the queens of Hatti and Egypt, Puduhepa and Nefertari, sent one another congratulatory gifts and letters. Over the next 15 years, they arrived at modus vivendi and drafted a peace treaty. Puduhepa continued to be an active diplomat, co-signatory to the treaty of  Ulmi-Teshub treaty.

This peace treaty is the first in recorded history. A replica of this peace pact, in cuneiform tablet, found at Hattusas, Boghazkoi, hangs above the Security Council Chamber, United Nations, in New York, – a demonstration to modern nations the power of peace through international treaties. At Boghazkoi other Hiitite treaties have been found.

Another Treaty

The second discovery in the West Asian history, is the Treaty between the Mitannis and Hittites. In 1450 BC, Suppiluliuma I of the Hittites entered into a treaty with the Mitannis. The Mittanis of the Amarna Tablets fame were linked to the significant power in the region – Egypt. As already outlined, the Mittanis were the closely associated with the Egyptian Pharaohs by marriage. And the Mittanis were also Indo-Aryans.

What Is Special About This Treaty

In this treaty, Vedic Gods like Indra, Varuna, The Ashwini twins were invoked to bless and witness the treaty. The Hittites who had become past masters at treaties did not invoke these Gods with any other kingdom – except the Mitannis. Hittites and Mitannis were Indo- Aryan kingdoms – in full presence, with their Vedic Gods and culture.

The Zannanzas Puzzle

The 3rd interesting link between the Mitannis and the Hittites was the Zannanzas affair. After the death of Tutankhamen, (The Boy King) the XVIIIth Dynasty of Egypt was without a ruler. Tutankhamen’s queen, Ankhesenamun, a princess of Mitanni descent, needed a husband to continue the dynasty and protect the throne. She sent some urgent missives to the Hittite King, Suppiluliuma – asking him to send his son, to her as a husband, and become the King Of Egypt. The suspicious Hittite king ignored the missive. A second missive followed – and then a young prince was sent to Thebes (the capital was moved from Amarna back to Thebes).

The young prince never reached Egypt. He was possibly killed en route. And Tutankhamen’s Queen? Never been heard of since then.

How Do We Know All This

In 1906-07, an Turkish archeologist , Theodore Makridi-Bey, started excavations at Boghazkoi, (now identified as the ancient city of Hattusas) in Cappadocia, 150-200 kms from Ankara, Turkey. The name of the Hittite city, Hattusas, is possibly derived from the Sanskrit word, hutashan, हुताशन meaning ‘”sacred sacrificial fire.”

He was joined by Hugo Winckler, a German archaeologist, specialising in Assyria. They unearthed more than 10,000 clay tablets which proved to be of tremendous interest. A Czech cryptographer, born in Poland, working in Germany, Friedrich (or Bedrich) Hrozny, working in Germany cracked this code over the next 15 years – and that set off a furore amongst archaeologists.

What do the Boghaz koi tablets show

Deciphered cuneiform tablets show Hittite worship of Varuna, Mitra and Indra – Gods worshipped by Indo-Aryans. Rulers and Kings had names likes Shutruk (Shatrughna), Tushrutta meaning “of splendid chariots” (similar to Dashratha; Master of Ten Chariots) Rama-Sin (Assyrian Moon Good was Sin; in Hindi Ramachandra), Warad (Bharat). One of the Hittite allies against Ramesses II was Rimisharrinaa, रामशरण the King of Aleppo. (One of my grand uncles is also named as रामशरण – a common Indian name 4000 years later, 4000 kilometers apart).

These Hittites ruled immediately before and after Hammurabi – the much proclaimed western world’s first law giver. Hammurabi’s legal concepts of vengeful laws and retributive justice are the basis of laws in the 3 ‘desert religions.’

The Elam culture had a language which is similar to Dravidian languages. The Mitannite, Kikkuli, wrote on how to manage chariot horses. Egyptian king, Amenhotep I, married a Mittanite princesses. Elamites were founders of the first kingdom in the Iranian geography.

Some archaeologists await the discovery of tombs to establish the identity of kings. They may never find them. In Vedic cultures, there are no tombs – like the Pyramids, or the Catacombs, or Mausoluems. Vedic Indo Aryans cremate their dead. They do not build memorials or mausoluems.

Religious freedom

The Hittite kingdom came to be known as the “kingdom of thousands of gods.” Like the Mittani, the Hittites too, added the gods of the conquered people to their own list of gods – instead of imposing the Hittite religion on the conquered peoples.

Why does this sound familiar?

This is significant as the Western concept of slavery was to deprive the captured of their religions (for instance, The Wends and their religion). This is another display of slave reform by Indics 3000 years ago.

Valued 3000 years later

These inscriptions were held sacred by the locals, 3000 years later and William Wright, an European investigator, had difficulty in noting these inscriptions. In 1870 The Hittites were named, by William Wright and Oxford University linguist A. H. Saycebased on Biblical short references, as one of the tribes of Palestine in the first millennium BC. It was a “son of Heth—a Hittite—who sold the Prophet Abraham the land to bury his much-loved wife, Sarah”. Modern view is Hattusas-Hittites (Yazilikaya/Boghazkoi/Carchemish) have nothing to do with the Biblical Hittites.

The Boghazkoi tablets changed modern history. From a completely Greco-Roman (read Euro-centric) history, the pendulum had swung to the other end. Boghazkoi showed Indian presence in the thick of West Asia in the year 2000BC with their culture and technology. This has pushed Indian history back by at least by 2000 years – to 4000 BC.

The Amarna letters and the Boghazkoi tablets have given archaeological proof of the Indo Aryan spread. Earlier, theories were retro-fitted, based on Biblical dates (Max Mueller’s, (specialist in “Compartive Theology”); main aim – “save” Indian pagans; make them see “the light” of Christian belief), colonial propaganda (Max Mueller, though a German, was a British employee) and racism. Hazy systems like philology, linguistics, comparative linguistics were used to define history. Now hard archaeological proof shows something else. Written texts, deciphered and decrpyted give us a new theory.

These discoveries and their implications have been buried under a mound of silence. Although well known in academic circles, these discoveries have not been used to update popular history. In the next (and last instalment of this series) I will trace how DNA testing is the third major tool used to reveal history!

PS – One of the big hits in Japan is the manga comic series “Red River” by Chie Shinohara. The entire series is based on this interaction between the Hittites and The Egyptians. The Red River is a work of fiction – so it cannot be taken as history – but the intrigue, silence, drama obviously inspired the author.

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 […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149P Sir Bertrand Russell Optimistic Humanism possible? Russell says NO!!!

Bertrand dogmatically states that OPTIMISTIC HUMANISM IS NOT POSSIBLE in his work A FREE MAN’S WORSHIP. “A Free Man’s Worship” (first published as “The Free Man’s Worship” in Dec. 1903) is perhaps Bertrand Russell’s best known and most reprinted essay.  Here are his exact words:

Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. 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 beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.

 

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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, 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,

Bertrand Russellin full Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell of Kingston Russell, Viscount Amberley of Amberley and of Ardsalla (born May 18, 1872, Trelleck, MonmouthshireWales—died Feb. 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth), British philosopher, logician, and social reformer, founding figure in the analytic movement in Anglo-American philosophy, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Russell’s contributions to logicepistemology, and the philosophy of mathematics established him as one of the foremost philosophers of the 20th century. To the general public, however, he was best known as a campaigner for peace and as a popular writer on social, political, and moral subjects. During a long, productive, and often turbulent life, he published more than 70 books and about 2,000 articles, married four times, became involved in innumerable public controversies, and was honoured and reviled in almost equal measure throughout the world. Russell’s article on the philosophical consequences of relativity appeared in the 13th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

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 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

__

 

______

 

___

 

_______

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

(Bertrand Russell pictured below)

Image result for bertrand russell

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

(George Wald pictured below)

Image result for george wald

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Charles Darwin pictured below:

_____

Recently I read this book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892.Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. It included this quote from Charles Darwin:

“…It is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful…”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Here you feel Marcel Proust and the dust of death is on everything today because the dust of death is on everything tomorrow. Here you have the dilemma of Nevil Shute’s ON THE BEACH. If it is true that all we have left is biological continuity and biological complexity, which is all we have left in Darwinism here, or in many of the modern philosophies, then you can’t stand Shute’s ON THE BEACH. Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men. Charlie Chaplin when he heard there was no life on Mars said, “I’m lonely.”

You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space. They say when it was shown in Stockholm the first time, the tough Swedes with all their modern  mannishness, came out (after the opera was over) with hardly a word said, just complete silence.

Darwin already with his own position says he CAN’T STAND IT!! You can say, “Why can’t you stand it?” We would say to Darwin, “You were not made for this kind of thing. Man was made in the image of God. Your CAN’T- STAND- IT- NESS is screaming at you that your position is wrong. Why can’t you listen to yourself?”

You find all he is left here is biological continuity, and thus his feeling as well as his reason now is against his own theory, yet he holds it against the conclusions of his reason. Reason doesn’t make it hard to be a Christian. Darwin shows us the other way. He is holding his position against his reason.

Francis Schaeffer noted that in Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography that Darwin he is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to, …to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become COLOUR-BLIND.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic, these things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that Darwin‘s presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is for a very, very , very simple reason: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. He has no answer in his logic and he is left in tension.  He dies and has become less than human because these two great things (such as any kind of art and the beauty of  nature) that would make him human  stand against his theory.

[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Bertrand Russell was 46]

It is quite true what you say, that you have never expressed yourself—but who has, that has anything to express? The things one says are all unsuccessful attempts to say something else—something that perhaps by its very nature cannot be said. I know that I have struggled all my life to say something that I never shall learn how to say. And it is the same with you. It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. But it is from listening to the ghost that one comes to feel oneself a ghost. I feel I shall find the truth on my deathbed and be surrounded by people too stupid to understand—fussing about medicines instead of searching for wisdom. 

Here below is the song DUST IN THE WIND performed by the rock group KANSAS and was written by Kerry Ligren in 1978. I challenge anyone to  read these words of that song given below and refute the idea that accepting naturalistic evolution with the exclusion of God must lead to the nihilistic message of the song!

DUST IN THE WIND:

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone

All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind

Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea

All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky

It slips away, and all your money won’t another minute buy

_________________________________

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

_________________________________

Francis Schaeffer notes that Russell’s mechanistic worldview does not allow for a personal God that created us and that means there is no other conclusion other than nihilism. It seems at one point Russell did embrace nihilism when he asserted:

(Bertrand Russell when he was younger made this comment below)

Image result for bertrand russell

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 all the labors 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 beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Bertrand Russell

Image result for bertrand russell

The British humanist H. J. Blackham (1903-2009) put it very plainly: On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Harold John Blackham (1903 – 2009) was founder of British Humanist Association (pictured below)

Image result for H.J. Blackham

H.J.Blackham pictured in 1974 below:

Image result for H.J. Blackham

In the 1986 debate on the John Ankerberg show between Paul Kurtz (1925-2012) and Norman Geisler, Kurtz reacted to the point Blackham was making by asserting:

Image result for paul kurtz norman geisler

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning; that there are points. The fact that one doesn’t believe in God does not deaden the appetite or the lust for living. On the contrary; great artists and scientists and poets and writers have affirmed the opposite.

I read the book FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Paul Kurtz and I had the opportunity to correspond with him but I still reject his view that optimistic humanism can withstand the view of nihilism if one accepts there is no God. Christian philosopher R.C. Sproul put it best:

Image result for r.c sproul

Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

________________

Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look in Ecclesiastes at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

Kerry Livgren is the writer of the song “Dust in the Wind” and he said concerning that song in 1981 and then in 2006:

 1981: “When I wrote “Dust in the Wind” I was  writing about a yearning emptiness that I felt which millions of people identified with because the song was very popular.” 2006:“Dust In the Wind” was certainly the most well-known song, and the message was out of Ecclesiastes. I never ceased to be amazed at how the message resonates with people, from the time it came out through now. The message is true and we have to deal with it, plus the melody is memorable and very powerful. It disturbs me that there’s only part of the [Christian] story told in that song. It’s about someone yearning for some solution, but if you look at the entire body of my work, there’s a solution to the dilemma.”

Ecclesiastes reasons that chance and time have determined the past and will determine the future (9:11-13), and power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced(4:1). Is that how you see the world? Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment.”

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

__________

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

(part 2 ten minutes)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

_

Image result for francis schaeffer

 

__

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer on pages 178 to 179 of volume 1 THE GOD WHO IS THERE asserted:

I do not believe that there is a leap of faith needed; there are good and sufficient reasons to know why Christianity is true–and more than that, that is the Bible’s insistence. The Bible’s emphasis is that there are good and sufficient reasons to know Christianity is true, so much so that we are disobedient and guilty if we do not believe it.

The Christian system (what is taught in the whole Bible) is a unity of thought. Christianity is not just a lot of bits and pieces–there is a beginning and an end, a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. Some of the other systems answer some of the questions but leave others unanswered. I believe it is only Christianity that gives the answers to all the crucial questions.

What are those questions? The questions are those which are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. God shuts us up to reality. We cannot escape the reality of what is, no matter what we say we believe or think.

This reality of which I speak falls into two parts: the fact that the universe truly exists and it has form, and then what I would call the “mannishness” of man–which is my own term for meaning that man is unique. People have certain qualities that must be explained.

God has shut up all people to these things, and I always like to go back to the statement of Jean-Paul Sartre, though he had no answer for his own statement, and that is that the basic philosophic question is that something is there. Things do exist, and this demands an explanation for their existence. I would then go beyond Sartre’s statement to one by Albert Einstein. Einstein said that the most amazing thing about the universe is that we can know something truly about it.In other words, it has a form that is comprehensible, even though we cannot exhaust it. And then I would say beyond that–no matter what people say they are, they are what they are, that is, man is unique as made in the image of God. Any system of thought, to be taken seriously, has to at least try to explain these two great phenomena of the universe and man. In other words, we are talking about objective truth related to reality and not just something within our own heads.

Now I would like to add a corollary to this: in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially the extensive notes of the fifth chapter, there is a third thing and that is the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside of your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to be rooted in history. Whether we are considering the history of the Old Testament, whether we are considering the history of Christ, including the resurrection, or Paul’s journeys, it is insisted on as real history. So now we have three interwoven parts. Usually I have dealt with the twentieth-century person, but the third is also there. We have to face the reality of the universe and its having an existence and having a form. We have to face the reality in the uniqueness of man. We are able to discuss the fact that the Bible is rooted in history.

____

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible:

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 […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149-O 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

__

 

Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

 

__

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,

_

Bertrand Russell – Biographical

Bertrand Arthur William Russell was born at Trelleck on 18th May, 1872. His parents were Viscount Amberley and Katherine, daughter of 2nd Baron Stanley of Alderley. At the age of three he was left an orphan. His father had wished him to be brought up as an agnostic; to avoid this he was made a ward of Court, and brought up by his grandmother. Instead of being sent to school he was taught by governesses and tutors, and thus acquired a perfect knowledge of French and German. In 1890 he went into residence at Trinity College, Cambridge, and after being a very high Wrangler and obtaining a First Class with distinction in philosophy he was elected a fellow of his college in 1895. But he had already left Cambridge in the summer of 1894 and for some months was attaché at the British embassy at Paris.

In December 1894 he married Miss Alys Pearsall Smith. After spending some months in Berlin studying social democracy, they went to live near Haslemere, where he devoted his time to the study of philosophy. In 1900 he visited the Mathematical Congress at Paris. He was impressed with the ability of the Italian mathematician Peano and his pupils, and immediately studied Peano’s works. In 1903 he wrote his first important book, The Principles of Mathematics, and with his friend Dr. Alfred Whitehead proceeded to develop and extend the mathematical logic of Peano and Frege. From time to time he abandoned philosophy for politics. In 1910 he was appointed lecturer at Trinity College. After the first World War broke out, he took an active part in the No Conscription fellowship and was fined £ 100 as the author of a leaflet criticizing a sentence of two years on a conscientious objector. His college deprived him of his lectureship in 1916. He was offered a post at Harvard university, but was refused a passport. He intended to give a course of lectures (afterwards published in America as Political Ideals, 1918) but was prevented by the military authorities. In 1918 he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for a pacifistic article he had written in the Tribunal. His Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy (1919) was written in prison. His Analysis of Mind (1921) was the outcome of some lectures he gave in London, which were organized by a few friends who got up a subscription for the purpose.

In 1920 Russell had paid a short visit to Russia to study the conditions of Bolshevism on the spot. In the autumn of the same year he went to China to lecture on philosophy at the Peking university. On his return in Sept. 1921, having been divorced by his first wife, he married Miss Dora Black. They lived for six years in Chelsea during the winter months and spent the summers near Lands End. In 1927 he and his wife started a school for young children, which they carried on until 1932. He succeeded to the earldom in 1931. He was divorced by his second wife in 1935 and the following year married Patricia Helen Spence. In 1938 he went to the United States and during the next years taught at many of the country’s leading universities. In 1940 he was involved in legal proceedings when his right to teach philosophy at the College of the City of New York was questioned because of his views on morality. When his appointment to the college faculty was cancelled, he accepted a five-year contract as a lecturer for the Barnes foundation, Merion, Pa., but the cancellation of this contract was announced in Jan. 1943 by Albert C. Barnes, director of the foundation.

Russell was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1908, and re-elected a fellow of Trinity College in 1944. He was awarded the Sylvester medal of the Royal Society, 1934, the de Morgan medal of the London Mathematical Society in the same year, the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1950.

In a paper “Logical Atomism” (Contemporary British Philosophy. Personal Statements, First series. Lond. 1924) Russell exposed his views on his philosophy, preceded by a few words on historical development.1

Principal publications
German Social Democracy, 1896
Foundations of Geometry, 1897
A Critical Exposition of the Philosophy of Leibniz, 1900
Principles of Mathematics, vol. 1, 1903
Philosophical Essays, 1910
(with Dr. A. N. Whitehead) Principia mathematica, 3 vols, 1910-13
The Problems of Philosophy, 1912
Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, 1944
Principles of Social Reconstruction, 1916
Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays, 1918
Roads to Freedom: Socialism, Anarchism and Syndicalism, 1918
Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy, 1919
The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, 1920
The Analysis of Mind, 1921
The Problem of China, 1922
The ABC of Atoms, 1923
(with Dora Russell) The Prospects of Industrial Civilisation, 1923
Logical Atomism, 1924
The ABC of Relativity, 1925
On Education, 1926
The Analysis of Matter, 1927
An Outline of Philosophy, 1927
Sceptical Essays, 1928
Marriage and Morals, 1929
The Conquest of Happiness, 1930
The Freedom and Organisation 1814-1914, 1934
In Praise of Idleness, 1935
Which Way to Peace?, 1936
(with Patricia Russell editor of) The Amberley Papers, 2 vols, 1937
Power: a new Social Introduction to its Study, 1938
An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth, 1941
History of Western Philosophy, 1946
Human Knowledge, its Scope and Limits, 1948
Authority and the Individual, 1949
Unpopular Essays, 1950

1) The matter for this sketch is taken from general English reference books.

From Les Prix Nobel en 1950, Editor Arne Holmberg, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 1951

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and later published in the book series Les Prix Nobel/ Nobel Lectures/The Nobel Prizes. The information is sometimes updated with an addendum submitted by the Laureate.

For more updated biographical information, see:
Russell, Bertrand, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. (3 vols.) Allen & Unwin: London, 1967-1969.

Bertrand Russell died on February 2, 1970.

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 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._

 

______

 

_______

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (pages 180-182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

Modern man is a man of dichotomy. By dichotomy we mean a total separation into two reciprocally exclusive orders, with no unity or relationship between them.  The dichotomy here is the total separation between the area of meaning and values, and the area of reason. Reason leading to despair must be kept totally separate from the blind optimism of nonreason. This makes a lower and an upper story, with the lower story of reason leading to pessimism and men trying to find optimism in an upper story devoid of reason.  At this point the older rationalistic thinkers (with their optimistic hope of maintaining unity between the world of reason and that of meaning and values)were left behind.This is the mark of modern man.

In our day, humanistic reason affirms that there is only the cosmic machine, which encompasses everything, including people. To those who hold this view everything people are or do is explained by some form of determinism, some type of behaviorism, some kind of reductionism. The terms determinism or behaviorism indicate that everything people think or do is determined in a machinelike way and that any sense of freedom or choice is an illusion.   In one form of reductionism, man is explained by reducing him to the smallest particles which make up his body. Man is seen as being only the molecule or the energy particle, more complex but not intrinsically different.

have never heard this expressed more clearly than when I was lecturing in AcapulcoMexicoGeorge Wald (1906–), a chemistry professor from Harvard University, was also there lecturing to the same group. He expressed with great force the modern concept that all things, including man, are merely the product of chance.  After he had stressed over and over again that all things, beginning from the molecule and ending with man, are only the product of chance, he said, ‘Four hundred years ago there was a collection of molecules named Shakespeare which produced Hamlet.’  According to these theories, that is all that man can be.  Man beginning with his proud, proud humanism, tried to make himself autonomous, but rather than becoming great, he had found himself ending up as only a collection of molecules — nothing more.

Image result for shakespeare

All this is related to the question of origins: What was the beginning of everythingUltimatelythere are not many possible answers to this question. First, we could say that everything came from nothing–that is, from REALLY nothing, what I call NOTHING NOTHING. This means that once there was no mass, no energy, no motion, and no personality. This is theoretically a possibility, but I have never heard anyone hold this view, for it seems to be unthinkable. It follows that if we do not hold that everything has come of NOTHING-NOTHING, then something has always existed.

 Second,there is the possibility of a personal beginning—that everything else was made by a personality who could bring forth the universe (the space-time continuum) when it had not existed previously in any form. This is not out of NOTHING-NOTHING, but the personality would have existed previously.

Third, there is the possibility of an impersonal beginning–that some form of the impersonal has existed forever, even if in a form vastly different from that which we now know. This idea of an impersonal beginning has many variationsincluding the use of the word God to mean the ultimate impersonal, as in the case of pantheism. A more accurate word than pantheism to describe this position is pan-everythingism. The word pantheism slips in the connotation of personality, even though, by definition, the concept excludes it. In much modern thought, all begins with the impersonality of the atom or the molecule or the energy particle, and then everything–including life and man–comes forth by chance from that.

Image result for Louis Pasteur

This is really very curious because Louis Pasteur (1822-1895), the French chemist, demonstrated the impossibility of the then-accepted concept of the spontaneous generation of life–that is, life springing from nonliving things. Pasteur showed in 1864 that if the nonliving things were pasteurized, then life could not come forth. In other words, what was previously considered spontaneous generation of life from nonliving things was mistaken–

—life always came from living things. When pasteurization killed all the elements of life, life never came forth from the nonliving things. but then the men of that same era returned to the concept of the spontaneous generation of life by adding a new factor: long reaches of time.

Image result for bertrand russell

This equation of the impersonal plus time plus chance producing the total configuration of the universe and all that is in it, modern people hold by faith. And if one does in faith accept this, with what final value is he left? In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Image result for bertrand russell nobel prize

(Below is George Wald being awarded Nobel Prize and above is Bertrand Russell being awarded too.)

Image result for george wald nobel prize

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

If we take another hundred-year step backwards in time, we come to King Solomon, son of David. On his death the Jewish Kingdom was divided into two sections as a result of a civil revolt. Israel to the north with Jeroboam as king and Judah (as it was called subsequently) to the south under Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. In both the Book of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible we read how during Rehoboam’s reign: 25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. (I Kings 14:25; II Chronicles 12:2), and how Shishak stripped Rehoboam of the wealth accumulated by his able father, Solomon. The reality of this event is confirmed by archaeology to a remarkable degree.

Shishak subdued not only Rehoboam but Jeroboam as well. The proof of this comes first from a fragment in a victory monument erected by Shishak and discovered at Megiddo, a city in the land of Israel. So the Egyptian king’s force swept northwards, subdued the two Jewish kings, and then erected a victory monument to that effect. Traces of the destruction have also been discovered in such cities as Hazor, Gezer, and Megiddo. These confirm what was written in Second Chronicles:

And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says theLord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’”Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “TheLord is righteous.” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made…( II Chronicles 12:4-9)

Further confirmation comes from the huge victory scene engraved on Shishak’s order at the Temple of Karnak in Egypt. The figure of the king is somewhat obscured, but he is clearly named and he is seen smiting Hebrew captives before the god Amon, and there are symbolic rows of names of conquered towns of Israel and Judah.

Solomon’s is remembered also for his great wealth. The Bible tells us:

14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15 besides that which came from the explorers and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of the west and from the governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels[a]of gold went into each shield. 17 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; three minas[b] of gold went into each shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. (I Kings 10:14-17)

This wealth that the Bible speaks of has been challenged. Surely, some have said, these figures are an exaggeration. Excavations, however, have confirmed enormous quantities of precious metals, owned and distributed by kings during this period. For example, Shishak’s son Osorkon I (statuette of Osorkon I, Brooklyn Museum, New York), the one who stood to gain from the booty carried off from Rehoboam’s capital, is reported to have made donations to his god Amon totaling 470 tons of precious metal, gold, and silver, during only the first four years of his reign. This, of course, is much more than Solomon’s 66 talents which equals approximately twenty tons of gold per annum. We also have confirmation of the Bible’s reference to Solomon’s gold as coming from Ophir. The location of Ophir is still unknown, but an ostracon dated a little later than Solomon’s time actually mentions that thirty shekels of gold had come from Ophir for Beth-horon.

____

 

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 […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149M 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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, 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,

_

Bertrand Russell

 Birthday: 
 Birthplace: 
 Star Sign: 
 Profession: 
 Died: 

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, mathematician, logician, social activist, writer, critic, pacifist, and intellectual. He owned a huge fame for his works on analytical philosophy, mathematical logic, linguistics, anti-imperialism, human rights and so on. In the academic fields of mathematics and logic, he is famous for his great works including ‘Principia Mathematica’.

Bertrand Russell born on May 18, 1872, in Monmouthshire, UK. He got an influential and intellectual family by birth. His parents, Lord and Lady Amberly supported Birth control when many people thought it as blasphemous. Lord Amberly was an atheist, which influenced child Russell very much. Russell lost his parents at childhood. After that, his grandmother started to look after Russell and his two siblings; Frank and Rachel. Russell’s education started at home with the help of his brother, Frank and some tutors. Frank taught him euclidean geometry, which changed his life.

 Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell

Russell went to Trinity College of Cambridge University in 1890. In 1895, he became wrangler and obtained a first class with distinction in philosophy. The college authority elected him as a fellow. After leaving college, he worked as an attache in the British embassy in France. Later he worked as an academician and lecturer in different Universities in Europe. He also America including Cambridge and Harvard.

Russell’s early works began with his affection on mathematics and logic. Although his outlook towards social and political theories led him to publish ‘German Social Democracy’. He wrote many articles on logic and foundation of mathematics, such as ‘An Essay on the foundations of Geometry’, ‘The Principles of Mathematics’, ‘An introduction to the Mathematical Philosophy’, ‘Mysticism and logic’, ‘Our Knowledge about External World’ and so on. His later works were on political and social activism, which led him to swim against the current of traditional belief systems. ‘Marriage and Morals’, ‘Why I am not a Christian’, ‘war crimes in Vietnam’, ‘Unarmed Victory’, ‘Religion and Science’, ‘Theory and Practice of Bolshevism in Russia’, ‘Problems of China’ are his renowned works. He also achieved Nobel prize in literature in 1950.

Read Biography of:   Elon Musk

Russell married four times. His first wife was Alys Pearsall Smith. Dora Russell, Patricia Spence, and Edith Finch Russell were his wives in his later part of life. Bertrand Russell died on February 2 in 1970. The present world still recognizes him as one of the greatest thinkers of the modern time.

Born: May 18, 1872, Trellech, United Kingdom
Died: February 2, 1970, Penrhyndeudraeth, United Kingdom
Influenced: Sidney Hook, Noam Chomsky, Isaac Asimov, More

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 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

__

What to say when someone asks for proof of God’s existence

“There isn’t enough evidence.”

It seems so reasonable. It’s what any sensible person would ask. Where is the evidence? Why should it be so difficult to believe in Christ?

Hard core atheism, the belief that there is no God (anti-theism), is difficult to defend, so the new softer, friendlier atheism defines itself as “we would believe in God if there was enough evidence”. Most of the atheists you will meet are in reality agnostics (no-knowledge). It seems reasonable and humble to admit that we do not know. This softer position says I do not know because there is not sufficient information. I can’t prove there is no God and you can’t prove there is. Provide me with the information and of course I would believe. This position is best summed up by Bertrand Russell’s statement that if he met God and was asked why he did not believe he would declare, “Because you did not provide enough evidence”.

Perhaps apathy is the predominant thought here. Many of your friends do not lie on their beds at night pondering the meaning of life and suffering from existential angst. They are far more concerned about the game they just watched, the bills they have to pay, and their next visit to the doctor. Normal life for them does not involve God.

So just as in the film Jerry Maguire, when Cuba Gooding Jnr asks Tom Cruise to “show me the money”, so our atheist/agnostic friends make this seemingly innocuous demand: “show me the evidence”. Even today I came across an atheist writer in a local newspaper, proudly asserting that we should not have Christian schools because we should only teach children facts based on evidence and Christianity is not based upon evidence. So how do we respond to this? Let’s talk about pride and prejudice.

Pride. Behind this seemingly humble and reasonable request there is actually a vast amount of pride. The trouble is that the person making this claim assumes they are in the position of being able to judge the evidence. They assume they have the neutrality, intelligence and ability to assess whether there is a God or not. They have, in effect, positioned themselves as the judge of The Judge. “I will not believe in a God who does X, Y or Z”, is a common claim. So the first question I simply ask anyone who demands evidence, is why they think they have the capacity to judge any such evidence? You cannot see God without humility. It is only when we kneel at the cross, rather than flying over it at drone height, that we are able to see where love and mercy meet. That is why Bertrand Russell will not be standing on the Day of Judgement accusing God; he will be kneeling at the name of Jesus, astounded and ashamed that he was so blind.

Prejudice. Very often, the person who demands evidence has already made a pre-judgement that there can be no such evidence. It’s a bit like arguing with a conspiracy theorist. No matter what you say, it is automatically dismissed, because it is perceived as being part of the conspiracy! I have often found that if you answer a particular problem, or provide a particular piece of evidence, the person you are answering immediately turns to something else and just avoids the issue. In order to overcome this prejudice and to avoid wasting a vast amount of time arguing about such vital issues as whether Noah walked to Australia to get kangaroos, I would simply suggest the following: ask anyone who demands evidence, what evidence is it that they would accept for God? Honest atheists like Richard Dawkins admit that there is almost nothing that would convince them of God. If a giant finger was to write in the sky, “I exist”, they would find some alternative way of explaining it. Anything other than believing in an almighty personal Creator.

When the Big Bang was proven and it became clear that the universe did indeed have a beginning, as the Bible stated, some atheists were so desperate to avoid the obvious implications that they refused at first to accept it (and afterwards quickly ran off to place their faith in the unproven multiverse theory). Their philosophy is what I call ABGism (Anything But God). It is not so much that they believe there is no evidence for God, but they are emotionally driven by their desire that there should be no evidence for God.

I was blind but now I see. In reality the situation is even worse than that. When you ask people to believe and trust in God, it is like asking a blind person to admire the intricacies of the Mona Lisa. You are talking to dead stones and asking these stones to dance. You are calling out to those who are dead in sins and trespasses, to come to life. It’s enough to make any self-respecting evangelist, preacher, Christian give up in despair. Except for those who know their God and his Bible! Because the Bible itself tells us that the word of God will not return to him empty, and that the Holy Spirit takes the word and enables the blind to see and the dead to live. The word preached and lived in the Dunamis (power) of the Spirit is dynamite!

Does this mean that there is no room for evidence? Of course not! The Holy Spirit always uses means. He usually addresses the heart through the mind, not the other way round. Therefore we should patiently present all the evidence that he gives us with the prayerful desire that he will take this and work in the lives of those we deal with. For most people, coming to faith in Christ is not a Damascus road experience. It is not one gigantic leap up Mount Improbable, but rather an evolving faith over a period of time, with the Holy Spirit using a number of factors, including evidence, experience, the Bible, coincidence, friends, foes and family.

I often tell people that they should use the motto of The X-Files – ‘the truth is out there’. An intelligent agnostic is someone who seeks that truth. A loving Christian is someone who seeks to present that truth. At the end of The Dawkins Letters I presented my 10 different reasons for believing that Christianity is true. The creation, the human mind and spirit, the moral law, beauty, religion, experience, history, the church, the Bible, and Jesus. Why not make your own list?

In today’s Christian world we are blessed with a significant number of books that intelligently, attractively and insightfully present the evidence for Jesus Christ. My recommended book this week is Josh McDowell’New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It’s lengthy, but it contains a wealth of information.

Christians who seek to present the good news of Jesus Christ will be prayerful, loving people who are saturated with the word of God and who know how to present it in the context of a culture which is deaf, dumb and blind to that word. If we do so, we will not just be presenting the evidence, we will be the evidence.

David Robertson is the moderator of the Free Church of Scotland and director of Solas CPC, Dundee._

__

The article above mentions Josh McDowell’New Evidence that Demands a Verdict, and back in the 1970’s I benefitted greatly from these series of books. Therefore, I wanted to give a sample of that book:

Chapter Four
Is the Old Testament Historically Reliable?
The Reliability of the Old Testament Manuscripts was shown to be reliable in at least three
major ways: (1) textual transmission (the accuracy of the copying process down through
history), (2) the confirmation of the Old Testament by hard evidence uncovered through
archaeology, and (3) documentary evidence also uncovered through archaeology.
Textual Transmission
41 Norman Geisler, Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids; Baker, 19980, p.384-385.
42 Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert: History of Negev (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Cadahy, 1959), p.31.
26
The textual transmission is an essential element in the accuracy of the biblical record. While
we do not have the original documents, we do have a large number of copies. Comparing
these copies to each other gives an amazing picture of accuracy by the copyist when
compared to other literature.
In 144 cases of transliteration from Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Moabite into
Hebrew and in 40 cases of the opposite, or 184 in all, the evidence shows that for 2300 to
3900 years the text of the proper names in the Hebrew Bible has been transmitted with the
minutest accuracy. 43
Non-Hebrew Manuscripts
There are a number of ancient translations of the Old Testament, which provide valuable
support to the text. The Septuagint preserves a textual tradition from the third century B.C.,
and the Samaritan Pentateuchal tradition may date from the fifth century B.C. When these
two are examined, along with the Masoretic Text, we have a powerful support for the
integrity of the Old Testament text. There are other documents that continue to add support
and authority to the Old Testament text.
Archaeological Support
The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was thought to be a myth until evidence revealed
that all five of the cities mentioned in the bible were in fact centers of commerce in the area
and were geographically located where the Scriptural passage indicated. Not only are the
cities real, the evidence of their destruction supports the Biblical account.
Jericho
Another so-called myth was the destruction of Jericho. During the excavations of Jericho
(1930-1936) Garstang found something so startling that he and two other members of the
43 Robert Dick Wilson, Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1959), p.64,71.
27
team prepared and signed a statement describing what was found. Garstang wrote: “As to the
main fact, then, there remains no doubt: the walls fell outwards so completely that the
attackers would be able to clamber up and over their ruins into the city.”44
Saul, David, and Solomon
Excavation has uncovered Saul’s fortress at Gibeah showing that one of the major weapons
of that time was the slingshot. This not only supports the account of what David did, but also
the account of Judges 20:16 that there were seven hundred expert slingers who “could sling a
stone at a hair and not miss.”
One of the major accomplishments of David was the capture of Jerusalem. The Scriptures
seemed to present a problem; the Israelites entered the city by way of a tunnel that led to the
Pool of Siloam. The pool was considered to be outside the city walls, but excavations in the
1960’s revealed that the wall did go way past the pool supporting the Biblical record.
Solomon’s temple and its contents have shown to be correct by the excavation in the last 75
years. A article written in 1989 by Alan Millard in Biblical Archaeology Review, entitled
“Does the Bible exaggerate King Solomon’s Wealth?” states, “Those who read the bible text
and make a subjective judgment as to its reliability often conclude-and understandably sothat
the descriptions of Solomon’s gold are gross exaggerations. The quantity of gold the
bible claims for King Solomon is simply unbelievable, even unimaginable. We have not
proved that the details in the Bible regarding Solomon’s gold are accurate. But by setting the
biblical text beside other ancient texts and archeological discoveries we have shown that the
biblical narrative is wholly in keeping with the practices of the ancient world, so far as we
can ascertain them, not only in the use of gold but also in its records of quantities. While this
44 John Garstang, The Foundations of Bible History (New York: R.R. Smith, Inc., 1931), p.146.
28
does not demonstrate that the account in the Bible is accurate, it does show that it is
feasible.”45
Henry Morris believes that it is no longer possible to reject the substantial historicity of the
Bible, at least as far back as the time of Abraham, because of the remarkable discoveries of
archaeology.46
New Testament Confirmation of the Old Testament
Jesus stated that he believed Moses wrote the Torah; Mark 7:10; 10:3-5; 12:26. In John 5:45
Jesus states his belief that Moses wrote the Torah in very strong terms. The New Testament
writers also believed that Moses wrote the Torah. John was confident that “the Law was
given through Moses” (John 1:17).

_

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer on pages 178 to 179 of volume 1 THE GOD WHO IS THERE asserted:

I do not believe that there is a leap of faith needed; there are good and sufficient reasons to know why Christianity is true–and more than that, that is the Bible’s insistence. The Bible’s emphasis is that there are good and sufficient reasons to know Christianity is true, so much so that we are disobedient and guilty if we do not believe it.

The Christian system (what is taught in the whole Bible) is a unity of thought. Christianity is not just a lot of bits and pieces–there is a beginning and an end, a whole system of truth, and this system is the only system that will stand up to all the questions that are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. Some of the other systems answer some of the questions but leave others unanswered. I believe it is only Christianity that gives the answers to all the crucial questions.

What are those questions? The questions are those which are presented to us as we face the reality of existence. God shuts us up to reality. We cannot escape the reality of what is, no matter what we say we believe or think.

This reality of which I speak falls into two parts: the fact that the universe truly exists and it has form, and then what I would call the “mannishness” of man–which is my own term for meaning that man is unique. People have certain qualities that must be explained.

God has shut up all people to these things, and I always like to go back to the statement of Jean-Paul Sartre, though he had no answer for his own statement, and that is that the basic philosophic question is that something is there. Things do exist, and this demands an explanation for their existence. I would then go beyond Sartre’s statement to one by Albert Einstein. Einstein said that the most amazing thing about the universe is that we can know something truly about it.In other words, it has a form that is comprehensible, even though we cannot exhaust it. And then I would say beyond that–no matter what people say they are, they are what they are, that is, man is unique as made in the image of God. Any system of thought, to be taken seriously, has to at least try to explain these two great phenomena of the universe and man. In other words, we are talking about objective truth related to reality and not just something within our own heads.

Now I would like to add a corollary to this: in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially the extensive notes of the fifth chapter, there is a third thing and that is the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside of your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to be rooted in history. Whether we are considering the history of the Old Testament, whether we are considering the history of Christ, including the resurrection, or Paul’s journeys, it is insisted on as real history. So now we have three interwoven parts. Usually I have dealt with the twentieth-century person, but the third is also there. We have to face the reality of the universe and its having an existence and having a form. We have to face the reality in the uniqueness of man. We are able to discuss the fact that the Bible is rooted in history.

____

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible:

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 […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149L 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,

Bertrand Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) could be just a brilliant mathematician who won a Nobel Prize. But he is also a philosopher who, by his writings, won the award in the category of Literature. He is the social critic who defended the rights of women and who lost work to support sexual freedom in the early twentieth century. He is the pacifist whose rejection of the First World War took him to jail. He is the activist who opposed Hitler, Stalinism, the US invasion of Vietnam, nuclear bombs and racial segregation. He is the one who made peace his struggle. It is he who —three months before his death, at the age of 97— appealed to the Secretary General of United Nations to support a commission against the war crimes committed by the Americans in Southeast Asia. For all his contributions, Russell is defined as one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. But it was mathematics, according to Russell himself, that was his chief interest and source of happiness.

1_Russell

The British philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell. Credit: National Portrait Gallery

To understand Russell’s prolific career, one has to travel to his past. Belonging to one of Britain’s most prominent aristocratic families —his grandfather was Prime Minister twice under Queen Victoria— he was orphaned at age three. The secular education to which his parents, radical freethinkers, would have directed him, had nothing to do with the one he actually received from his grandmother. The strict and repressive moral control led to his becoming a shy, withdrawn and solitary boy, whose rescue came from geometry. According to his own autobiographyit was his desire to know more about mathematics that kept him away from suicide. “At the age of 11 I began Euclid, with my brother [seven years his senior] as my tutor,” he wrote. “This was one of the great events of my life, as dazzling as first love. I had not imagined there was anything so delicious in the world.”

As a teenager, readings in advanced mathematics led him to rethink some of the dogmas of the Christian religion. At 18, he rejected life after death and the existence of God, becoming an agnostic, one of the traits that would define him until the end of his life. At that age, Russell entered Trinity College of Cambridge to begin his studies in mathematics, which he supplemented, years later, with those of philosophy. Although he graduated with honours in both subjects, he later recognized that he had learned little from his university professors; not so from his companions, who helped him to be less solemn and to acquire a sense of humour.

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 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

__

Bertrand Russell’s Greatest Paradox was His Faith

By Dan Delzell , Christian Post Contributor | 

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, and social critic. He is recognized as one of the most important logicians of the 20th Century. He is also credited for showing that the naive set theory created by Georg Cantor leads to a contradiction. This is known as “Russell’s paradox.”

Seemingly unbeknownst to Russell however, his greatest paradox was actually his faith. He was a man who placed absolute faith in the doctrine of uncertainty. He rejected the notion of absolute truth, except when it came to his firm belief in his doctrine of doubt. Russell explained it this way: “In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” Jesus, on the other hand, taught his disciples to always rest certain of His Word and His love for them. Russell taught people to reject any sense of certainty. He said, “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” That worship of uncertainty was Russell’s undoing and his ultimate paradox.

On March 6, 1927, he delivered a lecture entitled, “Why I Am Not a Christian.” It is a revealing presentation which clearly shows the difference between the mind of natural man and the enlightened mind of a Christian believer. In this lecture, Russell accused religion of being “based primarily and mainly upon fear.” Not only was he mistaken on that account, but ironically he was the one actually basing his own philosophy on the fear of being wrong. He was terrified to place absolute trust in something because in his mind, it might eventually be proven false. That fear kept him bound in chains to his skepticism. This is where his longing for rationality made him irrational. He was the poster child for fear-based living. It consumed him. It enslaved him. And it motivated him to reject Christ.

Interestingly, Russell’s doubts led him to place tremendous confidence in his own intelligence. It is a very proud and misguided position. As the Scripture says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) For Russell, the world needs man much more than man needs God. In explaining why he was not a Christian, he said the world “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.”

Christians trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Bertrand Russell trusted in his intelligence as his personal savior. The problem is that his savior cannot truly save. His savior is very weak when compared to God. His savior is limited to human reason and man’s understanding. There is a higher level of reason which man desperately needs to acquire. This higher level of sanctified reason is only reached after you trust Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and save your soul. Up until that point, man is basing his conclusions on a limited amount of information and an uninspired level of human reason. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

No wonder Russell, amidst all of his intelligence, never found any ultimate satisfaction in life. He repeatedly refused to humble himself before the Lord. Yet he found himself often trying to explain away the very God which he argued wasn’t needed or real. He had made a conscious decision during his teenage years to reject God and the Bible once and for all. From that period forward, it was obvious that Russell had an axe to grind with God. There was a chip on his shoulder and Jesus Christ was one of his favorite targets.

In fact, Russell went so far as to say: “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him.” It is astounding that a man with his intellect could be so ignorant regarding the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. That is how far into the realm of irrationality he was driven by his doctrine of uncertainty. It is truly mind-boggling.

His rejection of Christ was very much related to his denial of his own sinful condition. In his 1927 lecture he said, “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.”

Rather than it being an illuminated insight, Russell’s rejection of personal sin was his Achilles’ heel. He respected himself too much to bring himself to admit before God that he was a sinner and in need of salvation. In the end, his deep struggle was not really an intellectual one. It was a moral struggle. It was a moral refusal to admit fault, blame, sin, and the need for God to save him. Therefore, he resorted to trusting his own intelligence to save him not from sin, but from fear. Even then, Russell found that his savior could not deliver him from the very thing he dreaded the most.

By the end of his earthly journey, Russell’s savior left him no different than before. He was just as fearful, if not more so. If any rational person today wants to see where “self-respecting intelligence” ultimately leads, just examine Bertrand Russell. No real hope. No real peace. And absolutely no certainty. A mind is a beautiful thing to waste. And it sure makes a sorry excuse for a savior.

Bertrand Russell was a walking paradox. His life was a permanent contradiction. He ended up doing the very thing he was most afraid of doing, and he trusted in something which he should have known would fail him. His pride blinded him to the contradiction that was his life. It became an infinite loop. A mathematician of Russell’s caliber should have been able to recognize such a thing. This loop has continued for him beyond the grave. His worst fears have now been realized.

In fear he ran from fear. In fear he also ran from God. In so doing, Russell became locked in his own mental contradiction. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get out of it. He lived and died without trusting in the One Person who could have delivered him from his paradoxical and misplaced faith. What a sad life and tragic end for a man who had so much human potential. If anyone could ever have been saved by logic alone, it was Bertrand Russell.

God said, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:19) Bertrand Russell experienced that frustration more than most. Unfortunately, his life’s message was seen as foolishness from the grandstand of heaven. The message of heaven is only understood by those who become humble before their Creator. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Bertrand Russell was too proud to allow himself to be “saved” from anything, least of all his sin before a holy God. He rejected that doctrine as being beneath his dignity and mental superiority. After all, he was Bertrand Russell. Even his four wives and many mistresses over the years seemed to do little if anything to ever make him feel personally guilty for any wrongdoing. He was too self-absorbed to sincerely love God or to truly love a woman. “He seemed detached in mind and body,” one mistress wrote, “but all the furies of hell raged in his eyes.”

With God out of the way, Russell felt free to explore relationships with many women without being burdened down by any absolute set of sexual ethics. His lustful romantic relationships were every bit as paradoxical as his faith in the doctrine of uncertainty. In fact, they fed off each other and fueled even more exploration and an unwillingness to make a lifetime commitment to one woman or to God’s one set of values. At the end of the day, the driving forces of his life were passionate sex with multiple partners and passionate uncertainty in multiple disciplines.

Bertrand Russell is a classic example of how radical skeptics come and go. Meanwhile, “God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” (Psalm 53:2) When will man wise up and recognize the limitations and contradictions of his own intelligence?

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

_

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 […]