Friday, December 29, 2006

"Why I Am Not A Christian"

This was the title of a lecture given in 1927 by Bertrand Russell to the National Secular Society, and subsequently published as a pamphlet, which I first encountered as a young adolescent. Imagine my joy to find that this great thinker shared MY beliefs! Imagine my pleasure when I found that it is still available in cyberspace. Click here, and enjoy.

13 comments:

NC Bluesman said...

My 2 cents:
I'm a Christian because I believe in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I do not put confidence in MAN. But I don't get angry at those who don't belive. I just smile and keep on believing for myself.

Thanks & Happy New Year!

The Merchant of Menace said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Merchant of Menace said...

I'm glad to hear that you don't get angry with people who don't share your theistic beliefs.

But tell me, do you have any evidence to substantiate your belief in these entities you call 'God' and 'Jesus'?

Oh, and a Happy New Year to you too.

Alan Mackenzie said...

From The Trouble With Atheism, Channel Four, 18th December 2006:

Rod Liddle: Give me your views on the existence, or otherwise of God.

Peter Akins: Well, it's fairly straightforward: there isn't one. There's no evidence for one. No reason to believe that there is one, and so I don't believe that there is one. And I think it's rather foolish of people to think that there is one.

Rod Liddle: Isn't there a terrible arrogance, in that certitude?

Peter Akins: What's wrong with arrogance, if you're right?

The Merchant of Menace said...

Seems that NC Bluesman is either unwilling or unable to offer any evidence in support of his belief in these entities he calls 'God' and 'Jesus'.

Hardly surprising, really, since there is no credible evidence available to him!

Alan Mackenzie said...

Liam,

NC Bluesman does not place his confidence in man [for once, members of the opposite sex would not take offence at this]. He would rather afford 'trust' in a trinity of pseudo-entities, to which I should respond: just what is it you place your trust in...a figment?

When I speculate the queerness of theism, I simply imagine an array of highly stilted arguments, invented and refined to persuade those who countenance fan-fiction and believe in it, than read Lord of the Rings, but not deceive themselves [and others] with it. Religion, if you must, should only be cavorted by man for amusement and leisure - not one idea, but for a few moral idioms should be taken aboard for the purpose of investment.

I received £20 in book tokens for my birthday - so this morning, I purchased a 30th Anniversary Edition of The Selfish Gene, and David Humes, A Treatise of Human Nature.

I hope they should afford many new directions in my writings.

Alan.

The Merchant of Menace said...

Irrespective of whether they afford you new directions, they will certainly provide you with hours of entertainment.

BTW, Amazon UK are selling 'The God Delusion' for £10 - half list price!

Happy New Year, Alan.

Alan Mackenzie said...

Happy New year to you, Liam!

I bought "The God Delusion' back in November.

I've updated the Wikipedia article on 'Truth in Science' if you can reach it before a charlatan vandalizes it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_in_Science

Papalazarou said...

alan - The Blind Watchmaker is a good read too

I've always liked the straighforwardness of this quote by Isaiah Berlin:
"As for the meaning of life, I do not believe that it has any. I do not at all ask what it is, but I suspect that it has none and this is a source of great comfort to me. We make of it what we can and that is all there is about it. Those who seek for some cosmic all-embracing libretto or God are, believe me, pathetically mistaken."

Alan Mackenzie said...

Papalazarou,

I shall get round to purchasing and reading a copy of 'The Blind Watchmaker' when I've read the six other books queued on my desk.

I liked Richard Dawkins' televised adaptation of 'The Blind Watchmaker' shown on BBC Horizon.

Here is the link for it, if you're interested:

http://rankatheism.blogspot.com/2006/10/blind-watchmaker.html

I liked the quote from Isaiah Berlin: I would like to expand upon it, so watch this space, or to be more precise, that of my blog in the coming months for an essay on such matters.

The Merchant of Menace said...

Excellent link, Alan, thanks; I visited it last night and watched the whole thing - I'm now going to put a link to your article on the GIFS site!

NC Bluesman said...

Evidence.. :)
Yes, but I don't need to share that. It's called "faith". You believe or you don't. You choose not to. I choose to believe.
I was gonna give you a scripture reference, but that's kind of silly since you don't believe. Whichever road you choose to travel, I wish you peace.

The Merchant of Menace said...

I asked you to show me evidence, Bluesman, but your personal faith does not meet the requirements. BTW, 'faith' and 'belief' are not the same thing; beliefs can be justified by evidence, whilst faith cannot, and generally runs contrary to evidence. Nevertheless, I wish you peace also, and may you long continue to enjoy your music.