Brendan's Reviews > Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Rel... by Bertrand Russell
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Dec 28, 07

bookshelves: philosophy, religion
Read in October, 2000

A mediocre atheism. If you want the real stuff, read Nietzsche, Marx, or Freud. No one has said anything original on the subject since they.
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P.J. Sullivan Russell was not an atheist. He was agnostic.


John Brendan...you hurt my feelings here. You must be the few who refer Russell as mediocre


John ...yup still hurting from your comments here, even 5 years later...

*Russell rolls over in fake grave*


Brendan Glad that the time I put into my Goodreads reviews are having such sweeping and lasting impacts. The first comment up here says Russel was not an atheist, he was agnostic. I'm no expert on Russell, but Wikipedia says during Russell's life he claimed he was both an atheist and an agnostic. But regardless of Russell's personal beliefs, Why I am Not a Christian is a work of atheism.

And I didn't refer to Russell as mediocre writ large. He was a philosophical giant, one of the most important English language philosophers of the 20th Century. But his major contributions were in logic, language, mathematics ... not religion. Why I am not a Christian is not one of his groundbreaking philosophical works, more just the musings of an extremely intelligent person on his own encounters with and feelings towards religion. If you're a super huge BR fan, maybe this helps you complete your understanding of him. If you're interested in philosophy of religion - particularly atheism - I think my review stands: go with Freud, Marx and Nietzsche.

John, I hope this review comforts you through the next 5 years. See you in 2017!


John Haha well met Brendan thanks for replying!

You are of course perfectly correct to your opinion, I am still a little surprised is all.

I guess I am focused on his logic/reason, it's devastating use.
BR comes after Freud, Marx, Nietzsche and probably understands them just a little but better than we ever could, just sayin'.

Freud is not parsimonious, dreams are difficult to prove/disprove so even mainstream psychology is staying away.

Marx wrote a history of the world based on his feelings when he was 30 and spent the rest of his life unsuccessfully trying to prove "it." Marx is uplifting and great to read but so sorry not the same caliber as BR, doesn't possess the same rigor as BR's analytic philosophy.

So that leaves Nietzsche, who is awesome but BR is easier to understand and again his philosophy more scientific and newer and more powerful.

Check out his essay,
"An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"

Talk soon!
John.


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