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Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  16,752 ratings  ·  588 reviews
Dedicated as few men have been to the life of reason, Bertrand Russell has always been concerned with the basic questions to which religion also addresses itself -- questions about man's place in the universe and the nature of the good life, questions that involve life after death, morality, freedom, education, and sexual ethics. He brings to his treatment of these questio ...more
Paperback, 266 pages
Published October 30th 1967 by Touchstone (first published May 1927)
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Lisa
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nobels
"Why I Am Not A Christian?"

If I ask myself that question, the answer will be:

"I am not a Christian because I read the Bible, both Old and New Testament, from cover to cover, and consider it complete nonsense to believe that to be literal, figurative or symbolical truth."

"Why do I not believe Christianity is good?"

Because I read Bertrand Russell. As a young, impressionable person, I used to lament the fact that I was not given "the gift" of belief, as it seemed to come with confidence in the bel
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects, Bertrand Russell
Why I Am Not a Christian is an essay by the British philosopher Bertrand Russell. Originally a talk given 6 March 1927 at Battersea Town Hall, under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society, it was published that year as a pamphlet and has been republished several times in English and in translation.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانردهم ماه آوریل سال 1975 میلادی
عنوان: چرا مسیحی نی
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-uht!
Jun 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
By the time I read this book, I was already not a Christian, but it was still hard for me to read. It was kinda like accidentally figuring out a magician's trick. You knew he wasn't *really* doing magic, but seeing how he did it somehow made the world less fun.

That said, this is a great book. It's not without bite, but it's also not bitter. Having been a big fan of Russell's epistemological books, I was impressed that this book displayed the same clarity of thought and communication. His logical
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Florencia
You just have to read this. Even if you are a Christian, you should read about every point of view, to form or change (or not) your own. Russell explains complicated things which such clarity, a little of humor... It doesn't get tedious, at all.
Take "The argument of design", for instance.
I really cannot believe it. Do you think that, if you were granted omnipotence and omniscience and millions of years in which to perfect your world, you could produce nothing better than the Ku Klux Klan, the
...more
فرشاد
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
چرا مسیحی نیستم نقد راسل بر مذهب است. راسل در ابتدا میکوشد با تکیه بر منطق و قوای عقلی دلایلی در رد وجود علت العلل مطرح کند و سپس بحث را به مذهب میکشاند. او روش اخلاقی کانت را در تایید وجود این علت، مردود میشمارد و با تبیین فلسفه عقلانی خود، زندگی خوب را زندگی ای میداند که از عشق سرچشمه گرفته و با دانش رهبری شود. راسل رستگاری دینی را ناشی از فردیت میداند و معتقد است که فردیت نمیتواند راهی به سعادت پیدا کند. او در اثبات این مدعا، جمهوریت افلاطون را گواه خردمندانه ای برای زندگی سیاسی و رد فردیت بر ...more
Craig
May 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
After reading most of the "new Atheist" books -- I read the ones by Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens -- this old one by Betrand Russell is still miles better than they. To be sure, I disagree with most of what he says, but his writing is much more clear-headed and articulate than the new ones. There really aren't many new arguments the new generation of atheists bring to the table, therefore I think it is reasonably fair to use Russell's as the standard bearer for them all.

Th
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Alex
Jun 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I love these essays! Russell never argues that faith is impossible, but makes it clear why he doesn't have it. (I cannot believe in a god who, given an infinite universe and millions of years in which to perfect it, can come up with nothing better than the nazis and the KKK) - paraphrase
Odai Al-Saeed
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من أفضل ما قرأت فيما يخص الفلسفةالفكرية تجاه الدين المسيحي خاصة والأديان الأخرى عامة , فكر بيرتناد رسل يفصل المنطق ببساطة,لا يضاهيها الا سرده المنظم ...كتاب رائع
Zaphirenia
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Θαυμάζω απεριόριστα την καθαρότητα του μυαλού και το προοδευτικό πνεύμα του Russel στην αρχή του 20ού αιώνα. Ευτυχώς δεν πρόλαβε να δει την απόλυτη διάψευση των ελπίδων του για την επικράτηση του ορθολογισμού, την ανάπτυξη του ατομικού πνεύματος μέσω της στέρεης παιδείας που θα βασίζεται στην επιστημονική τεκμηρίωση αντί για το δόγμα, την παγκόσμια ειρήνη και ευημερία που ονειρευόταν μέσω του περιορισμού του φόβου ως κινήτρου για τις ανθρώπινες πράξεις και τις πολιτικές μεθοδεύσεις.
Matthew
Jul 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: spiritualistic
I probably would have liked this book a lot more if I had read it when I was younger, but now I find Russell's critique of religion profoundly disappointing. For a logician and philosopher of his caliber, his proofs--on the reasons why the basis of religious belief is existential terror, for example--are unconvincing and sometimes shockingly sloppy. They tend to rely on a straw-man caricatures that he sets up and knocks down, rather than actually engaging with the roots of faith or the complexit ...more
LJ
WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN...- Ex
Russell, Bertrand

Dedicated as few men have been to the life of reason, Bertrand Russell has always been concerned with the basic questions to which religion also addresses itself -- questions about man's place in the universe and the nature of the good life, questions that involve life after death, morality, freedom, education, and sexual ethics. He brings to his treatment of these questions the same courage, scrupulous logic, and lofty wisdom for which his other w
...more
Darya
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
خیلی منطقی دلیل آورده بود
P.J. Sullivan
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Russell first defines what he means by a Christian: someone who believes in God, the immortality of the soul, and Jesus Christ. Then he explains why he does not believe. Step by step he dismisses as fallacious the arguments for the existence of God: the first cause argument, the argument from design, etc. Then he discusses whether we survive death. Then the character of Jesus, as presented in the Gospels. He agrees that Jesus was an admirable man, but not divine and not the best or wisest of men ...more
Ardeshir
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
خیلی عالی بود و فکر میکنم بسیاری از بیانات ارزشمند برتراند راسل نه تنها ایرادها و اشتباهات دین مسیحیت رو نشان میده بلکه منظور ایراد تمام ادیان هستش
خیلی خوب و منطقی شرح داده بود و لذت بردم
Paula
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
My downstairs roommates are away for a while, and I am catsitting. It just so happens that my downstairs roommates also have an extensive collection of books. Books that have been on my to-read list for YEARS. And here they are, in one location, with no chance of someone checking them out before I can get my hands on them. So every other day, I brave the cat (actually, a hellbeast), feed and water it, and select a new tome.

One of this week's selection was "Why I Am Not a Christian." I should ve
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Alex J. O'Connor
I think I had admittedly underrated Russell until reading this. A wonderful example of forward thinking, and his influence can be clearly recognised in the works of contemporary thinkers (particularly Sam Harris' views of morality and Christopher Hitchens' linkage of Stalinism and state religiosity). Definitely worth reading.
Mark Hebwood
Ah well... I don't know about this. I must say I expected more, and would have needed more for this to be an intellectually satisfying exchange (between my thoughts and Bertrand's). I have thought about the subject of religion for a long time, and I am fascinated by the fact that it exists. What does religion deliver to a believer? What is the epistemological quality of religion, and if there cannot be one (which is what I would argue), why can believers "not see that"? Equally, why can I, as a ...more
Jo
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book contains a collection of essays, on the complex nature of religion. Being brought up in a religious background, I was taught many aspects about Catholicism as a child, and almost into my teenage years, and it was only then that I began to start questioning it, and my so-called beliefs. I realised I didn't actually believe any of it. I have considered myself an Atheist, for many years.
Russell explains to us how well organised religion and Christianity is terribly destructive and also hi
...more
Mobina J
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious, philosophy
عالی بود... این کتاب مجموعه ای از مقالات و سخنرانی های راسل هست که از چندین فصل تشکیل شده و هر فصل به موضوع خاصی اختصاص داده شده.... فصل سیزدهم این کتاب متن یک مناظره بین راسل و پدر کاپلستون هست که واقعا برام جالب بود مخصوصا قسمت بحث اخلاقی مناظره...
از متن کتاب:
وقتی که شما در کلیسا میشنوید که مردم خود را تحقیر نموده می گویند مردمی بدبخت و گناه کارند واز این قبیل ، به نظر میرسد مقام ارجمند بشریت را تخفیف داده و خوار شمرده اند. بایستی علیه چنین مطالبی ایستادگی کنیم و چهره دنیا را بی پرده و روشن بب
...more
Hussein saad
الكتاب دسم ورائع من حيث الاراء ، بليد من حيث الترجمة ، كمية الرخامة في اسلوب المترجم لا توصف وهذا سبب انقاصي النجمة الخامسة منه ، الكتاب مجموعة مقالات لراسل مكتوبة بين عام 1920 - 1940 مع بعض المحاضرات التي القاها والتي من اشهرها لماذا انا لست مسيحياً ؟ يوضح من خلال انتقال الفصول رأيه المستند الى خبرات ودراسات اجراها مع اشخاص من مستواه الفكري والاجتماعي ويوضح لنا الفرق بين المجتمع الديني والمجتمع المدني والقوانين والثواب والعقاب ومابعد الموت والذي يؤمن به . قد يكون لدى بعض القراء الذين طعنوا بسمع ...more
Camila N.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nobody makes me laugh as much while reading philosophy as this incredible sir.
AliReza Sha
برتراند راسل چندين استدلال ساده و بسيار روشن در کتاب « چرا مسيحي نيستم » بر ضد باورهاي ديني پيش كشيد. ديدگاه وي پيرامون دين بسيار آشكار بود: او در سخنراني ديگري گفته دين بيماري است كه برخاسته از ترس و هم چون سرچشمه بدبختيهاي ناگفته براي گونه » نه اين كه هيچ مشاركتي نداشته دين دستي در ساختن سالنامه داشته، دين سبب شده تا روحانيون مصري ماهگرفتگي و خورشيدگرفتگيها را به دقت ثبت کرده تا سرانجام توانستند آنها را پيشبيني نمايند. راسل میگوید « این دو خدمتی است كه من آماده قدرداني از آنها هستم و از خدمات ...more
Ichigotta
Résumé : n'ayez pas peur, soyez gentils et vivez votre vie !
Diaa
هذا الكتاب مرجع لمن أراد الإطلاع على أسباب إلحاد برتنارد راسل مواقف راسل المعادية للدين ولفكرة وجود إله موجودة في الغالبية العظمى من كتبه لكن هذا الكتاب يعد تجميع لمقالات ومحاضرات ومناظرات راسل ضد الدين والنظام الأخلاقي وموقفه كفيلسوف ومنطيق من البراهين العقلية والمنطقية على وجود الله بالإضافة لموقفه ومآخذه على دينه المسيحي وعلى الأديان بالمجمل .
لست في موضع تقديم نقد لما جاء في الكتاب لكن من الواضح والجلي أن راسل عالج البراهين المنطقية والحجج الأخلاقية على وجود الله بأسلوب سطحي غير عميق وغير مقن
...more
Brendan
Aug 24, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: philosophy, religion
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.
Tanvika
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are many questions. The task of a philosopher is to shatter the certainty of the readers. The philosopher will make you think for yourself based on reasoning.
This book does it splendidly well. Of particular focus,is the views of Russell regarding religion. The first essay is probably the best known- why I am not a Christian?. Russell scrupulously proves it : firstly, by refuting the existence of God on philosophical grounds( design argument, first cause, moral argument etc.).Next, he proce
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Asmaa Ali
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
جمعة مباركة..
Jorge
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Resulta difícil comentar obras de un filósofo tan trascendente como Bertrand Russell, y esto por varias razones: 1) no me considero ni remotamente capaz de entender toda su obra y pensamiento (principalmente porque no soy científico ni matemático como lo era él); 2) la ciencia y el conocimiento humano han vivido un salto tan importante y rápido desde la muerte de Russell a la actualidad, que resulta muy difícil situarse en el contexto del mundo de la primera mitad del siglo XX y darse cuenta de ...more
Adam
May 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: My upbringing in a religious home and eventual rejection of religion certainly predisposes me to a book of this subject matter.

I have personally experienced the best and worst of religion as it functions both socially and personally. I find Russell's thoughts incredibly well articulated and very enlightening to me. "Why I Am Not a Christian" and "Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?" are must-reads for anyone, regardless of their religious or non-religious stance
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Christian Theolog...: Russell - Why I am Not a Christian 79 62 Apr 21, 2015 09:06AM  
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Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, was a Welsh philosopher, historian, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, pacifist, and prominent rationalist. Although he was usually regarded as English, as he spent the majority of his life in England, he was born in Wales, where he also died.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 "in recognition of his var
...more
“I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian god may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.” 682 likes
“That is the idea -- that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.

You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so. I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man; in that case the Catholic Church says, 'This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must endure celibacy or stay together. And if you stay together, you must not use birth control to prevent the birth of syphilitic children.' Nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue.

That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which, at the present moment, the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering. And of course, as we know, it is in its major part an opponent still of progress and improvement in all the ways that diminish suffering in the world, because it has chosen to label as morality a certain narrow set of rules of conduct which have nothing to do with human happiness; and when you say that this or that ought to be done because it would make for human happiness, they think that has nothing to do with the matter at all. 'What has human happiness to do with morals? The object of morals is not to make people happy.”
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