Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Some dialogue with Maverick on Russell

BV: "Thus it is an argument for being a member of a Christian church, and not an argument against it, that there are hypocrites in the church." Good point, Victor, except that it is not specific to Christian churches. One could substitute Jewish synagogue, Muslim mosque, Buddhist temple, etc.

VR: No dispute here. All that is required are standards to go above and beyond what people normally live up to.

BV: Russell is a strange case. Even at the age of 80 he refused to be faithful to his wife. That bespeaks a high degree of physical vitality if nothing else. The high degree of pride and lust in both Russell and Sartre makes one wonder how seriously to take their God denials. One is tempted to psychologize . . . but only after the arguments pro and con have been examined.

VR: Key point about Russell: his conduct clearly shows that he would have had very powerful psycholgical motives to reject the Christian faith or any religion according to which God has the right, power, and authority to give commandments. This would be an ad hominem argument except that Russell was fond of portraying himself as a "free thinker," free from the tyranny of his passions and from the force of tradition.

"The expression 'free thought' is often used as if it meant merely opposition to the prevailing orthodoxy. But this is only a symptom of free thought, frequent, but invariable. 'Free thought' means thinking freely -- as freely, at least, as is possible for a human being. The person who is free in any respect is free from something; what is the free thinker free from? To be worthy of the name, he must be free of two things: the force of tradition, and the tyranny of his own passions. No one is completely free from either, but in the measure of a man's emancipation he deserves to be called a free thinker." Bertrand Russell, "The Value of Free Thought: How to Become a Truth-Seeker and Break the Chains of Mental Slavery" Bertrand Russell on God and Religion

In THIS matter, Russell was a blazing hypocrite.

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