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Article: Critique of Russell

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Nick P.

My Philosophy Professor gave me an article by Bertrand Russell. A small excerpt but worth reading. I have chosen to analyze what Mr. Russell has to say and see if it stands up under scrutiny.

Russell starts off by saying "My own view of religion is that of Lucretius." Mr. Russell. You've used a broad term. In this whole article I only see 3 beliefs explicitly mentioned. They are Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism. This might shock you Mr. Russell but there are other beliefs in the world. Why not attack them? You say it is a disease born of fear and a source of untold misery to the human race. Mr. Russell. That's how you feel about these 3. How do you feel about the African tribe deep in the jungle chanting to the great god whatchamacallit?

Mr. Russell. You say the contributions religion made to society was fixing the calendar and having Egyptian priests chronicle eclipses. First off, what needed to be fixed with the calendar? Second off, how is life enhanced by knowing eclipses? You mention problems in society in this essay. What do any of them have to do with ecclipses?

Mr. Russell. You say religion is primarily a social phenomenon. A phenomenon is uncommon. That's what makes it a phenomenon. All cultures throughout history have had some type of worship. What would be the phenomenon then would be your atheism.

Mr. Russell. You go on then to describe churches. Why churches? Why not Hindu temples? Why not Muslim Mosques? Why not Jewish Synagogues? Why start with churches? Your attack isn't on religion. It's on Christianity and you only prove how people react to the message of the gospel.

The teaching of Christ you say has extraordinarily to do with the ethics of Christians. Mr. Russell. Do you enjoy blanket statements? Who is the teacher of atheistic ethics then? Who do you look to as the source of ethics? Yourself? Well if we all look to ourselves we have anarchy.

You say from a social and historical point of view the most important thing about Christianity is not Christ but the church. Who's history? Who's society? Christians were the ones when the plague struck the Roman Empire in the 3rd century A.D. that cared for everyone. Are you forgetting that? Christian beliefs, though deistic, are the ones that form the background for this country you live in.

You say Christianity as a social force. Whoever said Christianity was a social force? You are building a straw man and then blowing it down thinking you've accomplished something.

You say Christ taught that you should not fight. Christ is not a pacifist. He believed the OT. He said you shouldn't take vengeance into your own personal hands. You say Christ said that you should not go to church. Yet he said in Matthew that if you have a problem with a brother bring it before the church. Mr. Russell. Learn some of Christianity's teachings before you critique Christianity.

Mr. Russell. You quote Judge not, lest ye be judged, which I find humorous. Are you not judging Christianity as being judgmental. If so, why are you any better? You have just lost the grounds you insult Christianity on.

Mr. Russell. You then go on to describe the Buddha. It seems you don't mind mentioning the Buddha as amiable and enlightened. However, you fail to describe Christ. In fact, if religion is a plague, and Buddhism is a religion, how can Buddha be enlightened?

Mr. Russell. You go on and only complain about the church. Why not the mosques? Why not the Hindu temples or the Jewish synagogues? Why do you stick to the church? Because religion isn't your problem. Jesus Christ is and you hide it by using the more broad term of religion.

Mr. Russell, you say the church teaches ethical codes not conducive to human happiness. Is human happiness always a good thing? My neighbor might make me mad so I shoot him so I'll be happy. Is that a good thing? The girl I work with looks really cute so I'll rape her to be happy. Is that a good thing? Human happiness is not always a good thing.

You say the church opposed abolition. May I remind you of Philemon? Paul wasn't happy with slavery but Christianity wasn't a social force like you want it to be. It was meant to change people from the inside and when that happened, eventually, they learned that all people are in the image of God and slavery ended.

You say the Pope has condemend Socialism. Mr. Russell, if you like Socialism so much, Canada is right next door. Why didn't you just move there and stop whining? Could it be you didn't want to leave the happiness of this country? The happiness you say Christianity hinders?

You say that the church teaches virginity. I take it you have never read Song of Solomon. The church sees sex as God's gift to mankind and gave the command to go forth and multiply and made it good for our purposes. (Although I can't speak from experience of course) Mr. Russell. You have created a straw man again.

Mr. Russell, you say Christians delight in those who get Syphilis out of sexual sin. I take no delight in it. I don't see why you would get that idea. You've made another straw man. Christians are the ones who set up clinics and counselors to help these people. I have yet to this day seen an atheistic counseling center. In fact, if you go to India and say "Christian" they'll think of the hospitals, Dr. Paul Brand, and Mother Teresa.

Mr. Russell. you suggest we study with an unbiased spirit. Mr. Russell. Have you ever met anyone unbiased? I have not. Everyone has their own personal bias. You've set up a false example.

You say that Christians believe sex in itself is indecent and ridiculous. That must be why Song of Solomon is a whole book dedicated to the creation of sex. You also say that we believe knowledge is undesirable. Then why did you debate so many philosophers if they had no knowledge? Why have trouble against them even?

Every boy is interested in trains. Mr. Russell. You use this to say if you deprive a boy of trains by saying it is a sin he will only be more interested. First off, not every boy likes trains so you're making a straw man. Second off, the Bible says the exact same thing in Romans 7! Maybe you should try reading it.

You say almost every adult in the Christian community is more or less diseased nervously as a result of the taboo on sex knowledge when he or she was young. Mr. Russell. That is another straw man. Christian teens believe it or not enjoy talking about sex.

You want to blame God for he knew of all the pain in the world. Mr. Russell. First off, if God did foreknow it exactly, does that mean he is directly responsible? I know if my cat walks in the street and gets hit by a car it will die. God knew if his children disobeyed they would suffer.

You say sin is not the cause volcanoes erupt? How do you know? Were you there to watch? And then you say, if it were true, it would make no difference. Why not? I want to know why it would not make a difference. Is it because your argument would be dead then?

You want to blame God for things that haven't even happened yet. You put this all on an if. specualtion upon speculation. And that is only leading you down a path of hardship. Did you ever try to find a reason why things might be the way they are? Like most skeptics, you probably didn't.

You say you would like to invite any Christian to a children's ward in the hospital. Guess what! They're probably there before you! Christianity recognizes suffering.

Mr. Russell. You say that this is the result of intolerance. Mr. Russell. Are you being intolerant of views you call intolerant? If you practiced the tolerance you ask for, you wouldn't care. But you don't practice tolerance.

You want this to be the thing to bring about happiness. Destroying religion? Mr. Russell. Your own diaries showed you weren't happy. If I want to learn how to be physically fit, I don't ask a fat couch potato. I ask a physical trainer. If I want to know intelligence, I ask someone from MENSA and not Forrest Gump. Why should I ask you about being happy when you are not happy?

Mr. Russell. You only show me the truth of the gospel. As all attempts at skepticism tend to do, you have shot yourself in the foot and won't look to Jesus Christ for the bandage.

Comments? Thoughts? Suggestions? Questions? (Insults were due yesterday)

God bless

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