Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was a British philosopher who over the course of his long life wrote prolifically on topics ranging from logic and mathematics to pacifism and Christianity. I am assigning his essay, “A Free Man’s Worship,” in my upcoming ethics course, and rereading it, I am again in awe.
Russell gave up Christianity and religion by age 18 and was led to wonder whether, without belief in an intelligent God, there was any point to human existence. Modern science depicts the universe as purposeless and as terrifyingly powerful, destructive and vast. “How, in such an alien and inhuman world, can so powerless a creature as Man preserve his aspirations untarnished?” [Read more…]