1. Why does Russell say religion is morally and intellectually pernicious?
2. Individualism has culminated in what doctrine, paralleling what philosophical duality?
3. How can education eliminate fear?
4. What does Russell say about the evidence for immortality so far adduced by psychical research?
5. How should all moral rules be tested?
6. What habit does education attempt to cure children of?
7. What must we have, to live a good life?
8. What can we learn (besides "humbug") from the Victorian age?
9. What is "natural"?
Please post yours.
- Do you agree that the teaching of Christ has little to do with the ethics of Christians, and that the (Tibetan) Buddhist priesthood has been "obscurantist, tyrranous, and cruel"? 25
- COMMENT: "I should not put barriers in the way of the acquisition of knowledge by anybody at any age." 28
- Would an omniscient deity be responsible for all human crimes, in the same way that a parent who knew his child would be a murderer would be responsible? 29
- Is Matthew Arnold's definition of God as a "power not ourselves..." usefully or annoyingly vague? 31
- Has the concept of personal immortality had "disastrous effects upon morals"? 35
- COMMENT: "Nobody nowadays believes that the world was created in 4004 B.C." 37
- COMMENT: "Nobody believes in [free will] in practice." 39
- If it's "flattering to suppose the universe is controlled by a Being who shares our tastes and prejudices" (42) isn't it also puzzling to notice how often the universe contradicts our tastes and prejudices?
- Must we "slay the dragon" to usher in a golden age? 47
- COMMENT: "Physical science is approaching the stage when it will be complete, and therefore uninteresting."49
- "We cannot suppose that an individual's thinking survives bodily death..." 50 But of course Russell's thought has survived. Isn't that immortality enough, for a thinker?
- "Everything interesting is a matter of organization, not primal substance." 52 So, why is it unthinkable that we might replicate the patterned organization of an individual's consciousness and memory in 1s and 0s?
- "In a perfect world, every sentient being would be to every other the object of the fullest love..." 59 What would that be like?
- Is theoretical ethics superfluous? 61
- COMMENT: "Outside human desires there is no moral standard." 62
- COMMENT: "Superstition is the origin of moral rules." 65
- Is Russell's plea for sex education also an argument for "choice"? 66
- Do you agree with Russell that the protestant quest for personal salvation needs to give way to a more social conception? 72
- Do you agree with Russell's definition of "bad desires"? 77
Russell, In Our Time...
For fun, try the Belief Quiz...