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

By Bertrand Russell; Paul E. Edwards | Go to book overview

What I Believe

What I Believewas published as a little book in 1925. In the Preface, Russell wrote: "I have tried to say what I think of man's place in the universe, and of his possibilities in the way of achieving the good life. . . . In human affairs, we can see that there are forces making for happiness and forces making for misery. We do not know which will prevail, but to act wisely we must be aware of both." In the New York court proceedings in 1940 What I Believewas one of the books presented as evidence that Russell was unfit to teach at City College. Extracts from it were also widely quoted in the press, usually in such a way as to give quite a false impression of Russell's views.


Nature and Man

MAN is a part of nature, not something contrasted with nature. His thoughts and his bodily movements follow the same laws that describe the motions of stars and atoms. The physical world is large compared with man--larger than it was thought to be in

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Why I Am Not a Christian, and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Editor Is Introduction xi
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Why I Am Not a Christian 3
  • Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? 24
  • What I Believe 48
  • Do We Survive Death? 88
  • Seems, Madam? Nay, It Is 94
  • A Free Man's Worship 104
  • On Catholic and Protestant Skeptics 117
  • Life in the Middle Ages 127
  • The Fate of Thomas Paine 133
  • Nice People 148
  • The New Generation 157
  • Our Sexual Ethics 168
  • Freedom and the Colleges 179
  • Can Religion Cure Our Troubles? 193
  • Religion and Morals 205
  • Appendix How Bertrand Russell Was Prevented from Teaching at the College of the City of New York 207
  • Index 261
  • About the Editor 267
  • About the Editor 267
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