RUSSELL: AGNOSTIC OR ATHEIST?
like to believe that Bertrand Russell was a "totally" convicted atheist. What follows
below is evidence, straight from the source, that the man clearly entertained
"some doubt." Just consider: The High Priest of
Atheism admits to not
really being a totally convinced atheist. This ought to make his atheist
but do they?
Bertrand Russell is an icon
among unbelievers worldwide. Some atheists believe that he was a "totally"
convicted atheist, and he openly professed that he was -- but they are wrong. What follows is evidence, straight from the source, that Russell
was not as convinced of his Atheism as his followers would like to believe.
In the following statement, extracted from his essay, "Am
I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?"
Russell acknowledges that his views about God were not as solid as his
followers wished to believe. He, in fact, admits
that if he were to be in front of a rational, “philosophical” audience, he
could only go as far as to assert being an "agnostic."
know whether I should say "Agnostic" or whether I should say "Atheist". It
is a very difficult question and I daresay that some of you have been
troubled by it. As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic
audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic,
because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can
prove that there is not a God."[i]
In the same work
he then proceeds to attempt to limit the impact of the above admission
by reassuring his faithful followers that he is agnostic about the Bible God
as he is agnostic of Zeus and other mythological gods; thus implying that
his agnosticism was next to insignificant. But Russell knew that a
"philosophical" audience would not be concerned about "which" god exists,
but whether or not there is a "Creator." Before such a "thinking" group he
would not dare use the cavalier and sarcastic approach he used with his fanatical
followers, lest he look un-intellectual; thus he admitted that before such
an "enlightened" audience he would only go as far as to declare himself an
reveals where he stood "intellectually," and this is what atheists should
seriously consider. Clearly he knew that the arguments against the existence
of a Creator were insufficient, and admitted so publicly.