November 20, 2006

These two services I am prepared to acknoweldge, but I do not know of any others

Category: Academic — Biella @ 8:01 pm

So I am housed in University of Alberta Department of Philosophy as my supervisor is a philosopher and there is no seperate STS department. And this “academic housing” certainly has its advantages, like for example, learning about probably one of the most audacious (and frankly amusing) statments on religion ever… by Bertrand Russell:

My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a diseaese born of fear and and as a source of untold misery to the human race. I cannot, however, deny that it has made some contributions to civilizaion. It helped in early days to fix the calendar, and it caused Egyptian priests to chronicle eclipses with such care that in time they became able to predict them. These two services I am prepared to acknoweldge, but I do not know of any others. Bertand Russel. “Why I am not a Christian” p. 24

I am sure he turned over in his grave when his daughter said:

“He was the most fascinating man I have ever known, the only man I ever loved, the greatest man I shall ever meet, the wittiest, the gayest, the most charming. It was a privilege to know him, and I thank God he was my father.”

Katharine Tait, My Father Bertrand Russell, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975, p. 202.


  1. This position is also explored by Dennett’s recent “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” where he identifies and engages with this “belief in belief” — regardless of an actual creed.

    Comment by Joseph Reagle — November 21, 2006 @ 6:09 am

  2. But does s/he write with such obvious bravado as russel? :-)


    Comment by Biella — November 21, 2006 @ 6:25 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

XHTML ( You can use these tags):
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> .