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What do you think about this quote?

The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.

~Bertrand Russell



Asked by IhartU at 7:25 AM on Feb. 15, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (21)
  • Makes perfect sense to me. Which is why I have issues with certain things in the bible and do not believe it wAS ALL TRANSLATED correctly. The ten commandments I get makes perfect sense and they are basically common sense and many other religions believe such things shoot even many atheists and most wiccans I know live by the harm none motto which essentially is all the ten commandments are. Aside from that though I dont believe there are as many RULES per say as suggestions to healthy living. If god really gave us as many rules as most christians believe then sorry that is not really free will.

    Answer by hot-mama86 at 8:22 PM on Feb. 23, 2013

  • I think it is not worthy of discussion.

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:51 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • It sounds like it's written by a person who does not understand the freedom one can find in grace.

    Answer by deedee3849 at 7:55 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • I totally agree. I've always thought, how can one rise to be better, see the good in oneself, forgive oneself for being human when they are too busy begging on their knees for all of that from an unseen force?
    When one wallows in the "sinful" aspect of oneself, it stunts your ability to rise above it and try to be better.

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 9:07 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • Grace is found through a relationship with Christ not through a "religion".

    Answer by deedee3849 at 8:10 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • I don't agree with his "understanding."

    Answer by HHx5 at 8:23 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • I do agree that we should never think of ourselves as unworthy. It doesn't mean you can't be in awe of G-d. There has to be a balance between self-worth and humility.

    "The Kotzker Rebbe put it succinctly when he said that a person should have a piece of paper in each side pocket. On one should be written, "The world was created (just) for me". On the other, "I am (originated from only) dust and ashes". The trick in life, says the Rebbe is to know when to take out which piece of paper!"

    Where the example of that quote of Christians beating themselves up for being unworthy sinners is one extreme, the complete deniability of a superior being and making us into the all knowing, all controlling beings is the other extreme.
    And neither extreme is good.


    Answer by momto2boys973 at 10:03 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • Now, I do give kudos to Russell Bertrand for wanting to question and to have a deeper understanding. But IMHO, he's going about it the wrong way. It seems to me he's one of those who got the Atheist epiphany as a result of wanting to do so many things that the existence of the Biblical G-d will not allow him to do. The quickest solution to that is simply say that G-d doesn't exist, therefore I can do all that stuff without consequence or guilt.
    But for people who don't reach the Atheist conclusion through analyzing first, that eventually isn't enough because there's still doubt. Deep inside they know they rationalized their argument to suit their needs. So there's step 2: glorification of personal morality and "intelligence" and ultimately demeaning those who still believe as lacking both.
    And this is what this quote does, nothing more. It's not deep, it doesn't really sem a result if true questioning.

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 10:15 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • I admire and respect any Atheist that comes to me and explains that through their personal analysis they reached the conclusion that G-d doesn't exist and admit that eventually raised more questions about where morality comes from, the value of personal vs universal morals, the role of intelligence in our understanding of the Universe and how far can we go into that understanding. I may disagree with their conclusions, but the process through which they arrived at them is impeccable. It's not the same as wanting personal morals you don't have to justify (because, hey, they're personal, like opinions) and therefore deciding there's no deity to tell you what's moral and what's not and then leave the "questioning" at that and only throw a few "pearls of wisdom" when you want to reassure yourself of your opinion, by demeaning those that have a different one.

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 10:22 AM on Feb. 15, 2013

  • Sounds very preachy. And I agree with deedee above.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 12:25 PM on Feb. 15, 2013