Bertrand Russell discusses religion – 1959 video

February 26, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

As I indicated here, I never believed in God. Not even as a four year old. I was made to go to Catholic church services and Catholic schools, where I constantly questioned Catholic dogma, especially in religion classes. I felt like an outsider all of my childhood, up until I happened to spot a book by Bertrand Russell on the shelves of the public library. This was when I was about 17 years old. The title of this slim volume was “Why I Am Not a Christian.” It was cause for exuberance, but I remember thinking that I really didn’t know anyone with whom to share my excitement.  More specifically, reading Russell allowed me to believe that there wasn’t anything wrong with me.  That’s how you get when you are surrounded by people who would not allow themselves to ask dangerous questions.

The most important thing I learned back then was that I was not crazy, and that smart people were asking the same questions I was asking. Bertrand Russell became my mentor back then, back in about 1974, which is four years after he died. My memories of encountering his writing bring home the power of the written word and the power to preserve one’s thought process, at least somewhat, long after one has died.

That is the background for the following video. Until a couple years ago, I had not seen any video of Bertrand Russell. I knew him as a witty writer who worked hard to avoid pretentious writing. In the following 4-minute video, the then 87 year old Russell discusses religion in a rather straight-forward way.


Category: Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. I love this Bertrand Russell interview. What a cool guy. “Why I’m Not a Christian” was the first non-believing book I ever read. Thanks for posting, Erich.

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