Why I Am Not A Christian

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Before I started the day this morning, I had read the essay Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell. As most you all know, I am an athiest, and a consider myself a Rational Skeptic, and I strongly believe that this world will be saved by the Human Mind and Science. No different than you folks who believe in a god and tell me that I’m going to Hell. Anyways, this essay is quite a good one by the Nobel prize winner. There’s one section where he explains that religion is an Emotional Factor with a great example using the story of Erewhon Revisited:

“As I said before, I do not think that the real reason that people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation. They accept religion on emotional grounds. One is often told that it is a very wrong thing to attack religion, because religion makes men virtuous. So I am told; I have not noticed it. You know, of course, the parody of that argument in Samuel Butler’s book, Erewhon Revisited. You will remember that in Erewhon there is a certain Higgs who arrives in a remote country, and after spending some time there he escapes from that country in a balloon. Twenty years later he comes back to that country and finds a new religion in which he is worshipped under the name of the “Sun Child”; and it is said that he ascended into heaven. He finds that the feast of the Ascension is about to be celebrated, and he hears Professors Hanky and Panky say to each other that they never set eyes on the man Higgs, and they hope they never will; but they are the High Priests of the religion of the Sun Child. He is very indignant, and he comes up to them, and he says: “I am going to expose all this humbug and tell the people of Erewhon that it was only I, the man Higgs, and I went up in a balloon.”He was told, “You must not do that, because all the morals of this country are bound round this myth, and if they once know that you did not ascend into heaven they will all become wicked”; and so he is persuaded of that and he goes quietly away.”

Atheism is Freedom & Self-Responsibility