Essay on Is There a God?

1321 Words 6 Pages
A renowned logician, mathematician and a philosopher, Bertrand Arthur William Russell considered religion merely a bunch of superstitions devoid of any rationality. He always maintained that religion is primarily based on fear (Bertrand). Russell’s liberalistic and rationalistic approach may come as a surprise when one considers the conservative environment he was brought up in. ‘The atmosphere was one of frequent prayer, emotional repression, and formality’. So Russell used his writing as a medium to vent out. Over the next few years he wrote numerous essays; one which perhaps stood out the most was “Is There a God?” Reconciling faith with science and logic has always been problematic. With the advancements in the world of science and the …show more content…
Russell’s arguments at certain instances in the essay will have even the most conservative of believers question their faith. He starts off by refuting the famous first cause or the cosmological argument in favor of a supreme being. The basic premise of the cosmological argument is that everything that exists must have a cause and an explanation. Similarly, the existence of Universe requires a cause and explanation and most theists attribute this cause to a supreme being; God. Russell gives an analogy of the earth resting upon an elephant which in turn rests upon a tortoise. “When asked what the tortoise rested upon, he said, "I am tired of this. Suppose we change the subject.” (2). This analogy renders the ‘First cause’ argument flawed. Russell implies that if one was to rationally analyze the cosmological argument, they would find it to be logically fallacious. If universe’s first cause was God what caused the existence of God? I.e. what caused the first cause? This gives rise to a logical fallacy known as ‘infinite aggression’; infinite loop of questions to which one can never reach a satisfactory conclusion. However, Russell’s claim against the first cause argument still leaves much to be desired. For his target audience, disproving God’s existence through argumentation alone won’t work. Russell needs to provide alternative explanations to the beliefs he argues against. Although he does offer a logical explanation against the first cause

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