Bertrand Russell… “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Jesus ever existed at all,…”

Bertrand Russell… “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Jesus ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him.” and it made me think about how this will be true of him in 2000 years as well.”

 

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17 comments on “Bertrand Russell… “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Jesus ever existed at all,…”

  1. That’s not really fair. We know an enormous amount about Bertrand Russell. His books, lectures and photographs are in any library you care to visit. I very much enjoy his writings.

  2. disableme says:

    I love Bertrand Russel as well. 🙂

    It’s not really fair? Bertrand makes a pretty grand statement here that doesn’t seem fair. Based on his logic we have no real proof that Homer or Plato ever existed or even Napoleon for that matter. I have never met Bertrand. Any record of him could easily be fabricated. Add two thousand years and he is a myth. I am just trusting that he existed.

  3. There are videos of Bertrand Russell, he had a job, but, you are right about Homer & Plato and not so much about Napoleon. Lots of people knew him!

    I think the problem arises with regard to credibility for the following reasons. Nobody ever claimed that Bertrand Russell once sawed a woman in half and then joined her together again. Nobody speaks of Homer or Plato or Napoleon pulling a dozen pidgins out of their left ear, or, making some river run backwards. When you do things like claiming supernatural powers you invite the rational to conclude you are full of crap. When you are forced to fall back on “faith” because you have no real proof for such an outrageous claim of supernatural powers you are skating on very thin ice. Besides, nobody really has a good reason to care if Russell, Homer, Plato or any other dead figure of historical note “really” did exist. Absolutely NOTHING what so ever hinges on it. The world would remain exactly the same if everybody agreed that Bertrand Russell never existed.

    Your world crashes if Jesus is treated that way. Neither Russell, Plato nor Napoleon NEED magic to make them relevant. Without a belief in magic Jesus is just another fairy tale. You might just as well claim that Jesus once cut a woman in half then joined her together again. It certainly wouldn’t be stretching the ground of possibility any farther than you already have. You believe the universe runs on magic, so, … you really have no business asking anybody for proof of anything, let alone poor Mr. Russell.

  4. disableme says:

    You said… “Nobody ever claimed that Bertrand Russell once sawed a woman in half and then joined her together again.”
    —That’s because Bertrand Russel and his modernist reasoning was an unimaginative materialist who had no room for miracle (abstract, metaphysical) in his paradigm. And his followers are probably the same.

    You said… “When you do things like claiming supernatural powers you invite the rational to conclude you are full of crap.”
    — I guess I would invite the rationalist to rationalize the complexity of a human cell, or a *2000 year old (Extinct) Jerusalem date palm seed springing to life in an office. One of us is full of crap for sure… many of the formerly non-theistic molecular/cellular biologists have made room for God in their evolutionary theories because they are seeing magic… or I guess crap.

    You said… “Besides, nobody really has a good reason to care if Russell, Homer, Plato or any other dead figure of historical note “really” did exist. Absolutely NOTHING what so ever hinges on it. The world would remain exactly the same if everybody agreed that Bertrand Russell never existed.”
    “Your world crashes if Jesus is treated that way. Neither Russell, Plato nor Napoleon NEED magic to make them relevant. Without a belief in magic Jesus is just another fairy tale. You might just as well claim that Jesus once cut a woman in half then joined her together again. It certainly wouldn’t be stretching the ground of possibility any farther than you already have. You believe the universe runs on magic, so, … you really have no business asking anybody for proof of anything, let alone poor Mr. Russell.”
    — Here is were I will just bring up some quotes from one of my favorite authors G.K. Chesterton from his book Orthodoxy these comments are from his chapter called The Ethics of Elfland. I love the book you might enjoy it as well but you sound kind of pissed off about something so then again you might not enjoy it. I did. Blessings to you in your search for truth. 🙂 I honestly appreciate our dialogue.

    “The sense of the miracle of humanity itself should be always more vivid to us than any marvels of power, intellect, art, or civilization.”

    “In fairyland we avoid the word “law”; but in the land of science they are singularly fond of it. Thus they will call some interesting conjecture about how forgotten folks pronounced the alphabet, Grimm’s Law. But Grimm’s Law is far less intellectual than Grimm’s Fairy Tales. The tales are, at any rate, certainly tales; while the law is not a law. A law implies that we know the nature of the generalisation and enactment; not merely that we have noticed some of the effects. If there is a law that pick-pockets shall go to prison, it implies that there is an imaginable mental connection between the idea of prison and the idea of picking pockets. And we know what the idea is. We can say why we take liberty from a man who takes liberties. But we cannot say why an egg can turn into a chicken any more than we can say why a bear could turn into a fairy prince. As IDEAS, the egg and the chicken are further off from each other than the bear and the prince; for no egg in itself suggests a chicken, whereas some princes do suggest bears. Granted, then, that certain transformations do happen, it is essential that we should regard them in the philosophic manner of fairy tales, not in the unphilosophic manner of science and the “Laws of Nature.” When we are asked why eggs turn to birds or fruits fall in autumn, we must answer exactly as the fairy godmother would answer if Cinderella asked her why mice turned to horses or her clothes fell from her at twelve o’clock. We must answer that it is MAGIC. It is not a “law,” for we do not understand its general formula. It is not a necessity, for though we can count on it happening practically, we have no right to say that it must always happen. It is no argument for unalterable law (as Huxley fancied) that we count on the ordinary course of things. We do not count on it; we bet on it. We risk the remote possibility of a miracle as we do that of a poisoned pancake or a world-destroying comet. We leave it out of account, not because it is a miracle, and therefore an impossibility, but because it is a miracle, and therefore an exception. All the terms used in the science books, “law,” “necessity,” “order,” “tendency,” and so on, are really unintellectual, because they assume an inner synthesis, which we do not possess. The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in the fairy books, “charm,” “spell,” “enchantment.” They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery. A tree grows fruit because it is a MAGIC tree. Water runs downhill because it is bewitched. The sun shines because it is bewitched.”

    “I deny altogether that this is fantastic or even mystical. We may have some mysticism later on; but this fairy-tale language about things is simply rational and agnostic. It is the only way I can express in words my clear and definite perception that one thing is quite distinct from another; that there is no logical connection between flying and laying eggs. It is the man who talks about “a law” that he has never seen who is the mystic. Nay, the ordinary scientific man is strictly a sentimentalist. He is a sentimentalist in this essential sense, that he is soaked and swept away by mere associations. He has so often seen birds fly and lay eggs that he feels as if there must be some dreamy, tender connection between the two ideas, whereas there is none. A forlorn lover might be unable to dissociate the moon from lost love; so the materialist is unable to dissociate the moon from the tide. In both cases there is no connection, except that one has seen them together. A sentimentalist might shed tears at the smell of apple-blossom, because, by a dark association of his own, it reminded him of his boyhood. So the materialist professor (though he conceals his tears) is yet a sentimentalist, because, by a dark association of his own, apple-blossoms remind him of apples. But the cool rationalist from fairyland does not see why, in the abstract, the apple tree should not grow crimson tulips; it sometimes does in his country.”

    * http://israelpalestineguide.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/2000-year-old-israeli-date-palm-trumped-by-a-32000-year-old-russian-flower/

    Chesterton, G.K. (2009-12-15). The Chesterton Reader: 21 Works in One Volume (Unexpurgated Edition) (Halcyon Classics) (Kindle Locations 7398-7408). Halcyon Press Ltd.. Kindle Edition.

  5. “When we are young we are often puzzled by the fact that each person we admire seems to have a different version of what life ought to be, what a good man is, how to live, and so on. If we are especially sensitive it seems more than puzzling, it is disheartening. What most people usually do is to follow one person’s ideas and then another’s depending on who looms largest on one’s horizon at the time. The one with the deepest voice, the strongest appearance, the most authority and success, is usually the one who gets our momentary allegiance; and we try to pattern our ideals after him. But as life goes on we get a perspective on this and all these different versions of truth become a little pathetic. Each person thinks that he has the formula for triumphing over life’s limitations and knows with authority what it means to be a man, and he usually tries to win a following for his particular patent. Today we know that people try so hard to win converts for their point of view because it is more than merely an outlook on life: it is an immortality formula.”
    [Ernest Becker]

  6. disableme says:

    Well there ya go 🙂

  7. mother shabubu says:

    This is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen.

  8. disableme says:

    @ mother shabubu… Now that’s what I call dialogue. Thank you. 🙂

  9. No disable me. Mother shabubu left you a reply far more accurate and much more to the point than I did. …”Historically, it is quite doubtful whether Bertrand Russell ever existed at all.”…?

    My mistake was in offering you a dialogue. The moronic “Happy Face” at the end of all your pronouncements should have tipped me off.

  10. disableme says:

    Mrs. Neutron, mother shabubu is clearly more interested in monologue. Good discussion.usually has a fair amount of respect for the others beliefs but you seem more bent on only conversion to yours or monologue as well I guess. I am not disrespecting Bertrand Russel only his idea that Jesus did not exist.I am not a materialist scientific or otherwise. I somewhat respect you (though I do not know you) but not your beliefs about Jesus. I think he existed historically and their seems to be enough evidence to convince many people even deeply scientifically minded secular scholars who are much smarter than you and I as well.
    I believe in Jesus as a historical figure based on many eyewitness accounts (they did not have video Etc…back then) and the fact that many sane people with nothing to loose where willing to die for their faith in him based on those accounts.

    In 2000 years Bertrand Russel will be subject to legend, his identity will be questioned, his existence will be subject to various conspiracy theories very much like the existence of Winston Churchill and the reality of Holocaust are questioned today by many people. In 2000 years because of cultural changes it seems that fact kind of bleeds into fiction… for everyone not just Jesus.

    If you think I am “full of crap” or Mother Shabubu thinks that is “idiotic” all I can really do is smile and move along. To you that is moronic to me it’s called choosing my battles. I believe faith is a virtue it appears you do not now move along if you are not interested in respecting that and having intelligent discussion void of phrases like “full of Crap” and “idiotic”.

  11. I don’t have any “beliefs” disableme. Ergo, I have no interest in converting you to anything. I simply observe with wonder the twisted tales man will convince himself of…. all to dissociate himself from the reality of extinction and the certainty of death.

    You have convinced yourself, with the help of our innate neurological ability to filter out unwanted information, that the universe runs on magic with you in mind and that, unlike the rest of the meat on this planet, your meat is magic meat. It won’t “really” die.

    All I can say, and I am a compassionate person, is that you MUST need the existential comfort VERY badly to go to all that trouble of knitting together a picture of a reality that is so self centered and so wildly absurd. Take heart! You are far from alone. The world is overflowing with supernaturalists like yourself. But, numbers alone do not command respect. Proof…. Now that commands respect.

  12. disableme says:

    So in the story of the blind men and the elephant you are the one who sees or “observes” all and the people like me (the super-naturalists) are just blind pachyderm gropers? I don’t think so.

    It is obvious that you are groping the same elephant in the same blind way I am. I believe God is the one who sees and intercedes that is my belief system. Ironically your belief system is that you don’t have one. I think personally… you might be a “compassionate person” but you seem pretentious to me in an anthropocentric way.

    Again think about this and give me some “proof” that I am wrong….In two thousand years your proof of Bertrand Russel’s existence will ultimately be untestable… and therefore only theory. (which seems like a scientific materialists word for faith.)

  13. …”Again think about this and give me some “proof” that I am wrong….In two thousand years your proof of Bertrand Russel’s existence will ultimately be untestable… and therefore only theory. (which seems like a scientific materialists word for faith.)”…

    So what? I don’t think you, or anybody else is a “blind pachyderm groper”. You and I are essentially different in only one way. You can’t live in a universe where you are not special and bending, twisting and inventing your way around natural laws and, to some of us at least, common sense, is not a choice for you. I’m happy and entirely comfortable having no more significance than a gnat, or a cloud for that matter. I have no need or desire to be part of ANY denial of death scheme be it Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Hottentot. I don’t have that need! It doesn’t make be better, superior or more intelligent than you. It just makes me different.

    Is it “pretentious” of me to consider my life of (how many years I have until the biology poops out) more than enough? Is it “pretentious” to NOT consider my consciousness so special that it must live forever? Is it “pretentious” of me to NOT believe that some Grand and all powerful Master Creator of the Universe cares about ME and watches over ME? Or, is it pretentious of YOU to attempt to make, construct, believe in and inhabit a reality where YOU are “special” and unlike every other life form on this planet are, in one way or another, immortal?

    Again, YOU are the one who NEEDS immortality and gets your back up at Bertrand Russel’s suggestion that it doesn’t quite make sense. Mr. Russel offers an opinion that questions your denial of death scheme and that is just as much blasphemy to YOU as Salmon Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses” was to Muslims. I entirely “get” why that pisses you off. Do you?

    Oh, and “theory” may “seem” like a scientific materialists word for faith TO YOU… but it isn’t because there is nothing holy about ANY theory. They are disproved and revised every day. When a theory is questioned, or, disproved nothing disappears except ignorance. Not so when your “faith” or “beliefs” are questioned. When that happens, and your post and subsequent correspondence proves this rather starkly….. you look for a way to strike back at those who simply “don’t need” the existential and entirely super-natural Teddy Bear you can’t quite ever go “Night-Night” without.

    It’s all right. We get it.

  14. disableme says:

    In 2000 years historically speaking it will be quite doubtful whether Bertrand ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him. It’s somewhat ironic to me. I think you need me to be frustrated about this but I am not. I am actually getting a good laugh from your ramblings.

  15. That’s it?

    You think repeating the same lame statement passes for a coherent argument?

    ….. you look for a way to strike back at those who simply “don’t need” the existential and entirely super-natural Teddy Bear you can’t quite ever go “Night-Night” without.

    It’s all right. We get it.

  16. disableme says:

    You have no argument. The statement I made however angry it seems to make you still stands.

  17. That’s the Pee Wee Herman defense. Listen, 2000 years from now we will be lucky if anybody is anywhere to remember anything. Who gives a crap about Mr. Russell OR Jesus? ….. other than you? All I can say for sure is, of the two of them, Russell could read and write.

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