Religion has been the cause for countless fights, debates, and wars throughout the existence of humankind. There have been many people who have stepped into the void of the endless dispute, among them are ones claiming God’s existence, and the ones refuting it. The forms of this endless debate fall into many categories to express opinions on religion: speeches, poems, and essays. It is common for these forms of expression to sway to both ends of the spectrum on religion. One of the most common topics that seem to be the one most contemplated is whether or not God does truly exists and what evidence supports it. An essay written by Bertrand Russell called “Why I Am Not a Christian”, is an example of this classic debate that adds his view point on Christian religion. While Russell explains each of these things, his arguments are based more off of other religions such as Hinduism, rather than actually evidence. In Russell’s essay, the reasoning behind most arguments is based mainly upon examples from other religions; fighting belief against belief makes his argument ineffective.
“Why I Am Not a Christian” is sectioned into four main parts in which Russell reflects, argues, and refutes certain aspects of each of the major arguments supporting a theistic way of life. In the beginning section it talks about mainly the background on Christians and what a Christian actually is defined as. He states that a Christian has two defining features, first the belief of God and immortality and then a sense of belief in Christ. After describing these two things he goes on saying he is not a Christian for two reasons, “First, why I do not believe in God and immortality; and secondly, why I do not think that Christ was the best and wisest of men” (284). From each section, he explains the reasoning to his stance by breaking it down into the fundamental arguments about God’s existence.
In the next section, “The Existence of God” Russell begins by stating “the Catholic Church has laid it down as a dogma that the existence of God can be proven by unaided reason” (284). Which he then goes on to describe the main arguments and that the arguments were only established to help prove God’s existence. Within the First-Cause Argument he simply says it, “as you go back in the chain of causes further and further you must come to a First Cause, and to that First cause you give the name God” (284). With this he continues to question it validity by asking “Who made God?” and proposes that “God must have a cause” (285). Finally after referencing Hindi beliefs, Russell concludes that, “There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all” (285) and finishes the first argument that everything has a cause it from the imagination.
During the next parts of the second section he references four other arguments dealing with the question of God’s existence. In The Natural-Law Argument, Russell addresses how “Natural Laws are really human conventions” (286). By stating...