The World View Of Bertrand Russell

2474 words - 10 pages

The World View of Bertrand Russell In today's world, it is difficult to know just what is correct among the ideas of the universe, what we are and how we came to be, and how we should live as human beings and as a society. Bertrand Russell, an agnostic philosopher, approaches these questions and tries to answer them according to what science has proven throughout history.In an debate with F. C. Copleston, Bertrand Russell was questioned on the existence of God. Russell states that his view is agnostic (123), meaning he is neutral. He doesn't say that he is for religion nor does he say that he is against religion. He just believes science must prove there is a God (129). Copleston adds that one should look for the existence of God and saying not to is dogmatic (129). Copleston then questions Russell's view of the universe. Bertrand Russell answers that "The word "universe" is a handy word in some connections, but I don't think it stands for anything that has meaning (129)." He then goes on to state that "The universe is just there, and that is all (131)." In another debate with F. C. Copleston, Bertrand Russell is questioned on the subject of morals. Russell believes to understand if a man's morals are to be a sign of believing in God that must be proven (138). He believes that distinguishing between good and bad are like seeing the difference in blue and yellow. You distinguish by looking at colors but you distinguish good and bad by feelings (139). People can make mistakes in that as they can in other things. Moral obligation, from Russell's view is that "One has to take account of the effects, and I think right conduct is that which would probably produce the greatest possible balance in intrinsic value of all the acts possible in the circumstances, and you've got to take account of the probable effects of your action in considering what is right (140)." He is explaining that for every action there is a reaction. He believes we should live as humans how we are taught or governed. He believes that conditioned reflexes tell us what we should do and what we shouldn't.The body of a man is, from Russell's point of view, a combination of events (147). These events are clustered into groups. Events that happen in our mind are considered thought while those that happen outside the mind are considered casual events. Mind and body are just convenient ways of organizing events. Of the mind is memory. The memory is thought to survive after death, however, the part of the brain that decays at death ceases to exist meaning that the memory would also. He believes that the materialism opponents are correct in their desires to prove that the mind is immoral and that the ultimate power is mental rather then physical (149).Russell believes each of us have a different conscience. With this, we all have differing views of what is right and what is wrong. Our conscious can not be relied on to determine what is right. We should live on what we believe such as...

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