Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: Why I Am Not a Christian
Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects is a collection of essays and speeches given by philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell, including the essay Why I Am Not a Christian.
Contents of Collection
Why I Am Not A Christian (1927)
Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization? (1930)
Differences Between Founders of Religions and Their Current Form
- Russell details how many religions, including Christianity and Buddhism, do not follow the original teachings of their founders. Russell lists the ideas of Matthew 19:21 , Matthew 5:9 , Matthew 6:6 , and Matthew 7:1 as teachings that the Christian church does not follow. Russell then posits that religious leaders use their interpretations of the teachings of their founders to gain power and to stop truth. Examples of this include Charles Darwin, Galileo Galilei, and Sigmund Freud. Russell also notes that religion has done nothing to help with social problems such as slavery and economic justice.
Christianity and Sex
- Russell notes that women have been held inferior due to religion's "Strict Moral Code". Examples include the teaching of virginity and prohibition of sex before marriage, no right to divorce, and no right to birth control. Russell then objects to the Church's stance on the spread of syphilis, stating that the religious believe that the sinful and even their spouses and children should be punished for their sexual practices. The Church's position as to sexual education also gives young people the idea of sex as sinful and goes against human nature. Russell then presents the Problem of evil and Euthyphro dilemma.