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A Very Brief History of B. Russell

Following is a short introduction to Russell, a famous British philosopher, that I had to give in a critical review of one of his essay, in one literature class I was attending.

Bertrand Russell (d. 1970), a British writer, wrote on various significant issues concerning humanity, philosophy, literature, linguistics and sciences. He was a ‘world-view’ builder of modern world. He was given Nobel Prize in Literature for his contribution to the issues of humanitarianism, liberty and freedom of thought. He despised religious ideals and considered all revelations to be same as ‘gospel truths’[1], meaning fiction. Thus, he joined hands with moderns, who divorced reason from revelation, in an intellectual effort to provide alternative world-views and answers to issues which religion answered.[2] This essay has imprints of such anti-traditional, anti-religious attitudes. Nonetheless, it is not much about religion itself. It is about the social issue of work-ethics and rights of workers to have leisure. There is an agreement between this view and other religions, especially Islam, as we shall see later in the paper. Russell also visited USSR to study socialism[3].

[1] This is taken for granted for in one of his letters, he was asked whether he has read Qur’an, Holy book of Islam, to which replied that all gospel truths are alike, although he had not read the book.
[2] See Asad Zaman, “The Origin of Western Sciences,” available on his personal website: http://sites.google.com/site/asaduzaman, in which he traces the West’s disenchantment of religion and how social sciences and humanities attempt to answer five fundamental questions which religion answered for centuries, Christianity and Islam, primarily.
[3] Visit Bertrand Russell’s page on Nobleprzie.org website.

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