The Matter of Meaning

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Unless you assume a God,
the question of life’s purpose
is meaningless.

–Bertrand Russell
Agnostic philosopher

The World’s Greatest Need

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One of the most impressive sights of 1951 was that of an elderly man giving a lecture at Columbia University. He was a man not ordinarily accounted one of the twelve disciples, and I am not baptizing him now — Bertrand Russell (atheist philosopher). It was rather amusing to many to see and hear the apologies and hesitations with which he made his announcement that Christian love was the world’s greatest need. Here are his words, with all the apologies left in:

“The root of the matter (if we want a stable world) is a very simple and old-fashioned thing, a thing so simple that I am almost ashamed to mention it, for fear of the derisive smile with which wise cynics will greet my words. The thing I mean is love, Christian love.”

“Christian love.” But trying to have Christian love, without its source in the revelation of a God of love in Christ, is trying to create something out of nothing.

-Halford Edward Luccock
(1885–1961)

A Yearning for Something More

Bertrand RussellThe centre of me is always and eternally a terrible pain . . . a searching for something beyond what the world contains, something transfigured and infinite – the beatific vision, God – I do not find it, I do not think it is to be found – but the love of it is my life . . . it is the actual spring of life within me.
        –Bertrand Russell, Philosopher and atheist

Preferring a math equation

trinidad-288x300The famous atheist and philosopher, , suggested that if we could penetrate to the centre of the universe we would find a mathematical equation.

Not exactly a heart-warming proposition.

The Bible paints a radically different picture of ultimate reality. What is found at the center of the universe is a celebration—the eternal dance of the Trinity. The God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit has been forever caught up in a symphony of joy, goodness, and love, that is beautiful beyond description. The matrix of creation is a Godfest of glory.

Why would anyone prefer a math equation?

–Jurgen O. Schulz

Loving your neighbors or eating them

In a landmark debate between the agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell and the Christian philosopher Frederick Copleston, Copleston asked Russell if he believed in good and bad. Russell admitted that he did. Copleston then asked him how he differentiated between the two. Russell said that he differentiated between good and bad in the same way that he distinguished between colors. “But you distinguish between colors by seeing, don’t you? How then, do you judge between good and bad?” “On the basis of feeling, what else?” came Russell’s sharp reply.

Somebody should have told Russell that in some cultures people love their neighbors while in other cultures they eat them–both on the basis of feeling! Did Mr. Russell have a personal preference?

How can we possibly justify differentiating between good and bad merely on the basis of feeling? Whose feeling? Hitler’s or Mother Theresa’s? There must be a transcendent moral law, a standard by which to determine good and bad. Without such a point of reference, the question of evil is no longer coherent.

–Ravi Zacharias
Questioning the Question