Bertrand russell, the philosophy of logical atomism we've associated that word philosophy with academic study that in its own way has gotten so far beyond the layman that if you read contemporary philosophy you've no clue, because it's almost become math. And it's odd that if you don't do that and you call yourself a philosopher that you always get 'homespun' attached to it.
Prison is a severe and terrible punishment; but for me, thanks to arthur balfour, this was not so. I was much cheered on my arrival by the warder at the gate, who had to take particulars about me. He asked my religion, and i replied 'agnostic.' he asked how to spell it, and remarked with a sigh: 'well, there are many religions, but i suppose they all worship the same god.' this remark kept me cheerful for about a week.
I am looking forward very much to getting back to cambridge, and being able to say what i think and not to mean what i say: two things which at home are impossible. Cambridge is one of the few places where one can talk unlimited nonsense and generalities without anyone pulling one up or confronting one with them when one says just the opposite the next day.
Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand-in-hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by the help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the christian religion, against the churches, and against the opposition of all the old precepts.
The chicken noticed that the farmer came every day to feed it. It predicted that the farmer would continue to bring food every day. Inductivists think that the chicken had "extrapolated" its observations into a theory, and that each feeding time added justification to that theory. Then one day the farmer came and wrung the chicken's neck. This inductively justifies the conclusion that induction cannot justify any conclusion.
Religion is based ... Mainly upon fear ... Fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. My own view on religion is that of lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race.
In regard to the past, where contemplation is not obscured by desire and the need for action, we see, more clearly than in the lives about us, the value for good and evil, of the aims men have pursued and the means they have adopted. It is good, from time to time, to view the present as already past, and to examine what elements it contains that will add to the world's store of permanent possessions, that will live and give life when we and all our generation have perished.
Civilized life, if it is to be stable, must provide a harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied in hunting. In australia, where people are few, and rabbits are many, i watched the whole populace satisfying the primitive impulse in the primitive manner by the skilful slaughter of many thousands of rabbits.