On January 28, the British philosophers F.C. Copleston and Bertrand Russell squared off on BBC radio for a debate on the existence of. Abstract, This article has no associated abstract. (fix it). Keywords, No keywords specified (fix it). Categories. Bertrand Russell in 20th Century Philosophy. Here is the famous debate on the existence of God between Frederick Copleston and Bertrand Russell. The link gives you the transcript of the.

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Frederick Copleston and Bertrand Russell: A Debate – Hellenistic Christendom

Well, we seem to have arrived at an impasse. Why do we intellectually condemn the color-blind man?

I see no reason whatsoever to suppose that the total has any cause whatsoever. That seems to be an experience of the same sort as mystics’ experience of God, and I don’t seek that from what mystics tell us you can get any argument for God which is not equally an argument for Satan.

When the logic that he uses was new — namely, in the time of Aristotle, there had to be a great deal of fuss made about it; Aristotle made a lot of fuss about that logic. You’re making a mistake. Find it on Scholar.

Fiction Free Audio Books: That’s what we can do with ourselves and nothing more. I presume that we mean a supreme personal being, distinct from the world, and creator of the world. Therefore, we cannot but admit the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. I’ve had experiences myself that have altered my character profoundly. Mark Colyvan – – Principia 5 That appears to you as undesirable and evil and to me too.

It would be quite right to say that it appealed to his emotions, but you can say various things about that among others, that if that sort of thing makes that sort of appeal to Hitler’s emotions, then Hitler makes quite a different appeal to my emotions. Yes, I quite see the distinction. On the actual point discussed, whether there is or is not a Necessary Being, I find myself, I think in agreement with the great majority of classical philosophers.


Well, this being is either itself the reason for its own existence, or it is not. If “behaviorism” were true, there would be no objective moral distinction between the emperor Nero and St. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Well, perhaps it’s time I summed up my position. But at the same time, it is not, I think, the phantom as such that the young man loves; he perceives a real value, an idea which he recognizes as objectively valid, and that’s what excites his love.

Moreover, the statement that the world is simply there if in answer to a question, presupposes that the question has meaning. If part of the Universe is contigent, then it cannot be necessary as a whole.

That’s what I should say about that, but I should like to say a few words about Father Copleston’s accusation that I regard logic as all philosophy — that is by no means the case. Because if God’s essence and God’s existence were not identical, then some sufficient reason for this existence would have to be found beyond God.

But every necessary thing has its necessity caused by another, or not.

Well, the series of events is either caused or it’s not caused. Face to Face with Bertrand Russell: June 3, at I can’t help feeling, Lord Russell, you know, that you regard the conduct of the Commandant of Belsen as morally reprehensible, and that you yourself would never under any circumstances act in that way, even if you thought, or had reason to think, that possibly the balance of the happiness of the human race might be increased through some people being treated in that abominable manner.

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But it can’t be necessary since each member is contingent, and we’ve agreed that the total has no reality apart from the members, therefore, it can’t be necessary. I think you’d say that sort of action is wrong — and in itself, quite apart from whether the general balance of happiness is increased or not. And that existence, in fact, coplestoon definitely is not a predicate.

I think you’re generalizing more than is necessary. As we are going to discuss the existence of God, it might perhaps be as well to come to some provisional agreement as to what we understand by the term bdrtrand. What will not go into my machine is non-existent, or it is meaningless; it is the expression of emotion. Click the Donate button and support Open Culture.

Frederick Copleston and Bertrand Russell: A Debate

I can illustrate what seems to me your fallacy. Therefore if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus now nothing would be in existence–which is absurd.

That there is a contingent being actually existing has to be discovered by experience, and the proposition that there is a contingent being is certainly not an analytic proposition, though once you know, I should maintain, that there is a contingent being, it follows of necessity russelo there is a Necessary Being.

I think the word “universe” is a handy word in some connections, but I don’t think it stands for anything that has a meaning. No, but I think that the good effect would attest russell veracity in describing your experience. And analytic propositions are always complex and logically somewhat late.