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Bertrand Russell on Religion, with Buddhist Commentaries

Albert Shansky believes many of Russell’s opinions on religion are surprisingly in tune with those of the Buddhists.

Those familiar with Bertrand Russell (1872- 1970) will know that he had opinions on a wide and eclectic variety of subjects. This article will deal mainly with his theological development and his attitude towards organized religion. His early interest in religion was aroused at the age of fourteen or fifteen when, for fear of ridicule and derision, he confided his thoughts to a diary, using a cryptic language based on Greek letters and phonetics. At this tender age he was surprised to learn that his view of ethics was embodied in the Utilitarianism propounded by John Stuart Mill. He then rejected free will, immortality, and questioned his belief in God.

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