By Bertrand Russell
Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens are heirs to a great tradition stretching back centuries. Words against religion and, moreover, belief in gods and a creation have piled up in libraries and lecture halls. Dawkins is just the latest anti-theist to write down his thoughts in an accessible form – and broadcast his smug little face on fun Channel 4 documentaries.
Rewind a few years on this timeline and you’ll come across the major milestone that is Bertrand Russell. The man is a giant among anti-theists. A real thinker and brilliant communicator, Russell can be said to have helped define 20th-century philosophy on religion. This book is a collection of his essays and lectures on the topic. Although I am fascinated by this subject, I rarely read books on it. But this book was gripping – not because it is a thriller or a whodunit, or even a sustained polemic. It is a tireless assimilation of logic and facts, of philosophy and observation.
If anyone can be said to have cracked the nut of religion and taken apart the insides, it’s Russell.