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Russell on the Argument from Design

[NOTE: I recently wrote a biographical sketch of Bertrand Russell, a well-known humanist in the early 20th century. Here is his anlysis of the argument for the exsistence of God from design.]

There is one of these arguments which is not purely logical. I mean the argument from design. This argument, however, was destroyed by Darwin; and, in any case, could only be made logically respectable at the cost of abandoning God’s omnipotence. Apart from logical cogency, there is to me something a little odd about the ethical valuations of those who think that an omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent Deity, after preparing the ground by many millions of years of lifeless nebulae, would consider Himself adequately rewarded by the final emergence of Hitler, Stalin and the H-bomb.

Russell, Bertrand. “Introduction.” Russell, Bertrand. Why I Am Not A Christian and other essays on religion and related subjects. Ed. Paul Edwards. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1956. PP. v -vi