Bertrand Russell’s Pointless Universe versus John Calvin’s Purposeful Providence

 

Bertrand Russell: Unyielding Grimace Against a Pointless Universe
Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That Man is the product of causes which had no provision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built (p. 39). Continue reading “Bertrand Russell’s Pointless Universe versus John Calvin’s Purposeful Providence”

Judicial review power for Selangor Shariah High Court ‘unconstitutional’

Free Malaysia Today 21 Feb 2022

PUTRAJAYA: A nine-member bench of the Federal Court today unanimously declared that it is unconstitutional for the Selangor legislative assembly to pass a provision to confer judicial review power to the Shariah High Court in the state.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said Section 66A of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, as it stands, is also unconstitutional.

“I find Section 66A, as it stands, is unconstitutional and void as it is a provision the legislative assembly has no power to make,” she said of the unanimous ruling.

As such, she said, the petition filed by SIS Forum Malaysia is allowed and the declaration is granted, pursuant to the Courts of Judicature Act.

SIS filed the application in the Federal Court on Jan 21, 2020 after the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed its judicial review application against the Selangor religious authority’s fatwa labelling the group “deviant”. Continue reading “Judicial review power for Selangor Shariah High Court ‘unconstitutional’”

Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude 1872-1921. Book Review

 

Remember those sixth-form days when some of us were first thrilled by newly awakened intellectual abilities? We were quick to challenge traditional beliefs and the status quo, and eager to show off our acquaintance with the works of Bertrand Russell. The name Bertrand Russell was whispered with hush awe and quiet reverence. Russell represented to us the ideal of a socially engaged intellectual. Never mind that we couldn’t really understand his more technical papers on mathematical logic. His more popular written books such as Why I Am Not a Christian, Principles of Social Reconstruction and A Free Man’s Worship were sufficient to persuade us to adopt him as an inspiring icon for rebellion. His status as a Nobel Prize laureate decisively clinched an unquestioned hearing from skeptical students.

However, when I actually got down to read Russell for myself, particularly his book Why I Am Not a Christian, I found myself in for a great disappointment. Russell, who was arguably the most outstanding mathematical logician of his day, turned out to be illogical in his analysis of Christianity. He relied on a shoddy knowledge of Christianity. His analysis was full of non-sequitur and question-begging arguments with much scorn and rhetoric thrown in. I concluded that a more fitting title for the book would be Why I am too Prejudiced to Become a Stereotyped Christian. Continue reading “Bertrand Russell: The Spirit of Solitude 1872-1921. Book Review”