Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bertrand Russell's Wisdom I: The First Cause Argument

I may say that when I was a young man and was debating these questions very seriously in my mind, I for a long time accepted the argument of the First Cause, until one day, at the age of eighteen, I read John Stuart Mill's Autobiography, and I there found this sentence: "My father taught me that the question 'Who made me?' cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question `Who made god?'" That very simple sentence showed me, as I still think, the fallacy in the argument of the First Cause. If everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause. If there can be anything without a cause, it may just as well be the world as God, so that there cannot be any validity in that argument.

Bertrant Russell

From his article Why I Am Not A Christian.


  1. Yeah, Russell was the first one to sort of smash Creationism with the idea of Infinite Regression and the First Cause argument (as well as the flying teapot).

    Unfortunately, even though he was fairly recent, he still faced alot of stigma for being anti-religious.

  2. Unfortunately Russell was writing before theoretical physicists had put forward all of the many arguments we are aware of today about the fact that time itself is dependant upon and linked to matter. If God exists it is by definition as a non-material entity, TIME itself therefore would not exist, so the idea of a "cause" becomes illogical. Whereas matter and time are by definition linked so "cause" is a quite logical question to ask.