Of Thinking

  “Thinking for oneself is a fearsome task.” —Russell Wheeler Davenport, The Dignity of Man, 1955  

Of Intellectual Freedom

“The intellectual life of freedom thrives on heterogeneity and disagreement.” —Russell Wheeler Davenport, The Dignity of Man, 1955  

Of Freedom and Property

“The great discovery of the twentieth-century is that freedom cannot be defined without reference to those millions who do not own any property except their inconsequential personal effects.  For such persons, property represents, not something which...

Of Changes and Revolutions

“The American founders were eighteenth-century philosophes—very great ones, no doubt, but long dead, nevertheless.  Humanity faces today questions that were quite unknown to those thinkers.  Vast changes have come over society since they lived, and...

Of the Duty to Think

“We cannot suppose that the doctrines formulated by the American founders were absolutes, handed down from on high.  They do not represent the last word on the subject of man and his freedom, and they do not in any way, therefore, relieve us of the...

Of Mystery

  “We do not have to be mystics in order to recognize the mystery in the universe.” —Russell Wheeler Davenport, The Dignity of Man, 1955  

Of Giving One's Life Meaning and Purpose

  “Committing oneself to making the universe a better place overall—increasing the amount of intrinsic goodness in the universe (or decreasing the amount of intrinsic evil)—can bring internal meaning to one’s life.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg,...

Of the Truth of Things

  “Many of the things we know are such that we cannot give an adequate philosophical proof for their truth.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Making a Better World

  Freedom as we have come to know it is not the true freedom we will come to know when we have won the battle for democracy against plutocracy.  The freedom we know is simply not enough freedom.  It is a basic philosophical challenge for...

Of Tyranny, Slavery, Evil and Error

  Tyranny has been made to look like democracy.  Slavery has been made to look like freedom.  Evil has been made to look like good.  Error has been made to look like truth.   

Of the Virtues

  “There is a place in a naturalistic universe for virtues like humility, charity, and hope.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of the Human Condition

  “Given the past record of attempts to improve the human condition, the prospects that any future attempt might succeed are extremely dim.” —Erik Joseph Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe, 2005  

Of Greed and Capitalism

  Greed, selfishness, possessiveness, these are a subjective reflection of the current anti-social environment known as capitalism.  

Of Humanism

  “Humanists preach a doctrine of human cooperation and brotherhood.” —Russell Wheeler Davenport, The Dignity of Man, 1955  

Of the Known and the Unknown

  “What lies beyond the known is necessarily unknown.” —Russell Wheeler Davenport, The Dignity of Man, 1955  

Of Acquisitiveness

  “Acquisitiveness is the mainspring of the capitalist system.” —Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954  

Of Power

  “Love of power is greatly increased by the experience of power.” —Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954  

Of Human Excellence

  “We must admit two distinct elements in human excellence, one social, the other solitary.” —Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954  

Of Ethics

  “It is because we are not completely social that we have need of ethics to suggest purposes, and of moral codes to inculcate rules of action.  Ants, it seems, have no such need: they behave always as the interests of their community dictate.” ...

Of Reason

  “Reason consists in a just adaptation of means to ends.” —Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954  

Of Human Volition

  “For practical purposes we must assume that our volitions have causes, and our ethics must be compatible with this assumption.” —Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics, 1954  

Of Rights

  “The concept of rights is not inherently biased against socialist ideals and aspirations.  This does not, in itself, decide the feasibility or desirability of socialism, but it may serve to keep open the lines of communication between theorists...

Of Tyranny

  “The greatest safeguard against tyranny is the general knowledge that most people will rather kill or be killed than endure it.” —Richard Robinson, An Atheist’s Values, 1964  

Of Freedom

  “Men must act freely if they are to develop energy and enterprise and judgement and originality.” —Richard Robinson, An Atheist’s Values, 1964