Atheists and Agnostics Compendium

Philosophers and Philosophies (Under construction)

Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677)

The first of the "modern" philosophers. He began the view of the bible as the work of mortal men. Criticized the belief in a personal God. Denied the reality of miracles and life after death. Based morality on "enlightened" self-interest. Spinoza’s God is not outside the universe; is not an entity with will, likes or dislikes, intention, or memory.

Spinoza’s God is the infinite essence of the universe; without which existence is impossible. It is the first object of our understanding; the products and processes of nature; the laws and structure of the world; the order and connection of the universe. For Spinoza God is nature as a whole and therefore to understand nature is to know God.

For more on Spinoza and some of his writings...


Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

British philosopher, mathematician and social critic. He wrote Principles of Mathematics (1903), and collaborated with A N Whitehead in Principia Mathematica (1910--13).

In 1916 his pacifism lost him his fellowship at Trinity College (restored in 1944), and in 1918 he served six months in prison. From the 1920s he lived by lecturing and journalism, and became increasingly controversial. The evils of Fascism led him to renounce pacifism in 1939. After 1949 he became a champion of nuclear disarmament, and engaged in unprecedented correspondence with several world leaders.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950.

Russell is generally recognized as one of the founders of analytic philosophy and mathematical logic but is better known to the public as an advocate of unpopular causes. Infringements, in any form, on the full exercise of the human intellect were attacked in his many speeches and essays notably in “A Free Man’s Worship” and “Why I Am Not a Christian.”

For more on Russell and "A Free Man's Worship" go to...