Homage to Bertrand Russell the ultimate freethinker, doubter and pillar of elegant reason

“What is wanted is not the will-to-believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite.”

Tyger A.C
4 min readJun 13, 2021

Bertrand Russell
Free Thought and Official Propaganda” speech
Delivered at South Place Institute in London, England on March 24, 1922

What makes a freethinker is not his beliefs but the way in which he holds them. If he holds them because his elders told him they were true when he was young, or if he holds them because if he did not he would be unhappy, his thought is not free; but if he holds them because, after careful thought he finds a balance of evidence in their favor, then his thought is free, however odd his conclusions may seem.

Bertrand Russell, The Value of Free Thought. How to Become a Truth-Seeker and Break the Chains of Mental Slavery, from the first paragraph 1944 essay “The Value of Free Thought”

I pay homage and give tribute to Bertrand Russel for he taught me the foundations of being a free thinker. He inspired me to doubt,informed my desire to know the world for what it is and crucially was the trigger to the development of my inner critic. Bertrand Russell in a sense taught me to be a rational being, dismissing false beliefs and therefore always inquiring further. Russell instilled in me the sense of engagement for the betterment of humanity.

A true philosopher in the old sense of ‘lover of wisdom’ Bertrand Russel is without doubt a giant amongst the great minds of 20th century. As P.F. Strawson concludes, Russell’s influence “on the philosophy of his and our time has perhaps been greater than that of any other single individual” (Strawson 1984, 104).

Free thought’ means thinking freely … to be worthy of the name freethinker he must be free of two things: the force of tradition and the tyranny of his own passions.

Bertrand Russell 1957

Bertrand Russell

A champion of freedom and staunch opponent of both censorship and indoctrination BR can be considered the epitome of the ideal of meeting the social via the personal.

Of all the great thoughts to spring from this insightful mind, the greatest, to my mind are the thoughts about idleness, his maintenance of agnosticism and finally his contribution to the idea of panpsychism (albeit called Russellian Monism).

About Panpsychism:

“Neutral monism” — as opposed to idealistic monism and materialistic monism — is the theory that the things commonly regarded as mental and the things commonly regarded as physical do not differ in respect of any intrinsic property possessed by the one set and not by the other, but differ only in respect of arrangement and context. (CP, Vol. 7, 15)

“The whole duality of mind and matter, according to this theory, is a mistake; there is only one kind of stuff out of which the world is made, and this stuff is called mental in one arrangement, physical in the other” (CP, Vol. 7, 15).

About Idleness :

“I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work. “

Bertrand Russell (In praise of idleness 1932)

There is so much to say about Bertrand Russell and I leave each and every one of you to study him and his work. His was a mind to be remembered and emulated.

Bertrand Russell received the Nobel prize for literature in 1950 for “his varied and significant writings in which he champions humanitarian ideals and freedom of thought.”

Finally, Freethinking is an extremely difficult sate to reach and maintain. That was always true. The modern paradox however compounds the issue manifold. The paradox with which we are confronted nowadays stems from the fact that contrary to the past correct information is readily available it is however as an island in an ocean of nonsense, fake news and false information. Finding, extracting and parsing correct information, leading to knowledge and so paving the way to freethinking demands discipline and training, clarity of mind and lucidity of purpose.

Nevertheless, it is my firm belief, inspired by Russell that such is a worthwhile endeavor.

Freethinking has existed from times immemorial. Very few minds however were able to perform under the conditions of freedom.

Bertrand Russel is one such exception.

And so I remain in gratitude for living in a world in which a mind such as Bertrand Russell has existed and left for us the breadcrumbs to greatness and freedom of thought.

“In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.”
Bertrand Russell

Thank you for reading



Tyger A.C

Futurist,Writer,Polytopia, Philosophy,Science,Science Fiction,