After spending a long life flitting between the clamourings of boisterous philosophers – Hegel, Moore, Bradley, Plato, Wittgenstein – Bertrand Russell went to his “rest”. At one period he was into mind-matter dualism, then into neutral monism (no, not “neural” monism – he had more than one brain cell). He ended his life a materialist. The distressing thing about materialism is that it cannot offer any consistent account of experience. It’s all talk. Matter ends up as natter.
In his “Why I am not a Christian”, Russell rejects the Christian belief in an ultimate reality. That is not to say that he didn’t spend much of his life in the quest for ultimates. The two ultimate philosophical questions are, first, how do we know what we know?, and, second, “how should we live?” Russell was only interested in the first. As for the second, he lived as he pleased.
He was never sure about how we know anything. Why then was he so certain that Christianity was wrong? Whatever his reason, it couldn’t have had anything to do with Christ’s claim that “I am the way the truth and the life,” because if Russell didn’t know what was true, or what truth was (except “my truth, your truth”) how could he be so sure that Christianity was not true? The reason is that he loathed all religion, and Christianity in particular. In the preface to his “critical essays”, he says, “I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as they are untrue.” Why, reasoned Russell, throw reason to the dogmas?” Religion, Russell said, neither advances civilization nor can it cure any of the world’s troubles. Besides, he says, there’s no life beyond the grave. Is there!
In his article “A Free man’s worship” (1903), he concludes: “Brief and powerless is man’s life; on him and all his race the slow sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way.” Russell didn’t reject worship per se, for he worshipped the “empire of chance”. Out with the shrine not built with human hands and in with the “shrine I have built,” says Russell. Here is Russell on the “free man’s worship”: “to worship at the shrine his own hands have built, undismayed by the empire of chance.” Imperious matter will have its chance. As Lady Catherine de Burgh imperiously chirped: “I will have my share.”
“Brief and powerless is Man’s life (laments Russell); on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark. Blind to good and evil, reckless of destruction, omnipotent matter rolls on its relentless way.” (Bertrand Russell’s, “A Free Man’s Worship”).
The free man caught up in the chance intrigues of “omnipotent matter” – omnipotently impotent. R.I.P?
 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything (Acts 17:22-25)
 Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”