REVIEW : The Bothersome Man (2006)

In 1927 Bertrand Russell delivered a talk entitled “Why I am not a Christian”.  In this talk he rejected the logic of the arguments for the existence of God before moving on to issues such as Jesus’ moral character and whether or not he actually existed in the first place.  In the 80 or so years since Russell gave that talk, the question of whether or not to be a Christian has come more and more to resemble the question of whether or not it is rational to believe in God.  This focus distracts from the fact, acknowledged by Russell, that even if the proof of God’s existence were overwhelming, there would still be good reason for refusing to consider oneself a Christian.  For example, one can question the morality of Jesus’ teachings, the value of his various churches and whether ‘worship’ is really the kind of activity that civilised human beings should be engaged in at the beginning of the twenty first century.  One of the reasons why I am not a Christian is that heaven does not sound like the kind of place I would want to spend eternity.  Clearly, this is a thought that has also occurred to Jens Lien, the director of Den Brysomme Mannen, (2006) known outside of Norway as The Bothersome Man.

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