Jalees Rehman in the Huffington Post:
In the course of studying non-Muslim writings and Scriptures during this Ramadan, I came across the excellent essay “What I Believe” by the great atheist philosopher and Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell. This essay can be found in a collection of essays, including the famous or perhaps infamous “Why I Am Not a Christian.” I remember reading this essay collection a number of years ago, but as with many of Bertrand Russell's writings, it does not hurt to continuously re-read them since one is bound to find new facets of wisdom each time. In “What I Believe,” Russell formulates some of the key principles of his humanist and atheist philosophy.
Part of the essay is devoted to critiquing religion, such as when he says: “Religion, since it has its source in terror, has dignified certain kinds of fear and made people think them not disgraceful. In this it has done mankind a great disservice: all fear is bad.”
Russell acknowledges that fear is found not only in religion, but in many aspects of our society.
“Fear is the basis of religious dogma, as of so much else in human life. Fear of human beings, individually or collectively, dominates much of our social life, but it is fear of nature that gives rise to religion.”