Below you'll find more information on some of the topics touched on in Bill Moyers' conversation with Colin McGinn. You can also find more information on religion in the news in our main Resources section. Plus you can explore belief and doubt and faith and science and other matters in our Perspectives section.
René Descartes (1596-1650) is one of the most important Western philosophers of the past few centuries. This Web site offers a brief biography on his life, as well as an lengthy article dissecting his most famous and widely-studied book, the Meditations on First Philosophy.
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (b.1872 - d.1970) was a British philosopher, logician, essayist, and social critic, best known for his work in mathematical logic and analytic philosophy. This Web site contains links to searchable images of his writings, e-books of his studies, and evaluations and analysis of his books and essays. In one of his most famous lectures, WHY I'M NOT A CHRISTIAN, which was later converted to a book, Russell outlined the various different reasons and arguments against Christianity and the Churches.
George Berkeley - "God is essential"
Along with John Locke and David Hume, George Berkeley was one of the three most famous eighteenth century British Empiricists. An idealist and an immaterialist, Berkeley argued for the existence of God in his Proofs for the Existence of God.
St. Anselm's ontological argument
Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) was the outstanding Christian philosopher and theologian of the eleventh century. He is best known for this celebrated "ontological argument" for the existence of God in chapter two of the Proslogion, which can be found in original language on this site.
The First Cause argument
St. Thomas Aquinas, famous theologian, philosopher, and patron saint of Catholic universities, colleges, and schools, argued that the existence of God could be proven in five ways using reason and nature.
BILLY BUDD, Claggart
This site is dedicated to helping students of literature at all levels better understand Herman Melville's complex short novel, BILLY BUDD, including an in-depth analysis of the character John Claggart, often referred to as an quintessential example of evil in the novel.
This site offers a brief summary of Shakespeare's tragedy OTHELLO, with links at the bottom for quotes, essays, and discussion of another famous example of evil in literature Iago.
This extensive site of resources for Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN contains original text from the 1831 version as well as various other resources related to the Frankenstein story.
David Hume, often considered the last of the great trio of "British empiricists," was particularly noted for his argument on determinism and free will, stating that both were an essential part of human nature; they acted in what he referred to as compatibilism. This Web site offers a brief biography as well as excerpts and essays from his extensive writings.
Victor Frankl's MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING
Frankl was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist. The founder of logotherapy and Existential Analysis, Frankl's method was known as the "Third Viennese School" of psychotherapy. His book MAN'S SEARCH FOR MEANING (first published in 1946) chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and describes his psychotherapeutic method of finding meaning in all forms of existence.
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist, and a moral and political theorist. This Web site includes a study of his life and works, including his sixth and final book in THE SYSTEM OF LOGIC, which addresses the methodology of moral and social sciences.
The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah authored the Book of Jeremiah and the Book of Lamentations. This site offers information into his life, writings and religious influence.
Michel Eyguem de Montaigne was a great thinker of the French Renaissance who studied mankind and humanity through his own introspective study of himself. This site offers a timeline of his life and studies, as well as links to his various essays.
The controversy between science and faith has come to a head in the United States over the teaching of evolution. Find out more about the controversy. This companion site to the PBS documentary on evolution contains links to Darwin's diary, as well as an interactive explanation of how evolution occurs.