Quotes of the day- Robert Green Ingersoll:
Robert Green Ingersoll (August 11, 1833 – July 21, 1899) was a Civil War
veteran, American political leader, and orator during the Golden Age of
Freethought, noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of
for Rev. Don Beaudreault's sermon, "Thank God for Agnostics: A
Celebration of the Life of Robert Ingersoll.
A college is a place where pebbles are polished and diamonds dimmed.
An argument should not depend for its force upon the name of its author.
Facts need no pedigree, logic has no heraldry, and the living should not
awed by the mistakes of the dead.
An infinite God ought to be able to protect himself, without going in
partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act
that laws become necessary to keep him from being laughed at. No one
thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine
Blasphemy is what an old mistake says of a newly discovered truth.
Christianity has such a contemptible opinion of human nature that it
does not believe a man can tell the truth unless frightened by a belief
in God. No lower opinion of the human race has ever been expressed.
Churches are becoming political organizations... It probably will not be
long until the churches will divide as sharply upon political, as upon
theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not
liberals enough to hold the balance of power, this Government will be
destroyed. The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church.
Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave.
Courage without conscience is a wild beast.
Each nation has created a god, and the god has always resembled his
creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved, and he was
invariably found on the side of those in power.
Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending
the justice of his own imprisonment.
Few rich men own their own property. The property owns them.
For thousands of years people have been trying to force other people to
think their way. Did they succeed? No. Will they succeed? No. Why?
Because brute force is not an argument.
Give me the storm and stress of thought and action rather than the dead
calm of ignorance and faith. Banish me from Eden when you will but first
let me eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge.
Great virtues may draw attention from defects, they cannot sanctify
them. A pebble surrounded by diamonds remains a common stone, and a
diamond surrounded by pebbles is still a gem.
Hope is the only universal liar who never loses his reputation for
I am not so much for the freedom of religion as I am for the religion of
I am the inferior of any man whose rights I trample under foot. Men are
not superior by reason of the accidents of race or color. They are
superior who have the best heart— the best brain
I belong to the Great Church which holds the world within its starlit
aisles; that claims the great and good of every race and clime; that
finds with joy the grain of gold in every creed, and floods with light
and love the germs of good in every soul.
I cannot believe that there is any being in this universe who has
created a human soul for eternal pain. I would rather that every god
would destroy himself; I would rather that we all should go to eternal
chaos, to black and starless night, than that just one soul should
suffer eternal agony.
I cannot see why we should expect an infinite God to do better in
another world than he does in this.
I suppose it can be truthfully said that Hope is the only universal liar
who never loses his reputation for veracity.
If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he
would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the
New, he would be insane.
If there be an infinite Being, he does not need our help- we need not
waste our energies in his defense.
If we are immortal it is a fact in nature, and we are not indebted to
priests for it, nor to bibles for it, and it cannot be destroyed by
Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows.
In all ages hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns upon the heads
of thieves, called kings.
In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments- there are
In the republic of mediocrity genius is dangerous.
Intelligence is the only moral guide.
It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded
upon the Bible, and that all who look upon the book as false or foolish
are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our
government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights
of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity
of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government
made by the people and for the people. It is the only nation with which
the gods have had nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest
and cowardly enough to solemnly decide that this is a Christian country,
and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of
It is incredible that only idiots are absolutely sure of salvation. It
is incredible that the more brain you have the less your chance is.
There can be no danger in honest thought, and if the world ever advances
beyond what it is to- day, it must be led by men who express their real
It may be that ministers really think that their prayers do good and it
may be that frogs imagine that their croaking brings spring.
It seems to me that if there is some infinite being who wants us to
think alike he would have made us alike.
Justice should remove the bandage from her eyes long enough to
distinguish between the vicious and the unfortunate.
Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers; it is the only prayer that
deserves an answer- good, honest, noble work.
Martyrdom, as a rule, establishes the sincerity of the martyr- never the
correctness of his thought. Things are true or false in themselves.
Truth cannot be affected by opinions; it cannot be changed, established,
or affected by martyrdom. An error cannot be believed sincerely enough
to make it a truth.
Ministers say that they teach charity. This is natural. They live on
alms. All beggars teach that others should give.
My principal objections to orthodox religion are two- slavery here and
Nature never prompted a loving mother to throw her child into the
Ganges. Nature never prompted men to exterminate each other for a
difference of opinion concerning the baptism of infants. These crimes
have been produced by religions filled with all that is illogical, cruel
No man can blaspheme a book. No man can commit blasphemy by telling his
honest thought. No man can blaspheme a God, or a Holy Ghost, or a Son of
God. The Infinite cannot be blasphemed.
No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.
One good schoolmaster is worth a thousand priests.
Our civilization is not Christian. It does not come from the skies. It
is not a result of "inspiration." It is the child of invention, of
discovery, of applied knowledge -- that is to say, of science. When man
becomes great and grand enough to admit that all have equal rights; when
thought is untrammeled; when worship shall consist in doing useful
things; when religion means the discharge of obligations to our
fellow-men, then, and not until then, will the world be civilized.
Reason, Observation and Experience- the Holy Trinity of Science- have
taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is
now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us.
The churches have no confidence in each other. Why? Because they are
acquainted with each other.
The clergy know that I know that they know that they do not know.
The Emperor Constantine, who lifted Christianity into power, murdered
his wife Fausta, and his eldest son Crispus, the same year that he
convened the Council of Nice to decide whether Jesus Christ was a man or
the Son of God. The council decided that Christ was consubstantial with
the father. This was in the year 325. We are thus indebted to a
wife-murderer for settling the vexed question of the divinity of the
The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing
The hands that help are holier than the lips that pray.
The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and
The infidels have been the brave and thoughtful men; the flower of all
the world; the pioneers and heralds of the blessed day of liberty and
love; the generous spirits of the unworthy past; the seers and prophets
of our race; the great chivalric souls, proud victors on the
battlefields of thought, the creditors of all the years to be.
The inspiration of the Bible depends on the ignorance of the person who
The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to
himself and to his fellow-men.
The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the
blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He
stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.
Theism is the only legal form of insanity.
There is no slavery but ignorance. Liberty is the child of intelligence.
This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of
defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many-
that is blasphemy.
We are satisfied that there can be but little liberty on earth while men
worship a tyrant in heaven.
Who can over estimate the progress of the world if all the money wasted
in superstition could be used to enlighten, elevate and civilize mankind?
Whoever has an opinion of his own, and honestly expresses it, will be
guilty of heresy. Heresy is what the minority believe; it is the name
given by the powerful to the doctrine of the weak
Whoever increases the sum of human joy, is a worshiper. He who adds to
the sum of human misery, is a blasphemer.
Why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to
Church and State,
Quotes of the day,
Robert Green Ingersoll,
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