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Quotes of the day

Published Saturday, August 11, 2012 @ 9:27 AM EDT
Aug 11 2012

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 agnosticism.

Click here 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 and imprisonment.

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 veracity.

I am not so much for the freedom of religion as I am for the religion of freedom.

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 unbelief.

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 consequences.

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 Jehovah.

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 opinions.

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 hell hereafter.

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 and hideous.

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 Savior.

The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.

The hands that help are holier than the lips that pray.

The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and revenge.

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 reads it.

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 drown his?

Categories: Church and State, Don Beaudreault, Founding Fathers, Quotes of the day, Religion, Robert Green Ingersoll, Unitarianism

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