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Robert Green Ingersoll

Dátum narodenia: 11. august 1833
Dátum úmrtia: 21. júl 1899
Ďalšie mená:رابرت اینقرسول, 羅伯特·格林·英格索爾, 罗伯特·格林·英格索尔

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Robert Green Ingersoll bol dôstojník Armády Spojených štátov.

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Citáty Robert Green Ingersoll

„If that statute had been enforced, that science would not now be the property of the human mind. That science is contrary to the Bible, and for asserting the truth you become a criminal.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: We have now a science called astronomy. That science has done more to enlarge the horizon of human thought than all things else. We now live in an infinite universe. We know that the sun is a million times larger than our earth, and we know that there are other great luminaries millions of times larger than our sun. We know that there are planets so far away that light, traveling at the rate of one hundred and eighty- five thousand miles a second, requires fifteen thousand years to reach this grain of sand, this tear, we call the earth -- and we now know that all the fields of space are sown thick with constellations. If that statute had been enforced, that science would not now be the property of the human mind. That science is contrary to the Bible, and for asserting the truth you become a criminal. For what sum of money, for what amount of wealth, would the world have the science of astronomy expunged from the brain of man? We learned the story of the stars in spite of that statute.

„These claims are so at variance with every known recorded fact, so palpably absurd, that every free unbiased soul is forced to raise the standard of revolt.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Too great praise challenges attention, and often brings to light a thousand faults that otherwise the general eye would never see. Were we allowed to read the Bible as we do all other books, we would admire its beauties, treasure its worthy thoughts, and account for all its absurd, grotesque and cruel things, by saying that its authors lived in rude, barbaric times. But we are told that it was written by inspired men; that it contains the will of God; that it is perfect, pure, and true in all its parts; the source and standard of all moral and religious truth; that it is the star and anchor of all human hope; the only guide for man, the only torch in Nature's night. These claims are so at variance with every known recorded fact, so palpably absurd, that every free unbiased soul is forced to raise the standard of revolt. Some Mistakes of Moses (1879) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38802/38802-h/38802-h.htm Preface

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„While the church believes in witchcraft, it is in a greatly modified form. The evil spirits are not as plenty as in former times, and more phenomena are accounted for by natural means. Just to the extent that belief has been lost in spirits, just to that extent the church has lost its power and authority.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: It was said by Sir Thomas More that to give up witchcraft was to give up the Bible itself. This idea was entertained by nearly all the eminent theologians of a hundred years ago. In my judgment, they were right. To give up witchcraft is to give up, in a great degree at least, the supernatural. To throw away the little ghosts simply prepares the mind of man to give up the great ones. The founders of nearly all creeds, and of all religions properly so called, have taught the existence of good and evil spirits. They have peopled the dark with devils and the light with angels. They have crowded hell with demons and heaven with seraphs. The moment these good and evil spirits, these angels and fiends, disappear from the imaginations of men, and phenomena are accounted for by natural rather than by supernatural means, a great step has been taken in the direction of what is now known as materialism. While the church believes in witchcraft, it is in a greatly modified form. The evil spirits are not as plenty as in former times, and more phenomena are accounted for by natural means. Just to the extent that belief has been lost in spirits, just to that extent the church has lost its power and authority. When men ceased to account for the happening of any event by ascribing it to the direct action of good or evil spirits, and began to reason from known premises, the chains of superstition began to grow weak.

„In the old times of which I have spoken, they desired to make all men think exactly alike. All the mechanical ingenuity of the world cannot make two clocks run exactly alike, and how are you going to make hundreds of millions of people, differing in brain and disposition, in education and aspiration, in conditions and surroundings, each clad in a living robe of passionate flesh — how are you going to make them think and feel alike?“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: In the old times of which I have spoken, they desired to make all men think exactly alike. All the mechanical ingenuity of the world cannot make two clocks run exactly alike, and how are you going to make hundreds of millions of people, differing in brain and disposition, in education and aspiration, in conditions and surroundings, each clad in a living robe of passionate flesh — how are you going to make them think and feel alike? If there is an infinite god, one who made us, and wishes us to think alike, why did he give a spoonful of brains to one, and a magnificent intellectual development to another? Why is it that we have all degrees of intelligence, from orthodoxy to genius, if it was intended that all should think and feel alike?

„They did not regard men as slaves to be ruled by torture, by lash and chain, nor as children to be cheated with illusions, rocked in the cradle of an idiot creed and soothed by a lullaby of lies.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: I thank the great scientists—those who have reached the foundation, the bed-rock—who have built upon facts—the great scientists, in whose presence theologians look silly and feel malicious. The scientists never persecuted, never imprisoned their fellow-men. They forged no chains, built no dungeons, erected no scaffolds—tore no flesh with red hot pincers—dislocated no joints on racks—crushed no bones in iron boots—extinguished no eyes—tore out no tongues and lighted no fagots. They did not pretend to be inspired—did not claim to be prophets or saints or to have been born again. They were only intelligent and honest men. They did not appeal to force or fear. They did not regard men as slaves to be ruled by torture, by lash and chain, nor as children to be cheated with illusions, rocked in the cradle of an idiot creed and soothed by a lullaby of lies. They did not wound—they healed. They did not kill—they lengthened life. They did not enslave—they broke the chains and made men free. They sowed the seeds of knowledge, and many millions have reaped, are reaping, and will reap the harvest of joy.

„Satan sought in many ways to scandalize the church. He sometimes assumed the appearance of a priest and committed crimes.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: It taught the awful doctrine of witchcraft. It filled the darkness with demons—the air with devils, and the world with grief and shame. It charged men, women and children with being in league with Satan to injure their fellows. Old women were convicted for causing storms at sea—for preventing rain and for bringing frost. Girls were convicted for having changed themselves into wolves, snakes and toads. These witches were burned for causing diseases—for selling their souls and for souring beer. All these things were done with the aid of the Devil who sought to persecute the faithful, the lambs of God. Satan sought in many ways to scandalize the church. He sometimes assumed the appearance of a priest and committed crimes.

„Mr. Dixon, however, will remember that the ass was much superior to the prophet of God, and that the argument was all on the side of the ass. And, furthermore, that the spiritual discernment of the ass far exceeded that of the prophet. It was the ass who saw the angel when the prophet’s eye was dim.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: When we take into consideration the fact that the Rev. Mr. Dixon is a minister and believes that he is called upon to deliver to the people a divine message, I do not wonder that he makes the following assertion: “If God could choose Balaam’s ass to speak a divine message, I do not see why he could not utilize the Colonel.” It is natural for a man to justify himself and to defend his own occupation. Mr. Dixon, however, will remember that the ass was much superior to the prophet of God, and that the argument was all on the side of the ass. And, furthermore, that the spiritual discernment of the ass far exceeded that of the prophet. It was the ass who saw the angel when the prophet’s eye was dim.

„The most important thing in this world is liberty. More important than food or clothes — more important than gold or houses or lands — more important than art or science — more important than all religions, is the liberty of man.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: I want you to understand what has been done in the world to force men to think alike. It seems to me that if there is some infinite being who wants us to think alike he would have made us alike. Why did he not do so? Why did he make your brain so that you could not by any possibility be a Methodist? Why did he make yours so that you could not be a Catholic? And why did he make the brain of another so that he is an unbeliever — why the brain of another so that he became a Mohammedan — if he wanted us all to believe alike? After all, maybe Nature is good enough and grand enough and broad enough to give us the diversity born of liberty. Maybe, after all, it would not be best for us all to be just the same. What a stupid world, if everybody said yes to everything that everybody else might say. The most important thing in this world is liberty. More important than food or clothes — more important than gold or houses or lands — more important than art or science — more important than all religions, is the liberty of man.

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„They have told ghost stories to courage until courage became fear. They have done all in their power to keep men from growing intellectually, to keep the world in a state of childhood, that they themselves might be deemed great and good and wise. They have always known that their reputation for wisdom depended upon the ignorance of the people.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: The inventor of paper—and he was not a Christian—did more than all the early fathers for mankind. The inventors of plows, of sickles, of cradles, of reapers; the inventors of wagons, coaches, locomotives; the inventors of skiffs, sail-vessels, steamships; the men who have made looms—in short, the inventors of all useful things—they are the civilizers taken in connection with the great thinkers, the poets, the musicians, the actors, the painters, the sculptors. The men who have invented the useful, and the men who have made the useful beautiful, are the real civilizers of mankind. The priests, in all ages, have been hindrances—stumbling-blocks. They have prevented man from using his reason. They have told ghost stories to courage until courage became fear. They have done all in their power to keep men from growing intellectually, to keep the world in a state of childhood, that they themselves might be deemed great and good and wise. They have always known that their reputation for wisdom depended upon the ignorance of the people.

„No man, standing where the horizon of a life has touched a grave, has any right to prophesy a future filled with pain and tears.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: No man, standing where the horizon of a life has touched a grave, has any right to prophesy a future filled with pain and tears. It may be that death gives all there is of worth to life. If those we press and strain against our hearts could never die, perhaps that love would wither from the earth. Maybe this common fate treads from out the paths between our hearts the weeds of selfishness and hate, and I had rather live and love where death is king, than have eternal life where love is not. Paraphrased variant: I would rather live and love where death is king than have eternal life where love is not.

„He seemed to believe that his father in heaven would protect him. He thought that if God clothed the lilies of the field in beauty, if he provided for the sparrows, he would surely protect a perfectly just and loving man. In this he was mistaken; and in the darkness of death, overwhelmed, he cried out: “Why hast thou forsaken me?”“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: ... for the man Christ, I feel only admiration and respect. I think he was in many things mistaken. His reliance upon the goodness of God was perfect. He seemed to believe that his father in heaven would protect him. He thought that if God clothed the lilies of the field in beauty, if he provided for the sparrows, he would surely protect a perfectly just and loving man. In this he was mistaken; and in the darkness of death, overwhelmed, he cried out: “Why hast thou forsaken me?”

„Is that the idea we now have of love? If I have a child, no matter how deformed that child may be, and if it dies, nobody can make the loss to me good by bringing a more beautiful child. I want the one I loved and the one I lost.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: And thereupon the Lord gave Satan the power to destroy the property and children of Job. In a little while these high contracting parties met again; and the Lord seemed somewhat elated with his success, and called again the attention of Satan to the sinlessness of Job. Satan then told him to touch his body and he would curse him. And thereupon power was given to Satan over the body of Job, and he covered his body with boils. Yet in all this, Job did not sin with his lips. This book seems to have been written to show the excellence of patience, and to prove that at last God will reward all who will bear the afflictions of heaven with fortitude and without complaint. The sons and daughters of Job had been slain, and then the Lord, in order to reward Job, gave him other children, other sons and other daughters—not the same ones he had lost; but others. And this, according to the writer, made ample amends. Is that the idea we now have of love? If I have a child, no matter how deformed that child may be, and if it dies, nobody can make the loss to me good by bringing a more beautiful child. I want the one I loved and the one I lost.

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„Nothing is said in the Testament about the families of the apostles; nothing of family life, of the sacredness of home; nothing about the necessity of education, the improvement and development of the mind.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Nothing is said in the Testament about the families of the apostles; nothing of family life, of the sacredness of home; nothing about the necessity of education, the improvement and development of the mind. These things were forgotten, for the reason that nothing, in the presence of the expected event, was considered of any importance, except to be ready when the Son of Man should come. Such was the feeling, that rewards were offered by Christ himself to those who would desert their wives and children. Human love was spoken of with contempt. “Let the dead bury their dead. What is that to thee? Follow thou me.” They not only believed these things, but acted in accordance with them; and, as a consequence, all the relations of life were denied or avoided, and their obligations disregarded.

„There is a law higher than men can make. The facts as they exist in this poor world -- the absolute consequences of certain acts -- they are above all. And this higher law is the breath of progress, the very outstretched wings of civilization, under which we enjoy the freedom we have.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: There is a law higher than men can make. The facts as they exist in this poor world -- the absolute consequences of certain acts -- they are above all. And this higher law is the breath of progress, the very outstretched wings of civilization, under which we enjoy the freedom we have. Keep that in your minds. There never was a legislature great enough -- there never was a constitution sacred enough, to compel a civilized man to stand between a black man and his liberty. There never was a constitution great enough to make me stand between any human being and his right to express his honest thoughts. Such a constitution is an insult to the human soul, and I would care no more for it than I would for the growl of a wild beast.

„Poor people feel out of place in such magnificent buildings. They drop into the nearest seat; like poor relations, they sit on the extreme edge of the chair. At the table of Christ they are below the salt. They are constantly humiliated.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Another thing is the magnificence of the churches. The church depends absolutely upon the rich. Poor people feel out of place in such magnificent buildings. They drop into the nearest seat; like poor relations, they sit on the extreme edge of the chair. At the table of Christ they are below the salt. They are constantly humiliated. When subscriptions are asked for they feel ashamed to have their mite compared with the thousands given by the millionaire. The pennies feel ashamed to mingle with the silver in the contribution plate. The result is that most of them avoid the church. It costs too much to worship God in public. Good clothes are necessary, fashionably cut.

„Religions are for a day. They are the clouds. Humanity is the eternal blue. Religions are the waves of the sea. These waves depend upon the force and direction of the wind -- that is to say, of passion; but Humanity is the great sea. And so our religions change from day to day, and it is a blessed thing that they do. Why? Because we grow, and we are getting a little more civilized every day“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Religions are for a day. They are the clouds. Humanity is the eternal blue. Religions are the waves of the sea. These waves depend upon the force and direction of the wind -- that is to say, of passion; but Humanity is the great sea. And so our religions change from day to day, and it is a blessed thing that they do. Why? Because we grow, and we are getting a little more civilized every day, -- and any man that is not willing to let another man express his opinion, is not a civilized man, and you know it. Any man that does not give to everybody else the rights he claims for himself, is not an honest man.

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