Robert G. Ingersoll cytaty

Robert G. Ingersoll Fotografia
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Robert G. Ingersoll

Data urodzenia: 11. Sierpień 1833
Data zgonu: 21. Lipiec 1899
Natępne imiona:رابرت اینقرسول, 羅伯特·格林·英格索爾, 罗伯特·格林·英格索尔

Reklama

Robert Green Ingersoll – pułkownik wojsk Unii w amerykańskiej wojnie domowej, prawnik, agnostyk, krytyk religii i entuzjasta nauki okrzyknięty „amerykańskim Wolterem”. Autor wielu książek, licznej publicystyki i przemówień oraz wykładów.

Robert G. Ingersoll był pod koniec XIX w. bardzo popularny w Stanach Zjednoczonych. Wypowiadał się w wielu ważnych kwestiach społecznych i światopoglądowych: równouprawnienia kobiet, likwidacji nierówności rasowej, promocji laickiego światopoglądu, wolności słowa i wolności obyczajowej. Aktywista partii republikańskiej.

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Cytaty Robert G. Ingersoll

„I want to say that if there is anything I like in the world it is fairness. And one reason I like it so well is that I have had so little of it.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: As soon as I had said these things, various gentlemen felt called upon to answer me. I want to say that if there is anything I like in the world it is fairness. And one reason I like it so well is that I have had so little of it.

Reklama

„By this time the whole world should know that the real Bible has not yet been written, but is being written, and that it will never be finished until the race begins its downward march, or ceases to exist.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: By this time the whole world should know that the real Bible has not yet been written, but is being written, and that it will never be finished until the race begins its downward march, or ceases to exist. The real Bible is not the work of inspired men, nor prophets, nor apostles, nor evangelists, nor of Christs. Every man who finds a fact, adds, as it were, a word to this great book. It is not attested by prophecy, by miracles or signs. It makes no appeal to faith, to ignorance, to credulity or fear. It has no punishment for unbelief, and no reward for hypocrisy. It appeals to man in the name of demonstration. It has nothing to conceal. It has no fear of being read, of being contradicted, of being investigated and understood. It does not pretend to be holy, or sacred; it simply claims to be true. It challenges the scrutiny of all, and implores every reader to verify every line for himself. It is incapable of being blasphemed. This book appeals to all the surroundings of man. Each thing that exists testifies of its perfection. The earth, with its heart of fire and crowns of snow; with its forests and plains, its rocks and seas; with its every wave and cloud; with its every leaf and bud and flower, confirms its every word, and the solemn stars, shining in the infinite abysses, are the eternal witnesses of its truth.

„I simply claim that what ideas I have, I have a right to express; and that any man who denies that right to me is an intellectual thief and robber. That is all.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Standing in the presence of the Unknown, all have the same right to think, and all are equally interested in the great questions of origin and destiny. All I claim, all I plead for, is liberty of thought and expression. That is all. I do not pretend to tell what is absolutely true, but what I think is true. I do not pretend to tell all the truth. I do not claim that I have floated level with the heights of thought, or that I have descended to the very depths of things. I simply claim that what ideas I have, I have a right to express; and that any man who denies that right to me is an intellectual thief and robber. That is all.

„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.“

—  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

„There is no crime that the Catholic Church did not commit,—no cruelty that it did not practice,—no form of treachery that it did not reward, and no virtue that it did not persecute. It was the greatest and most powerful enemy of human rights. It did all that organization, cunning, piety, self-denial, heroism, treachery, zeal and brute force could do to enslave the children of men. It was the enemy of intelligence, the assassin of liberty, and the destroyer of progress.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: The people became convinced—being ignorant, stupid and credulous—that the church held the keys of heaven and hell. The foundation for the most terrible mental tyranny that has existed among men was in this way laid. The Catholic Church enslaved to the extent of its power. It resorted to every possible form of fraud; it perverted every good instinct of the human heart; it rewarded every vice; it resorted to every artifice that ingenuity could devise, to reach the highest round of power. It tortured the accused to make them confess; it tortured witnesses to compel the commission of perjury; it tortured children for the purpose of making them convict their parents; it compelled men to establish their own innocence; it imprisoned without limit; it had the malicious patience to wait; it left the accused without trial, and left them in dungeons until released by death. There is no crime that the Catholic Church did not commit,—no cruelty that it did not practice,—no form of treachery that it did not reward, and no virtue that it did not persecute. It was the greatest and most powerful enemy of human rights. It did all that organization, cunning, piety, self-denial, heroism, treachery, zeal and brute force could do to enslave the children of men. It was the enemy of intelligence, the assassin of liberty, and the destroyer of progress.

„At last it occurred to the intelligent to examine our own religion, and this examination has excited great interest and great comment.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Of late years the thoughts of men have been turned, by virtue of modern discoveries, as the result of countless influences, to an investigation of the foundation of orthodox religion. Other religions were put in the crucible of criticism, and nothing was found but dross. At last it occurred to the intelligent to examine our own religion, and this examination has excited great interest and great comment. People want to hear, and they want to hear because they have already about concluded themselves that the creeds are founded in error.

„Why did he not watch the devil, instead of watching Adam and Eve? Instead of turning them out, why did he not keep him from getting in? Why did he not have his flood first, and drown the devil, before he made a man and woman. And yet, people who call themselves intelligent—professors in colleges and presidents of venerable institutions—teach children and young men that the Garden of Eden story is an absolute historical fact. I defy any man to think of a more childish thing. This God, waiting around Eden—knowing all the while what would happen—having made them on purpose so that it would happen, then does what? Holds all of us responsible, and we were not there.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Does anybody now believe in the story of the serpent? I pity any man or woman who, in this nineteenth century, believes in that childish fable. Why did Adam and Eve disobey? Why, they were tempted. By whom? The devil. Who made the devil? God. What did God make him for? Why did he not tell Adam and Eve about this serpent? Why did he not watch the devil, instead of watching Adam and Eve? Instead of turning them out, why did he not keep him from getting in? Why did he not have his flood first, and drown the devil, before he made a man and woman. And yet, people who call themselves intelligent—professors in colleges and presidents of venerable institutions—teach children and young men that the Garden of Eden story is an absolute historical fact. I defy any man to think of a more childish thing. This God, waiting around Eden—knowing all the while what would happen—having made them on purpose so that it would happen, then does what? Holds all of us responsible, and we were not there.

Reklama

„Love is the only bow on Life's dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the mother of art, inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart — builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: Love is the only bow on Life's dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the mother of art, inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart — builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody — for music is the voice of love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to Joy, and makes royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart, and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven, and we are gods. Orthodoxy (1884).

„If you take the cruel passages, the verses that inculcate eternal hatred, verses that writhe and hiss like serpents, you can make a creed that would shock the heart of a hyena.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: I admit that there are many good things in the New Testament, and if we take from that book the dogmas of eternal pain, of infinite revenge, of the atonement, of human sacrifice, of the necessity of shedding blood; if we throw away the doctrine of non-resistance, of loving enemies, the idea that prosperity is the result of wickedness, that poverty is a preparation for Paradise, if we throw all these away and take the good, sensible passages, applicable to conduct, then we can make a fairly good moral guide, — narrow, but moral. Of course, many important things would be left out. You would have nothing about human rights, nothing in favor of the family, nothing for education, nothing for investigation, for thought and reason, but still you would have a fairly good moral guide. On the other hand, if you would take the foolish passages, the extreme ones, you could make a creed that would satisfy an insane asylum. If you take the cruel passages, the verses that inculcate eternal hatred, verses that writhe and hiss like serpents, you can make a creed that would shock the heart of a hyena. It may be that no book contains better passages than the New Testament, but certainly no book contains worse. Below the blossom of love you find the thorn of hatred; on the lips that kiss, you find the poison of the cobra. The Bible is not a moral guide. Any man who follows faithfully all its teachings is an enemy of society and will probably end his days in a prison or an asylum.

„The “Black Death” was sent by the eternal Father, whose mercy spared some and whose justice murdered the rest.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: The church regarded epidemics as the messengers of the good God. The “Black Death” was sent by the eternal Father, whose mercy spared some and whose justice murdered the rest. To stop the scourge, they tried to soften the heart of God by kneelings and prostrations—by processions and prayers—by burning incense and by making vows. They did not try to remove the cause. The cause was God. They did not ask for pure water, but for holy water. Faith and filth lived or rather died together. Religion and rags, piety and pollution kept company. Sanctity kept its odor.

„For two hundred and seventy-eight years after the death of Copernicus the church insisted that his system was false, and that the old Bible astronomy was true.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: In 1473 Copernicus was born. In 1543 his great work appeared. In 1616 the system of Copernicus was condemned by the pope, by the infallible Catholic Church, and the church was about as near right upon that subject as upon any other. The system of Copernicus was denounced. And how long do you suppose the church fought that? Let me tell you. It was revoked by Pius VII. in the year of grace 1821. For two hundred and seventy-eight years after the death of Copernicus the church insisted that his system was false, and that the old Bible astronomy was true.

Reklama

„Around this sacred word cluster the joys and sorrows, the agonies and ecstasies, of the human race. The mother walks in the shadow of death that she may give another life.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: To me, the tenderest word in our language, the most pathetic fact within our knowledge, is maternity. Around this sacred word cluster the joys and sorrows, the agonies and ecstasies, of the human race. The mother walks in the shadow of death that she may give another life. Upon the altar of love she puts her own life in pawn. When the world is civilized, no wife will become a mother against her will.

„The church has become a club. It is a social affair, and the rich do not care to associate in the week days with the poor they may happen to meet at church. As they expect to be in heaven together forever, they can afford to be separated here. There will certainly be time enough there to get acquainted.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: If the rich man regarded the sermon as a means of grace, as a kind of rope thrown by the minister to a man just above the falls; if he regarded it as a lifeboat, or as a lighthouse, he would not allow his coachman to remain outside. If he really believed that the coachman had an immortal soul, capable of eternal joy, liable to everlasting pain, he would do his utmost to make the calling and election of the said coachman sure. As a matter of fact the rich man now cares but little for servants. They are not included in the scheme of salvation, except as a kind of job lot. The church has become a club. It is a social affair, and the rich do not care to associate in the week days with the poor they may happen to meet at church. As they expect to be in heaven together forever, they can afford to be separated here. There will certainly be time enough there to get acquainted.

„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.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Context: 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. In this belief we are content to live and die. If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect. "The Gods" (1876) as published in The Gods and Other Lectures (1879); this was one of his earliest versions of what became known as his "Creed". Some variants: Justice is the only worship. Love is the only priest. Ignorance is the only slavery. Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now, The place to be happy is here, The way to be happy is to make others so. Wisdom is the science of happiness. As quoted in Familiar Quotations (1937) edited by Christopher Morley, p. 603 Happiness is the only good. The place to be happy is here. The time to be happy is now. The way to be happy is to make others so. Variant, as it appears on a manuscript copy he jotted down for a fan (26 March 1897) <!-- I know I have seen an image of this, and might be able to find a copy somewhere... ~ Kalki 2007·08·11 -->

„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.

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