Zitate von Robert G. Ingersoll

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Robert G. Ingersoll

Geburtstag: 11. August 1833
Todesdatum: 21. Juli 1899
Andere Namen: Роберт Ингерсолл, رابرت اینقرسول, 羅伯特·格林·英格索爾, 罗伯特·格林·英格索尔

Robert Green Ingersoll war einer der führenden US-amerikanischen Redner im späten 19. Jahrhundert sowie einer der profiliertesten Vertreter der damals florierenden Freidenkerei.

Zitate Robert G. Ingersoll

„Above all things, one should maintain his self-respect, and there is but one way to do that, and that is to live in accordance with your highest ideal.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

The trial of Charles B. Reynolds for blasphemy (1887)
Kontext: There is a constitution higher than any statute. There is a law higher than any constitution. It is the law of the human conscience, and no man who is a man will defile and pollute his conscience at the bidding of any legislature. Above all things, one should maintain his self-respect, and there is but one way to do that, and that is to live in accordance with your highest ideal.

„There is no slavery but ignorance. Liberty is the child of intelligence.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child (1877)
Kontext: There is no slavery but ignorance. Liberty is the child of intelligence.
The history of man is simply the history of slavery, of injustice and brutality, together with the means by which he has, through the dead and desolate years, slowly and painfully advanced.

„There is this peculiarity in our country—the only men who can be trusted with human liberty are the ones who are not to be angels hereafter.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

"To the Indianapolis Clergy." The Iconoclast (Indianapolis, IN) (1883)
Kontext: I account in part for the civilization of America by the fact that our fathers were wise enough, and jealous of each other enough, to absolutely divorce church and state. They regarded the church as a dangerous mistress—one not fit to govern a president. This divorce was obtained because men like Jefferson and Paine were at that time prominent in the councils of the people. There is this peculiarity in our country—the only men who can be trusted with human liberty are the ones who are not to be angels hereafter. Liberty is safe so long as the sinners have an opportunity to be heard.

„They did not know much, but they believed a great deal.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

Why I Am an Agnostic (1896)
Kontext: The ministers, who preached at these revivals, were in earnest. They were zealous and sincere. They were not philosophers. To them science was the name of a vague dread—a dangerous enemy. They did not know much, but they believed a great deal. To them hell was a burning reality—they could see the smoke and flames. The Devil was no myth. He was an actual person, a rival of God, an enemy of mankind. They thought that the important business of this life was to save your soul—that all should resist and scorn the pleasures of sense, and keep their eyes steadily fixed on the golden gate of the New Jerusalem. They were unbalanced, emotional, hysterical, bigoted, hateful, loving, and insane. They really believed the Bible to be the actual word of God—a book without mistake or contradiction. They called its cruelties, justice—its absurdities, mysteries—its miracles, facts, and the idiotic passages were regarded as profoundly spiritual.

„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

My Reviewers Reviewed (lecture from June 27, 1877, San Francisco, CA)
Kontext: 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.

„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

My Reviewers Reviewed (lecture from June 27, 1877, San Francisco, CA)
Kontext: 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.

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„The writers of the New Testament seem to have thought that the world was about coming to an end. This world was to be sacrificed absolutely to the next.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

A Christmas Sermon (1890)
Kontext: I do not remember that one science is mentioned in the New Testament. There is not one word, so far as I remember, about education—nothing about any science, nothing about art. The writers of the New Testament seem to have thought that the world was about coming to an end. This world was to be sacrificed absolutely to the next. The affairs of this life were not worth speaking of. All people were exhorted to prepare at once for the other life.

„Without heresy there could have been no progress.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

Heretics and Heresies (1874)
Kontext: Every church pretends that it has a revelation from God, and that this revelation must be given to the people through the church; that the church acts through its priests, and that ordinary mortals must be content with a revelation — not from God — but from the church. Had the people submitted to this preposterous claim, of course there could have been but one church, and that church never could have advanced. It might have retrograded, because it is not necessary to think or investigate in order to forget. Without heresy there could have been no progress.

„But in the night of Death Hope sees a star and listening Love can hear the rustling of a wing.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

"A Tribe to Eban C. Ingersoll" (1879) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38812/38812-h/38812-h.htm
Kontext: Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the heights. We cry aloud — and the only answer is the echo of our wailing cry. From the voiceless lips of the unreplying dead there comes no word. But in the night of Death Hope sees a star and listening Love can hear the rustling of a wing.

„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

Some Mistakes of Moses (1879) http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38802/38802-h/38802-h.htm Preface
Kontext: 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.

„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

The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child (1877)
Kontext: 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?

„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

My Reviewers Reviewed (lecture from June 27, 1877, San Francisco, CA)
Kontext: 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.

„It taught that the business of this life was to prepare for death.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

A Thanksgiving Sermon (1897)
Kontext: It taught that the business of this life was to prepare for death. It insisted that a certain belief was necessary to insure salvation, and that all who failed to believe, or doubted in the least would suffer eternal pain. According to the church the natural desires, ambitions and passions of man were all wicked and depraved. To love God, to practice self-denial, to overcome desire, to despise wealth, to hate prosperity, to desert wife and children, to live on roots and berries, to repeat prayers, to wear rags, to live in filth, and drive love from the heart—these, for centuries, were the highest and most perfect virtues, and those who practiced them were saints. The saints did not assist their fellow-men. Their fellow-men assisted them. They did not labor for others. They were beggars—parasites—vermin. They were insane. They followed the teachings of Christ. They took no thought for the morrow. They mutilated their bodies—scarred their flesh and destroyed their minds for the sake of happiness in another world. During the journey of life they kept their eyes on the grave.

„Every church pretends that it has a revelation from God, and that this revelation must be given to the people through the church; that the church acts through its priests, and that ordinary mortals must be content with a revelation — not from God — but from the church.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

Heretics and Heresies (1874)
Kontext: Every church pretends that it has a revelation from God, and that this revelation must be given to the people through the church; that the church acts through its priests, and that ordinary mortals must be content with a revelation — not from God — but from the church. Had the people submitted to this preposterous claim, of course there could have been but one church, and that church never could have advanced. It might have retrograded, because it is not necessary to think or investigate in order to forget. Without heresy there could have been no progress.

„This would have happened even if the intention had been to get all bad men, for the reason that man reaches perfection neither in good nor in evil“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

Rome, or Reason? A Reply to Cardinal Manning. Part I. The North American Review (1888)
Kontext: Among the “some two hundred and fifty-eight” Vicars of Christ there were probably some good men. This would have happened even if the intention had been to get all bad men, for the reason that man reaches perfection neither in good nor in evil; but if they were selected by Christ himself, if they were selected by a church with a divine origin and under divine guidance, then there is no way to account for the selection of a bad one. If one hypocrite was duly elected pope—one murderer, one strangler, one starver—this demonstrates that all the popes were selected by men, and by men only, and that the claim of divine guidance is born of zeal and uttered without knowledge.

„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.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll

Rome, or Reason? A Reply to Cardinal Manning. Part I. The North American Review (1888)
Kontext: 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.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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