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

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

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Zitate Robert G. Ingersoll

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„What is holy, what is sacred? I reply that human happiness is holy, human rights are holy. The body and soul of man — these are sacred. The liberty of man is of far more importance than any book; the rights of man, more sacred than any religion — than any Scriptures, whether inspired or not.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
The trial of Charles B. Reynolds for blasphemy (1887), Context: Gentlemen, you can never make me believe — no statute can ever convince me, that there is any infinite Being in this universe who hates an honest man. It is impossible to satisfy me that there is any God, or can be any God, who holds in abhorrence a soul that has the courage to express his thought. Neither can the whole world convince me that any man should be punished, either in this world or in the next, for being candid with his fellow-men. If you send men to the penitentiary for speaking their thoughts, for endeavoring to enlighten their fellows, then the penitentiary will become a place of honor, and the victim will step from it — not stained, not disgraced, but clad in robes of glory. Let us take one more step. What is holy, what is sacred? I reply that human happiness is holy, human rights are holy. The body and soul of man — these are sacred. The liberty of man is of far more importance than any book; the rights of man, more sacred than any religion — than any Scriptures, whether inspired or not. What we want is the truth, and does any one suppose that all of the truth is confined in one book — that the mysteries of the whole world are explained by one volume? All that is — all that conveys information to man — all that has been produced by the past — all that now exists — should be considered by an intelligent man. All the known truths of this world — all the philosophy, all the poems, all the pictures, all the statues, all the entrancing music — the prattle of babes, the lullaby of mothers, the words of honest men, the trumpet calls to duty — all these make up the bible of the world — everything that is noble and true and free, you will find in this great book. If we wish to be true to ourselves, — if we wish to benefit our fellow-men — if we wish to live honorable lives — we will give to every other human being every right that we claim for ourselves.

„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.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
A Thanksgiving Sermon (1897), Context: 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.

„Everywhere pain, disease and death—death that does not wait for bent forms and gray hairs, but clutches babes and happy youths. Death that takes the mother from her helpless, dimpled child—death that fills the world with grief and tears. How can the orthodox Christian explain these things?“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Why I Am an Agnostic (1896), Context: What can be more frightful than a world at-war? Every leaf a battle-field—every flower a Golgotha—in every drop of water pursuit, capture and death. Under every piece of bark, life lying in wait for life. On every blade of grass, something that kills,—something that suffers. Everywhere the strong living on the weak—the superior on the inferior. Everywhere the weak, the insignificant, living on the strong—the inferior on the superior—the highest food for the lowest—man sacrificed for the sake of microbes. Murder universal. Everywhere pain, disease and death—death that does not wait for bent forms and gray hairs, but clutches babes and happy youths. Death that takes the mother from her helpless, dimpled child—death that fills the world with grief and tears. How can the orthodox Christian explain these things?

„Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an eternal gaoler hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul. While there is one sad and breaking heart in the universe, no good being can be perfectly happy.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
The Great Infidels (1881), Context: In the estimation of good orthodox Christians I am a criminal, because I am trying to take from loving mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and lovers the consolations naturally arising from a belief in an eternity of grief and pain. I want to tear, break, and scatter to the winds the God that priests erected in the fields of innocent pleasure — a God made of sticks called creeds, and of old clothes called myths. I shall endeavor to take from the coffin its horror, from the cradle its curse, and put out the fires of revenge kindled by an infinite fiend. Is it necessary that Heaven should borrow its light from the glare of Hell? Infinite punishment is infinite cruelty, endless injustice, immortal meanness. To worship an eternal gaoler hardens, debases, and pollutes even the vilest soul. While there is one sad and breaking heart in the universe, no good being can be perfectly happy.

„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 -->

„So they are easily imposed upon by forms, strange garments, and solemn ceremonies.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
The Great Infidels (1881), Context: Most men are followers, and implicitly rely upon the judgment of others. They mistake solemnity for wisdom, and regard a grave countenance as the title page and Preface to a most learned volume. So they are easily imposed upon by forms, strange garments, and solemn ceremonies. And when the teaching of parents, the customs of neighbors, and the general tongue approve and justify a belief or creed, no matter how absurd, it is hard even for the strongest to hold the citadel of his soul. In each country, in defence of each religion, the same arguments would be urged.

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„It has always seemed a little curious to me that joy should be held in such contempt here, and yet promised hereafter as an eternal reward. Why not be happy here, as well as in heaven. Why not have joy here?“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
"The Brooklyn Divines." Brooklyn Union (Brooklyn, NY), 1883., Context: It has always seemed a little curious to me that joy should be held in such contempt here, and yet promised hereafter as an eternal reward. Why not be happy here, as well as in heaven. Why not have joy here? Why not go to heaven now—that is, to-day? Why not enjoy the sunshine of this world, and all there is of good in it? It is bad enough; so bad that I do not believe it was ever created by a beneficent deity; but what little good there is in it, why not have it?

„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.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child (1877), 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.

„The scientists never persecuted, never imprisoned their fellow-men.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
A Thanksgiving Sermon (1897), 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.

„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
A Thanksgiving Sermon (1897), 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.

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

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
The Great Infidels (1881), Context: The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and revenge. This idea testifies that our remote ancestors were the lowest beasts. Only from dens, lairs, and caves, only from mouths filled with cruel fangs, only from hearts of fear and hatred, only from the conscience of hunger and lust, only from the lowest and most debased could come this most cruel, heartless and bestial of all dogmas.

„The barbarian is egotistic enough to suppose that an Infinite Being is constantly doing something, or failing to do something, on his account. But as man rises in the scale of civilization, as he becomes really great, he comes to the conclusion that nothing in Nature happens on his account—that he is hardly great enough to disturb the motions of the planets.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll
Rome, or Reason? A Reply to Cardinal Manning. Part I. The North American Review (1888), Context: As a rule, an individual is egotistic in the proportion that he lacks intelligence. The same is true of nations and races. The barbarian is egotistic enough to suppose that an Infinite Being is constantly doing something, or failing to do something, on his account. But as man rises in the scale of civilization, as he becomes really great, he comes to the conclusion that nothing in Nature happens on his account—that he is hardly great enough to disturb the motions of the planets.

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

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