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Rose
12-07-2012, 10:30 AM
Why Am I Agnostic


Has a man the right to examine, to investigate, the religion of his own country -- the religion of his father and mother? Christians admit that the citizens of all countries not Christian have not only this right, but that it is their solemn duty. Thousands of missionaries are sent to heathen countries to persuade the believers in other religions not only to examine their superstitions, but to renounce them, and to adopt those of the missionaries. It is the duty of a heathen to disregard the religion of his country and to hold in contempt the creed of his father and of his mother. If the citizens of heathen nations have the right to examine the foundations of their religion, it would seem that the citizens of Christian nations have the same right. Christians, however, go further than this; they say to the heathen: You must examine your religion, and not only so, but you must reject it; and, unless you do reject it, and, in addition to such rejection, adopt ours, you will be eternally damned. Then these same Christians say to the inhabitants of a Christian country: You must not examine; you must not investigate; but whether you examine or not, you must believe, or you will be eternally damned. If there be one true religion, how is it possible to ascertain which of all the religions the true one is? There is but one way. We must impartially examine the claims of all. The right to examine involves the necessity to accept or reject. Understand me, not the right to accept or reject, but the necessity. From this conclusion there is no possible escape. If, then, we have the right to examine, we have the right to tell the conclusion reached. Christians have examined other religions somewhat, and they have expressed their opinion with the utmost freedom -- that is to say, they have denounced them all as false and fraudulent; have called their gods idols and myths, and their priests impostors. The Christian does not deem it worth while to read the Koran. Probably not one Christian in a thousand ever saw a copy of that book. And yet all Christians are perfectly satisfied that the Koran is the work of an impostor. No Presbyterian thinks it is worth his while to examine the religious systems of India; he knows that the Brahmins are mistaken, and that all their miracles are falsehoods. No Methodist cares to read the life of Buddha, and no Baptist will waste his time studying the ethics of Confucius. Christians of every sort and kind take it for granted that there is only one true religion, and that all except Christianity are absolutely without foundation. The Christian world believes that all the prayers of India are unanswered; that all the sacrifices upon the countless altars of Egypt, of Greece, and of Rome were without effect. They believe that all these mighty nations worshiped their gods in vain; that their priests were deceivers or deceived; that their ceremonies were wicked or meaningless; that their temples were built by ignorance and fraud, and that no God heard their songs of praise, their cries of despair, their words of thankfulness; that on account of their religion no pestilence was stayed; that the earthquake and volcano, the flood and storm went on their ways of death -- while the real God looked on and laughed at their calamities and mocked at their fears.

Robert Ingersoll



Robert Ingersoll brings up an interesting point on how Christians have no problem examining other religions to show their falsehoods, but do not apply the same reasoning when it comes to their own religion. Should one not apply the same rigor with which he examines the truth of other religions, to his own religious beliefs? Something to think about.

Rose

Rose
03-06-2013, 09:10 PM
In the Old Testament, they said. God is the judge -- but in the New, Christ is the merciful.

As a matter of fact, the New Testament is infinitely worse than the Old. In the Old there is no threat of eternal pain. Jehovah had no eternal prison -- no everlasting fire. His hatred ended at the grave. His revenge was satisfied when his enemy was dead. In the New Testament, death is not the end, but the beginning of punishment that has no end.

In the New Testament the malice of God is infinite and the hunger of his revenge eternal.

The orthodox God, when clothed in human flesh, told his disciples not to resist evil, to love their enemies, and when smitten on one cheek to turn the other, and yet we are told that this same God, with the same loving lips, uttered these heartless, these fiendish words; "Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." These are the words of "eternal love."

No human being has imagination enough to conceive of this infinite horror. All that the human race has suffered in war and want, in pestilence and famine, in fire and flood, -- all the pangs and pains of every disease and every death -- all this is as nothing compared with the agonies to be endured by one lost soul. This is the consolation of the Christian religion.

This is the justice of God -- the mercy of Christ.

Robert Ingersoll (http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/why_i_am_agnostic.html)



Robert Ingersoll sheds a whole new light on the New Testament.

Rose
03-07-2013, 07:42 PM
When I became convinced that the Universe is natural -- that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom.

The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust.

I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world -- not even in infinite space.

I was free -- free to think, to express my thoughts -- free to live to my own ideal -- free to live for myself and those I loved -- free to use all my faculties, all my senses -- free to spread imagination's wings -- free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope -- free to judge and determine for myself -- free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past -- free from popes and priests -- free from all the "called" and "set apart" -- free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies -- free from the fear of eternal pain -- free from the winged monsters of the night -- free from devils, ghosts and gods.

For the first time I was free.

There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought -- no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings -- no chains for my limbs -- no lashes for my back -- no fires for my flesh -- no master's frown or threat -- no following another's steps -- no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free.

I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.~ Robert Ingersoll (http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/why_i_am_agnostic.html)


Robert Ingersoll expresses exactly the feeling of joyous freedom that I experienced when I broke free from the cocoon of Christianity and spread my wings of imagination. I was free to be myself.

Rose

Timmy
03-07-2013, 08:28 PM
Wow this guy has got to have at least 200 title we can read online here (http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/).

Lots of different topics to read through. I haven't looked for that book specifically...but he's intriguing enough from what you have posted this far to go through what can be found of his writings online.

Do you have a best site link with downloadable pdf by any chance?
If not, before i next go somewhere offline, i'll find some stuff not yet read to download then.


Thanks Rose,

Timmy

Timmy
03-07-2013, 08:41 PM
Well, made a quick look and found a 501 page pdf here (http://www.enebooks.com/DownSoft/?softid=16001&pathid=0) with these titles:
INTERVIEWS
THE BIBLE AND A FUTURE LIFE
MRS. VAN COTT, THE REVIVALIST
EUROPEAN TRIP AND GREENBACK QUESTION
THE PRE-MILLENNIAL CONFERENCE
THE SOLID SOUTH AND RESUMPTION
SUNDAY LAWS OF PITTSBURG
POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS
POLITICS AND GEN. GRANT
POLITICS, RELIGION AND THOMAS PAINE
REPLY TO CHICAGO CRITICS
THE REPUBLICAN VICTORY
INGERSOLL AND BEECHER
POLITICAL
RELIGION IN POLITICS
MIRACLES AND IMMORTALITY
THE POLITICAL OUTLOOK
MR. BEECHER, MOSES AND THE NEGRO
HADES, DELAWARE AND FREETHOUGHT
A REPLY TO THE REV. MR. LANSING
BEACONSFIELD, LENT AND REVIVALS
ANSWERING THE NEW YORK MINISTERS
GUITEAU AND HIS CRIME
DISTRICT SUFFRAGE
FUNERAL OF JOHN G. MILLS AND IMMORTALITY
STAR ROUTE AND POLITICS
THE INTERVIEWER
POLITICS AND PROHIBITION
THE REPUBLICAN DEFEAT IN OHIO
THE CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
JUSTICE HARLAN AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS BILL
POLITICS AND THEOLOGY
MORALITY AND IMMORTALITY
POLITICS, MORMONISM AND MR. BEECHER
FREE TRADE AND CHRISTIANITY
THE OATH QUESTION
WENDELL PHILLIPS, FITZ JOHN PORTER AND BISMARCK
GENERAL SUBJECTS
REPLY TO KANSAS CITY CLERGY
SWEARING AND AFFIRMING
REPLY TO A BUFFALO CRITIC
BLASPHEMY
POLITICS AND BRITISH COLUMBIA
INGERSOLL CATECHISED
BLAINE'S DEFEAT
PLAGIARISM AND POLITICS
RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE
CLEVELAND AND HIS CABINET
RELIGION, PROHIBITION AND GEN. GRANT
HELL OR SHEOL AND OTHER SUBJECTS
INTERVIEWING, POLITICS AND SPIRITUALISM
MY BELIEF
SOME LIVE TOPICS
THE PRESIDENT AND THE SENATE
ATHEISM AND CITIZENSHIP
THE LABOR QUESTION
RAILROADS AND POLITICS
PROHIBITION
HENRY GEORGE AND LABOR
LABOR QUESTION AND SOCIALISM
HENRY GEORGE AND SOCIALISM
REPLY TO THE REV. B. F. MORSE
INGERSOLL ON McGLYNN
TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO ANARCHISTS
THE STAGE AND THE PULPIT
ROSCOE CONKLING
THE CHURCH AND THE STATE
PROTECTION--FREE TRADE
LABOR AND TARIFF REFORM
CLEVELAND AND THURMAN
THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM OF 1888
JAMES G. BLAINE AND POLITICS
THE MILLS BILL
SOCIETY AND ITS CRIMINALS
WOMAN'S RIGHT TO DIVORCE
SECULARISM
SUMMER RECREATION--MR. GLADSTONE, Unpublished
PROHIBITION
ROBERT ELSMERE
WORKING GIRLS
PROTECTION FOR AMERICAN ACTORS
LIBERALS AND LIBERALISM
POPE LEO XIII.
THE SACREDNESS OF THE SABBATH
THE WEST AND SOUTH
THE WESTMINSTER CREED AND OTHER SUBJECTS
SHAKESPEARE AND BACON
GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY, AND PRESBYTERIANISM,
CREEDS
THE TENDENCY OF MODERN THOUGHT
WOMAN SUFFRAGE, HORSE RACING, AND MONEY
MISSIONARIES
MY BELIEF AND UNBELIEF
MUST RELIGION GO?
WORD PAINTING AND COLLEGE EDUCATION
PERSONAL MAGNETISM AND THE SUNDAY QUESTION
AUTHORS
INEBRIETY, Unpublished
MIRACLES, THEOSOPHY AND SPIRITUALISM, Unpublished
TOLSTOY AND LITERATURE
WOMAN IN POLITICS
SPIRITUALISM
PLAYS AND PLAYERS
WOMAN, A Fragment
STRIKES, EXPANSION AND OTHER SUBJECTS, New York, May 5, 1893
SUNDAY A DAY OF PLEASURE
THE PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS
CLEVELAND'S HAWAIIAN POLICY
ORATORS AND ORATORY
CATHOLICISM AND PROTESTANTISM.--THE POPE.--THE A. P. A., AGNOSTICISM AND THE CHURCH
WOMAN AND HER DOMAIN
PROFESSOR SWING
SENATOR SHERMAN AND HIS BOOK
REPLY TO THE CHRISTIAN ENDEAVORERS
SPIRITUALISM
A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING
IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?--CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND POLITICS
VIVISECTION
DIVORCE
MUSIC, NEWSPAPERS, LYNCHING AND ARBITRATION
A VISIT TO SHAW'S GARDEN
THE VENEZUELA BOUNDARY DISCUSSION AND THE WHIPPING POST
COLONEL SHEPARD'S STAGE HORSES
A REPLY TO THE REV. L. A. BANKS
CUBA--ZOLA AND THEOSOPHY
HOW TO BECOME AN ORATOR
JOHN RUSSELL YOUNG AND EXPANSION
PSYCHICAL RESEARCH AND THE BIBLE
THIS CENTURY'S GLORIES
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND THE WHIPPING POST
EXPANSION AND TRUSTS:

Rose
03-07-2013, 09:16 PM
Wow this guy has got to have at least 200 title we can read online here (http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/).

Lots of different topics to read through. I haven't looked for that book specifically...but he's intriguing enough from what you have posted this far to go through what can be found of his writings online.

Do you have a best site link with downloadable pdf by any chance?
If not, before i next go somewhere offline, i'll find some stuff not yet read to download then.


Thanks Rose,

Timmy

Hi Timmy,

Glad you enjoyed the few quotes I posted. :D

Here is a link to where most of his works are available to read online: Robert Ingersoll (http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/).

All the best,
Rose