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Robert Green Ingersoll

(1833 - 1899)

lawyer and lecturer

Quotations of Robert Green Ingersoll

"If Christ was in fact God, he knew the persecutions that would be carried on in his name; he knew the millions that would suffer death through torture; and yet he died without saying one word to prevent what he must have known, if he were God, would happen."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899 / A Christmas Sermon)

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899 / Lectures and Essays)

"Many people think they have religion when they are troubled with dyspepsia."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"If a man really believes that God once upheld slavery; that he commanded soldiers to kill women and babes; that he believed in polygamy; that he persecuted for opinion's sake; that he will punish forever, and that he hates an unbeliever, the effect in my judgment will be bad. It always has been bad. This belief built the dungeons of the Inquisition. This belief made the Puritan murder the Quaker."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"A man is not moral because he is obedient through fear or ignorance. Morality lives in the realm of perceived obligation... "
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"Prayer is of no avail. The lightning falls on the just and the unjust in accordance with natural laws."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"Where is the soul? . . . I refuse to believe anything of that kind without proof. The idea that, as soon as a man's breath leaves his body, the soul flops out like a chicken's head and flies off into space to find a lodgment where there [are] harps and haloes. Too much for me."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"The old doctrine that God wanted man to do something for him, and that he kept a watchful eye upon all the children of men; that he rewarded the virtuous and punished the wicked, is gradually fading from the mind. We know that some of the worst men have what the world calls success. We know that some of the best men lie upon the straw of failure. We know that honesty goes hungry, while larceny sits at the banquet. We know that the vicious have every physical comfort, while the virtuous are often clad in rags."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"Few nations have been so poor as to have but one god. Gods were made so easily, and the raw material cost so little, that generally the god market was fairly glutted and heaven crammed with these phantoms."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"At the bottom of religious persecution is the doctrine of self-defence; that is to say, the defence of the soul. If the founder of Christianity had plainly said: 'It is not necessary to believe in order to be saved; it is only necessary to do, and he who really loves his fellow-men, who is kind, honest, just and charitable, is to be forever blest' -- if he had only said that, there would probably have been but little persecution. "
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

"Jehovah was not a moral god. He had all the vices and he lacked all the virtues. He generally carried out all his threats, but he never faithfully kept a promise."
(Robert Green Ingersoll / 1833-1899)

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