American Infidel

One of my greatest personal gains in my two year quest to give our store the best Atheism/Humanism selection in bookland (well, outside of stores specific to that) has been the discovery of Robert G Ingersoll. All of that new stuff we’re selling: God is not Great, The God Delusion, God: The Failed Hypothesis, The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, Breaking the Spell, Atheist Manifesto and all that great stuff from Promethus Books… It is very exciting and I’m glad that they are selling as well as they are, but personally, I have no reason to read any of them (well, I might try God is not Great, because I do like Christopher Hitchens and the subtitle, “How Religion Poisons Everything”, is awesome to see on the cover of a bestseller)…

Anyway, the best part for me (and the only one I really feel like reading) is Ingersoll. Just this week I found my “holy grail”! I’d been looking for a used copy of “Some Mistakes of Moses” and I found it in it’s best form… A nice copy of his Lectures, published in 1900. A cool old book filled with great witly wisdom. I highly recommend this work! The 19th century intelligentsia wit and the take no prisoners attitude behind his, “Just listen to what you’re saying!” stance is refreshing. It’s not your normal Christian bashing thing, but instead it is a point by point analysis and refutation of the nonsense that is the old testament. Such brilliant lines as:

“Theology is not what we know about god, but what we don’t know about nature.”

“The truth is that Moses was mistaken, and upon that mistake the Christians located their heaven and their hell. The telescope destroyed the firmament, did away with the heaven of the New Testament, rendered the ascension of our Lord and the assumption of his mother infinitely absurd, crumbled to chaos the gates and palaces of the New Jerusalem and in their places gave to man a wilderness of worlds “

Anyway, more on this later, when I’ve finished, but right now, hearing him take on the statements in Genesis with logic and reasoning is laugh out loud funny. The serpent? I know, I’ve never read this bible-thing so maybe it won’t come as such a shocking farce to those better read then I, but Man… The trouble is, he seemed to think that humanity would grow out of this… Which I’m not sure that it will.

Robert Ingersoll

Robert Green Ingersoll



 

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