Robert Ingersoll

Robert IngersollIn existographies, Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899) (IQ:150|#633) [RGM:802|1,500+] (HD:34) (FA:117) (CR:28) was an American lawyer, colonel, politician, and free thought orator, nicknamed the “great agnostic”, the “great American atheist” (1888) (Ѻ), and or the "pagan prophet" (Hecht, 2003), noted for being one of the first to state that "Adam and Eve never existed" (c.1882), for making one of the first atheist eulogies, for being one of the supposed atheist rocks to avoid in the Christian captain anecdote, and for being one of the most-prolific atheism quotesmiths.

Ingersoll, as a youth, was made to attend his minister father's two Sunday sermons; on his own, however, he read: Epicurus, Zeno of Citium, Voltaire, and Thomas Paine. [1]

In 1879, Ingersoll published his The Gods and Other Lectures (Ѻ), the following is the frontispiece image:
Ingersoll diagram (1879)

Some Mistakes of Moses
In 1879, Ingersoll gave his famous unscripted “Some Mistakes of Moses” lecture, which, as he says, was "never delivered twice the same", turned book (1880), characterized as a satirical deconstruction of Genesis and Exodus; the following is a noted quote:

“It has always been a mystery to me how Adam, Eve, and the serpent were taught the same language. Where did they get it? We know now, that it requires a great number of years to form a language; that it is of exceedingly slow growth. We also know that by language, man conveys to his fellows the impressions made upon him by what he sees, hears, smells and touches. We know that the language of the savage consists of a few sounds, capable of expressing only a few ideas or states of the mind, such as love, desire, fear, hatred, aversion and contempt. Many centuries are required to produce a language capable of expressing complex ideas. It does not seem to me that ideas can be manufactured by a deity and put in the brain of man. These ideas must be the result of observation and experience.”
— Robert Ingersoll (1879), on Adam and Eve; in Some Mistakes of Moses (Ѻ)

This lecture, in the Jewish community (see: Jewish atheism), has been the most translated one into Yiddish (Jacoby, 2004); this was one of the books cited in the Redford deconversion model. [6]
Robert Ingersoll (1894)
Ingersoll giving a speech (Ѻ) on 30 May 1894, in New Rochelle, New York, in honor of Thomas Paine’s birthday.

Why I Am an Agnostic
In 1896, Ingersoll, in his “Why I Am an Agnostic” lecture, explained why he is an agnostic via the following points: [5]

I. Influence of Birth in determining Religious Belief—Scotch, Irish, English, and Americans Inherit their Faith—Religions of Nations not Suddenly Changed—People who Knew—What they were Certain About—Revivals—Character of Sermons Preached—Effect of Conversion—A Vermont Farmer for whom Perdition had no Terrors—The Man and his Dog—Backsliding and Re-birth—Ministers who were Sincere—A Free Will Baptist on the Rich Man and Lazarus.
II. The Orthodox God—The Two Dispensations—The Infinite Horror.
III. Religious Books—The Commentators—Paley's Watch Argument—Milton, Young, and Pollok.
IV. Studying AstronomyGeology—Denial and Evasion by the Clergy.
V. The Poems of Robert BurnsByron, Shelley, Keats, and Shakespeare.
VI. Volney, Gibbon, and Thomas PaineVoltaire's Services to Liberty—Pagans Compared with Patriarchs.
VII. Other Gods and Other Religions—Dogmas, Myths, and Symbols of Christianity Older than our Era.
VIII. The Men of Science, Humboldt, Darwin, Spencer, Huxley, Haeckel.
IX. Matter and Force Indestructible and Uncreatable—The Theory of Design.
X. God an Impossible Being—The Panorama of the Past.
XI. Free from Sanctified Mistakes and Holy Lies.

Here, we see the forerunner to Bertrand Russell’s “Why I am Not a Christian” (1927), Bhagat Singh’s “Why I Am an Atheist” (1928) (Ѻ), and Madalyn O’Hair’s Why I Am an Atheist: Including a History of Materialism (1980).

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Ingersoll:

“With the rarest genius, in beautiful alliance with his heroism, his kindness, and his boundless love, made the name of Ingersoll immortal.”
— Eugene Debs (1899), “Letter of condolence to Mrs. Ingersoll” [7]

Ingersoll is the nearest approach we Americans have had to Voltaire.”
— James Gillis (1925) [1]

Quotes | By
The following are noted quotes:

“How terrible this [evolution theory of Darwin] will be upon the nobility of the old world. Think of their being forced to trace their ancestry back to the duke Orang Outang, or the princess Chimpanzee.”
— Robert Ingersoll (1877), “The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child” [1]

Life is a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities. We strive in vain to look beyond the height. 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.”
— Robert Ingersoll (1879), said at the grave of his brother [2]

“In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.”
— Robert Ingersoll (1880), “Liberty in Literature”
Madalyn O'Hair and Ingersoll
Madalyn O’Hair (1983) in front of the Robert Ingersoll statue in Glen Oak Park, Peoria, Illinois. [7]

Christianity has made more lunatics than it ever provided asylums for.”
— Robert Ingersoll (c.1880) (Ѻ)

“If by any possibility the existence of a power superior [see: higher power] to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect.”
— Robert Ingersoll (c.1880) [3]

“It seems from what we hear on all sides that the Christian religion is a huge blunder; that the Mosaic account of the creation is an absurdity large enough to throw all nations into rollicking guffaw; that Adam and Eve never existed (see: Adam and Eve never existed); that the ancient flood and Noah's ark were impossibilities; that there never was a miracle; that the Bible is the friend of cruelty, of murder, of polygamy, of all forms of base crime; that the Christian religion is woman's tyrant and man's stultification; that the Bible from lid to lid is a fable, a cruelty, a humbug, a sham, a lie.”
— Robert Ingersoll (c.1882), “The Plague of Infidelity” (Ѻ)

“Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law. Nothing could be more absurd.”
— Robert Ingersoll (1894), About the Holy Bible

“As people become more intelligent, they care less for preachers and more for teachers.”
— Robert Ingersoll (c.1880), in FSM atheism app

Bishop Butler dug up more snakes than he killed—suggested more difficulties than he explained—more doubts than he dispelled.”
— Robert Ingersoll (1896), “Why I Am an Agnostic” [5]

1. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 417). HarperOne.
2. Darrow, Clarence and Rice, Wallace. (1929). Infidels and Heretics: an Agnostic’s Anthology (pg. 223) (Ѻ). Kessinger, 2004.
3. (a) Ingersoll, Robert. (1990). On Gods and Other Essays (pgs. 54-55). Prometheus Books.
(b) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 417). HarperOne.
4. Ingersoll, Robert. (1877). “The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child”; in: The Works of Robert Ingersoll, Volume One (§:327-400; quote, pg. 393). Dresden Publishing Co, 1909.
5. Ingersoll, Robert. (1896). “Why I Am an Agnostic” (Ѻ), in: The Works of Robert Ingersoll, Volume Four. Publisher.
6. (a) Ingersoll, Robert. (1879). Some Mistakes of Moses, 5th edition (txt). Publisher, 1880.
(b) Jacoby, Susan. (2004). Freethinkers: a History of American Secularism (pg. 152; Gillis, pg. 184). Henry Holt and Co.
7. Jacoby, Susan. (2004). Freethinkers: a History of American Secularism (Debs, pg. 179; Gillis, pg. 184; Ingersoll photo, pg. 312/13). Henry Holt and Co.

External links
Robert G. Ingersoll – Wikipedia.

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