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Robert G. Ingersoll quotes page 1

1833 - 1899, American politician

It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have
education without common sense.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Anger is a wind which blows out the lamp of the mind.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and
it is above and beyond all words.
Robert G. Ingersoll

It has always seemed absurd to suppose that a god would choose for his companions, during
all eternity, the dear souls whose highest and only ambition is to obey.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Happiness is not a reward - it is a consequence. Suffering is not a punishment - it is a result.
Robert G. Ingersoll

This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines
not able to take care of themselves.
Robert G. Ingersoll

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishment – there are consequences.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Whoever has an opinion of his own, and honestly expresses it, will be guilty of heresy.
Robert G. Ingersoll

I do not believe in forgiveness as it is preached by the church. We do not need the
forgiveness of God, but of each other and of ourselves.
Robert G. Ingersoll

The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
Robert G. Ingersoll

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

As more people become more intelligent they care less for preachers and more for teachers.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Progress is born of doubt and inquiry. The Church never doubts, never inquires. To doubt is
heresy, to inquire is to admit that you do not know - the Church does neither.
Robert G. Ingersoll

If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If
he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Nothing but truth is immortal.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Great virtues may draw attention from defects, they cannot sanctify them. A pebble
surrounded by diamonds remains a common stone, and a diamond surrounded by pebbles is
still a gem.
Robert G. Ingersoll

We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of
the known, we must say that we do not know.
Robert G. Ingersoll

To hate man and love God seems to be the sum of all creeds.
Robert G. Ingersoll

The glory of science is, that it is freeing the soul, breaking the mental manacles, getting the
brain out of bondage, giving courage to thought, filling the world with mercy, justice, and joy.
Robert G. Ingersoll

In all ages the people have honored those who dishonored them. They have worshiped their
destroyers; they have canonized the most gigantic liars, and buried the great thieves in
marble and gold. Under the loftiest monuments sleeps the dust of murder.
Robert G. Ingersoll

What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to
the soul of man.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Every man who expresses an honest thought is a soldier in the army of intellectual liberty.
Robert G. Ingersoll

The book, called the Bible, is filled with passages equally horrible, unjust and atrocious. This is
the book to be read in schools in order to make our children loving, kind and gentle! This is the
book they wish to be recognized in our Constitution as the source of all authority and justice!
Robert G. Ingersoll

The idea of hell was born of ignorance, brutality, fear, cowardice, and revenge. This idea
testifies that our remote ancestors were the lowest beasts.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Courage without conscience is a wild beast.
Robert G. Ingersoll

What is real blasphemy?
To live on the unpaid labor of other men - that is blasphemy.
To enslave your fellow-man, to put chains upon his body - that is blasphemy.
To enslave the minds of men, to put manacles upon the brain, padlocks upon the lips - that is
To deny what you believe to be true, to admit to be true what you believe to be a lie - that
is blasphemy.
To strike the weak and unprotected, in order that you may gain the applause of the ignorant
and superstitious mob - that is blasphemy.
To persecute the intelligent few, at the command of the ignorant many - that is blasphemy.
To forge chains, to build dungeons, for your honest fellow-men - that is blasphemy.
To pollute the souls of children with the dogma of eternal pain - that is blasphemy.
To violate your conscience - that is blasphemy.
The jury that gives an unjust verdict, and the judge who pronounces an unjust sentence, are
The man who bows to public opinion against his better judgment and against his honest
conviction, is a blasphemer.
Robert G. Ingersoll

The most important thing in this world is liberty. More important than food or clothes - more
important than gold or houses or lands - more important than art or science - more important
than all religions, is the liberty of man.
Robert G. Ingersoll

Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers. It is the only prayer that deserves an answer,
- good, honest, noble work.
Robert G. Ingersoll

If there be an infinite Being, he does not need our help - we need not waste our energies in
his defense.
Robert G. Ingersoll

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.
Robert G. Ingersoll

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