Robert G. Ingersoll

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

No one infers a god from the simple, from the known, from what is understood, but from the
complex, from the unknown, and incomprehensible. Our ignorance is God; what we know is
– Robert G. Ingersoll

The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Love is natural. Back of all ceremony burns and will forever burn the sacred flame. There has
been no time in the world’s history when that torch was extinguished. In all ages, in all
climes, among all people, there has been true, pure, and unselfish love.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

I would not wish to live in a world where I could not express my honest opinions. Men who
deny to others the right of speech are not fit to live with honest men.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Blasphemy is what an old mistake says of a newly discovered truth.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

It is a splendid thing to think that the woman you really love will never grow old to you.
Through the wrinkles of time, through the mask of years, if you really love her, you will
always see the face you love and won. And a woman who really loves a man does not see
that he grows old; he is not decrepit to her; she always sees the same gallant gentleman
who won her hand and heart.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Is there an intelligent man or woman now in the world who believes in the Garden of Eden
story? If you find any man who believes it, strike his forehead and you will hear an echo.
Something is for rent.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Most men are followers, and implicitly rely upon the judgment of others.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

I have made up my mind that if there is a God, he will be merciful to the merciful. Upon that
rock I stand.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

We need men with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts, and to stand by their
convictions, even to the very death.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence
upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation,
and can be believed only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called faith.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

In all ages hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns on the heads of thieves, called kings.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

If we are immortal it is a fact in nature, and we are not indebted to priests for it, nor to bibles
for it, and it cannot be destroyed by unbelief.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Justice is the only worship.
Love is the only priest.
Ignorance is the only slavery.
Happiness is the only good.
The time to be happy is now,
The place to be happy is here,
The way to be happy is to make others so.
Wisdom is the science of happiness.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

There are treasures in books that all the money in the world cannot buy, but the poorest
laborer can have for nothing.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

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.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

As long as every question is answered by the word “God,” scientific inquiry is simply impossible.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Liberty is the condition of progress. Without Liberty, there remains only barbarism. Without
Liberty, there can be no civilization.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Ignorance is the soil in which belief in miracles grows.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

We are satisfied that there can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in
– Robert G. Ingersoll

And why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?
– Robert G. Ingersoll

The dead do not suffer. And if they live again, their lives will surely be as good as ours. We
have no fear. We are all children of the same mother, and the same fate awaits us all. We,
too, have our religion, and it is this: Help for the living, hope for the dead.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Nature never prompted a loving mother to throw her child into the Ganges. Nature never
prompted men to exterminate each other for a difference of opinion concerning the baptism of
infants. These crimes have been produced by religions filled with all that is illogical, cruel and
– Robert G. Ingersoll

When the will defies fear, when the heart applauds the brain, when duty throws the gauntlet
down to fate, when honor scorns to compromise with death – this is heroism.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

Wait until the world is free before you write a creed. In this creed there will be but one word
– Liberty.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

The Church demonstrated the falsity and folly of Darwin’s theories by showing that they
contradicted the Mosaic account of creation, and now that the theories of Darwin having been
fairly established, the Church says that the Mosaic account is true because it is in harmony
with Darwin. Now, if it should turn out that Darwin was mistaken, what then?
– Robert G. Ingersoll

I had rather live and love where death is king, than have eternal life where love is not.
– Robert G. Ingersoll

In the world of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.
– Robert G. Ingersoll