THE GODS (2)
by: Robert G. Ingersoll
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The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. 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 relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called “ faith,” What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of’ religion is based upon that belief. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to ‘such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration.
Whether the Bible is true or false, is of no consequence in comparison with the mental freedom of the race.
Salvation through slavery is worthless. Salvation from slavery is inestimable.
As long as man believes the Bible to be infallible, that book is his master. The civilization of this century is not the child of faith, but of unbelief - the result of free thought.
All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely of human invention - of barbarian invention - is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of your brain the cowled form of superstition - then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and of such atrocity.