The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll (of 12) Volume 8

The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll (of 12) Volume 8

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Excerpt: ...and it is really written, not of those who do not believe, but those who refuse to perform offices of charity to their neighbor in his need. It would be wrong to call this intentional misrepresentation; but can it be called less than somewhat reckless negligence? It is a more special misfortune to find a writer arguing on the same side with his critic, and yet for the critic not to be able to agree with him. But so it is with reference to the great subject of immortality, as treated in the Reply. "The idea of immortality, that, like a sea, has ebbed and flowed in the human heart, with its countless waves of hope and fear beating against the shores and rocks of time and fate, was not born of any book, nor of any creed, nor of any religion. It was born of human affection; and it will continue to ebb and flow beneath the mist and clouds of doubt and darkness, as long as love kisses the lips of death" (p. 483). Here we have a very interesting chapter of the history of human opinion disposed of in the usual summary way, by a statement which, as it appears to me, is developed out of the writer's inner consciousness. If the belief in immortality is not connected with any revelation or religion, but is simply the expression of a subjective want, then plainly we may expect the expression of it to be strong and clear in proportion to the various degrees in which faculty is developed among the various races of mankind. But how does the matter stand historically? The Egyptians were not a people of high intellectual development, and yet their religious system was strictly associated with, I might rather say founded on, the belief in immortality. The ancient Greeks, on the other hand, were a race of astonishing, perhaps unrivalled, intellectual capacity. But not only did they, in prehistoric ages, derive their scheme of a future world from Egypt; we find also that, with the lapse of time and the advance of the Hellenic civilization, the constructive ideas of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 198 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 11mm | 363g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236731840
  • 9781236731845