Robert Green Ingersoll

I want to start the year by paying tribute to one great American statesman whose books have been reading in the past month or so

Col. Robert G. Ingersoll

. This gentleman graced the earth between 1833 and 1899 when he was laid to rest. I don’t want to talk about his life, just a review of the books.

He attacked religion with all he had, satire and superior wit. His lectures are a good read for anyone who is interested in free thought, human rights and other social issues of his time that are relevant to us now.

In Ghosts, he sets to show us that, the first explanation man came up with concerning his environment was supernatural. We can’t blame the savage for believing in good and bad ghosts, he didn’t know better. To the savage, good ghosts brought good tidings and bad ghosts brought pestilence and disease. We have moved far maybe we have not from this explanation.

In the mistakes of Moses, he for the sake argument assumes that Moses wrote the first five books of the OT. He then goes out to point out the mistakes Moses made in the name of a deity and he insists a god couldn’t command such atrocities. To top it up, he asks god to write it down in his book he refused to accept that was the work of a deity.

In Why am an Agnostic, he gives reasons why he can’t believe in god. He says in it he studied the other religions and so that christianity didn’t look any different from the other religions except in its insistence on being the only true religion. He says so many men, women and children were killed in service of this god. No god would command such a thing. He says he read Paine, Voltaire, Humboldt and other great men of the 18th and 19th century and their critiques of the bible and of the christian religion and is convinced they were right. That they valued man more than gods.

In the Lectures of R.G Ingersoll vol 1 and 2, we have a collection of lectures he gave on several issues. In the lectures he pays tribute to the great men such as Paine, Voltaire, Humboldt, Hume,  Darwin; he talks about the Declaration of Independence of the US of A,  pays tribute to Abraham Lincoln and responds to his critics from the religious side. He in many instances show that the bible wasn’t believed when it was written and it can’t be believed now. He further shows that truth does not require a miracle only falsehood does.

In About the Holy Bible, he attacks almost every tenet written in that book. He shows us why the book could not have been inspired by any deity. He seeks to say the truth about the bible because the pastors dare not. The professors in colleges dare not, but for him he has no fear so he will speak for them all and he surely does speak for everyone who has a doubt about the bible and for one reason or another can’t say it.

In Men, Women and Gods and other lectures, he visits the themes I have mentioned above and more. He says consistently that we can’t help the gods, we can’t injure them and that it is our duty to help fellow-man. He then talks about the rights of children, the measure of greatness and responds to his critics in the same manner. He attacks the doctrine of atonement.

In Chinese Exclusion he attacks congress for coming up with laws to exclude the Chinese which is a friendly state. I don’t know how far the US of A has come from the fear of the Chinese.

 

Of beggars and artisans

Happy new year!

I do hope that you had a good holiday season and are of good cheer as we begin the new year. Now the beginning of the year doesn’t bring any magical effect, I hope however that you learnt from the mistakes you committed in the last year and are striving to make more this year.

When we were last here, YHWH had opened a photocopy business for churning out tablets, with Moses as his able deputy or is it business attendant.Let us see what this great god is up to, maybe he has changed his mind from being violent and murderous.

35 Then Moses assembled all the congregation of the sons of Israel, and said to them, “These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do:

“For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy day, a sabbath of complete rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall not kindle a fire in any of your dwellings on the sabbath day.”

If Moses is my representative in parliament, this is the time to put the recall clause to use. How does he take such silly instructions without a word of protest. How do you command a person to be put to death for working? If he wanted one day to be holy then he should just have created just that one day but as it is, we must work to it and chose when to rest, so this command is spurious.

Moses spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the Lord has commanded, saying, ‘Take from among you a contribution to the Lord; whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as the Lord’s contribution: gold, silver, and bronze, and blue, purple and scarlet material, fine linen, goats’ hairand rams’ skins dyed red, and porpoise skins, and acacia wood, and oil for lighting, and spices for the anointing oil, and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and setting stones for the ephod and for the breastpiece.

The church has always been a beggar and for the fine stuff! They claim their god demands these things. If he is all-powerful, he could have all the gold if he wished, why has his representatives here be beggars and of only fine stuff? What business has god to do with goat’s hair, porpoise skins. Please help me.

10 ‘Let every skillful man among you come, and make all that the Lord has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its hooks and its boards, its bars,…………..18 the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court and their cords; 19 the woven garments for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests.’

I don’t get it. It is the habit of petty people to be so concerned with so minute details. Why would a god who claims to be powerful as this one be so concerned with a tabernacle, altars and so on and even with who makes it? And  I don’t get what is so special about Aaron’s family besides when the people made golden calf, he was the chief architect.

20 Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel departed from Moses’ presence. 21 Everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments. 2………….. 29 The Israelites, all the men and women, whose heart moved them to bring material for all the work, which the Lord had commanded through Moses to be done, brought a freewill offering to the Lord.

Am sure had the people known better, they would have told Moses to take a rope. Moses was lucky there were no free thinkers in this group of goat herders or else he would have had quite a difficult time explaining why an omnipotent and omniscient god would need such offerings and what stopped from addressing everyone. 

30 Then Moses said to the sons of Israel, “See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 31 And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship; 32 to make designs for working in gold and in silver and in bronze, 33 …… 35 He has filled them with skill to perform every work of an engraver and of a designer and of an embroiderer, in blue and in purple and in scarlet material, and in fine linen, and of a weaver, as performers of every work and makers of designs.

This Bezalel, which means in the shadow of god, was the Da Vinci of the Israelites. He was the master craftsman, the perfumer, the sculptor. The only trades this god seems to have no interest in is the scientist and  the philosopher. No wonder in no pulpit do you find a scientist or a philosopher. God didn’t need them, he knew they wouldn’t believe this magic.