A Plea for Atheism
"The atheist does not say "there is no God," but he says "I know not what
you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word ´God´ is to me a sound
conveying no clear or distinct affirmation." ... The Bible God I deny; the
Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no
God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me."
"Atheists would teach men to be moral now, not because God offers as an
inducement reward by and by, but because in the virtuous act itself
immediate good is insured to the doer and the circle surrounding him."
"The word heretic ought to be a term of honour..."
"I cannot follow you Christians; for you try to crawl through your life upon
your knees, while I stride through mine on my feet."
"As an unbeliever, I ask leave to plead that humanity has been a real gainer
from skepticism, and that the gradual and growing rejection of Christianity
- like the rejection of the faiths which preceded it - has in fact added,
and will add, to man's happiness and well-being."
"If it stood alone it would be almost sufficient to plead as justification
for heresy the approach towards equality and liberty for the utterance of
all opinions achieved because of growing unbelief."
"If special honor is claimed for any, then heresy should have it as the
truest servitor of humankind."
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