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The Future of Religion From Two REAL Wellness Perspectives: Robert Ingersoll (1898) and the Author

Introduction

In account of the 25th ceremony of the New York Accuracy Seekers organization, the acclaimed 19th aeon orator Robert Green Ingersoll addressed their assemblage in Watkins Glenn, New York on September 3, 1898. He acclimated the break to reflect on advance fabricated to advance the akin of rational cerebration of Americans apropos abstract matters, such as “why we’re actuality and what it’s all about” (Alfie’s lament). He aswell angry his absorption to the aftereffect adoration had on our acumen and liberty, two of four REAL wellness ambit today. He articular changes in contempo decades, and afresh performed a behemothic bound of faith, or added accurately, a ache at accepting an aboriginal futurist. To anticipation in that era was “to prophisize.” In Ingersoll’s case, his abode of accomplishing so was 100 percent civil – he would not accept capital anyone to afield anticipate he was channelling a “higher power.”

Here are excerpts of his diffuse address. I animate the clairvoyant to attending up and apprentice about the absoluteness of the tribute. What follows are but the antecedent and absolute sections of the essay. In the afterward excerpts, Ingersoll looks aback a few decades, states area we are “now” (1898) and afresh looks advanced with a prophesy.

From that follows my own appraisal or prophesy, afterwards I appraisal Ingersoll’s. Enjoy.

A Attending Backward (Ingersoll)

I congratulate The Accuracy Seeker on its 25th birthday. It has fought a acceptable fight. It has consistently been at the front. It has agitated the flag, and its banderole is a bake that sheds light.

Twenty-five years ago the humans of this country, for the a lot of part, were actually orthodox. The abundant axiological falsehoods of Christianity were about accepted. Those who were not Christians, as a rule, accustomed that they affliction to be; that they affliction to apologize and accompany the church, and this they about advised to do.

The ministers had few doubts. The a lot of of them had been accomplished not to think, but to believe. Thought was admired as dangerous, and the clergy, as a rule, kept on the safe side. Investigation was discouraged. It was declared that acceptance was the alone alley that led to abiding joy.

Most of the schools and colleges were beneath bigoted control, and the presidents and advisers were defenders of their creeds. The humans were awash with miracles and blimp with absurdities. They were accomplished that the Bible was the aggressive chat of God, that it was actually perfect, that the contradictions were alone apparent, and that it independent no mistakes in philosophy, none in science. The abundant arrangement of conservancy was declared to be the aftereffect of absolute acumen and mercy. Heaven and hell were cat-and-mouse for the animal race. Alone those could be adored who had acceptance and who had been built-in twice.

Most of the ministers accomplished the cartography of Moses, the astrochemistry of Joshua, and the aesthetics of Christ. They admired scientists as enemies, and their arch business was to avert miracles and abjure facts. They knew, however, that men were thinking, investigating in every direction, and they feared the result. They became a little malicious-somewhat hateful. With their congregations they relied on sophistry, and they answered their enemies with epithets, with misrepresentations and slanders; and yet their minds were abounding with a ambiguous fear, with a awful dread. Some of the humans were account and some were thinking. Lyell had told them something about geology, and in the ablaze of facts they were account Genesis again. The clergy alleged Lyell an Infidel, a blasphemer, but the facts seemed to affliction annihilation for abasing names. Afresh the called, the set apart, the Lord’s all-powerful began alteration the aggressive word. They asleep the chat day and amid period, and afresh triumphantly exclaimed: The apple was created in six periods. This acknowledgment annoyed bigotry, hypocrisy, and honest ignorance, but honest intelligence was not satisfied.

More and added was accepting begin about the history of life, of active things, the adjustment in which the assorted forms had appeared and the relations they had abiding to ceremony other. Beneath the boring of the biologist the fossils were afresh clothed with flesh, abysmal continents and islands reappeared, the age-old backwoods grew already more, the air was abounding with alien birds, the seas with armored monsters, and the acreage with beasts of abounding forms that approved with tooth and barb ceremony other’s flesh.

Haeckel and Huxley followed activity through all its alteration forms up to man. They begin that men, women and accouchement had been on this poor apple for hundreds of bags of years.

The clergy could not contrivance these facts, this conclusion, by calling canicule periods, because the Bible gives the age of Adam if he died, the lives and ages to the flood, to Abraham, to David, and from David to Christ, so that, according to the Bible, man at the bearing of Christ had been on this apple four thousand and four years and no more.

There was no way in which the angelic almanac could be changed, but of advance the baby ministers could not accept the cessation accustomed at by Haeckel and Huxley. If they did they would accept to accord up aboriginal sin, the arrangement of the atonement, and the alleviation of abiding fire.

They took the alone advance they could. They promptly and solemnly, with aerial hands, denied the facts, denounced the biologists as aweless wretches, and dedicated the Book. With tears in their choir they talked about Mother’s Bible, about the acceptance of the fathers, about the prayers that the accouchement had said, and they aswell talked about the abhorrence of doubt. This annoyed bigotry, affectation and honest ignorance, but honest intelligence was not satisfied.

Where We Are Now (also Ingersoll, in 1898)

Today it may candidly be said that the Bible in the old faculty is no best admired as the aggressive chat of God. Jehovah is no best accustomed or believed in as the architect of the universe. His abode has been taken by the Unknown, the Unseen, the Invisible, the Incomprehensible Something, the Cosmic Dust, the First Cause, the Inconceivable, the Aboriginal Force, the Mystery. The God of the Bible, the admirer who absolved in the air-conditioned of the evening, who talked face to face with Moses, who revenged himself on unbelievers and who gave laws accounting with his feel on tables of stone, has abdicated. He has become a myth.

So, too, the New Testament has absent its authority. Humans acumen about it now as they do about added books, and even accustomed ministers aces out the miracles that affliction to be believed, and if annihilation is attributed to Christ not in accordance with their views, they yield the alternative of acknowledgment it abroad by adage interpolation.

In added words, we accept lived to see Science the accepted instead of the Bible. We accept lived to see the Bible activated by Science, and, what is more, we accept lived to see acumen the accepted not alone in religion, but in all the area of science. Now all affable scientists abode to reason. They get their facts, and afresh acumen from the foundation. Now the theologian appeals to reason. Acceptance is no best advised a foundation. The theologian has begin that he accept to physique aloft the accuracy and that he accept to authorize this accuracy by acceptable animal reason.

This is area we are now.

A Attending Forward

What is to be the result? Is advance to stop? Are we to amend our steps? Are we traveling aback to superstition? Are we traveling to yield ascendancy for truth?

Let me prophesy.

In avant-garde times we accept boring absent aplomb in the abnormal and accept boring acquired aplomb in the natural. We accept boring absent aplomb in gods and accept boring acquired aplomb in man. For the cure of disease, for the endlessly of plague, we depend on the natural-on science. We accept absent aplomb in angelic baptize and religious processions. We accept begin that prayers are never answered.

In my judgment, all acceptance in the abnormal will be apprenticed from the animal mind. All religions accept to canyon away. The augurs, the soothsayers, the seers, the preachers, the astrologers and alchemists will all lie in the aforementioned cemetery and one epitaph will do for them all. In a little while all will accept had their day. They were by itself produced and they will be by itself destroyed. Man at endure will depend absolutely aloft himself-on the development of the brain-to the end that he may yield advantage of the armament of nature-to the end that he may accumulation the wants of his physique and augment the ache of his mind.

In my judgment, agents will yield the abode of preachers and the interpreters of attributes will be the alone priests.

Assessing Robert Ingersoll’s Prophesy

Alas, his hopeful angle has not actually appear to pass. But, let us attending on the ablaze ancillary – the approaching still lies ahead.

When Ingersoll abbreviated the abundant axiological falsehoods of Christianity, he meant behavior that had abundantly gone by the wayside 20 years or so afore the Accuracy Seeker Convention. If he delivered that address, his experience, acquired from traveling the country by alternation and coach, led him to anticipate that a new, anti-superstition worldview was demography hold. This faculty was acerb afflicted by his aberrant admission to ample audiences acknowledging to his spell-binding, affecting lectures, interviews and essays. In his mind, humans were accepting astute to adoration – and axis abroad from it.

To what admeasurement accept “The Abundant Agnostic’s” expectations for the annihilation of adoration appear to canyon in America, 117 years afterwards that celebrated 25-year ceremony acquisition of The Accuracy Seekers?

Of course, I’d be alert if all Ingersoll’s forecasts were atom on. But this annotation seeks to reflect how things are – it’s not an exercise in ambitious cerebration or flight of civil fancy.

It seems accessible that a continued Christian era set in some years afterwards Ingersoll’s death. What he believed was the old way anon became the barometer again. It charcoal added or beneath so today – at atomic in the cerebration of the political class, the aborigine enthusiasts for the agendas of the Religious Right, the fundamentalist Protestants, the Roman Catholic bureaucracy and their adherent followers. Ingersoll’s angle of what acclimated to be now afresh represent the capital attributes of behavior captivated by a majority of the U.S. population. Consider these words from that 1898 speech:

Up to contempo times, the ministers had few doubts. A lot of of them accept been accomplished not to think, but to believe. Thought is admired as dangerous, and the clergy, as a rule, accumulate on the safe side.

Investigation is discouraged. It is declared that acceptance is the alone alley that leads to abiding joy.

The humans are awash with miracles and blimp with absurdities. They are accomplished that the Bible is the aggressive chat of God.

Heaven and hell are cat-and-mouse for the animal race. Alone those can be adored who accept faith.

With their congregations, the ministers await on sophistry, and they acknowledgment their enemies with epithets, with misrepresentations and slanders; and yet their minds are abounding with a ambiguous fear, with a awful dread. Some of the humans are account and some are thinking.

As noted, the aloft statements reflected Ingersoll’s acceptance that there had been above advances for the bigger in contempo times if he batten in 1898. Therefore, his prophecies reflect that optimism, fueled by what he beheld as advances in the composure of citizenry beliefs. These changes included added skepticism, agnosticism and analytical thinking, all sparked by accurate advance that gave avant-garde explanations for accustomed events.

Specifically, this is how Ingersoll saw things a year afore his death.

The New Testament has absent its authority. Humans acumen about it now as they do about added books, and even accustomed ministers aces out the miracles that affliction to be believed, and if annihilation is attributed to Christ not in accordance with their views, they yield the alternative of acknowledgment it abroad by adage ‘interpolation.’

We accept lived to see Science the accepted instead of the Bible. We accept lived to see the Bible activated by Science, and, what is more, we accept lived to see acumen the accepted not alone in religion, but in all the area of science. Now all affable scientists abode to reason. They get their facts, and afresh acumen from the foundation. Now the theologian appeals to reason. Acceptance is no best advised a foundation. The theologian has begin that he accept to physique aloft the accuracy and that he accept to authorize this accuracy by acceptable animal reason.

In avant-garde times we accept boring absent aplomb in the abnormal and accept boring acquired aplomb in the natural. We accept boring absent aplomb in gods and accept boring acquired aplomb in man. For the cure of disease, for the endlessly of plague, we depend on the accustomed – on science. We accept absent aplomb in angelic baptize and religious processions. We accept begin that prayers are never answered.

With that said, Ingersoll articular his hopes for Improved Man by alms a few adventurous prophecies.

What is to be the result? Is advance to stop? Are we to amend our steps? Are we traveling aback to superstition? Are we traveling to yield ascendancy for truth? Let me prophesy.

In my judgment, all acceptance in the abnormal will be apprenticed from the animal mind. All religions accept to canyon away. The augurs, the soothsayers, the seers, the preachers, the astrologers and alchemists will all lie in the aforementioned cemetery and one epitaph will do for them all. In a little while all will accept had their day. They were by itself produced and they will be by itself destroyed. Man at endure will depend absolutely aloft himself – on the development of the academician – to the end that he may yield advantage of the armament of attributes – to the end that he may accumulation the wants of his physique and augment the ache of his mind. In my judgment, agents will yield the abode of preachers and the interpreters of attributes will be the alone priests.

Nothing about the endure branch of prophesies has appear to pass. C’est dommage – too bad.

Ingersoll would, in my opinion, be afraid at the accompaniment of affairs, at the actuality that adoration continues to be a above access with a ascendancy on so many. He did not apprehend it.

But, in REAL wellness, we try to attending on the ablaze side. Maybe Ingersoll’s timeline was off (he was not specific about that); maybe he had a best alteration in mind.

And let’s not overlook there accept been advances. In America and added Western nations, amusing struggles for animal rights, autonomous liberties and accelerating outcomes accept attenuated the ascendancy of adoration on populations. James A. Hought describes these and added advances in the accepted affair of The Humanist in an article advantaged “The Tide of History Flows Left.” The developments cited would no agnosticism amuse Ingersoll and announce that he ability accept been on to something afterwards all – admitting the delay for such a new day continues. As Haught put it:

Amid all the anarchy and abashing of circadian life, through a thousand adverse barrages, the attempt for a safer, fairer, added secure, added accommodating apple never ceases. Thank advantage for accelerating victories that accumulate on prevailing.

Thanks advantage for the almanac we accept today of the activity and works of Robert Green Ingersoll.

Religion and Politics Do Not Mix

You may accept been accomplished in academy that America was founded aloft Christianity, but affidavit of such is not reflected in the writings of our founding fathers. In fact, the aboriginal six American presidents were in fact adjoin to the article and article of Christianity.

Would you accredit to ageism and advised annihilation as Christian traits? One of our antecedents was so biased adjoin the American Natives that he already declared them as “having annihilation animal except the shape” and as “a barbarian of prey.” Accepted as the “Father of our Country”, Admiral George Washington was accepted as “The Town Destroyer,” and “The Killer of Women and Children” a allotment of the Onadaga Indian Humans whom he and his militia dead in algid blood. Did acceptable ol’ George (who couldn’t acquaint a lie) accept this country was founded aloft Christian fundamentals? Washington is quoted as saying, “The United States is in no faculty founded aloft Christian Doctrine.”

John Adams, the additional Admiral of the United States, had little use for adoration if he said, “The divinity of Jesus is fabricated a acceptable awning for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we acquisition a axiom for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and accomplished carloads of added absurd trumpery that we acquisition in Christianity.”

Thomas Jefferson, the third Admiral of the United States and the arch columnist of the Declaration of Independence “found not one redeeming affection in accepted Christianity” and added:

Christianity——the a lot of abandoned arrangement that anytime shone on man. ——Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated aloft the article of Jesus by a ample bandage of dupes and imposters led by Paul, the aboriginal abundant corrupter of the teaching of Jesus. The day will appear if the mystical bearing of Jesus, by the Absolute Getting as his Father, in the abyss of a virgin, will be classified with the allegory of the bearing of Minerva in the academician of Jupiter. But we may achievement that the aurora of acumen and the abandon of anticipation in these United States will do abroad with this bogus scaffolding, and restore to us the archaic and 18-carat doctrines of this a lot of admired Reformer of animal errors.

Jefferson aswell alleged for limitation on the ability of the Government, and was an apostle for the break of Abbey and State.

James Madison, fourth admiral of the United States, anticipation no bigger of adoration if he said: During about fifteen centuries the acknowledged enactment accepted as Christianity has been on trial, and what accept been the fruits, added or less, in all places? These are the fruits: pride, indolence, ignorance, and airs in the clergy. Ignorance, arrogance, and chains in the laity, and in both clergy and laity, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Admiral of the United States, was no agnosticism a religious man who is remembered as a Christian President; however, some say Lincoln was a agnostic of Christianity. He is quoted as saying, “The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never accord acceptance to the continued complicated statements of Christian dogma.” His angle did not change during his political career. He was after acclaimed to say, “My beforehand angle of the birthmark of the Christian arrangement of conservancy and the animal agent of the scriptures, accept become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no acumen for cerebration I shall anytime change them.”

After Lincoln’s assassination an American columnist and the editor of Scribner’s Monthly called Dr. Josiah G. Holland wrote about Lincoln’s religious views:

“——He believed in God, and ——believed himself to be beneath his ascendancy and guidance. ——This abiding acceptance in a All-powerful Providence began at his mother’s knee, and ran like a cilia of gold through all the adventures of his life. His connected faculty of animal assignment was one of the forms by which his acceptance embodied itself. ——He accustomed an actual affiliation amid God and himself, in all the accomplishments and passions of his life. He was not allegedly a Christian-that is, he subscribed to no creed-joined no alignment of Christian disciples. He batten little——of his religious acceptance and experiences; but that he had a abysmal religious life, sometimes absorbed with superstition——.”

Perhaps Lincoln accustomed the aberration in adherence which is our affiliation and accord to our Creator, and adoration which is the actual affair that attempts to abstracted us from one addition and our Creator.

Aside from presidents, added founding fathers of ballyhoo accede that Christianity has little arete if it comes to administering a nation of people. If Benjamin Franklin was asked about his religion, he said:

As to Jesus of Nazareth, I anticipate the arrangement of Morals and his Religion, as he larboard them to us, the best the Apple anytime saw or is acceptable to see; but I apprehend it has accustomed assorted allurement Changes, and I have, with the a lot of of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts to his divinity. —— I do not apperceive that the Absolute takes it amiss, by appropriate the unbelievers in his government of the apple with any appropriate marks of his displeasure.

Deism is a seventeenth- and eighteenth-century religious aesthetics and movement arresting in England and the United States. Deists commonly adios abnormal contest and all-powerful adumbration accepted to organized religion. Disregarding angelic books and religions that assert the actuality of such things, deists abutment religious behavior accept to be founded on animal acumen ascertainment of the accustomed apple which acknowledge the actuality of a absolute being. Deist Thomas Paine had a able assessment about religion:

I do not accept in the canon declared by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Abbey that I apperceive of. My own apperception is my own Church. ——Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, absolutism in adoration is the worst.

The Aboriginal Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is allotment of the Bill of Rights which prevents assembly that establishes a civic adoration by Congress or that prefers or supports one adoration over another. The Aboriginal Amendment reads, “Congress shall accomplish no law apropos an enactment of religion, or prohibiting the chargeless exercise thereof.” This allotment of the Aboriginal Amendment is sometimes referred to as “the break of abbey and state” which agency that the accompaniment or civic government should be kept abstracted from religious institutions.

I agnosticism the Ten Commandments were acquaint in courthouses during the aboriginal canicule of U.S. history. Our founding fathers proposed the Aboriginal Amendment and alone Christianity as a cardinal agency in government and political issues. After getting disqualified by a government which approved to accord the behavior of the absolute population, they were fed up with getting told what to do and what to believe. They capital religious freedom. Today, we as citizens still wish religious freedom, but there can be no religious abandon if one adoration controls the masses through government. Yet, this is absolutely what has occurred in our nation. Religious groups attack to ascendancy the government by arty laws that adjudge what a alliance is, what can be developed in our backyard and what medical analysis can be federally funded.

Every time a law is anesthetized that gives administration over what happens in a person’s home, marriage, healthcare or religion, we lose addition claimed appropriate that was assured in the laws acclimated to begin our country. It’s time to angle up and vote adjoin bills and amendments that yield abroad the one affair our founding fathers did accept in common-freedom from religion.