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Using the exact words of Robert Green Ingersoll from 1887 (!!!), David M. Beadle has made a short film explaining what Secularism means:
If you’d like to follow along, the transcript is below:
Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.
It’s a nice video and a nice piece by Ingersoll (I love how he turns around some Biblical admonitions, like “It considers the lilies of the field, and takes thought for the morrow”), but I worry that it’s a bit naive. Is secularism better than religious alternatives? Absolutely, but I don’t know that it will necessarily bring an end of “sectarian feuds” or to persecution. The infighting among secularists over issues like feminism and interacting with believers (to say nothing of the many petty issues that are generally more minor) should be reason enough for skepticism.
Agreed, but while our sectarian feuds often fail to rise to the level of dialogue (as in a discussion that leads to an understanding of each others positions and a better understanding of the underlying issue) they still rely on words and don’t resort to guns, bombs and prisons.
Just think. The opposition could have silenced Ingersoll merely by filing the semicolon off his typewriter! 😉
Are you dissing the semicolons? Semicolons rock!
What do you mean diss? I used one in my post!
Not sure about “secularism is a religion” but the rest is well said.
intended as poetry, sure to be willfully misinterpreted.
I’m sure that in 1887, the author didn’t have to be as sensitive as we do to the inevitability of theists playing a pointless game of ‘gotcha’ with us (as though pointing out willfully misinterpreted writing would somehow convert or discredit us).
Read more Ingersoll! Read Ghosts, one my favorite Ingersoll lectures. The original american horseman.
“Love was the first to dream of immortality, — not Religion, not Revelation. We love, therefore we wish to live. The hope of immortality is the great oak ’round which have climbed the poisonous vines of superstition. The vines have not supported the oak, the oak has supported the vines. As long as men live and love and die, this hope will blossom in the human heart.”
That was excellent! Is Beadle taking requests? If so, I would recommend Ingersoll’s essay, “About the Holy Bible” for his next video. 😉
I too wish they had avoided calling it a religion. Otherwise well done.
agree…but, if i can get a degree in securalism and then get a church and have a car, housing, clothing, food, gifts, etc all paid for and/or tax free, ill gladly call it a religion. as it is, i am already legally a reverend via that online church place and can leagally perform marriages….maybe i already can do all those things legally….does anyone know a good lawyer who is great a finding legal loopholes? lol
“It means the destruction of the business of those who trade in fear.”
I love this sentence. Fear and shame are the root of religion, the choke-collar it takes us a lifetime to shake off.
Amen! That gave me a nice warm fuzzy
I loves me some Ingersoll. I’m biased though since I grew up not far from where he practiced law in southern Illinois. I like this essay but it would make more sense if you substitute “humanism” for “secularism”. I can understand why Ingersoll avoid using “humanism” since it had a bad reputation at the time.
“It proposes to let the Gods take care of themselves.”
Hmm, this is an interesting statement. Kinda makes you question God’s involvement with us.
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