Robert Ingersoll: Intellectual and Moral Atlas - The Objective Standard

“I will not attack your doctrines nor your creeds if they accord liberty to me. If they hold thought to be dangerous—if they aver that doubt is a crime, then I attack them one and all, because they enslave the minds of men.” —Robert G. Ingersoll1

Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll (1833–1899) is perhaps the greatest lost figure of American history. Many historians name him as the country’s leading orator and political speechmaker of the post–Civil War era. It’s estimated that he was seen and heard by more Americans than any other human before the advent of film and television. Over the course of thirty years, he crisscrossed America by train, sometimes speaking before audiences as large as fifty thousand people. He spoke in almost every sizable town in every state of the union.

Shakespearean of tongue and mind, Ingersoll often spoke for three to four hours without notes. He had an enormous repertoire of speeches, which spanned topics such as science, politics, art, education, religion, and individual rights, as well as figures such as Voltaire, Robert Burns, Tolstoy, Humboldt, Abraham Lincoln, and Thomas Paine.

It’s a shame no YouTube existed in his day, but fortunately for us, most of his speeches were carefully compiled by his wife and brother-in-law in 1900 and are available in the twelve-volume Works of Robert G. Ingersoll: Dresden Edition, which can be accessed free online.2

Ingersoll was admired by some of the greatest men of his day, including Thomas Edison, who said of him, “I think that Ingersoll had all the attributes of a perfect man, and, in my opinion, no finer personality ever existed.”3 After hearing a speech by Ingersoll, Mark Twain praised it as “the supreme combination of words that was ever put together since the world began.” Twain also said of him, “Of all men living or dead, I love Ingersoll most.”4 Ingersoll was a hero to Frederick Douglass, who stated that of all men in his personal acquaintance, there were only two to whom he ever felt inferior—Abraham Lincoln and Robert Ingersoll. Oscar Wilde praised him as the most intelligent man in America. He was known to share a scotch with Andrew Carnegie and was great friends with Walt Whitman, whom Ingersoll eulogized.

How is it that a man who was one of the most famous Americans of his time—and admired so intensely by so many great men—can be virtually unknown today?

The answer to that question speaks volumes about where we are as a culture as opposed to where America was in the late 19th century. The reason so few people know of Robert Ingersoll or his works today is that he’s been ignored and forgotten by both liberals and conservatives. Liberals have ignored him because he was a Republican. Conservatives have forgotten him because he was an atheist.

***

Like our founding fathers before him, Robert Ingersoll was a man of the Enlightenment who understood that reason and liberty are indivisible. As he so eloquently put it: “What light is to the eyes, what air is to the lungs, what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man. Without liberty, the brain is a dungeon, where the chained thoughts die with their pinions pressed against the hingeless doors.”5

A Civil War veteran who had been raised by a Calvinist preacher, Ingersoll had seen firsthand the evils of shackling both the mind and the body. Like Jefferson before him, he declared “eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man” and said plainly, “Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery. It is far better to be free, to leave the forts and barricades of fear, to stand erect and face the future with a smile.”6 He was particularly opposed to the Christian concept of eternal damnation:

This frightful dogma, this infinite lie, made me the implacable enemy of Christianity. The truth is that belief in eternal pain has been the real persecutor. It founded the Inquisition, forged the chains, and furnished the fagots. It has darkened the lives of many millions. It made the cradle as terrible as the coffin. It enslaved millions and shed the blood of countless thousands. It sacrificed the wisest, the bravest, and the best. It subverted the idea of justice and drove mercy from the heart, changed men into fiends and banished reason from the human brain. Like a venomous serpent it crawls and coils and hisses in every orthodox creed. . . . While I have life, as long as I draw breath, I shall deny with all my strength, and hate with every drop of my blood, this infinite lie.7

Ingersoll thundered against the Christian creed from Maine to California—shredding it with logic, wit, and sarcasm—because he considered religion a divider of humanity, an affront to reason, and something to combat with all of one’s strength. He understood that reason was the distinguishing characteristic of man, and that faith was the negation of reason. As he said, “Reason is the light, the sun, of the brain. It is the compass of the mind, the ever-constant Northern Star, the mountain peak that lifts itself above all clouds.”8

In his lecture The Truth, he emphasized the importance of trusting your own reason and thinking independently:

Every man should be true to himself—true to the inward light. Each man, in the laboratory of his own mind, and for himself alone, should test the so-called facts—the theories of the world. Truth, in accordance with his reason, should be his guide and master. To love the truth, thus perceived, is mental virtue—intellectual purity. This is true manhood. This is freedom. To throw away your reason at the command of popes, parties, kings, or gods, is to be a serf, a slave.9

Nobody before or since has provided a more comprehensive or devastating critique of Christianity than Ingersoll. However, he was always careful to focus his fire on the creed and not those who believed in it, saying:

I do not attack persons, but their superstitions. I deal with opinions, not with those who hold them. I do not war against men. I do not war against persons. I war against certain doctrines that I believe to be wrong. But I give to every human being every right that I claim for myself. . . . I have said many times, and I say again, that I do not despise a man because he has the rheumatism; I despise the rheumatism because it has a man.10

The same attitude was true of his relationships with his family, including his father, who was a Protestant minister. Despite their disagreement over religion, he admired his father: “He was a good, a brave and honest man. I loved him living, and I love him dead. I never said to him an unkind word, and in my heart there never was of him an unkind thought . . . my father was infinitely better than the religion he preached.”11

Ingersoll was simply not the kind of man who would subjugate his mind to unproven assertions, dogma, or faith: “As far as I am concerned I wish to be out on the high seas. I wish to take my chances with wind, and wave, and star. And I had rather go down in the glory and grandeur of the storm, than rot in any orthodox harbor.”12

Critics claimed that Ingersoll was too aggressive in his attacks on religion and that he was a destroyer, not a builder. The truth is he was both. Destroying errors and falsehoods is a necessary first step in replacing them with truths. You can’t sow grain in a jungle nor can you build a palace on a swamp. He knew that intellectual freedom had to rest on the bedrock of reason and not the quicksand of faith, so he did spend a great deal of effort cutting away the thickets and thorns of fear, ignorance, and hypocrisy while showing a better way. What did Ingersoll see as a better way?

To love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy, to pity the suffering, to assist the weak, to forget wrongs and remember benefits—to love truth, to be sincere, to utter honest words, to love liberty, to wage relentless war against slavery in all its forms, to love wife and child and friend, to make a happy home, to love the beautiful in art, in nature, to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts that genius has expressed, the noble deeds of all the world, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others happy, to fill life with the splendor of generous acts, the warmth of loving words, to discover error, to destroy prejudice, to receive new truths with gladness, to cultivate hope, to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn beyond the night, to do the best that can be done and then be resigned—this is the religion of reason, the creed of science. This satisfies the brain and heart.13

Ingersoll was a successful lawyer, the first attorney general of Illinois, and he had political ambitions early in his career. However, he abandoned politics because being religious was practically a requirement for public office in his day (as in our own).

Ingersoll remained a mover and shaker behind the scenes of the Republican Party and was a friend and confidant of Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James Garfield. Ingersoll was the most sought after stump speaker for Republican candidates and causes over a span of three decades. In 1876, he was thrust into the national spotlight after giving a thrilling nomination speech for presidential candidate James G. Blaine, which became forever known as the “Plumed Knight” speech owing to this line: “Like an armed warrior, like a plumed knight, James G. Blaine marched down the halls of the American Congress and threw his shining lance full and fair against the brazen foreheads of every defamer of his country and maligner of its honor.”14

Because of his integrity, his brilliance, and his personal charm, Ingersoll was admired even by many who opposed his ideas. He was able to forge friendships with some of the more liberal preachers, such as Henry Ward Beecher and Alexander Clark. He frequently engaged in lively, long-distance debates by letter with prominent defenders of Christianity, including one with William Gladstone, the prime minister of England. Many of these were published in newspapers and compiled into books. Ingersoll often inspired people to rethink their beliefs—including their religious beliefs. After a conversation with Ingersoll on a train, Civil War General Lew Wallace was so inspired to reexamine his own religious beliefs that he decided to write a novel. The name of the novel? Ben-Hur.

The orthodox, however, attacked Ingersoll as a rogue, a cynic, and the Devil himself. His speeches were regularly disrupted, and his books were banned from many libraries. In Delaware, he was once threatened with indictment under local blasphemy laws. Even when religionists spread false rumors and lies about him, he handled it with wit and aplomb. For example, one rumor had it that Ingersoll’s son was a drunkard who more than once had to be carried away from the table. Ingersoll wrote: “It is not true that intoxicating beverages are served at my table. It is not true that my son ever was drunk. It is not true that he had to be carried away from the table. Besides, I have no son!”15 Over time, he became a beloved infidel in a Christian land, in large part because all could see that he was so clearly living an honest, productive, and moral life.

Ingersoll led a spiritually rich life, and his home was always filled with art, music, and an intellectual air. He was devoted to his wife, his two daughters, his extended family, and his friends. Ingersoll’s financial success enabled him to demonstrate how atheism and a general benevolence can align. He was known as a soft touch for those in need. After his brother’s untimely passing, he provided financially for the family left behind. He was also known to help friends who had fallen on hard times.

Although he was not a technical philosopher, Ingersoll often touched on metaphysics. Speaking long before Ayn Rand’s identification of the primacy of existence and the axiom that “existence exists,” Ingersoll often expounded the same idea, saying “Matter and force were not created. They have existed from eternity. They cannot be destroyed.” He also said, “In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences.” To those who claimed the universe operates according to “natural laws,” he pointed out the error of conflating natural laws with man-made laws:

When we say that the universe is governed by law, we mean that this fact, called law, is incapable of change; that it is, has been, and forever will be, the same inexorable, immutable fact, inseparable from all phenomena. Law, in this sense, was not enacted or made. It could not have been otherwise than as it is. That which necessarily exists has no creator.16

Ingersoll had a rational view of morality based on human happiness as the standard of value:

Many contend that without a belief in the existence of God morality is impossible and that virtue would perish from the earth. This absurd theory, with its “Thus saith the Lord” has been claimed to be independent of and superior to reason. The other theory is that right and wrong exist in the nature of things; that certain actions preserve or increase the happiness of man, and that other actions cause sorrow and misery; that all those actions that cause happiness are moral and all others are evil or indifferent. Right and wrong are not revelations from some supposed god, but have been discovered through the experience and intelligence of man. There is nothing miraculous or supernatural about morality. Neither has morality to do with another world, or with an infinite being. It applies to conduct here, and the effect of that conduct on ourselves and others determines its nature.17

Ingersoll said “the highest possible standard is human.” It is safe to assume that he would have agreed wholeheartedly with Ayn Rand’s principle that “the purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.”18

Ingersoll was an impassioned patriot who emphasized the secular nature of our founding. He was a great admirer of Thomas Paine and was single-handedly responsible for restoring his legacy after Paine had been wiped from the history books by religionists in the 1800s due to his critique of Christianity in the book The Age of Reason. As with Voltaire, one of the slanders against Paine was that he had recanted on his deathbed and begged God for mercy. Ingersoll forcefully denied this and offered $1,000 in gold to any minister who could prove it. However, none came forward. Ingersoll even called witnesses who were there the day Paine died who testified that it was a lie. Thus he vindicated Paine.

In 1876, Ingersoll delivered an oration on the centennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which began:

One hundred years ago, our fathers retired the gods from politics.

The Declaration of Independence is the grandest, the bravest, and the profoundest political document that was ever signed by the representatives of a people. It is the embodiment of physical and moral courage and of political wisdom.

I say of physical courage, because it was a declaration of war against the most powerful nation then on the globe; a declaration of war by thirteen weak, unorganized colonies; a declaration of war by a few people, without military stores, without wealth, without strength, against the most powerful kingdom on the earth; a declaration of war made when the British navy, at that day the mistress of every sea, was hovering along the coast of America, looking after defenseless towns and villages to ravage and destroy. It was made when thousands of English soldiers were upon our soil, and when the principal cities of America were in the substantial possession of the enemy. And so, I say, all things considered, it was the bravest political document ever signed by man. And if it was physically brave, the moral courage of the document is almost infinitely beyond the physical. They had the courage not only, but they had the almost infinite wisdom, to declare that all men are created equal.19

Unlike the “new atheists” of today, who deny God but embrace the very same ethics as religionists (altruism), Ingersoll’s commitment to liberty was consistent in all spheres of human thought and action—he was for free minds, free people, and free markets—which made him a lifelong Republican.20 In the late 1800s, the Republican party had not yet been corrupted by religious conservatives, and Ingersoll’s politics are best described as “liberal right.”21 As he explains:

I am a Republican. I will tell you why: This is the only free government in the world. The Republican Party made it so. The Republican Party took the chains from four million people. The Republican Party, with the wand of progress, touched the auction-block and it became a schoolhouse. The Republican Party put down the rebellion, saved the nation, kept the old banner afloat in the air, and declared that slavery of every kind should be extirpated from the face of the continent. I am a Republican because it is the only free party that ever existed. It is a party that has a platform as broad as humanity, a platform as broad as the human race, a party that says you shall have all the fruit of the labor of your hands, a party that says you may think for yourself; a party that says no chains for the hands, no fetters for the soul.

I am a Republican because the Republican Party says this country is a nation, and not a confederacy. I am for the Republican Party because it says the government has as much right, as much power, to protect its citizens at home as abroad. I am a Republican because that party allows me to be free—allows me to do my own thinking in my own way.22

Given his principled stand on individual rights, it’s unsurprising that Ingersoll was ahead of his time in advocating the rights of blacks, women, and children. When the Civil War broke out, Ingersoll helped found the 11th Illinois Cavalry Regiment and was assigned the rank of colonel. After serving with distinction at the Battle of Shiloh, Ingersoll was captured (and then released) by Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who would later found the Ku Klux Klan. In speaking of the long struggle against slavery, Ingersoll said, “The greatest test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.” Invited to speak before a group of newly freed black Americans after the Civil War, Ingersoll told them, “This is your country as much as it is mine. You have the same rights here that I have—the same interest that I have. The avenues of distinction will be open to you and your children. Great advances have been made.”23

He forcefully advocated equal rights for women when few men did, and he utterly condemned corporal punishment for children, saying to abusive parents, “If any one of you ever expects to whip your children again, I want you to have a photograph taken of yourself when you are in the act, with your face red with vulgar anger, and the face of the little child, with eyes swimming in tears and the little chin dimpled with fear.”24 He also railed against religionists who filled the minds of children with the fear of hell and undercut their ability to think and reason saying, “I say it’s high time we stop beating our children with the bones of our ignorant ancestors.”25

In stark contrast to the romance-killing “feminists” of today, Ingersoll showed that you could have a bedrock belief in the equal rights of men and women but still idealize romantic love and old-fashioned chivalry. As he said, “You had better be the emperor of one loving and tender heart, and she the empress of yours, than to be king of the world. The man who has really won the love of one good woman in this world, I don’t care if he dies in the ditch a beggar, his life has been a success.”26

He was often criticized by his fellow freethinkers (those who used reason to oppose religion) for not advocating socialism as most of them did, but Ingersoll remained steadfast in his support for capitalism and property rights. Unlike the so-called progressives of today (who are really regressive leftists), Ingersoll was a true progressive because he understood that liberty was the prerequisite of progress: “Human Liberty is the shrine at which I worship. Progress is the religion in which I believe. Liberty is the condition precedent to all progress.”27

Ingersoll also knew that religion had never existed wholly apart from the state prior to the founding of America, and that the combination was a grave threat to liberty, saying “the church and the state—two vultures—have fed upon the liberties of man.”

Although he provided nominal support for union organizing and advocated a mandated eight-hour workday, he pushed back at those who made Marxist claims about rich capitalists “oppressing” the man who labors. He also understood that the root of Marxism is envy:

The cry is now raised that capital in some mysterious way oppresses industry; that the capitalist is the enemy of the man who labors. What is a capitalist? Every man who has good health; every man with good sense; everyone who has had his dinner, and has enough left for supper, is, to that extent, a capitalist. Every man with a good character, who has the credit to borrow a dollar or to buy a meal, is a capitalist; and nine out of ten of the great capitalists in the United States are simply successful working men. There is no conflict, can be no conflict, in the United States between capital and labor; and the men who endeavor to excite the envy of the unfortunate and the malice of the poor are the enemies of law and order. . . . As a rule, wealth is the result of industry, economy, attention to business; and as a rule, poverty is the result of idleness, extravagance, and inattention to business, though to this rule there are thousands of exceptions. The man who has wasted his time, who has thrown away his opportunities, is apt to envy the man who has not. 28

Ingersoll had an abiding respect for all productive work and a keen appreciation for both laborers and the productive geniuses of his age, saying, “I thank the inventors, the discoverers, the thinkers, the scientists, and the explorers. I thank the honest millions who have toiled. I thank the brave men with brave thoughts. They are the Atlases upon whose broad and mighty shoulders rest the grand fabric of civilization.”29

Ingersoll was well-acquainted with many of the “Atlases” of his day. When the Ingersolls lived in Washington, D.C., they hosted weekly Saturday-night functions at their mansion on Lafayette Square. Friends began calling these functions “at homes,” and they became a staple of Washington social life. The “at homes” continued when they moved to 400 Fifth Avenue in New York in the fall of 1885. The guest list provides a glimpse into Ingersoll’s rich and multifaceted life and reads like a scene out of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. As Orvin Larson records in his biography of Ingersoll, American Infidel:

To name a few, there were men of industry and finance like Andrew Carnegie and John Mackey of the Postal Telegraph Cable Co.; politicians and statesmen like Chauncey Depew, Walter Q. Gresham, and William T. Sherman, Thomas Bracket Reed (Speaker of the House), Charles W. Fairbanks (later Vice-President); reformers like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Henry George; freethinkers like Charles Watts, Samuel Putnam, J. P. Mendum, George MacDonald, and John Lovejoy Elliott. There were writers Elbert Hubbard, Horace Traubel, Edgar Fawcett, Ella Wheeler Wilcox; painters and sculptors, Edwin Howland Blashfield, John W. Alexander, George Grey Barnard, Frank B. Carpenter, and Gutzon Borglum. From the theater, there were Minnie Maddern Fiske, Julia Marlowe, Stuart Robson, Joseph Jefferson and Edwin Booth; the playwrights Augustus Thomas and Steele Mackaye. From the concert and operatic stage there were Anton Seidl, the conductor; Remenyi, the violinist; Italo Campanini, the Italian tenor; Sofia Scalchi, the Italian contralto, who sang duets with [Ingersoll’s wife] Eva Ingersoll; Lilli Lehmann, the German soprano; and Marcella Sembrich, the Austrian coloratura soprano.30

Many of the guests were close friends and dropped by whenever they felt like it. Andrew Carnegie was one. As Larson says, “Carnegie was for Ingersoll the prototype of American industrial genius; Ingersoll was for Carnegie the most relevant figure in the realm of thought.”31

If Ingersoll’s worldview had any faults, it was perhaps that he was overly optimistic and underestimated the staying power of the Christian ethic of self-sacrifice. “In my judgment,” he said, “the American people are too brave, too charitable, too generous, too magnanimous, to believe in the infamous dogma of an eternal hell.”32 He and the freethinkers of his day thought that religion was about to die out and that once the ghosts “faded from the imaginations of men,” reason would triumph in the West, ushering in a new golden age of progress and peace.

However, people who reject the notion of the supernatural will not necessarily act rationally or morally, as evidenced by the horrors of atheistic communists. Until people come to understand and embrace a rational code of positive values, they are unable to know in principle what is good, what is evil, and why. Given that Ingersoll offered a framework for such a code, many Ingersoll enthusiasts in his day sought to develop his ideas into a more comprehensive philosophy they were calling “Ingersollism.” However, Ingersoll told them he did not support the idea because he was wary of people following religious or secular “leaders.” He said he would rather be known as an Individualist, and that’s what he recommended for others.

What he did not foresee was that (thanks to philosophers such as Kant and Hegel) the god of religion would soon be replaced by the god of the state, and the same irrationality and self-sacrificial ethics would remain—thus resulting in the totalitarian horrors of the 20th century. Ingersoll would be horrified to know that the industrialized state would commit atrocities on the scale that even the most bloodthirsty mystic could only dream of. While he was waging his valiant battle against the irrational beliefs and evil creed of Christianity, armies of altruist-collectivist philosophers were laying the groundwork for the socialist nightmares of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, and Communist China. Tragically, few “freethinkers” understood the importance of liberty as Ingersoll did.

In our current age of religious and secular irrationalism, the ideas and works of Robert Ingersoll are more relevant than ever. His ideas are particularly important when you consider the rise of political correctness, the assaults on free speech, or the resurgence of all manner of mysticism. He would not believe that in the 21st century, we could have Western countries passing laws against “hate speech” and blasphemy, nor that speaking engagements of prominent scientists such as Richard Dawkins would be canceled due to his criticisms of Islam.33 Ingersoll would be horrified at such developments, as he saw the right to freedom of speech as a requirement of life and a matter of honesty: “I would not wish to live in a world where I could not express my honest opinions. Men who deny to others the right of speech are not fit to live with honest men.”34

In his autobiography, Frederick Douglass recalled an incident that captures the character of Robert Ingersoll. On a freezing cold winter night in 1865, Douglass was on his way to give a lecture on abolition and stopped in Peoria, Illinois, for a night. He mentioned to a friend that the last time he was in Peoria, “I could obtain no shelter at any hotel and I fear I shall meet a similar exclusion to-night.” The friend said to him, “I know a man in Peoria, should the hotels be closed against you there, who would gladly open his doors to you—a man who will receive you at any hour of the night, and in any weather, and that man is Robert G. Ingersoll.” Although he was able to find a hotel that night, given his friend’s suggestion, Douglass did pay a visit to Ingersoll the next morning. As he explains:

I gave him an early call, for I was not so abundant in cash as to refuse hospitality in a strange city when on a mission of “good will to men.” The experiment worked admirably. Mr. Ingersoll was at home, and if I have ever met a man with real living human sunshine in his face, and honest, manly kindness in his voice, I met one who possessed these qualities that morning. I received a welcome from Mr. Ingersoll and his family which would have been a cordial to the bruised heart of any proscribed and storm-beaten stranger, and one which I can never forget or fail to appreciate.35

Robert Ingersoll was an uncompromising champion of reason and liberty who radiated goodwill and benevolence in everything he did and said. He was a Republican infidel: one of the few men who understood that political liberty must be anchored in a foundation of reason. Ingersoll liberated millions of men, women, and children from the dogmas and absurdities of religion, and he helped them to see that it is better to “live and love where death is king than have eternal life where love is not.”

Ingersoll was not only an American hero; he was an intellectual and moral Atlas.

Endnotes

1. Robert G. Ingersoll, “The Ghosts,” The Works of Robert Ingersoll: Dresden Edition, 1902, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38813/38813-h/38813-h.htm.

2. Robert G. Ingersoll, The Works of Robert Ingersoll: Dresden Edition, 1902, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38813/38813-h/38813-h.htm.

3. Robert G. Ingersoll, Superstition and Other Essays (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2004).

4. Ingersoll, Superstition and Other Essays.[groups_can capability="access_html"]

5. Robert G. Ingersoll, “Why I Am an Agnostic,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

6. Robert G. Ingersoll, “What Is Religion?,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

7. Ingersoll, “Why I Am an Agnostic,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

8. Ingersoll, “The Truth,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

9. Ingersoll, “Superstition,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

10. Herman Kittredge, “Robert Ingersoll: A Biographical Appreciation,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

11. Kittredge, Works of Robert Ingersoll, http://www.gutenberg.org/files/38813/38813-h/38813-h.htm.

12. Ingersoll, “The Liberty of Man, Woman, and Child,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

13. Ingersoll, “What Would You Substitute for the Bible as a Moral Guide,” https://infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/bible_substitute.html.

14. Ingersoll, “Nomination of Blaine,” 1876, https://infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/nomination_of_blaine.html.

15. Ingersoll, Superstition and Other Essays.

16. Ingersoll, “Humboldt,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

17. Ingersoll, “What Would You Substitute for the Bible as a Moral Guide,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

18. Ayn Rand, “Galt’s Speech,” Atlas Shrugged (New York: Penguin, 1996).

19. Ingersoll, “Centennial Oration,” 1876, https://infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/centennial_oration.html.

20. Alan Germani, “The Mystical Ethics of the New Atheists,” The Objective Standard, January 23, 2014, https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2008-fall/mystical-ethics-new-atheists/.

21. Craig Biddle, “Liberal Right vs. Regressive Left and Religious Right,” The Objective Standard, July 12, 2016, https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2016/07/liberal-right-vs-regressive-left-and-religious-right/.

22. Ingersoll, “Indianapolis Speech,” 1876, https://infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/indianapolis_speech76.html.

23. Ingersoll, “An Address to the Colored People,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

24. Ingersoll, “The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child,” 1877, https://infidels.org/library/historical/robert_ingersoll/liberty_of_all.html.

25. Ingersoll, “The Ghosts,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

26. Ingersoll, “The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child.”

27. Martin Plummer, Peoria Daily Transcript, 1872.

28. Ingersoll, “Hard Times and the Way Out,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

29. Ingersoll, “The Ghosts.”

30. Orvin Larson, American Infidel: Robert G. Ingersoll (Madison, WI: Freedom from Religion Foundation, 1993).

31. Larson, American Infidel.

32. Ingersoll, “Hell: Warm Words on the Doctrine of Eternal Damnation,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

33. Peter Seferian, “Richard Dawkins, KPFA and the Illiberal Un-American Left,” The Objective Standard, August 2, 2017.

34. Ingersoll, “The Trial of C. B. Reynolds for Blasphemy,” Works of Robert Ingersoll.

35. Frederick Douglass, The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2003).[/groups_can]

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