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Some Mistakes of Moses

Some Mistakes of Moses [Kindle Edition]

Robert G. Ingersoll
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

After the Civil War, Ingersoll embarked upon a career as a lecturer, touring the United States to make his thoughts on religion, women's rights, and humanism known to all. Some Mistakes of Moses, one of the most popular of these lectures, is a critical examination of the "Pentateuch" (the first five books of the Bible). Ingersoll passionately believed that the alleged divine origins of the Bible were not sufficient reason for a suspension of critical judgement. His diatribe against Old Testament religion is a call for rationality, a quality sorely missing in this time of political upheaval in the world in the name of religion.Ingersoll greatly feared that when the Bible was read as truth rather than as a collection of fables, mankind would destroy itself in its attempt to follow the teachings of Moses to the letter. Ingersoll fervently believed that the most important belief one can have is belief in man. "Theology is a superstition - Humanity is a religion" - this was the credo of Robert G. Ingersoll.Now, a new generation of readers can thrill to Ingersoll's brilliant and witty rhetoric, just as great thinkers Mark Twain, Thomas Edison, Eugene V Debs, and others did almost one hundred years ago.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 339 KB
  • Print Length: 282 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0879753617
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (19 Mar 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003D9AMY4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #242,143 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Robert Ingersoll wrote for the common person, using common language and common sense. In fact, he appeals to the same simplicity that people invoke when declaring that there must be a God vis-à-vis the "design of creation." As one reads this book, it is easy to feel guilt for attributing the words of the Bible to the Creator of the Universe. And by the end of the book, one is left with the choice of (a) using common sense and common decency to absolve the Almighty from the barbarism that is contained in the Bible; or (b) continue to practice intellectual acrobatics in order to hold the Almighty responsible for every barbaric word of the Bible. Indeed, Ingersoll ensures that inerrantists are properly chastised for their continued insistence of an "inspired book." Such a position is unjustified and insulting to the Almighty. Perhaps it is too idealistic to expect inerrantists to recognize Ingersoll's simple arguments in defense of the Almighty and for that they will perhaps one day be held accountable for insisting that God did and said all of the awful acts found in the Bible.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening 23 Oct 2013
By Rob
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book not only outlines clear mistakes and contradictions found in the bible, it instils a desire to question things more objectively, and look for honest answers. I read it with an open mind after watching an on-line documentary called "why i am no longer a Christian". For many years I was a close minded Christian fundamentalist. This book certainly revealed to me a detrimental mentality that those with faith have, whilst de-constructing the "goodness" of God in a very methodical and sometimes entertainingly sarcastic way.

R. G. Ingersoll certainly has a way with words. So if you are looking to open your mind on the subject of faith, whilst having a laugh at the good parts and feeling anguish for your kin when you realise the pitiful history of faith, then this book is for you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorites 20 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
While Ingersoll's choice of subject matter will forever ensure that his works will be more obscure than those of his contemporary, Mark Twain, his books deserve the same attention. Witty and scholarly, SMOM is a landmark work of Biblical criticism. Ingersoll disassembles the Pentatuch, pointing out the absurdities and barbarities contained within. While he does give the occasional bit of humor, he is serious in his conviction that the Bible is not the "good book" that it's often made out to be. This one is a must.
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 120 Year Old Book That Still Packs An Incredible Punch 15 Aug 2000
By Bradley P. Rich - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robert Ingersoll has to be the most important nineteenth century figure who is now totally unknown. Ingersoll was known as the "Great Agnostic" and devoted his life to challenging people to rethink their preconceived notions about religion and the Bible. This book is his analysis of Genesis and over a century later it still forces you to open your mind and reconsider. Some of his arguments have been made a number of times in the intervening period but never with more punch or flare. A real eye opener!
51 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Testament bites the dust! 25 Sep 1999
By A Customer - Published on
The author makes dismantling the Pentateuch look easy. I have yet to hear or read a theologian debater or writer who is the equal of Ingersoll, or able to present any persuasive rebuttal in response to his arguments. Rather, generally, Ingersoll's detractors have either: urged the faithful to ignore his arguments; and/or heaped personal attacks upon him. Ironically, this is the same methodology that hate groups such as the KKK, the Neo-Nazi's, and others of their ilk, use in response to those who urge different views. The rationale of such strategy is that the end justifies the means. However, such conduct tacitly ackowledges that the defenders of the faith have conceded they cannot directly confront Ingersoll's arguments and ideas on the merits.
Ingersoll's chapters on Noah's Ark and the flood to end all floods (pages138-168), the plagues God had Moses inflict upon Egypt (pages 190-209), the tower of Babel (pages 169-175), and the Jews flight from Pharaoh, including their forty years of wandering in the Sinai Desert (pages 210-240), render these stories fanciful and unworthy of literal belief, much less divine inspiration. This book is a must read for any thinking Christian or Jew. The author demonstrates logic, common sense,and humor. Ingersoll disects the contradictions and impossibilities of these, and other, Old Testament scriptures.
I am now reading "American Infidel: Robert G. Ingersoll", a biography by Orvin Larson. I recommend it as a good read too.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is only the beginning... 30 July 2004
By Chris Redford - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ingersoll himself stated that it was not his goal to shatter Christianity, but to shatter the complacency of blindly following fundamentalist doctrine. He was encouraging genuine reflective equilibrium on the part of the religious. At first, this may seem like a road that leads directly to atheism, but I am here to testify that this is not true.

I'm glad that our Jewish friend resolved to sustain his quest and that Alexandre was strengthened in his freedom from stagnant thinking. But this is not the end. This is not all there is to say about what the mono-theistic tradition can contribute to humanity. It is not the perfect remedy for the "holly bible" as a whole but the perfect remedy for the fear of questioning it, which leads to seeing it clearly for what it actually is and understanding its true value.

After the hilarious and witty Ingersoll, who will get you thinking, I recommend moving on to the excellent scholorship of Karen Armstrong, who will give you not only evidence to support Ingersoll's claims but a new way of understanding the tradition in question. Ready to accept the world with a God-shaped hole in it, I was floored to realize that such a perspective wasn't a clear way of understanding the situation at all. I can tell you with confidence that if Ingersoll peaked your interest that at least A History of God is worth a read (if not all of her other books as well, which I haven't read but am anxiously planning to). Another interesting argument (similar to Ingersoll's) about the nature of complacent awe of the Bible can be found in the first chapter of Who Wrote the New Testament? by Burton Mack.

Another fascinating perspective is that of the scientifically-focused Gerald Schroeder. All of his books are worth a read, but The Hidden Face of God is his most lucid account.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful! 23 Jun 2001
By "markingersoll" - Published on
This book is joy to read, even if but for the literary style of Mr. Ingersoll. Though not a trained philosopher, Ingersoll points out much of the errancy and contradiction in the first books of the Bible.
Better yet, he does it with a style and flair that is only comparable to Mark Twain! Most theists (especially Christians) will certainly STILL object to this book. Of course, Mr. Ingersoll used to get death threats in his day so I suspect the criticism by and large, is nothing new.
Regardless, if you're a non-theist or have an open mind and appreciation for a well crafted and written book, this one is for you!
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If there is a God, it is reasonably certain that he made the world, but it is by no means certain that he is the author of the Bible. Why then should we not place greater confidence in Nature than in a book ? &quote;
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Suppose, however, that God did give this law to the Jews, and did tell them that whenever a man preached a heresy, or proposed to worship any other God that they should kill him; and suppose that afterward this same God took upon himself flesh, and came to this very chosen people and taught a different religion, and that thereupon the Jews crucified him; I ask you, did he not reap exactly what he had sown? What right would this God have to complain of a crucifixion suffered in accordance with his own command? &quote;
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After all, the real question is not whether the Bible is inspired, but whether it is true. If it is true, it does not need to be inspired. If it is true, it makes no difference whether it was written by a man or a god. The multiplication table is just as useful, just as true as though God had arranged the figures himself. If the Bible is really true, the claim of inspiration need not be urged; and if it is not true, its inspiration can hardly be established. &quote;
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