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Some Mistakes of Moses Hardcover – 10 Sep 2010
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About the Author
Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899) was perhaps the most famous American of his day. As an enlightened freethinker and pioneer of humane, rational, and agnostic views, Ingersoll was a tireless advocate of rational thought, who battled superstition and hypocrisy wherever he found it. This dedicated popularizer would regularly address huge audiences, opening their minds to ideas that often provoked guarded whispers in private. Ingersoll was a man far ahead of his time, advocating such progressive causes as agnosticism, birth control, voting rights for women, the advancement of science, civil rights, and freedom of speech. His advocacy of such iconoclastic ideals made a lasting impression on his own and later generations. Although Robert Ingersoll lived before the development of the Secular Humanist Movement, there is no doubt that he qualifies as one of the great heroes of the Humanist Pantheon. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I think what one comes away with when reading Ingersoll is not only a realization of how absurd some of the biblical accounts are, but how offended this man was by the sheer brutality that is often laid at the feet of the god of the universe, if one indeed exists. His view of this was that if such a god did things like in Numbers 31, ordering the killing of every living thing and person except of course the young women that were virgins (however that was determined!), and the assignment of such virgins as "booty" for the troops, with a percentage given to the priests for their enjoyment, such a god was not worth our worship. But of course, a god did not order such things, but those who benefited from the atrocity. He wrote that if there were a god, let that god record in his book that Ingersoll denied this lie for him.
The love for family and sensitivity toward fellow humans was obvious in Robert Ingersoll, and is illustrative of the morality that humans can have, regardless of the absence of religion.
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.
For all that, it's also interesting just because a great deal of what he has to say about the intolerance of Christianity is the same kind of tirade most often aimed at Muslims these days. To be sure, that was just as true in the 1870s as in 2013, but there it is. There is also some great irony in things that have changed (e.g., generally less religion in education) and things that have not (possibly more in politics).
But the real reason for my two-star thumping of this book has to do with the Kindle edition I bought on Amazon (under the title "Some Mistakes Of Moses") for the following reasons:
1) Amazon offers the same Kindle book for free under the title "Mistakes of Moses"
2) The $10.49 "Some Mistakes of Moses" Kindle version is a very poor scan - as far as I can tell so far, worse than the free Kindle version. In the first 30 pages, there were at least 6 OCR misinterpretations (the equivalent of a typo) - so I'm guessing there would be just as many in the balance.
3) As is all too often the case with Kindle books, there is ZERO respect for the historicity of the material (the Kindle "copyright page" is from a 1986 reprint, with no mention that at that time, the book was already 107 years old)
4) The book is a classic, so it's also available in online archives in PDF format for no charge, e.g. ia600500.us.archive.org/11/items/somemistakesmose00ingeuoft/somemistakesmose00ingeuoft.pdf
And needless to say, if you're interested in capturing quotes (and this book has more than its fair share of great quotes), the PDF version is a lot easier to work with than any other e-book format.