Joseph Lewis

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Joseph Lewis (11 June 1889 – 1968) was an American freethinker, and atheist who was born in Montgomery, Alabama.


  • [Atheism] believes that truth for truth's sake is the highest ideal and that virtue is its own reward.
    • The Philosophy of Atheism
  • A precept claiming infallibility should certainly possess the universality of the law of gravitation and the perfection of the arithmetical table. If it fails to possess these undeviating qualities, its imperfection is self-evident and its value either greatly diminished or useless.
    • The Ten Commandments
  • If Atheism writes upon the blackboard of the Universe a question mark, it writes it for the purpose of stating that there is a question yet to be answered. Is it not better to place a question mark upon a problem while seeking an answer than to put the label "God" there and consider the matter solved? Does not the word "God" only confuse and make more difficult the solution by assuming a conclusion that is utterly groundless and palpably absurd?
    • The Philosophy of Atheism
  • Facts and not merely opinions are what we want. Emotionalism is not a substitute for the truth.
    • The Philosophy of Atheism
  • Man's inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more than he loves his fellow man.
    • An Atheist Manifesto
  • As superstition is the weed of the brain, it grows perfusely, once started.
    • The Ten Commandments
  • Praying as a public function, particularly when led by a clergyman, is a vulgar display of an exclusively personal matter.
    • Ingersoll the Magnificent (Memorial Dedication Address, August 11, 1954)
  • Of the ten crimes which Biblical Hebrew law punished by stoning, nine have ceased to be offenses in modern society.
    • The Ten Commandments ("The Eighth Commandment")
  • Imagine using as an authority in the matter of marriage the opinion of a celibate priest!
    • The Philosophy of Atheism
  • When the tyranny of the state is combined with the hypocrisy of the church, you have a modern example of the twin vultures that have devoured man, and his rights, throughout the ages.
    • Ingersoll the Magnificent (Memorial Dedication Address, August 11, 1954)
  • On too many occasions, especially in matters concerning purported conversations and messages from gods, mystery has been employed by charlatans to hoodwink the people.
    • The Ten Commandments
  • Changing a rod into a serpent and the serpent back into a rod may be clever magic, but how does such a demonstration prove that Moses spoke to God? If the only thing necessary to prove the truth of an extraordinary claim were to demonstrate an ability to bewilder, there would be no more mysteries to solve.
    If a person claims that he can bring the dead back to life, and in proof of that power pulls a rabbit out of a hat, that is hardly a demonstration of the truth of his claim; it is merely an example of his ability in the art of deception. If he claims that he can fly without wings and without the use of mechanical help of any kind, and in proof of his ability pulls another rabbit out of another hat, that is not proof of his ability to fly, but of his ability to lie, and he will without much hesitation be condemned as a faker. The demonstration of one thing has absolutely no bearing in proving the truth of the other, when there is no relationship between them.
    • The Ten Commandments
  • Religion is all profit. They have no merchandise to buy, no commissions to pay, and no refunds to make for unsatisfactory service and results....
    Their commodity is fear. They blackmail their parishioners with threats of hell and damnation. These poor deluded people give them their hard earned money to save them from a hell that does not exist, and from eternal torment that was invented by the perverted minds of priests to rob the living and in addition, they are exempt from taxation! Insult to injury!
    Let me tell you that religion is the cruelest fraud ever perpetrated upon the human race. It is the last of the great scheme of thievery that man must legally prohibit so as to protect himself from the charlatans who prey upon the ignorance and fears of the people.
    The penalty for this type of extortion should be as severe as it is of other forms of dishonesty.
    • Ingersoll the Magnificent (Memorial Dedication Address, August 11, 1954)
  • With this recognition of the finality of death, no one should willingly withhold acts that would bring benefits, joy or happiness to others.
    • An Atheist Manifesto
  • The Bible is not a divine revelation from God. It is not inspired; on the contrary, it is a wicked book .... It has been responsible for more suffering and torture than any other volume ever printed……”
    • Quoted from Talreja, K. M. (2000). Holy Vedas and holy Bible: A comparative study. New Delhi: Rashtriya Chetana Sangathan.
  • It is because of the Biblical curse on man's search for knowledge, which has so paralyzed his mind during the past ages, and its detrimental effect upon progress, that makes the Bible the most wicked, the most detestable, the most pernicious, and the most obnoxious book ever published. ... We will never achieve intellectual liberty until the wickedness of this book has been discarded with the belief in the flatness of the earth.

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