A New Birth of Reason

At The American Scholar, Susan Jacoby memorializes Robert Ingersoll, who was known as the Great Agnostic during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, but since then has faded into the depths of American history. According to Jacoby, Ingersoll was passionate about “spreading the gospel (though he would never have called it that) of reason, science, and humanism to audiences across the country.” She writes, “It is not an overstatement to say that Ingersoll devoted his life to freethought, the lovely term that first appeared in England in the late 17th century and was meant to convey devotion to a way of looking at the world based on observation, rather than on ancient ‘sacred’ writings by men who believed that the sun revolved around the earth.” 

Read at The American Scholar

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