A program of the Center for Inquiry
Shortly before his death Ingersoll visited the Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratories of inventor Thomas Alva Edison. There he spoke several short speeches into one of Edison's early cylinder-style phonographs. Said to be the oldest recordings in the historic RCA vaults, three of the seven brief orations Ingersoll is said to have recorded then can now be heard again.
“While I am opposed to all orthodox creeds, I have a creed myself; and my creed is this. Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy to be here. The way to be happy is to m:ake others so. This creed is somewhat short, but it is long enough for this life, strong enough for this world. If there is another world, when we get there we can make another creed. But this creed certainly will do for this life.”
This recording gift of David Thielking.
Historic recording re-mastered by Paul Squire, Squire Recording Studio, Buffalo NY
“O Liberty, thou art the god of my idolatry! In thy vast and unwalled temple, beneath the roofless dome, gemmed with stars, luminous with suns, thy worshipers stand erect! They do not cringe, or [unlcear], or kneel, or crawl. The dust has never held the impress of their lips. Thou askest naught from man except the things that good men hate - the whip, the chain, the dungeon key. Thou hast no popes, no priests, who stand between their fellowmen and thee. At thy sacred altar virtue does not tremble, hypocrisy does not crouch, superstition's feeble tapers do not burn, but Reason holds aloft the inextinguishable torch whose holy light at last will one day flood this world.”
“The prejudiced priest and the malicious minister say that I am trying to take away the hope of a future life. I am not trying to destroy another world, but I am endeavoring to prevent the theologians from destroying this.
The hope of another life was in the heart, long before the "sacred books" were written, and will remain there long after all the "sacred books" are known to be the work of savage and superstitious men. Hope is the consolation of the world.
The wanderers hope for home. — Hope builds the house and plants the flowers and fills the air with song. The sick and suffering hope for health. Hope gives them health and paints the roses in their cheeks. The lonely, the forsaken, hope for love. — Hope brings the lover to their arms. They feel the kisses on their eager lips. The poor in tenements and huts, in spite of rags and hunger, hope for wealth. — Hope fills their thin and trembling hands with gold. The dying hopes that death is but another birth, and Love leans above the pallid face and whispers, "We shall meet again."
Hope is the consolation of the world.
Let us hope, if there be a God, that he is wise and good. Let us hope that if there be another life that it will bring peace and joy to all the children of men. And let us hope that this poor earth on which we live, may be a perfect world — a world without a crime — without a tear.”
"Liberty" and "Hope" recordings gift of Darrin Rasberry
Historic recordings re-mastered by Inquiry Media Productions