glyph 204: intellectual integrity, reason, thought ... speech by Robert Green Ingersoll, 1897 ... American ... 19th Century ... radical individualism
The entire speech, which has been compared to Galt's Speech, in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, may be found, in many formats, at the Library of Congress:
Two parts of Ingersoll's speech:
Why should we pursue the truth? and why should we investigate and reason? and why should we be mentally honest and hospitable? and why should we express our honest thoughts? To this there is but one answer: for the benefit of mankind.
The monarch of the skies will be dethroned -- the flames of hell will be extinguished. Pious beggars will become honest and useful men. Hypocrisy will collect no tolls from fear, lies will not be regarded as sacred, this life will not be sacrificed for another, human beings will love each other instead of gods, men will do right, not for the sake of reward in some other world, but for the sake of happiness here. Man will find that Nature is the only revelation, and that he, by his own efforts, must learn to read the stories told by star and cloud, by rock and soil, by sea and stream, by rain and fire, by plant and flower, by life in all its curious forms, and all the things and forces of the world.
"The Library of Congress is unaware of any copyright restrictions for this item." -LoC, 18 October 2017
entered before July 9, 2006; edited/updated October 18, 2017