„No man can blaspheme a book. No man can commit blasphemy by telling his honest thought. No man can blaspheme a God, or a Holy Ghost, or a Son of God. The Infinite cannot be blasphemed.“

—  Robert Green Ingersoll, Context: Blasphemy is what an old mistake says of a newly discovered truth. Blasphemy is what a withered last year's leaf says to a this year's bud. Blasphemy is the bulwark of religious prejudice. Blasphemy is the breastplate of the heartless. And let me say now, that the crime of blasphemy, as set out in this statute, is impossible. No man can blaspheme a book. No man can commit blasphemy by telling his honest thought. No man can blaspheme a God, or a Holy Ghost, or a Son of God. The Infinite cannot be blasphemed.
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„Gentlemen, you can never make me believe — no statute can ever convince me, that there is any infinite Being in this universe who hates an honest man. It is impossible to satisfy me that there is any God, or can be any God, who holds in abhorrence a soul that has the courage to express his thought.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
Context: Gentlemen, you can never make me believe — no statute can ever convince me, that there is any infinite Being in this universe who hates an honest man. It is impossible to satisfy me that there is any God, or can be any God, who holds in abhorrence a soul that has the courage to express his thought. Neither can the whole world convince me that any man should be punished, either in this world or in the next, for being candid with his fellow-men. If you send men to the penitentiary for speaking their thoughts, for endeavoring to enlighten their fellows, then the penitentiary will become a place of honor, and the victim will step from it — not stained, not disgraced, but clad in robes of glory. Let us take one more step. What is holy, what is sacred? I reply that human happiness is holy, human rights are holy. The body and soul of man — these are sacred. The liberty of man is of far more importance than any book; the rights of man, more sacred than any religion — than any Scriptures, whether inspired or not. What we want is the truth, and does any one suppose that all of the truth is confined in one book — that the mysteries of the whole world are explained by one volume? All that is — all that conveys information to man — all that has been produced by the past — all that now exists — should be considered by an intelligent man. All the known truths of this world — all the philosophy, all the poems, all the pictures, all the statues, all the entrancing music — the prattle of babes, the lullaby of mothers, the words of honest men, the trumpet calls to duty — all these make up the bible of the world — everything that is noble and true and free, you will find in this great book. If we wish to be true to ourselves, — if we wish to benefit our fellow-men — if we wish to live honorable lives — we will give to every other human being every right that we claim for ourselves.

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Omar Khayyám photo

„This book is first and foremost an assertion of my right to criticize everything and anything in Islam - even to blaspheme, to make errors, to satirize, and mock.“

—  Ibn Warraq Pakistani writer 1946
Quoted from Daniel Pipes in Goel, Sita Ram (editor) (1998). Freedom of expression: Secular theocracy versus liberal democracy. https://web.archive.org/web/20171026023112/http://www.bharatvani.org:80/books/foe/index.htm

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Frederick II of Prussia photo

„Neither antiquity nor any other nation has imagined a more atrocious and blasphemous absurdity than that of eating God. — This is how Christians treat the autocrat of the universe.“

—  Frederick II of Prussia king of Prussia 1712 - 1786
Letters of Voltaire and Frederick the Great (New York: Brentano's, 1927), trans. Richard Aldington, letter 215 from Frederick to Voltaire (1776-03-19)

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„Man as man can never know God: His wishing, seeking, and striving are all in vain.“

—  Karl Barth Swiss Protestant theologian 1886 - 1968
In "Karl Barth's Conception of God" (1952) http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/primarydocuments/Vol2/520102BarthsConceptionOfGod.pdf by Martin Luther King, Jr., King cites this as a statement of Barth's in The Epistle to the Romans, p. 91, but it does not actually appear in the 1933 translation of Edwin Hoskyns. It may be a paraphrase of some of Barth's ideas which were incorrectly cited.

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„An honest God is the noblest work of man.“

—  Robert G. Ingersoll Union United States Army officer 1833 - 1899
This is derived from Alexander Pope's "An honest man's the noblest work of God." Motto of the essay "The Gods" (1876) as published in The Gods and Other Lectures (1879).

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