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Some Mistakes of Moses

4.51 of 5 stars 4.51  ·  rating details  ·  155 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Ingersoll was widely known as the greatest orator of his time and could soundly thrash any challenger in a debate-especially in a debate on religion. His logic was impeccable and his mind was as sharp as a whip. Many religious beliefs have no logic in them at all and Ingersoll was a master at exposing the outright cruelty, stupidity and foolishness that religions, through...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published March 1st 2007 by Book Tree (first published 1879)
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Skyler Myers
Jan 06, 2014 Skyler Myers rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a critical look at the Bible
"For many years I have regarded the Pentateuch simply as a record of a barbarous people, in which are found a great number of the ceremonies of savagery, many absurd and unjust laws, and thousands of ideas inconsistent with known and demonstrated facts. To me it seemed almost a crime to teach that this record was written by inspired men; that slavery, polygamy, wars of conquest and extermination were right, and that there was a time when men could win the approbation of infinite Intelligence, Ju...more
Red Herring
While I disagree with his short blurb about what specifically makes a family (it was the late 19th century, so some traditionalism is understandable), the rest of this book is brilliant. It truly drives the nails in the coffin of any lingering belief that the Mosaic God is in any way worthy of worship. Instead, Ingersoll systematically tears apart the nonsensical, scientifically inaccurate, and simply strange behaviors and demands of this Jehovah, starting with the creation myth and winding thro...more
Mindi Rosser
The Pentateuch is hailed as a foundation for modern Christianity and ancient Judaism. As a former bible-believing propagator, sundry situations in the Old (and New) Testaments plagued me. Being reared to believe the Bible without allowance for critical reasoning, I assumed that all my teachers and biblical theologians MUST have "figured it all out." It was my duty to trust their interpretation and the inspiration of these difficult passages.

Robert Ingersoll's books were off-limits to my narrow C...more
Skyler Myers
Jan 06, 2014 Skyler Myers rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a critical look at the Bible
"For many years I have regarded the Pentateuch simply as a record of a barbarous people, in which are found a great number of the ceremonies of savagery, many absurd and unjust laws, and thousands of ideas inconsistent with known and demonstrated facts. To me it seemed almost a crime to teach that this record was written by inspired men; that slavery, polygamy, wars of conquest and extermination were right, and that there was a time when men could win the approbation of infinite Intelligence, Ju...more
Lizmari
From childhood, we are taught to treat scripture with a certain air of reverence. We dare not to question, even though some may not take many of its accounts literally. We simply do not dare to venture much beyond the realm of 'symbolical,' to perhaps... outright uninformed, errant, preposterous, evil, or barbaric. We dare not question what ought to be the moral or logical choices of a God, if he so were to exist. We dare not imagine that the claims, and events of the Bible, would actually be im...more
Jeff
"He who endeavors to control the mind by force is a tyrant, and he who submits is a slave."

Robert Ingersoll goes through the entirety of Pentateuch with wit, humor, and precision taking the books apart piece by piece, shedding the light of reason upon its many absurdities. Pointing out mathematical impossibility after moral obscurantism, Ingersoll employs a natural, flowing prose which demonstrates why he deserved his reputation for oratory prowess. He traveled the country extensively by train a...more
George King
I became aware of this book through this thread, and I must say that I'm astonished that I had never been acquainted with the author or his work before. For a book written in 1879, it is remarkably contemporary, filled with wit, irony and sarcasm in its dismantling of the first 5 books of the Old Testament. His incredulous and chilling portrait of Jehovah (Yahweh) is in complete agreement with that of Dawkins in THE GOD DELUSION--but 134 years earlier! Such apostasy was probably much more common...more
Aaron Lord
Simply brilliant. Ingersoll eloquently lays out the arguments that ought to be apparent to anyone who hasn't been indoctrinated into these things from a very young age. In doing so, he helps point out the obvious moral deficiencies of the Pentateuch to those of us who had been blinded by faith into accepting the stories at face value. One is left thinking maybe Bishop Marcion had a point...
Heath Workman
It is interesting to read these 19th century critiques of religion. There are many scientific objections to the bible that Ingersoll raises that are based on faulty information but I admire his tenacity and willingness to question. However, he raises many moral objections that are just as applicable today as they were the day he made them.

I was amused to see in his critique of biblical polygamy references to Mormon polygamy in Utah, a faith I was raised in. Arguing against polygamy he states, "...more
Fiver
When I was very little, I had a general idea, based on my television-watching experience, that sex, drugs, and violence weren't really invented until sometime in the sixties. Part of growing up, for me, was the staunch realization that these things existed even before it became common to publish books about them. Similarly, I often meet people who seem to think that before our century, just about everyone in the world was Christian. Enter Mr. Ingersoll.


What makes "Some Mistakes of Moses" so impr...more
Ana Mardoll
Some Mistakes of Moses / 978-1-58509-060-0

It is difficult to remember that Robert Ingersoll wrote this eloquent argument over a hundred years ago; his impassioned arguments seem so relevant today that it's hard to believe how little has changed since then. Within his logical and cold commentary of the contradictions and problems within the Pentateuch, Ingersoll also sets forth the arguments that:

* the clergy is held perpetually hostage to the traditions and beliefs of the past, for it is always...more
Aaron Schiffer
Picked this up after watching the series by YouTube user Evid3nc3, on how he became an atheist. Specifically video 3.3.1, entitled "Scholars, Ingersoll and Mack." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6MWo_...

The book itself was pretty comprehensive in its Samuel Clemens-style satirical treatment of the books of Moses. Although I suppose it was more serious than Twain would have been. Ingersoll himself promoted the contemporary movement of Freethought, which supported free inquiry and higher criticism...more
Cindi
This is a quick read. I'm almost done.

Ingersoll is irreverent. He's also pretty funny. This isn't laugh out loud, guffaw, funny. It's just quiet little twittering funny. Surprisingly for his agnostic views, he does still provide alternate historical ideas for some of the, in his view, outlandish Biblical stories. How many times can those Egyptian cattle be killed???
Evan Johanson
Fantastic! Simplistic in execution. The seemingly child-like questions peppered throughout the book were some of the very ones i had ruminated upon that led to my skepticism of the religion I once held so dear.
Ewa
This book is amazing! Ingersoll makes so many good points! I couldn't agree with him more.

I wish this book was as well known as books written by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris.

Jascollins
A few of the apologetics he dismantles are rarely used anymore, and it feels a bit slow in those parts, but overall his wit shines through and will have you nodding and remarking aloud.
At Fourie
A must read!! Especially all conservative Christians who really do not know what the Bible is all about.
Kyle Giesbrecht
With all the current religious idealism nowadays, it's hard to believe this book was written in 1879.
Jeremiah Riley
A very funny and very logical dismantaling of the first five books of the old testament.
Jason
worth a read.

I'm amazed that this was written in the 1800s.

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"On August 11, 1833, was born the greatest and noblest of the Western World; an immense personality, -- unique, lovable, sublime; the peerless orator of all time, and as true a poet as Nature ever held in tender clasp upon her loving breast, and, in words coined for the chosen few, told of the joys and sorrows, hopes, dreams, and fears of universal life; a patriot whose golden words and deathless...more
More about Robert G. Ingersoll...
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“To hate man and worship God seems to be the sum of all the creeds.” 103 likes
“And why does this same God tell me how to raise my children when he had to drown his?” 30 likes
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