Most of you probably don’t know a lot about Robert Green Ingersoll. I had heard about him and knew that he was an American Philosopher during the second half of the 19th century. That is pretty much all I knew about him.
Tonight, I had to leave Westfield to learn more about Robert Ingersoll. Actually, I had to drive to Bridgewater. There, at the PeopleCare Center was an educational lecture about Robert Ingersoll. The PeopleCare center is a building – the former Finderne Elementary School - operated by a non-profit Bridgewater, where local clubs, associations, etc. can rent space and host meetings and events.
The lecture tonight was hosted by the New Jersey Humanist Network. They do have a monthly lecture series there. The interesting fact about Robert Ingersoll was that at his time he probably was one of the most influential and controversial philosophers and quite well known. Nowadays, he is still subject to academic research, but by far not widely known although a lot of his ideas and quotes have become mainstream.
And he did influence the intellectual and political process at this time quite a bit in a way that was always in favor of freedom for the individual. In that sense, part of the freedoms we have today are probably at least in part due to Robert Ingersoll.
Even if during today’s lecture I only got a glance on Robert Ingersoll’s life, I’m really excited and curiuous to learn more about him. He seems to a personality the resonates quite well with my own believes. And there is a lot of material on the Internet explore the Philosophy of Robert Green Ingersoll.
Wikiquote has an eclectic selection of his quotes, e.g. "The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men."
Some of his texts are even available for free as podcast to download and play on your MP3 player. And there are a few good books out there, too.
Signing Off – The Westfield Blogger