Ambrose BierceAmbrose Bierce, (1842-1914) American Civil War soldier, humorist, writer

Ambrose Bierce Quote

“Heathen, n. A benighten creature who has the folly to worship something that he can see and feel.”

Ambrose BierceAmbrose Bierce
~ Ambrose Bierce

The Devil's Dictionary

Ratings and Comments

David L Rosenthal

Bierce has an undeniable sense of humor, but the consequences of idolitry are not funny at all.

Mike, Norwalk

It doesn't even rise to the level of a smile, maybe in context.

  • Reply
EGL, LA    9/13/06

The Devil's Dictionary--now that's "benighten".

E Archer, NYC

I'm sure Ambrose Bierce is burning in hell for this --- NOT.

David L Rosenthal

Archer and Someone: What exactly about this quote do you find worthy of 5 stars? Or is it just for the pleasure you derive from being perversely contradictory about an issue of such consequence?

Joe, Rochester, MI

Deny, deny, deny oh delusional liberal. When you can no longer deny this definition of heathen, change the subject to faith.

jim k, austin

Ambrose is a bit caustic, but pretty well right most of the time.

Anonymous, O. Delusional Liberal

Rosenthal, this quote isn't about idolatry. It's comparing in a humorous way theists' worship of deities to atheists' choice to believe things based on physical evidence. And Joe, why would I deny this definition of heathen? It seems right to me... ;-)

O. Delusional Liberal again

Correction: I'm not from O. Delusional Liberal. Thanks for the idea for the name, by the way, Joe.

jim k, Austin,Tx

Sounds about right. Makes more sense than believing that an invisible man in the sky is looking after you.

Gary Mullennix, Naples

If you don't believe as I do, if you don't worship my God who is the embodiment of love and tender mercy, I will have to kill you. Hmm. Mr. Rosenthal, how do you distinguish idolators from anyone else with a belief system? What is the difference between swallowing a piece of flour and water thinking it is the body and blood of a God or cutting the head off a chicken, drinking the blood, opening the cavity and reading the entrails?


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