William Winwood Reade Quote

“What a state of society is this in which freethinker is a term of abuse, and in which doubt is regarded as sin?”

~ William Winwood Reade

The Martyrdom of Man, 1872

Ratings and Comments

jim k, austin

I knew a man once who said since childhood, he never doubted his religous beliefs. I suspect that he never did a whole lot of thinking, but fundamentalists are not much into thinking but are mostly into "believing". They consider "doubting" as sinning.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Good response Jim. Unfortunately your acquaintance like many religious really do not know the bible well. It speaks clearly of the problem of knowing God and of the place of doubt. It says, "Faith is the essence of things unknown the substance of things hoped for". Isn't faith and doubt the opposite sides of the same coin? While we can not know the future and as we discussed the other day security is really not to be had, we can have an outlook that believes things will be okay or things will be terrible. I don't think that fundamentally the Bible is anti-freethinking but many of its thumpers are.

RKA, Wasilla, AK

This is so true. It is indeed a hypocrisy to state that we live in a free country, and yet when we raise doubts about god, we are termed sinner, appalled as they will not hesitate to point out that we will end up in hell. To raise a doubt about Barak for instance is at times viewed as being racist even though those doubts are very genuine and heart felt.

E Archer, NYC

W. Winwood Reade was awesome. His work was indeed revolutionary in his time -- and now. Few people today realize that the Church held the power to destroy anyone who questioned their authority merely a century ago. Today it is centralized government that has adopted the tactics of the religionists -- just replace the word 'sin' with 'treason' and that would basically describe the tyranny of today. The primary function of government these days is to deceive through the myriad of offices and agencies employed to monopolize and oppress. To question any of them or expose their lies is to be a 'terrorist' and thus deserving of being black-bagged and shipped to Gitmo (Cuba!).

Mike, Norwalk

Wow, well said by all today, thank you. Through doubt, research, personal experiences, and thinking free, I have become a hard core believer in the divinity of the Christ and His Father. I personally believe that empowers me to regard and defend all other belief systems (Atheism to Zen) and understand the liberty and freedom the founder's of this nation set forth. That same free thinking also makes me an abuse, sinner and traitor to the current secular/non-secular establishments of religion as may exist.


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