Colonel Robert Green Ingersoll (1833–1899), a tireless crusader for the dignity of humanity, a relentless opponent of organised religion and a defender of atheism, was one of the most famous and influential political orators of the 19th century. This series of stimulating and well-argued audio lectures (read by Ted Delorme for LibriVox) question, among other subjects, the origins and justification for gods and religion. Laden with irony and wit, Ingersoll makes the case that a rational outlook cannot be reconciled with a dogmatic (religious) mind. With institutionalised religion such a hot topic given the imminent visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Britain (16-19 September 2010) these challenging and entertaining public lectures make fascinating listening. As public lectures and great oratory, Ingersoll’s arguments definitely benefit from being heard rather than read.

FOREWORD to the COMPLETE WORKS of Robert G. Ingersoll

In presenting to the public this edition of the writings of Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll, it has been the aim to make it as handsome, durable and complete as possible worthy in every way of the valiant, generous, much beloved genius who penned these magical pages. Robert Ingersoll’s tremendous message — one of the most important messages of all time — thunders through these volumes. The orator himself has passed away, but the words that woke America from sleep and stupor ring out as liberty bells for all mankind!

The Age of Enlightenment dawned upon the world in that hour when Robert Ingersoll first delivered his lecture on The Gods, the opening chapter of the first volume. In that hour the darkness of medieval madness and hypocrisy and witchcraft and superstition began to give way. The armies of the Terrible Unseen commenced to melt away into mist. The phantoms and weird horrors which had haunted the imaginations of men faded in the sunshine and sanity of an Emancipator who was the personal friend of Lincoln and did as much for enslaved minds as Lincoln had done for enslaved bodies! Where these books of Ingersoll’s go there will be tranquillity in the spirits of men. He brings peace to troubled minds, courage to frightened hearts. With infinite gaiety and good-humour he builds up the strong fortress of Reason to defend men against the whirlwinds of Superstition. His speeches and writings were originally collected and prepared for publication by his kinsman, C.P. Farrell. At a time when the hosts of the dealers in hob-goblins still made a great shouting against Ingersoll, this man had the courage to be his first “publisher”. All honor to him! Now Mr. Farrell too has passed away, and the legacy which Ingersoll left to mankind, his thoughts and writings, impose a duty on his family and friends. To perpetuate his influence and insure to his fellow-countrymen the easiest and readiest access to his books, the Ingersoll League has been founded. The League feels it is its duty to make Mr. Ingersoll’s victorious point of view available to all who need and crave it. There never was a time when his type of thinking was more needed than to-day! And by preparing this official edition the Ingersoll League hopes to deserve the praise and thanks of all who wish mankind well! The League sends its cordial greeting to all those who are now and later to be benefitted, strengthened, cheered and uplifted by these books. If they are enlightened and helped and stimulated, if their lives are a little freer and happier and more courageous.  — THE INGERSOLL LEAGUE

MP3 AUDIO FILES: LibriVox recording of the Lectures of Col. Robert G. Ingersoll. Read by Ted Delorme.

VOL. 1: Of Gods, Of Gods -2, Ghosts – 1, Ghosts – 2, Hell – 1. Hell – 2, Individuality, Humboldt, Which Way?, The Great Infidels, Talmagian Theology, At the Graveside, Mistakes of Moses, Skulls, Skulls – 2, Response to his Critics, New Departure – 1, New Departure 2

VOL. 2: Thomas Paine, Thomas Paine — 2, Liberty of Man, Woman and Child, Liberty of Man, Woman and Child – 2, Orthodoxy – 1, Orthodoxy – 2, Blasphemy, Some Reasons Why, Intellectual Development, Intellectual Development – 2, Human Rights, Talmagian Theology 2 – 3, Religious Intolerance, Hereafter, Review of His Reviewers, How the Gods Grow, Religion of our Day, Heretics and Heresies – 1, Heretics and Heresies – 2, The Bible, Voltaire, Voltaire – 2, Myth & Miracles, The Chinese God, Is Suicide a Sin?, The Right To One’s Life