Skip to main content

Full text of "An Atheist Manifesto"

See other formats


The Project Gutenberg EBook of An Atheist Manifesto, by Joseph Lewis

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org


Title: An Atheist Manifesto

Author: Joseph Lewis

Release Date: October 1, 2010 [EBook #33825]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII

*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AN ATHEIST MANIFESTO ***




Produced by Betty Haertling, Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe,
Martin Pettit and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
at http://www.pgdp.net






AN ATHEIST MANIFESTO

BY

JOSEPH LEWIS

THE FREETHOUGHT PRESS
ASSOCIATION: NEW YORK




COPYRIGHTED, 1954,
AND IN THE 178TH YEAR
OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
BY JOSEPH LEWIS

_All rights reserved_

Second Edition, 1956
Third Edition, 1958

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA




JOSEPH LEWIS

_Author of_

THE TYRANNY OF GOD
THE BIBLE UNMASKED
VOLTAIRE: THE INCOMPARABLE INFIDEL
SPAIN: A LAND BLIGHTED BY RELIGION
BURBANK THE INFIDEL
ATHEISM
THE BIBLE AND THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
FRANKLIN THE FREETHINKER
LINCOLN THE FREETHINKER
MEXICO AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
SOVIET RUSSIA AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
SHALL CHILDREN RECEIVE RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION?
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
THOMAS PAINE: AUTHOR OF
THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
IN THE NAME OF HUMANITY
THE TRAGIC PATRIOT
INSPIRATION AND WISDOM FROM THE WRITINGS OF
THOMAS PAINE
AN ATHEIST MANIFESTO
INGERSOLL THE MAGNIFICENT




AN ATHEIST MANIFESTO


Many ask what difference does it make whether man believes in a God or
not.

It makes a big difference.

It makes all the difference in the world.

It is the difference between being right and being wrong; it is the
difference between truth and surmises--facts or delusion.

It is the difference between the earth being flat, and the earth being
round.

It is the difference between the earth being the center of the
universe, or a tiny speck in this vast and uncharted sea of
multitudinous suns and galaxies.

It is the difference in the proper concept of life, or conclusions based
upon illusion.

It is the difference between verified knowledge and the faith of
religion.

It is a question of Progress or the Dark Ages.

The history of man proves that religion perverts man's concept of life
and the universe, and has made him a cringing coward before the blind
forces of nature.

If you believe that there is a God; that man was "created"; that he was
forbidden to eat of the fruit of the "tree of knowledge"; that he
disobeyed; that he is a "fallen angel"; that he is paying the penalty
for his "sins," then you devote your time praying to appease an angry
and jealous God.

If, on the other hand, you believe that the universe is a great
mystery; that man is the product of evolution; that he is born without
knowledge; that intelligence comes from experience, then you devote your
time and energies to improving his condition with the hope of securing a
little happiness here for yourself and your fellow man.

That is the difference.

If man was "created," then someone made a grievous mistake.

It is inconceivable that any form of intelligence would waste so much
time and effort to make such an inferior piece of life--with all the
"ills that flesh is heir to," and with all the misery and suffering that
is so essential a part of living.

If man is a "fallen angel," by the commission of a "sin," then disease
and sorrow are part of God's inscrutable plan as a penalty imposed upon
him for his "disobedience," and man's entire life is devoted to the
expiation of that sin so as to soften the indictment before the "Throne
of God."

Man's atonement consists in making himself as miserable as possible by
praying, fasting, masochism, flagellations and other forms of torture.

This sadistic delusion causes him to insist that others--under pain of
punishment--be as miserable as himself, for fear that if others fail to
do as he does, it will provoke the wrath of his tyrant God to a more
severe chastisement.

The inevitable result is that Man devotes his life, not to the
essentials of living and the making of a happy home, but to the building
of temples and churches where he can "lift his voice to God" in a frenzy
of fanaticism, and eventually he becomes a victim of hysteria.

His time and energy are wasted to cleanse his "soul," which he does not
possess, and to save himself from a future punishment in hell which
exists only in his imagination.

Religious hallucinations take on many forms.

Some do not wash themselves; some wash only their fingers; some think
that the filthier they are, the "holier" they are; some cut off their
hair, while others let it grow long; some refuse to stand up, while
others refuse to sit down; some amputate their genitals, and some their
breasts; some pull out their teeth, and others wither their limbs; some
fast, and others gorge themselves; some cover their heads with sand, and
others with sackcloth and ashes; some talk continuously, and others
remain silent; some are celibates, and others are profligates; some
stand on their heads; some brand themselves, while others pierce their
nose, eyes and ears.

Nuns cut off their hair to make themselves as unsightly as possible--to
make themselves repulsive to the opposite sex; there are monks who have
vowed never to look upon the face of a woman, and Franciscans still wear
ropes around their bodies as a symbol of flagellation.

There is hardly a form of insanity or delusion that has not been induced
by some sort of religious belief.

To laugh on the "Sabbath," at one time, was considered the sin of sins.

How rightfully Robert G. Ingersoll said that, "Christianity has made
more lunatics than it ever provided asylums for."

On the other hand, we do not believe that Man is a depraved human being.
We do not believe that there is a tyrant God, or that there is a hell,
and that man will suffer the pains and penalties of eternal torment. We
do not believe that you should make yourself as miserable as possible
Here in the hope of securing some happiness "Hereafter."

We do not believe that disease is a punishment for sin.

We believe that disease is a natural consequence of the processes of
life, and that the "ills of the flesh" inevitably follow where one form
of life lives upon another, and where "at the banquet of life each in
turn is a guest and a dish."

It is only by understanding the nature of disease that man has been
able, even in a small degree, to protect himself from the ravages of its
destruction.

The use of prayer to cure disease has been responsible for epidemics
that have, on many occasions, almost wiped out the human race. Prayer
has had no more effect upon disease than it has upon health. It merely
permits the disease to continue its course and increase the suffering of
the victim.

If priests--of all clans--were free of disease and immune to death,
then there might be some basis for the claim of the religionists. But
these "men of God" are victims of the natural course of life, "even as
you and I." They enjoy no exemptions. They suffer the same ills; they
feel the same sensations; they are subject to the same passions of the
body, the same frailties of the mind, are victims of circumstances and
misfortune, and they meet inevitable death just as every other person.
They commit the same kind of crimes as other mortals, and especially,
because of their "calling," many are notoriously involved in the
embezzlement of church funds. Nor does their calling protect them from
the "passions of the flesh." The scandalous conduct of many "men of the
cloth," in the realm of moral turpitude, often ends in murder. That is
why there are so many "men of God" in our jails, and why so many have
paid the supreme penalty in the death chair.

They are not free from a single rule of life; what others must endure,
they likewise must experience. They cannot protect themselves from the
forces of nature, and the laws of life, any more than you can. What they
can do, you can do, too. Their claims of being "anointed" and "vicars of
God" on earth are false and hypocritical.

If they cannot fulfill their promises while you are alive, how can they
accomplish them when you are dead?

If they are impotent Here, where they could demonstrate their powers,
how ridiculous are their promises to accomplish them in the "Hereafter,"
the mythical abode which exists only in their dishonest or deluded
imagination?

The illusions of life are many and varied.

Things are not always what they seem to be, and it is well known that
"appearances are deceiving."

That is why it is so difficult for some people to understand the nature
of disease, and why it has taken man so long to comprehend the true
conditions of life.

This deception prevails in matters of great importance, as well as in
matters of little consequence.

There is no "voice of nature" to tell man that which is true and that
which is false, nor to warn him of the dangers of life. He must find the
truth for himself, and only after very bitter experiences.

The first piece of deception of man, after his so-called mental
awakening, was his inability to conceive of any scheme of life except
from his own primitive concept of limited intelligence.

He could not conceive the earth and the universe except as being
"created," and from his own feeling of revenge, he could not conceive
of the suffering of life except as a punishment for some "disobedience."
Primitive though he be, he did not inflict pain and punishment upon the
innocent. This diabolical scheme could only come from a "merciful" God.

As an illustration of this concept of primitive man in this respect is
the delusion he experiences when he believes that the sun "rises and
sets," when as a matter of fact, it is the sun which is "stationary" as
far as the earth is concerned, and it is the earth that "moves," as
Galileo so courageously maintained--at the cost of his liberty.

There is a delusion that the sun shines and the water falls from the
clouds to make the flowers bloom.

To the religionist this is an indication of the "beauty" in nature.

It is nothing of the kind.

Poisonous plants and obnoxious weeds are equally nourished by the
warmth of the sun and the moisture of the water.

Is this, then, an indication of the "ugliness" of nature?

Certainly not.

Both are inevitable consequences of the environment in which they live.
It could not be otherwise.

Is the hippopotamus one of nature's masterpieces?

Is its face and form the perfection of beauty and grace?

Would you consider this animal a work of living art if you were
responsible for it?

And yet, if this beast could talk, it would probably say that its
environment was made for its benefit and that its marvelous features,
particularly its mouth, was especially "designed" for its enjoyment, and
that its whole body was made in the "image and likeness of God."

The fact that the hippopotamus has survived these millions of years of
the evolutionary process and still thrives today is proof that it is
equally as favored by Nature as is man.

To nature the blossoms of the flowers and the obnoxious weeds are
identical, and the fragrance of the one and the stench of the other are
equally alike; both, if they could talk, would boast of Nature's
preference for them.

While, as a matter of fact, both would be wrong.

The sun does not shine to bring us its necessary light and warmth
without also bringing to light some new burden for our overtroubled
hearts to bear; and everything in the universe shares the same and
inevitable consequences.

While it is true that it is "an ill wind that blows no good," it is also
true that what is "one man's meat is another man's poison."

To Nature matters of "great importance" and matters of "little
consequence" are on an equal basis. The one is not "favored" above the
other. It is the survival of the fittest, and not the most desirable
that survives.

When conditions are favorable to the "wild" animals, they thrive by
killing the other forms of life upon which they live, and when
conditions are favorable to man, he kills and lives upon the forms of
life which he considers exist solely for his pleasure and benefit.

To nature the germs of disease, as a form of life, are equally as
important as the other forms of life that "breathe and have their
being."

When conditions are favorable to the virus of influenza and pneumonia,
we have what is known as an epidemic, and when conditions are favorable
to the growth of cancer, it has what we might term a "Roman Holiday" by
destroying a third of our population.

Germs of disease are merely invisible wild animals.

They are forms of life that thrive upon the soil of the human body.

Prayer has about as much effect upon them as it would have upon the
hungry tiger ready to devour you.

A bullet from a gun would be far more effective against the tiger, and
knowledge of the nature of the germs of disease, and the discovery of
the methods of destroying them, are comparable to the invention of the
gun and its use against the ferocious animal.

The knowledge of the one protects you against the invisible enemies of
destruction, while the invention of the gun protects you against being
destroyed by the wild beasts.

The germs of disease and the hungry tiger are both determined upon the
same objective--your destruction--one by eating you in "chunks" and the
other by minutely gnawing you away "piecemeal."

The results are identical.

It is not necessary to moralize upon the difference.

But this we know, that in our present scheme of life, as Ingersoll so
eloquently states, "The hands that help are better far than lips that
pray."

Our bodies are as much "meat" for the disease germs that eat us as the
animal that furnishes the meat for our appetites.

Or as Shakespeare puts it:


    "... in the sweetest bud
    The eating canker dwells."


In a broader and more comprehensive concept of disease, Shakespeare
says, it is, as if a


    "God omnipotent
    Is mustering in his clouds...
    Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
    Your children yet unborn and unbegot...."


Who are you to say which one is the more favored in this scheme of
life--the germs of disease or man--which one is preferred by nature;
which one is more important than the other, since the ends accomplished
are the same?

The life of the disease germ came into existence by the same process as
did the life of man.

It is just as much a part of nature as is the dimpled babe.

If we cannot live without sunshine and water, neither can the germs of
disease.

It might well be that we are nothing more than "disease germs" in the
environment in which we live. The same basic construction by which they
live forms the same pattern upon which our life is built.

To nature the night is just as important as the day, and the life of the
germ we call disease is as important as the life of the body upon which
it feeds.

It follows the same law of life; it is born, reproduces and dies.

There are forms of life that live by night that are equally as favored
by nature as those which live by day.

Freaks of all kinds exist in nature--from the utterly ridiculous to the
terrifying monstrosities. This is proof of the lack of design in Nature
as far as man is concerned.

When man comes to the realization that he is not the "favorite" of God;
that he was not specially created, that the universe was not made for
his benefit, and that he is subject to the same laws of nature as all
other forms of life, then, and not until then, will he understand that
he must rely upon himself, and himself alone, for whatever benefits he
is to enjoy; and devote his time and energies to helping himself and his
fellow men to meet the exigencies of life and to set about to solve the
difficult and intricate problems of living.

The recognition of a problem is the first step to its solution--

We are not "fallen" angels, nor were we "created" perfect.

On the contrary, we are the product of millions of years of an
unpurposed evolution.

We are the descendants and inheritors of all the defects of our
primitive ancestry--the evolution of the myriad forms of life from the
infinitesimal to the mammoth--from the worm to the dinosaur.

The most important step in the development of man is the recognition of
the fact that we are born without knowledge, and that the acquisition of
knowledge is a slow and painful process.

If all man needed upon earth was a "knowledge of God," then why the
necessity of establishing educational institutions?

Unless a child is taught to talk, it will never be able to speak the
language of our tongue. Without teaching the child the rudiments of
speech, he would be unable to communicate his thoughts to others.
Without proper training his "grunts" of expression would be meaningless,
and the only way he could express himself would be by the primitive
instinct of making signs and by pointing.

The brain needs the same kind of training as any other part of the body
that requires exercise for development. Nourishment for the mind is
just as necessary as nourishment for the body.

Just as there are some foods which have been so adulterated and refined
that when eaten they add no nourishment to the body, so there are truths
which have been adulterated by religion and superstition so as to be
utterly valueless in nourishing the mind with intelligence.

Education becomes the primary object of civilization.

As Thomas Paine says: "Wisdom is not the purchase of a day."

The church knows that an educated man is an unbeliever.

That is why there is a continual struggle on the part of the clergy to
adulterate education with superstition. To maintain their untenable
position they must keep the people shackled to a form of mental slavery.

Both fear and superstition are forms of a contagious disease.

The ignorance of man produced natural fears of the elements of nature.
What he could not understand he attributed to malevolent spirits whose
primary purpose was to punish and harm him. Under this spell it seems
almost incredible that he ever advanced from his state of primitive
ignorance.

His fears produced such fantastic monsters of the air that it was first
necessary to relieve his tormented mind of these terrifying myths of
ghosts and gods before he was able to acquire even the simplest
rudiments of knowledge.

Man's ignorance and fears made him an easy prey of priests.

His gullibility was such that he believed everything he was told.

He soon became a slave to these liars and hypocrites.

And what did the priests tell him?

They told him that God had made a special revelation in a book called
the Bible, and that it was necessary to believe every word in that book
in order that he might save his soul. They told him that if he disobeyed
their commands, he would suffer eternal damnation in a hell where "the
fire never ceases, and where the worm never dies."

They also told him that it was a sin for him to read that book, and that
the priest was especially ordained by God to interpret the meaning of
each and every word.

And what was the priest's interpretation of the text of that book?

It was that man was a corrupt and sinful being, and that in order to be
saved from punishment after death, he had to give a substantial part of
the fruits of his labor to the priest to pray for him, and intercede
with God on his behalf, so as to mitigate the punishment to which he had
already been doomed.

What a diabolical scheme of fraud by which to live upon the sweat and
labor of others.

It was such a profitable scheme that the priests began to maintain their
power by the force of arms.

As a result there came into existence the twin tyrannies of church and
state.

It seems incredible that such nonsense was ever imposed upon suffering
humanity, and nonsense it would be were it not so tragic.

So fearful did he become that he thought that he could not live without
the "protection" of the priests, and as Ingersoll said, "as long as
people wanted Popes, plenty of hypocrites will be found to take their
place...."

Ingersoll further declared: "The priests pretended to stand between the
wrath of the gods and the helplessness of man. He was man's attorney at
the court of heaven. He carried to the invisible world a flag of truce,
a protest and a request. He came back with a command, with authority and
power. Man fell upon his knees before his own servant, and the priest,
taking advantage of the awe inspired by his supposed influence with the
gods, made of his fellow-man a cringing hypocrite and slave."

As long as there is one person suffering an injustice; as long as one
person is forced to bear an unnecessary sorrow; as long as one person is
subject to an undeserved pain, the worship of a God is a demoralizing
humiliation.

As long as there is one mistake in the universe; as long as one wrong is
permitted to exist; as long as there is hatred and antagonism among
mankind, the existence of a God is a moral impossibility.

Ingersoll said: "Injustice upon earth renders the justice of heaven
impossible."

Man's inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more than
he loves his fellow man.

The love of God means wasted love.

"For God and Country" means a divided allegiance--a 50 per cent patriot.

The most abused word in the language of man is the word "God."

The reason for this is that it is subject to so much abuse.

There is no other word in the human language that is as meaningless and
incapable of explanation as is the word "God."

It is the beginning and end of nothing.

It is the Alpha and Omega of Ignorance.

It has as many meanings as there are minds. And as each person has an
opinion of what the word God ought to mean, it is a word without
premise, without foundation, and without substance.

It is without validity.

It is all things to all people, and is as meaningless as it is
indefinable.

It is the most dangerous in the hands of the unscrupulous, and is the
joker that trumps the ace.

It is the poisoned word that has paralyzed the brain of man.

"The fear of the Lord" is not the beginning of wisdom; on the contrary,
it has made man a groveling slave; it has made raving lunatics of those
who have attempted to interpret what God "is" and what is supposed to be
our "duty" to God.

It has made man prostitute the most precious things of life--it has made
him sacrifice wife, and child, and home.

"In the name of God" means in the name of nothing--it has caused man to
be a wastrel with the precious elixir of life, because there is no God.

Ingersoll could not understand the mind of those who, once having been
told the truth, preferred to remain under the spell of superstition and
in ignorance. He could not understand why people would not accept "new
truths with gladness."

He also knew, however, that once a person's mind had been poisoned with
religious superstition, it was almost impossible to free it from the
paralyzing fear which destroyed its ability to think.

It is now established by verifiable evidence that religion stultifies
the brain and is the great obstacle in the path of intellectual
progress.

The more religious a person is, the more he is steeped in ignorance and
superstition, the less is his sense of moral responsibility. The more
intelligent a person, the less religious he is. There is an old saying
that "where there are three scientists, there are two atheists."

The countries whose governments are dominated by religion and religious
institutions are the most backward. By the same token, the countries
whose people are the most enlightened, and whose governments are based
upon the principle of secularism--the separation of church and
state--are the most progressive.

And let me tell you: When man is intellectually free, the progress he
will make is beyond calculation.

What better illustration than this: More progress has been made since
the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution than was
made in the previous five thousand years!

Yes, more intellectual and material progress has been made by man since
the establishment of the American Republic than during all the
intervening years from the Pharaohs of Egypt up to and including the
time of "the grandeur that was Greece, and the glory that was Rome."

And there is a good and valid reason for this.

It was because "in 1776 our fathers retired the gods from politics." The
basic principle of the American Republic is the freedom of man in
society.

The Declaration of Independence was the product of Intellectual
Emancipation, and that is why, from thenceforth, our date of existence
should be recorded, not from the mythical birth of Jesus Christ, but
from the day of our Independence!

This should be the year one hundred and seventy-eight in our calendar!

Despite discouraging signs here and there, the seeds of freedom planted
by the American Revolution will take root, and throughout the world, if
man will learn to zealously guard his freedom, Peace and Progress will
come to all the world.

Could there be a more significant illustration than this:

Practically in our own lifetime, and certainly since the Declaration of
Independence, man has wrought the most amazing achievements in the field
of science and progress ever recorded in human history.

Not in their order, nor according to their significance, do I record the
following:

Anesthesia was discovered.

Do you know what it means to relieve man of his pain and suffering?
Anesthesia is the most humane of all of man's accomplishments, and what
a merciful accomplishment it was.

For this great discovery we are indebted to Dr. W. T. G. Morton.

Do you know that the religionists opposed the use of anesthesia on the
ground that God sent pain as a punishment for sin, and it was considered
the greatest of sacrileges to use it--just think of it, a sin to relieve
man of his misery! What a monstrous perversion! This one instance alone
should convince you of the difference in believing in God or not.

No believer in God would have spent his energies to discover anesthesia.
He would have been in mortal fear of the wrath of his God for
interfering with his "divine plan," of making man suffer for having
eaten of the fruit of the "Tree of Knowledge."

The very crux of the matter is in this one instance.

Man seeks to relieve his fellow man from the suffering of disease and
the pangs of mental agony. The believers in God are content that man's
suffering is ordained, and therefore he accepts life and its trials and
tribulations as a penance for living.

The fear of the wrath of God has been a stumbling block to progress.

When Dr. James Young Simpson sought to apply anesthesia to a woman in
childbirth, the clergymen of his day foamed at the mouth and spat upon
him with vituperation and abuse, for attempting to violate God's direct
command that "in pain thou shalt bring forth children," as based upon
the idiotic text of the Bible. But Dr. Simpson persisted despite the
ravings of the religious lunatics of his day.

The importance of Dr. Simpson's application of anesthesia to the relief
of pain in childbirth, and his open defiance of the religionists, are
beyond the measure of words to evaluate.

The X-ray was discovered in our time.

Professor Wilhelm Roentgen deserves our everlasting debt of gratitude
for this contribution. Its application alone in the field of medicine
makes it one of the greatest contributions to the service of man.

Dr. Karl Lansteiner's discovery of the composition of the blood--made in
our time--has been responsible for the saving of countless thousands of
lives.

Blood was also feared by the religionists, and a taboo was placed upon
all those who touched it, as being contaminated.

Even the dissection of the human body was prohibited by religion.

The study of human anatomy is within our own time, and the fruitful
results of this scientific exploring of man's physical structure are
incalculable.

It is needless, I think, to tell you why the study of human body is so
recent. Until the emancipation of the mind of man from the thraldom and
shackles of religion, it was taught and believed as a "religious
truth," and maintained under penalty of eternal damnation, that if the
human body was dissected, God would not be able to recognize you on the
day of resurrection!

Such has been the paralyzing menace of religion that has prevailed over
the mind of man.

The discovery of the chemistry of food and its application to nutrition
has contributed more to the health of the human race than all the Gods,
clergymen and priests since the dawn of existence.

Preventive medicine has accomplished amazing results in bringing health
to, and prolonging, the life of the people.

Hygiene and its application have saved millions upon millions from
disease and premature death. It has stayed the "hand of God" in his
madness in spreading deaths from epidemics of disease.

Charles Darwin published his "Origin of Species" and the great
principle of evolution was promulgated.

Modern emancipated medicine has reduced the infant death rate by more
than 50 per cent, and has been responsible for more than doubling the
life span of man within the past century.

Just think of it! All of this within our own lifetime!

All of this and more since the day of American independence!

And listen to these words of Dr. Paul D. White, founder of the American
Heart Association. He said:

"Those of us doctors who graduated from medical school thirty to forty
years ago, look back now at the almost unbelievable ignorance about
heart disease that then existed. _More knowledge has come since then
than had been acquired in all the centuries before._" (Italics mine).

Man was taught in the past that the heart, like the voice, was the
"gift of God," and it was too sacred for man to probe into its workings.
What were the results? Millions died who could have been saved; millions
lived as horrible cripples who could have lived a normal life if man in
the past, had had the courage, that he has today, to seek relief from
the terrors of disease.

Such is the amazing progress that has been made when man relies upon his
own efforts to solve his problems, whether they concern his health, or
his social or political affairs.

It was only within the past forty years that Dr. James B. Herrick
properly diagnosed the cause of coronary thrombosis from which followed
the amazing progress that has since been attained in combating this
greatest of killers.

I, for one, wish to place upon the brow of Dr. Herrick my laurel leaf
of thanks for his great accomplishment in medicine.

What wonders have been accomplished since the invention of the steam
engine, the automobile, radio, television, electronic devises, and the
thousand and one other discoveries and inventions too numerous to
mention.

The educational benefit of the motion picture will far outstrip its
entertainment value, and its use in nearly every department of learning
makes it one of man's most valuable inventions.

Think of Benjamin Franklin's discovery of the relationship of
electricity and lightning and the condemnation heaped upon him for his
defiance of "The Prince of the Power of the Air."

And of the Wright brothers, and the dire penalty they were to suffer for
"flying into the face of God."

Lightning, once feared as the wrathful manifestation of an angry God,
was reproduced in the laboratory by that electrical wizard and atheist,
Charles P. Steinmetz.

The telephone, wireless telegraphy, the steam engine, refrigeration, the
washing and sewing machines, the mechanical weaving of cloth, and the
myriad uses of electric and atomic power will make man the master of his
destiny once he frees himself from the myth of a tyrant God.

Ingersoll best expressed man's inventions and their uses when he said
that, "Science took the thunderbolt from the gods, and in the electric
spark, freedom, with thought, with intelligence and with love, sweeps
under all the waves of the sea; science, free thought, took a tear from
the cheek of unpaid labor, converted it into steam, and created the
giant that turns, with tireless arms, the countless wheels of toil."

Deprive man of the use of his discoveries and inventions of the past
century and he will think he has been returned to barbarism.

Look what Thomas A. Edison's invention of the electric light did for
man--it lengthened his life, it gave more hours to the day, and
increased his comforts beyond anything previously known or imagined, and
added immeasurably to his joy of living.

Even Joshua's fictitious performance of stopping the sun and the moon
fades into nothingness when compared with this sublime achievement.

Nor must we forget Edison's invention for reproducing the human
voice--and please grant me a moment's indulgence to say that I had the
great honor to know Thomas A. Edison, and Edison honored me by calling
me his friend.

If printing has been hailed as one of the world's great inventions,
what must we say of the phonograph? While printing preserves man's
thoughts on paper, the phonograph preserves not only his thoughts but
also his voice!

The song of the skylark is no longer "wasted upon the desert air."

Thomas A. Edison--the greatest of human benefactors--wrested from nature
her most guarded secret--the mystery of the human voice.

He disproved, as it was once believed, that the human voice, like the
heart, was the "gift of God." He demonstrated that the human voice was
merely the natural mechanism of sound produced by air of the lungs
passing over the "cords" of the throat and larynx in the same manner as
are sounds produced by the strings of a musical instrument.

As a result of Edison's invention, man himself has already produced
artificially every manifestation of the human voice!

If the voice was part of "God's plan," how do we account for its absence
in the giraffe? This animal has no larynx and therefore no vocal cords,
and as a consequence it cannot talk or make sounds with its throat!

The giraffe is proof of the lack of design in nature and the blindness
of the forces of evolutionary life.

To list all the great discoveries in the field of science and medicine
during the past century, such as aspirin, insulin, penicillin, and the
streptomycin drugs would require the undivided attention of a medical
historian and a veritable encyclopedia to record them.

And yet, there are still many diseases that plague man of which he has
no knowledge. They eat and ravage his mind and body with excruciating
pain and torture, and he is utterly helpless against them. He not only
does not know their origin, but has not the slightest inkling of their
nature or how to fortify himself against their attacks. He must sit,
like a condemned criminal, in agonizing torture, waiting for blessed
death.

If man, and the other forms of life upon this earth, are a mere
by-product of an "over-all plan" of a "supreme intelligence," then I
denounce such a scheme as tyrannical and barbaric.

Why should we be made to suffer such excruciating pains and penalties of
life to satisfy that from which we derive no benefit, and where death
negates all of our efforts; and which makes the purpose of life, our
hopes and desires, our ambitions and aspirations, a cruel mockery?

O prayer, thy name is failure!

O God, thou art a cruel myth!

You will not find a single mention of these great humanitarian
achievements in the so-called "Book of Books"; not a single reference
about the nature and cure of disease; not a word regarding those
inventions that have so mercifully lifted the burden of toil from the
backs of labor.

And there is good reason for it.

The Biblical writers not only had no knowledge of these things, but they
had a perverted concept of life and the universe. Their concept was that
man was a victim of blood pollution and his only salvation was by a
blood atonement.

I remember once seeing a small pamphlet entitled, "What the Bible
Teaches about Morality." On opening the little booklet, it was
discovered to be nothing but blank pages! Another such pamphlet might
very appropriately be published entitled, "What the Bible Reveals about
Disease, Medicine and Health," and blank pages should be used for all
the Bible contains about these vital subjects.

On the contrary, these benefits have been denounced by the believers in
the Bible, and by the representatives of the Bible's deity as being
contrary to "God's Plan."

Does not the Bible plainly state that only by the sweat of his brow is
man to labor for the bread he eats?

Here is the exact Biblical quotation: "In the sweat of thy face thou
shalt eat bread..." and why? Only because he sought knowledge.

And does not the Bible God place a curse upon man for the knowledge that
has been such a solace and benefit to him?

Here is another exact Biblical quotation: "... cursed be the ground for
thy sake; in pain thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life."

The Bible is a lie. It is a fake and a fraud.

I denounce this book and its God.

I hold it in utter detestation.

Every man and woman who has contributed to the relief of the pain and
suffering of humanity has been an infidel to the Bible God!

Every new invention, every new discovery for the benefit of man violates
these Biblical edicts!

I say, seek knowledge--defy this tyrant God--it is your only salvation.

It is because of the Biblical curse on man's search for knowledge, which
has so paralyzed his mind during the past ages, and its detrimental
effect upon progress, that makes the Bible the most wicked, the most
detestable, the most pernicious, and the most obnoxious book ever
published.

It has been a curse to the human race.

It is the duty of every brave and honest man and woman to do everything
in his and her power to destroy the influence of this utterly stupid and
vicious book, with its infantile concept of life and its nonsense
concerning the universe.

It is their duty to do everything within their power to stop its
demoralizing and paralyzing influence upon the life of man.

We will never achieve intellectual liberty until the wickedness of this
book has been discarded with the belief in the flatness of the earth.

If you do not want to stop the wheels of progress; if you do not want to
go back to the Dark Ages; if you do not want to live again under
tyranny, then you must guard your liberty, and you must not let the
church get control of your government.

If you do, you will lose the greatest legacy ever bequeathed to the
human race--intellectual freedom.

Now let me tell you another thing.

If all the energy and wealth wasted upon religion--in all of its varied
forms--had been spent to understand life and its problems, we would
today be living under conditions that would seem almost like Utopia.

Most of our social and domestic problems would have been solved, and
equally as important, our understanding and relations with the other
peoples of the world would have, by now, brought about universal peace.

Man would have a better understanding of his motives and actions, and
would have learned to curb his primitive instincts for revenge and
retaliation. He would, by now, know that wars of hate, aggression, and
aggrandizement are only productive of more hate and more human
suffering.

The enlightened and completely emancipated man from the fears of a God
and the dogma of hate and revenge would make him a brother to his fellow
man.

He would devote his energies to discoveries and inventions, which
theology previously condemned as a defiance of God, but which have
proved so beneficial to him.

He would no longer be a slave to a God and live in cringing fear!

To build a church when a school house is needed is to perpetrate a theft
upon education.

To build a church when a hospital is needed is to take from the parched
lips of the sick the cup of relief and from the suffering the merciful
hand of help.

When the object of man's conduct will be to improve the conditions of
his fellow man and not the appeasement of a mythical God, he will become
more understanding and more indulgent of the frailties, mistakes, and
action of others, and by the same token he will become more appreciative
of their efforts.

He will develop a greater consciousness to avoid mistakes and to
prevent injury. Life and its living will take on a greater significance,
and our efforts and energies will be devoted to creating as much joy and
happiness as possible for all living creatures.

Unless death is made a lesson for the living, the life lived is wasted.

Why should life come into existence only to be destroyed? One dies and
another is born--for what? A few miserable hours of life--then oblivion!

With this recognition of the finality of death, no one should willingly
withhold acts that would bring benefits, joy or happiness to others. In
death, the hesitant act can no longer be performed--the word of praise
is as impossible as yesterday's return.

What perversity justified inflicting pain, suffering and death upon
others who have done no wrong?

If death ends all, why fight while we are living? Why shorten life with
unnecessary pain and suffering?

How futile are the petty problems of individuals, with their hates and
jealousies, when all vanish with death?

All the prayers in the world cannot wipe out one injustice.

Every wrong is irreparable.

The dead cannot forgive.

All the tears and sighs are of no avail.

Forgiveness cannot be granted when lips cannot move. Praise cannot be
heard when ears cannot hear; joy cannot be experienced when the heart no
longer beats; and the happiness of an affectionate embrace can no longer
be felt when arms are limp and the eyes are forever closed.

You are to make up your mind whether it is to be God or man.

Whether you are to be free or a slave.

Whether it is to be progress or stagnation.

As long as man loves a phantom in the sky more than he loves his fellow
man, there will never be peace upon this earth; so long as man worships
a Tyrant as the "Fatherhood of God," there will never be a "Brotherhood
of Man."

You must make the choice, you must come to the decision.

Is it to be God or Man? Churches or Homes--preparation for death or
happiness for the living?

If ever man needed an example of the benefit of the one against the
other, he need but read the pages of history for proof of how religion
retarded progress and provoked hatred among the children of men.

When theology ruled the world, man was a slave.

The people lived in huts and hovels.

They were clad in rags and skins; they devoured crusts and gnawed bones;
the priests wore garments of silk and satin; carried mitres of gold and
precious stones, robbed the poor and lived upon the fat of the land!

Here and there a brave man appeared to question their authority.

These martyrs to intellectual emancipation slowly and painfully broke
the spell of superstition and ushered in the Age of Reason and the Dawn
of Science.

Man became the only god that man can know.

He no longer fell upon his knees in fear.

He began to enjoy the fruits of his own labor.

He discovered a way to relieve himself from the drudgery of continuous
toil; he began to enjoy a few comforts of life--and for the first time
upon this earth he found a few moments for happiness.

It is far more important to learn how to live than to learn how to pray.

A new day and a new era dawned for him.

His labors produced enormous dividends.

He looked at the sky for the first time and saw that it was blue! He
searched the heavens and found no God. He no longer feared the
manifestations of nature.

The stars, however, are not the alphabet upon which to read the destiny
of man.

We not only do not believe that man is punished for his "sins," but
emphatically state that there is no such thing as sin.

There are wrongs and injustices, but no sin.

Sin, like purgatory and hell, was invented by priests, first to
frighten, and then to rob the living.

We do not fear these myths and curses, and that is why we devote our
time and energies to help our fellow man.

That is why we build educational institutions and seek, by a slow and
painful process, to teach man the true nature of the universe and a
proper understanding of his place as a member in society. At the same
time we try to fortify his mind with courage to withstand the rebuffs,
the trials and tribulations of life. That it is a difficult and arduous
task no one can deny because we cannot correct all of "God's mistakes"
in one life time.

As Ingersoll so succinctly states: "Nature cannot pardon."

Remember this: You are not a depraved human being.

You have no sins to atone for.

There is no need for fear.

There are no ghosts--holy or otherwise.

Stop making yourself miserable for "the love of God."

Drive this monster of tyrannic fear from your mind, and enjoy the
inestimable freedom of an emancipated human being.

The only duty you owe is to yourself and to your family.

The duty you owe to yourself is to do the best you can, and the duty you
owe to your family is to endeavor to make them happy.

Emancipate yourself from these stultifying creeds, and protect your
children from the contamination of religion.

Get off your knees, stand erect, and look the whole world in the face.

Get all the joy and happiness you can out of life.

Enjoy the fruits of your labor and waste it not upon the myth of heaven;
support not the parasites of God.

Do not knowingly harm another human being; do not knowingly injure your
fellow man.

All forms of life have feeling, do not make them suffer.

As Shakespeare says:


    "The poor beetle, that we tread upon,
    In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
    As when a giant dies."


Kindness is a magic solvent.

While we know that sometimes "ingratitude is more strong than traitor's
arms," we also know that "mercy is twice blest; it blesses him that
gives and him that takes," and, it should be remembered that while
Loyalty is the most important of the virtues, Patience is the most
valuable.

Become a courageous human being and do the best you can under any and
all circumstances in this imperfect and troublesome world.

Be brave enough to live and be brave enough to die, knowing that when
the Grim Reaper comes, you did the best you could and that the world is
better for your having lived.

A God could do no more.

I will stand between you and the hosts of heaven.

I am not afraid.

I will act as your attorney before the Bar of Judgment.

I will assume all responsibility.

My services are free.

Put the blame on me.

Break the chains of mental slavery to religious superstition.

Arise and become a free and independent human being.

Dignify yourself as a Man, and justify your living by being a Brother to
All Mankind and a Citizen of the Universe.





End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of An Atheist Manifesto, by Joseph Lewis

*** END OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK AN ATHEIST MANIFESTO ***

***** This file should be named 33825.txt or 33825.zip *****
This and all associated files of various formats will be found in:
        http://www.gutenberg.org/3/3/8/2/33825/

Produced by Betty Haertling, Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe,
Martin Pettit and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team
at http://www.pgdp.net


Updated editions will replace the previous one--the old editions
will be renamed.

Creating the works from public domain print editions means that no
one owns a United States copyright in these works, so the Foundation
(and you!) can copy and distribute it in the United States without
permission and without paying copyright royalties.  Special rules,
set forth in the General Terms of Use part of this license, apply to
copying and distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works to
protect the PROJECT GUTENBERG-tm concept and trademark.  Project
Gutenberg is a registered trademark, and may not be used if you
charge for the eBooks, unless you receive specific permission.  If you
do not charge anything for copies of this eBook, complying with the
rules is very easy.  You may use this eBook for nearly any purpose
such as creation of derivative works, reports, performances and
research.  They may be modified and printed and given away--you may do
practically ANYTHING with public domain eBooks.  Redistribution is
subject to the trademark license, especially commercial
redistribution.



*** START: FULL LICENSE ***

THE FULL PROJECT GUTENBERG LICENSE
PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU DISTRIBUTE OR USE THIS WORK

To protect the Project Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting the free
distribution of electronic works, by using or distributing this work
(or any other work associated in any way with the phrase "Project
Gutenberg"), you agree to comply with all the terms of the Full Project
Gutenberg-tm License (available with this file or online at
http://gutenberg.org/license).


Section 1.  General Terms of Use and Redistributing Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic works

1.A.  By reading or using any part of this Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work, you indicate that you have read, understand, agree to
and accept all the terms of this license and intellectual property
(trademark/copyright) agreement.  If you do not agree to abide by all
the terms of this agreement, you must cease using and return or destroy
all copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in your possession.
If you paid a fee for obtaining a copy of or access to a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work and you do not agree to be bound by the
terms of this agreement, you may obtain a refund from the person or
entity to whom you paid the fee as set forth in paragraph 1.E.8.

1.B.  "Project Gutenberg" is a registered trademark.  It may only be
used on or associated in any way with an electronic work by people who
agree to be bound by the terms of this agreement.  There are a few
things that you can do with most Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works
even without complying with the full terms of this agreement.  See
paragraph 1.C below.  There are a lot of things you can do with Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works if you follow the terms of this agreement
and help preserve free future access to Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.  See paragraph 1.E below.

1.C.  The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation ("the Foundation"
or PGLAF), owns a compilation copyright in the collection of Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic works.  Nearly all the individual works in the
collection are in the public domain in the United States.  If an
individual work is in the public domain in the United States and you are
located in the United States, we do not claim a right to prevent you from
copying, distributing, performing, displaying or creating derivative
works based on the work as long as all references to Project Gutenberg
are removed.  Of course, we hope that you will support the Project
Gutenberg-tm mission of promoting free access to electronic works by
freely sharing Project Gutenberg-tm works in compliance with the terms of
this agreement for keeping the Project Gutenberg-tm name associated with
the work.  You can easily comply with the terms of this agreement by
keeping this work in the same format with its attached full Project
Gutenberg-tm License when you share it without charge with others.

1.D.  The copyright laws of the place where you are located also govern
what you can do with this work.  Copyright laws in most countries are in
a constant state of change.  If you are outside the United States, check
the laws of your country in addition to the terms of this agreement
before downloading, copying, displaying, performing, distributing or
creating derivative works based on this work or any other Project
Gutenberg-tm work.  The Foundation makes no representations concerning
the copyright status of any work in any country outside the United
States.

1.E.  Unless you have removed all references to Project Gutenberg:

1.E.1.  The following sentence, with active links to, or other immediate
access to, the full Project Gutenberg-tm License must appear prominently
whenever any copy of a Project Gutenberg-tm work (any work on which the
phrase "Project Gutenberg" appears, or with which the phrase "Project
Gutenberg" is associated) is accessed, displayed, performed, viewed,
copied or distributed:

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever.  You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org

1.E.2.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is derived
from the public domain (does not contain a notice indicating that it is
posted with permission of the copyright holder), the work can be copied
and distributed to anyone in the United States without paying any fees
or charges.  If you are redistributing or providing access to a work
with the phrase "Project Gutenberg" associated with or appearing on the
work, you must comply either with the requirements of paragraphs 1.E.1
through 1.E.7 or obtain permission for the use of the work and the
Project Gutenberg-tm trademark as set forth in paragraphs 1.E.8 or
1.E.9.

1.E.3.  If an individual Project Gutenberg-tm electronic work is posted
with the permission of the copyright holder, your use and distribution
must comply with both paragraphs 1.E.1 through 1.E.7 and any additional
terms imposed by the copyright holder.  Additional terms will be linked
to the Project Gutenberg-tm License for all works posted with the
permission of the copyright holder found at the beginning of this work.

1.E.4.  Do not unlink or detach or remove the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License terms from this work, or any files containing a part of this
work or any other work associated with Project Gutenberg-tm.

1.E.5.  Do not copy, display, perform, distribute or redistribute this
electronic work, or any part of this electronic work, without
prominently displaying the sentence set forth in paragraph 1.E.1 with
active links or immediate access to the full terms of the Project
Gutenberg-tm License.

1.E.6.  You may convert to and distribute this work in any binary,
compressed, marked up, nonproprietary or proprietary form, including any
word processing or hypertext form.  However, if you provide access to or
distribute copies of a Project Gutenberg-tm work in a format other than
"Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other format used in the official version
posted on the official Project Gutenberg-tm web site (www.gutenberg.org),
you must, at no additional cost, fee or expense to the user, provide a
copy, a means of exporting a copy, or a means of obtaining a copy upon
request, of the work in its original "Plain Vanilla ASCII" or other
form.  Any alternate format must include the full Project Gutenberg-tm
License as specified in paragraph 1.E.1.

1.E.7.  Do not charge a fee for access to, viewing, displaying,
performing, copying or distributing any Project Gutenberg-tm works
unless you comply with paragraph 1.E.8 or 1.E.9.

1.E.8.  You may charge a reasonable fee for copies of or providing
access to or distributing Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works provided
that

- You pay a royalty fee of 20% of the gross profits you derive from
     the use of Project Gutenberg-tm works calculated using the method
     you already use to calculate your applicable taxes.  The fee is
     owed to the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark, but he
     has agreed to donate royalties under this paragraph to the
     Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation.  Royalty payments
     must be paid within 60 days following each date on which you
     prepare (or are legally required to prepare) your periodic tax
     returns.  Royalty payments should be clearly marked as such and
     sent to the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation at the
     address specified in Section 4, "Information about donations to
     the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation."

- You provide a full refund of any money paid by a user who notifies
     you in writing (or by e-mail) within 30 days of receipt that s/he
     does not agree to the terms of the full Project Gutenberg-tm
     License.  You must require such a user to return or
     destroy all copies of the works possessed in a physical medium
     and discontinue all use of and all access to other copies of
     Project Gutenberg-tm works.

- You provide, in accordance with paragraph 1.F.3, a full refund of any
     money paid for a work or a replacement copy, if a defect in the
     electronic work is discovered and reported to you within 90 days
     of receipt of the work.

- You comply with all other terms of this agreement for free
     distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm works.

1.E.9.  If you wish to charge a fee or distribute a Project Gutenberg-tm
electronic work or group of works on different terms than are set
forth in this agreement, you must obtain permission in writing from
both the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation and Michael
Hart, the owner of the Project Gutenberg-tm trademark.  Contact the
Foundation as set forth in Section 3 below.

1.F.

1.F.1.  Project Gutenberg volunteers and employees expend considerable
effort to identify, do copyright research on, transcribe and proofread
public domain works in creating the Project Gutenberg-tm
collection.  Despite these efforts, Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works, and the medium on which they may be stored, may contain
"Defects," such as, but not limited to, incomplete, inaccurate or
corrupt data, transcription errors, a copyright or other intellectual
property infringement, a defective or damaged disk or other medium, a
computer virus, or computer codes that damage or cannot be read by
your equipment.

1.F.2.  LIMITED WARRANTY, DISCLAIMER OF DAMAGES - Except for the "Right
of Replacement or Refund" described in paragraph 1.F.3, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, the owner of the Project
Gutenberg-tm trademark, and any other party distributing a Project
Gutenberg-tm electronic work under this agreement, disclaim all
liability to you for damages, costs and expenses, including legal
fees.  YOU AGREE THAT YOU HAVE NO REMEDIES FOR NEGLIGENCE, STRICT
LIABILITY, BREACH OF WARRANTY OR BREACH OF CONTRACT EXCEPT THOSE
PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH 1.F.3.  YOU AGREE THAT THE FOUNDATION, THE
TRADEMARK OWNER, AND ANY DISTRIBUTOR UNDER THIS AGREEMENT WILL NOT BE
LIABLE TO YOU FOR ACTUAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE OR
INCIDENTAL DAMAGES EVEN IF YOU GIVE NOTICE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH
DAMAGE.

1.F.3.  LIMITED RIGHT OF REPLACEMENT OR REFUND - If you discover a
defect in this electronic work within 90 days of receiving it, you can
receive a refund of the money (if any) you paid for it by sending a
written explanation to the person you received the work from.  If you
received the work on a physical medium, you must return the medium with
your written explanation.  The person or entity that provided you with
the defective work may elect to provide a replacement copy in lieu of a
refund.  If you received the work electronically, the person or entity
providing it to you may choose to give you a second opportunity to
receive the work electronically in lieu of a refund.  If the second copy
is also defective, you may demand a refund in writing without further
opportunities to fix the problem.

1.F.4.  Except for the limited right of replacement or refund set forth
in paragraph 1.F.3, this work is provided to you 'AS-IS' WITH NO OTHER
WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PURPOSE.

1.F.5.  Some states do not allow disclaimers of certain implied
warranties or the exclusion or limitation of certain types of damages.
If any disclaimer or limitation set forth in this agreement violates the
law of the state applicable to this agreement, the agreement shall be
interpreted to make the maximum disclaimer or limitation permitted by
the applicable state law.  The invalidity or unenforceability of any
provision of this agreement shall not void the remaining provisions.

1.F.6.  INDEMNITY - You agree to indemnify and hold the Foundation, the
trademark owner, any agent or employee of the Foundation, anyone
providing copies of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works in accordance
with this agreement, and any volunteers associated with the production,
promotion and distribution of Project Gutenberg-tm electronic works,
harmless from all liability, costs and expenses, including legal fees,
that arise directly or indirectly from any of the following which you do
or cause to occur: (a) distribution of this or any Project Gutenberg-tm
work, (b) alteration, modification, or additions or deletions to any
Project Gutenberg-tm work, and (c) any Defect you cause.


Section  2.  Information about the Mission of Project Gutenberg-tm

Project Gutenberg-tm is synonymous with the free distribution of
electronic works in formats readable by the widest variety of computers
including obsolete, old, middle-aged and new computers.  It exists
because of the efforts of hundreds of volunteers and donations from
people in all walks of life.

Volunteers and financial support to provide volunteers with the
assistance they need, are critical to reaching Project Gutenberg-tm's
goals and ensuring that the Project Gutenberg-tm collection will
remain freely available for generations to come.  In 2001, the Project
Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation was created to provide a secure
and permanent future for Project Gutenberg-tm and future generations.
To learn more about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation
and how your efforts and donations can help, see Sections 3 and 4
and the Foundation web page at http://www.pglaf.org.


Section 3.  Information about the Project Gutenberg Literary Archive
Foundation

The Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation is a non profit
501(c)(3) educational corporation organized under the laws of the
state of Mississippi and granted tax exempt status by the Internal
Revenue Service.  The Foundation's EIN or federal tax identification
number is 64-6221541.  Its 501(c)(3) letter is posted at
http://pglaf.org/fundraising.  Contributions to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent
permitted by U.S. federal laws and your state's laws.

The Foundation's principal office is located at 4557 Melan Dr. S.
Fairbanks, AK, 99712., but its volunteers and employees are scattered
throughout numerous locations.  Its business office is located at
809 North 1500 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84116, (801) 596-1887, email
business@pglaf.org.  Email contact links and up to date contact
information can be found at the Foundation's web site and official
page at http://pglaf.org

For additional contact information:
     Dr. Gregory B. Newby
     Chief Executive and Director
     gbnewby@pglaf.org


Section 4.  Information about Donations to the Project Gutenberg
Literary Archive Foundation

Project Gutenberg-tm depends upon and cannot survive without wide
spread public support and donations to carry out its mission of
increasing the number of public domain and licensed works that can be
freely distributed in machine readable form accessible by the widest
array of equipment including outdated equipment.  Many small donations
($1 to $5,000) are particularly important to maintaining tax exempt
status with the IRS.

The Foundation is committed to complying with the laws regulating
charities and charitable donations in all 50 states of the United
States.  Compliance requirements are not uniform and it takes a
considerable effort, much paperwork and many fees to meet and keep up
with these requirements.  We do not solicit donations in locations
where we have not received written confirmation of compliance.  To
SEND DONATIONS or determine the status of compliance for any
particular state visit http://pglaf.org

While we cannot and do not solicit contributions from states where we
have not met the solicitation requirements, we know of no prohibition
against accepting unsolicited donations from donors in such states who
approach us with offers to donate.

International donations are gratefully accepted, but we cannot make
any statements concerning tax treatment of donations received from
outside the United States.  U.S. laws alone swamp our small staff.

Please check the Project Gutenberg Web pages for current donation
methods and addresses.  Donations are accepted in a number of other
ways including checks, online payments and credit card donations.
To donate, please visit: http://pglaf.org/donate


Section 5.  General Information About Project Gutenberg-tm electronic
works.

Professor Michael S. Hart is the originator of the Project Gutenberg-tm
concept of a library of electronic works that could be freely shared
with anyone.  For thirty years, he produced and distributed Project
Gutenberg-tm eBooks with only a loose network of volunteer support.


Project Gutenberg-tm eBooks are often created from several printed
editions, all of which are confirmed as Public Domain in the U.S.
unless a copyright notice is included.  Thus, we do not necessarily
keep eBooks in compliance with any particular paper edition.


Most people start at our Web site which has the main PG search facility:

     http://www.gutenberg.org

This Web site includes information about Project Gutenberg-tm,
including how to make donations to the Project Gutenberg Literary
Archive Foundation, how to help produce our new eBooks, and how to
subscribe to our email newsletter to hear about new eBooks.