Joseph Lewis was an American freethinker, and atheist who was
born in Montgomery, Alabama. At the age of nine he left school
to find an employment and became mostly self-educated. Lewis developed
his ideas from reading, among other, Robert G. Ingersoll and Thomas
1920, Lewis moved to New York where he became the president of
Freethinkers of America (a title he would keep for the rest of
his life). He later started his own publishing company, the Freethought
Press Association, where he published litterature about freethought
written by himself and others. In the 1930s, Lewis expanded his
business with a subsidiary, Eugenics Publishing Company, that
published litterature for common people written by medical experts
about subjecs such as contraception.
bulletin, Freethinkers of America, was started by Lewis in 1937.
In the 1940s it was renamed to Freethinker and in the 1950s to
its final name Age of Reason (named after Thomas
The Age of Reason). Contributors to the bulletin were, among others,
William J. Fielding, Corliss Lamont and Franklin Steiner.
precept claiming infallibility should certainly possess the universality
of the law of gravitation and the perfection of the arithmetical
table. If it fails to possess these undeviating qualities, its
imperfection is self-evident and its value either greatly diminished
it not better to place a question mark upon a problem while seeking
an answer than to put the label "God" there and consider
the matter closed?"
Atheism writes upon the blackboard of the Universe a question
mark, it writes it for the purpose of stating that there is a
question yet to be answered. Is it not better to place a question
mark upon a problem while seeking an answer than to put the label
"God" there and consider the matter solved? Does not
the word "God" only confuse and make more difficult
the solution by assuming a conclusion that is utterly groundless
and palpably absurd?"
and not merely opinions are what we want. Emotionalism is not
a substitute for the truth."
inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more
than he loves his fellow man."
do not believe that if there is a God of this vast universe that
such a God would create a hell to torment to all eternity helpless
and innocent human beings. I defend the God of the religionists
against the libels of his own believers."
superstition is the weed of the brain, it grows perfusely, once
as a public function, particularly when led by a clergyman, is
a vulgar display of an exclusively personal matter."
the ten crimes which Biblical Hebrew law punished by stoning,
nine have ceased to be offenses in modern society."
using as an authority in the matter of marriage the opinion of
a celibate priest!"
the tyranny of the state is combined with the hypocrisy of the
church, you have a modern example of the twin vultures that have
devoured man, and his rights, throughout the ages."
too many occasions, especially in matters concerning purported
conversations and messages from gods, mystery has been employed
by charlatans to hoodwink the people."
a rod into a serpent and the serpent back into a rod may be clever
magic, but how does such a demonstration prove that Moses spoke
to God? If the only thing necessary to prove the truth of an extraordinary
claim were to demonstrate an ability to bewilder, there would
be no more mysteries to solve. If a person claims that he can
bring the dead back to life, and in proof of that power pulls
a rabbit out of a hat, that is hardly a demonstration of the truth
of his claim; it is merely an example of his ability in the art
of deception. If he claims that he can fly without wings and without
the use of mechanical help of any kind, and in proof of his ability
pulls another rabbit out of another hat, that is not proof of
his ability to fly, but of his ability to lie, and he will without
much hesitation be condemned as a faker. The demonstration of
one thing has absolutely no bearing in proving the truth of the
other, when there is no relationship between them."
is all profit. They have no merchandise to buy, no commissions
to pay, and no refunds to make for unsatisfactory service and
results....heir commodity is fear. They blackmail their parishioners
with threats of hell and damnation. These poor deluded people
give them their hard earned money to save them from a hell that
does not exist, and from eternal torment that was invented by
the perverted minds of priests to rob the living and in addition,
they are exempt from taxation! Insult to injury!"
"Let me tell you that religion is the cruelest fraud ever
perpetrated upon the human race. It is the last of the great scheme
of thievery that man must legally prohibit so as to protect himself
from the charlatans who prey upon the ignorance and fears of the
people. The penalty for this type of extortion should be as severe
as it is of other forms of dishonesty."
news of Mr. Edison's death fell upon me like a pall. I felt as
if a great void had been left in the world. What a pity that he
could not have stayed the hand of death so that he could continue
to unravel the secrets of Nature. What sort of "design"
can there be in life when this grandest of all men is cut down
unceremoniously by the Grim Reaper's scythe while idiots and imbeciles
live on? This great genius is irreparably lost to the world."
this recognition of the finality of death, no one should willingly
withhold acts that would bring benefits, joy or happiness to others."