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Mark Twain's Creed

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posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 09:20 PM
I found this on the web a few years ago and as a big fan of Mark Twain I feel this is authentic. If Twain did not write it I am in full agreement with who ever did. I wish that all religious people would read Twain's "Letters from Earth."

I believe in the God the Almighty.

I do not believe he has ever sent a message to man by anybody, or delivered one to him by word of mouth, or made Himself visible to mortal eyes at any time or any place.

I believe that the Old and New Testaments were imagined and written by man, and that no line in them was authorized by God, much less inspired by him.

I think the goodness, justice, and mercy of God are manifested in his works: I perceive that they are manifested toward me in this life; the logical conclusion is they are manifested toward me in the life to come, if there should be one.

I do not believe in special providences. I believe that the universe is governed by strict and immutable laws. If one man’s family is swept away by a pestilence and another man’s spared it is only the law working: God is not interfering in that small matter, either against the one man or in favor of the other.

I cannot see how eternal punishment hereafter could accomplish any good end. To chasten a man in order to perfect him might be reasonable enough; to annihilate him when he shall have proved incapable of reaching perfection might be reasonable enough; but to roast him forever for the mere satisfaction of seeing him roast would not be reasonable … even the atrocious God of the Jews would tire of the spectacle eventually.

There maybe a hereafter and there may not be. I wholly indifferent about it. If I am appointed to live again I feel sure it will be for some sane and useful purpose other than to flounder about for ages in a lake of fire and brimstone for having violated a confusion of ill-defined and contradictory rules said (but not evidenced) to be of divine institution. If annihilation is to follow death, I shall not be aware of the annihilation and therefore shall not care a straw about it.
I believe that world’s moral laws are the outcome of the world’s experience. It needed no God to come down out of heaven to tell men that murder and the other immoralities were bad, both for the individual who commits them and for the society that suffers them.

If I break these moral laws I cannot see how I injure God by it, for he is beyond the reach of injury from me-- I could easily injure a planet by throwing mud at it. It seems to me that my misconduct could only injure me and other men. I cannot benefit God by obeying these moral laws-- I could easily benefit the planets by withholding my mud. (Let these sentences be read in the light of the fact that I believe I receive moral laws ONLY from man--none whatever from God.) Consequently I do not see why I should be either punished or rewarded hereafter for the deeds I do here.

posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 09:24 PM
Good words, and it resonates to me as consistent with a credo that M. Twain might adhere to. I think it'd have more impact if you could verifty that he actually said or wrote it, but regardless of who penned this prose, I think it's well said and accurate and I thank you for sharing it with us!

[edit on 10-9-2008 by argentus]

posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 10:27 PM
reply to post by cemore

I think this excerpt is (possibly?) from "Letters from the Earth". I bought that book about 6 months (or so) ago.

I have not read it, though.

"Mark Twain" seems to "nail it" in his deposition/testimony of what he read in the Bible.

posted on Sep, 10 2008 @ 10:30 PM
reply to post by cemore

Welcome to ATS. I rarely visit this forum, but your title caught my eye. So glad I read your post. Thank you for sharing this with us.
And to Mr. Twain wherever he shall rest..I whole heartedly agree with you.
Starred and flagged.

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