"Question with boldness even the existence of a God;
because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason,
than that of blind-folded fear...
Do not be frightened from this inquiry
from any fear of its consequences.
If it ends in the belief that there is no God,
you will find incitements to virtue
in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise..."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
1787 letter to his nephew
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous, reston, VA US      
Inquiry and reason as virtuous, I would have to agree with Jefferson. Better than the hubris and demagogy displayed by those whom espouse faith as their driving force and the will of a Deus they know naught of save what is proselytized and indoctrinated into their thoughts by an unknown puppet master. Caesar once said in his own words that fear and jingoism are that which can be used to control the mob.
 -- Philosophia, Clearwater     
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    THERES MORE TO THIS QUOTE THAT RELAYS HIS PHILOSOPHY OF DEISM AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. FIND THE END OF THESE QUOTES TO PUT THEM IN PERSPECTIVE SO AS TO NOT BE MISLED OF THE QUOTATION'S TRUE MEANING.
     -- RON, AUSTIN     
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    This is one of my favorite quotes concerning Jefferson's views on god, religion, and the like. I wish this was part of our everyday discourse, but, unfortunately, it is not.
     -- Logan, Fort Lauderdale     
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    Yes, yes, yes, yes! Thomas Jefferson was wise beyond his time!
     -- Anonymous     
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    This is a letter written to his nephew Peter Carr in 1787. In the later years, he went back and forth to what he believed about God. Observe: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever". Thomas Jefferson
     -- Anonymous, Monroe, NY     
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    I can't speak to others on this topic concerning an extra human personage or experience (each have their own learning style) but, it has been my experience that on the face of the here terse chosen statement, it was the best way for me personally to come to know my Father in Heaven and Savior.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I search for Truth rather than God, because I don't know what God looks like.  But how does one evaluate 'truth'?  I take it further, in order to know the truth I must at the very least be truthful in my thoughts and speech  and call myself out when I tell myself something that is not true.  I find that 'truth process' to be liberating  what appears once the veil has fallen?  Clearing out all the lies I have been adhering to or propping up is empowering, like the lights have been turned on.  The truth is a revelation, and there is no getting the answer from someone else, ultimately that journey is your own. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I've given my personal experience here in many ways - a multiple of times. Early, as a youth, I had a Pastor that told me not to believe him or anyone concerning any extra human experience of dogma — find out for myself. Later, another minister told me when I had a question, take it to the Lord — (stay in an attitude of prayer, be on my knees when possible, be open and attempt to exercise my communication in faith). AND, when I got a favorable answer, things turning out like I felt and thought they would, remember everything about what I thought, how I felt and attempt to discern all the events. The next day — at my next dilemma, do everything again. And then, when nothing came out like I thought or expected, analyze everything in detail once again. The minister then said in effect, if I do that daily, in a few years, I would begin to recognize the Spirit of God which differed from emotion, a sensorial of peer / societal thoughts, a day to day life style and feelings associated to a false sense of carnal reasoning and expectations. The minister said the current church is more living by emotion and expectations than by the spirit. Once our Creator's presence is recognized by eternal knowledge, love and truth will emanate from us while truth will set us free.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I am encouraged to be virtuous by the comfort and pleasantness of being virtuous.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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    I love the stories of personal spiritual experiences.  The revelation of the truth and "what's so" is so empowering  this is the way. Thanks, Mike.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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