"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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