Our God was made by men, sculptured by savages who did the
best they could. They made our God somewhat like themselves, and
gave to him their passions, their ideas of right and wrong.
As man advanced he slowly changed his God — took a little
ferocity from his heart, and put the light of kindness in his eyes.
As man progressed he obtained a wider view, extended the
intellectual horizon and again he changed his God, making him as
nearly perfect as he could, and yet this God was patterned after
those who made him. As man became civilized, as he became merciful,
he began to love justice, and as his mind expanded his ideal became
purer, nobler, and so his God became more merciful, more loving.
In our day Jehovah has been outgrown. He is no longer the
perfect. Now theologians talk, not about Jehovah, but about a God
of love, call him the Eternal father and the perpetual friend and
providence of man. But, while they talk about this God of love,
cyclones wreck and rend, the earthquake devours, the flood
destroys, the red bolt leaping from the cloud still crashes the
life out of men, and plague and fever still are tireless reapers in
the harvest fields of death.
They tell us now that all is good; that evil is but blessing
in disguise, that pain makes strong and virtuous men — makes
character — while pleasure enfeebles and degrades. If this be so,
the souls in hell should grow to greatness, while those in heaven
should shrink and shrivel.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Superstition” (1898)