|A Rational Testament
This "testament" was written fifty years ago by the grandfather of a friend of ours, a small-town judge in Illinois. We think it is well worth reading today, and our friend assures us that her grandfather would be thrilled to have his words reproduced in this way.
My religion tells me that I must always think for myself.
That I must obey the dictates of my own conscience.
That I must at all times do what I honestly believe to be right.
That should there be a personal God he will not condemn me for doing what my considered opinion tells me I ought to do even tho I may be mistaken.
That should my life contribute to the welfare of mankind in any degree, or should my precept and example cause my children and grandchildren, friends and neighbors to be better citizens, I will have achieved thereby such immortality as I deserve.
The dogma of theologians has no meaning for me. If there is a God I know that he is a just God who will give me the same square deal that I have tried to give others.
If he is not a personality and if God and nature are one, as well they may be, then I will receive what is natural and right and have nothing to fear and am content.
I am not concerned with the question of a future life; should there be one I will do the best I can with it; should death end all then an eternity of tranquil peace and rest in oblivion has no terrors for me and should be a fair reward for a life well spent.
People who believe as I do are never driven to insanity or suicide by religious doubts and fears. I have always been a rationalist. It is a good philosophy of life. It has made me a better and happier man and is now adding years to my already long life.
Signed June 20th, 1949
Be true, Unbeliever.
Science Enchants the World
Gender and Children
For Common Things
Inside the Prophet's Hat
I am the Spirit of My Age