Thomas Huxley's explanation of agnosticism was a real eye-opener for me. I have been inclined to disparage agnosticism. I still have little use for agnosticism in a common modern meaning, which is "there might be a god or there might not. Both positions are equally tenable". Both positions are not equally tenable; there is no evidence for 'god' and much evidence against; it is not intellectually honest to put aside such wild claims with "maybe, maybe not". Huxley, on the other hand, describes a way of learning about the world. To be Huxlian agnostic means to investigate the knowable and ignore the unknowable; and for modern man, with the information we have at our disposal, leads naturally to atheism.
I was not aware that such clear skepticism was around at the time of Lucretius.
I didn't know that Clarence Darrow was an atheist, and outspoken about it, too. I'm happy to learn that effective atheists are not all biologists. I was also unaware of the topic of Darrow's essay, the Lord's Day Movement; its demise is a victory for rationalism and atheism, and we need all the wins we can get these days.
The fact that the ten commandments clearly endorse slavery had never registered with me until I read Gore Vidal's treatise. Richard Dawkins makes a strong case elsewhere that modern christians' claim of the bible as a source of morality cannot be true (there is some standard being used to pick and choose which parts to follow and which to leave out), but Vidal clarified just how blatantly im
moral the "bad book" (as he calls it) really is.
Last but not least, Robert Inegersoll's "GOD IN THE CONSTITUTION" brought the incompatibility of christian religion and constitutional democracy into clear focus.