Random Quote #83 topic: bierce-devil, The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
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INADMISSIBLE, adj. Not competent to be considered. Said of certain
kinds of testimony which juries are supposed to be unfit to be
entrusted with, and which judges, therefore, rule out, even of
proceedings before themselves alone. Hearsay evidence is inadmissible
because the person quoted was unsworn and is not before the court for
examination; yet most momentous actions, military, political,
commercial and of every other kind, are daily undertaken on hearsay
evidence. There is no religion in the world that has any other basis
than hearsay evidence. Revelation is hearsay evidence; that the
Scriptures are the word of God we have only the testimony of men long
dead whose identity is not clearly established and who are not known
to have been sworn in any sense. Under the rules of evidence as they
now exist in this country, no single assertion in the Bible has in its
support any evidence admissible in a court of law. It cannot be
proved that the battle of Blenheim ever was fought, that there was
such as person as Julius Caesar, such an empire as Assyria.

But as records of courts of justice are admissible, it can easily
be proved that powerful and malevolent magicians once existed and were
a scourge to mankind. The evidence (including confession) upon which
certain women were convicted of witchcraft and executed was without a
flaw; it is still unimpeachable. The judges' decisions based on it
were sound in logic and in law. Nothing in any existing court was
ever more thoroughly proved than the charges of witchcraft and sorcery
for which so many suffered death. If there were no witches, human
testimony and human reason are alike destitute of value.



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