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Preview — The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine
The Age of Reason
Paine wrote: "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst; every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in; but this attempts to stride beyond the grave, and seeks to pursue us into eternity."
Don’t be mistaken, this would be shocking if it were written today. But no, incredibly, this was the eighteenth century, before modern scholarship, in the depths of scientific anthropocentrism and Biblical literalism. “If only,” 200 years later, with what we now know— but here’s America, trying to write Thomas Paine out of history books and cover up the trace.
pious men, like their predecessors, contend and wrangle, and
understand the Bible; each understands it differently, but each
understands it best; and they have agreed in nothing but in telling
their readers that Thomas Paine understands it not."
That, an opening salvo in part II of Paine's "The Age of Reason," makes me laugh out loud. Surprisingly and to my delight ...more
* One of the greatest deconstructions of theistic religion ...more
This book was Paine's commentary on religion and his defense of deism, as opposed the Christianity. It will help every American who reads it to understand the nature of thinking that motiva ...more
The arguments that Paine mounts against Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are that:
- Revelation can only be experienced individually, and therefor indicating that the Bible is the w ...more
The seminal work on deism - the idea that there is a God, but we come to him through reason, not revelation. That we find God by encountering the world around us, not through a written word.
And Paine has a lot to say about revelation. It's not revelation if it's heard 2nd and 3rd hand. It's not revelation if it's merely a tradition handed down. It's not a revelation if it's a description of events. Revelation has to be directly to a person. If ...more
Paine called himself a Deist, by which he meant that he believed in one God, the Creator of the universe, and in no other, including Son and Holy Ghost.
Paine believed that, in order to know God, a person needed to study creation. Creation was the only true word of God, the Bible and all other sacred texts being the work of men, and not at all the ...more
Although Mr. Paine would refer to me a fool (as an atheist), I really enjoyed this book. The fact that someone was bold enough to write this book in 1794 says rather a lot about his character, but the fact that some one as well known as Mr. Paine would write it is nothing short of amazing. I can only imagine the recourse that he recieved as a result of pointing out the absurdities of the bible, and of organized religion itself.
This book is certainly not for everyone, es ...more
Paine explains in the simplest manner the ideas of a deist.
There really is no way to describe this book without mixing my own ideas in, because they are so similar, and yet I feel like I want to tell every person worth the brain that they are painted on to read this book.
This book is co ...more
I find ...more
Before opening this book be forewarned Paine is a Deist, one who firmly believes in God the Creator but not in any organiz ...more
I was surprised to learn that Paine was not an atheist nor an agnostic but was a deist with a strong belief in God as Creator and the Creation as the "Bible."
"As to the fragments of morality that are irregularly and thinly scattered in these books [the Bible], they make no part of this preten ...more
He was witty and (for the most part) rational, hence the title of the book. He said things that I've said to myself time and time again, and the latter half of the book is dedicated to going through the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and basically debunking them. I would have liked him to go into a bit more detail or touch base with a few more aspects of the Bible (such as the ten commandments), but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this.
The only thing that anyo ...more