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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.
That, an opening salvo in part II of Paine's "The Age of Reason," makes me laugh out loud. Surprisingly and to my del ...more
Whenever I have thought of 'the founding fathers' I have to admit, Thomas Paine would have been at the bottom of the list. Now that I have read 'The Age of Reason', I esteem this great man more than ever. I admire him, not only for all he did for our country and his writings, but for having the courage to publish something of this nature during his time.
One of the saddest fallacies of our countries history that has been passed onto generations even to this day is that the U.S. was founded on Go ...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
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel."