The Age of Reason


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It has happened, that all the answers that I have seen to the former part of 'The Age of Reason' have been written by priests: and these 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.

When he is done with the Old, he moves to the New, and after examining the evidence as to its truthfulness he has this to say, "If the writers of these four books had gone into a court of justice to prove an alibi Yet this is the evidence, and these are the books, that have been imposed upon the world as being given by divine inspiration, and as the unchangeable word of God. They are more numerous and striking than I had any expectation of finding, when I began this examination, and far more so than I had any idea of when I wrote the former part of 'The Age of Reason.

What is it the Testament teaches us? As to the fragments of morality that are irregularly and thinly scattered in those books, they make no part of this pretended thing, revealed religion. They are the natural dictates of conscience, and the bonds by which society is held together, and without which it cannot exist; and are nearly the same in all religions, and in all societies. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics.

As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism; and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests; but so far as respects the good of man in general, it leads to nothing here or hereafter. Not any thing can be studied as a science without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is not the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing.

I have now gone through the Bible, as a man would go through a wood with an axe on his shoulder, and fell trees.

The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine

View all 5 comments. Mar 07, Russell rated it it was amazing. This book is a must-read for every American. Thomas Paine was one of the most influential thinkers in the founding of the United States and in the form that it's government took.


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His thinking had a profound influence on many of the founding fathers, including the author of the constitution - Thomas Jefferson. 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 This book is a must-read for every American. It will help every American who reads it to understand the nature of thinking that motivated the founding fathers to institute the separation of church and state.

It will also be a major eye-opener for those Americans who believe the popular myth that our government was founded upon Christian principles. Modern readers won't find Paines deistic reasoning to be entirely sound. However, his passionate and detailed criticism of Christianity is almost irrefutable when taken as a whole.

In the long run, disagreements with Paine's reasoning are almost beside the point. The political ramifications of this book are the most important reason for every American to read it. This is a tough book pamphlet?

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There is a difference between whether the point Paine is trying to make is well argued and well written which it is , whether I enjoyed reading it mostly , and whether I would encourage others to read it strongly encouraged. 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 This is a tough book pamphlet?

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 word of God via revelation is not true. The pamphlet is written in two parts and at two different times. In the first part Paine indicates his own philosophy, and is written without reference to specific passages of the Bible. The second part is a rebuttal of each book of both the new and old testament.

I would highly encourage anyone to read the first part, but skip the second unless you have a really high interest in reading more on his argument. I found the second part to be, while informative, very dull. I identify myself as a Christian, and it was difficult at times to read this book objectively. There were a couple of things that helped me with this. First, Paine is not an Atheist but instead a Deist. He believes in a singular God, just not a God as described in the Bible, which means he isn't completely rejecting my own religious beliefs.

Age of Reason

Second, while Paine does not believe Jesus Christ to be the son of God, he does have a tremendous amount of respect for the words attributed to Jesus Christ. He saw in Jesus a kindred revolutionary. Third, I tried to read Paine in the voice of Michael Palin. For some reason, considering him as a member of the Monty Python troop made it easier to get through and see the sarcasm in some of his remarks.

Overall I felt The Age of Reason does a sound job of pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible, as well as identifying acts of God that seem, well, un-Godly. I think his argument is weakened some in the second part, especially when identifying areas of inconsistency within the books of the Bible.

He points out such errors as disagreement among the sums of total people within a family. He indicates this as reason enough to say that, as the two chapters disagree, both must be false. I'm willing to forgive such errors and inconsistencies due to both the time when they were written and discrepancies in witness stories we hear even today. I mean, ask two people what my eye color is and one might say green and another brown.

The disagreement doesn't indicate that I don't exist, just a subjective difference in observation. I think the Age of Reason is an incredibly important pamphlet for all Americans to read, regardless of religious views. Paine was one of the founding father's of the United States, and his pamphlet "Common Sense" helped spur the start of the revolution. As we make arguments on how the US should be governed, it is important to have a good understanding of the views of those who created this nation, and the types of governance they wish to both promote and prevent.

Dec 16, Pat Zandi rated it did not like it. Sad how he could not understand a 5th grade written book that proves itself as completely infallible. I have read the bible 12 times and I still cannot agree with any of his arguments. I suppose prior to God's salvation In my life i might have agreed with him on some of his arguments.

However he wanted irrefutable proof in front of his eye's like Thomas but his eyes were dimmed with pride and a self gratifying way to explain away God that he would not become accountable to Hod himself or others. The law shows his guilt before a Holy and just God, and that he has a need of a Saviour but he could not make the connection of something any child knows.

Age of Reason

He became too smart for God, trying to be crafty in his own conceit. Making himself to be a fool before God and supposing himself to be wise before men! I pray that others who read this will see that they need to lower their own thoughts for they are lofty and lifted up too high, Jesus say "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

View all 9 comments. Now this was a very interesting read. Having picked it up for free on the kindle and not really knowing much about it I didn't have many expectations and honestly thought it would be a laborious and difficult read. I could not have been so wrong. Despite being written in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, it is still very readable and oddly very relevant.

Granted Paine is a religious man to a certain extent, he does give an objective review of the bible and its passages and highlights not o Now this was a very interesting read. Granted Paine is a religious man to a certain extent, he does give an objective review of the bible and its passages and highlights not only the numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in the book itself but also highlights how these have passed across into the various Christian religions too.

Not only was this very informative but it was also rather amusing, particularly with Paine's commentary and nods to some of the responses he received for previous published section of Reason. Highly recommended. Written at the time of the Enlightenment, Thomas Paine virtually instigated the American Revolution and the break from the shack les of religious slavery.

Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and many others were Deists who believed the human mind needn't suffer from the dogma of the day nor unscientific, supernatural beliefs. Paine breaks down the Bible bit by bit to allow you to see the absurdity of it all: the archaic violence, sexism, racism, and scientific stupidity. He lets you see Written at the time of the Enlightenment, Thomas Paine virtually instigated the American Revolution and the break from the shack les of religious slavery. He lets you see the book was written by ignorant men and it needs to fade like the beliefs in Zeus, and Odin.


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The nonsensical religious zealots of today's America would do well to read their book with the same scrutiny. Feb 03, Seth Hanson rated it really liked it. This is another book that I found so riveting that I simply could not put it down and read the entire Part I in a single sitting. Part II isn't really necessary in my opinion. Kind of like running up the score after the outcome of the game is no longer in doubt. Sure the fans might love it but sometimes you've got to know when to call off the dogs. Considering that this book was mostly written in the 's, it is mind-boggling how fresh and relevant most of it still is.

Maybe it was a classic This is another book that I found so riveting that I simply could not put it down and read the entire Part I in a single sitting. Maybe it was a classic case of encountering just the right information at just the right moment but I really, really loved this book.

A Milestone Developmental Stage: The Age of Reason

Such a breath of fresh air! Jan 07, Jim rated it really liked it Shelves: spirituality-religion , classics , jims-reviews , nonfiction. 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.

The Age of Reason - A Quick Analysis

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 [Note: You can download this for free at Deism. If something is revealed to a person, it is only revelation to that person - to everyone else it is second-hand information.

Also, he suggests that if man can figure out right and wrong on his own, why do we need a revelation to reiterate that? Especially a revelation of such suspect origins. A compelling argument. Paine suggests, however, that God has given us a revelation - and that revelation is creation. On this, I guess, he and Paul would agree when Paul says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made Even today there are "science deniers" who wish to use the Bible for their own ends while trying to sweep reality under the carpet.

Paine's discussion here is applicable over years later.

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