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17-03-2010, 03:52 PM
 
Paine
Has anyone else here read Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason"?
I'm nearly finished with it and I can't believe such a crushing blow to the authenticity of the Bible was dealt so long ago, yet there are still willfully ignorant people willing to take that Bronze Age text at face value.

Paine's analysis of each book of the Bible, and subsequent critique, deftly dices up any credibility the book may have had left by using the inconsistencies and contradictions with the chronology of other books. Essentially, he uses the Bible itself to discredit the supposed authorship of most of the books, including the 5 most important to all Abrahamic religions, the first 5 which Moses is said to have written.

If you haven't I highly recommend reading it if you find the time. So far its the best critical analysis of the Bible itself I've read so far; and it goes to the root of the issue, instead of indulging the superstitious and arguing against the impossibilities of their fantasies, Paine shows that its best to discredit the source of their delusion.
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16-03-2013, 04:08 AM
RE: Paine
Thanks for recommending it. Sounds like a great read.
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16-03-2013, 05:27 AM
RE: Paine
(17-03-2010 03:52 PM)jaronm90 Wrote:  Has anyone else here read Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason"?
I'm nearly finished with it and I can't believe such a crushing blow to the authenticity of the Bible was dealt so long ago, yet there are still willfully ignorant people willing to take that Bronze Age text at face value.

Paine's analysis of each book of the Bible, and subsequent critique, deftly dices up any credibility the book may have had left by using the inconsistencies and contradictions with the chronology of other books. Essentially, he uses the Bible itself to discredit the supposed authorship of most of the books, including the 5 most important to all Abrahamic religions, the first 5 which Moses is said to have written.

If you haven't I highly recommend reading it if you find the time. So far its the best critical analysis of the Bible itself I've read so far; and it goes to the root of the issue, instead of indulging the superstitious and arguing against the impossibilities of their fantasies, Paine shows that its best to discredit the source of their delusion.
Yes, it is a classic.
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03-06-2015, 03:26 AM
RE: Paine
(17-03-2010 03:52 PM)jaronm90 Wrote:  Has anyone else here read Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason"?
I'm nearly finished with it and I can't believe such a crushing blow to the authenticity of the Bible was dealt so long ago, yet there are still willfully ignorant people willing to take that Bronze Age text at face value.

Paine's analysis of each book of the Bible, and subsequent critique, deftly dices up any credibility the book may have had left by using the inconsistencies and contradictions with the chronology of other books. Essentially, he uses the Bible itself to discredit the supposed authorship of most of the books, including the 5 most important to all Abrahamic religions, the first 5 which Moses is said to have written.

If you haven't I highly recommend reading it if you find the time. So far its the best critical analysis of the Bible itself I've read so far; and it goes to the root of the issue, instead of indulging the superstitious and arguing against the impossibilities of their fantasies, Paine shows that its best to discredit the source of their delusion.
"He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face." Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Paine after reading his manuscript for Age of Reason.
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03-06-2015, 03:30 AM
RE: Paine
Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Paine

TO THOMAS PAINE.
[Date uncertain.]

DEAR SIR,

I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection. I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it. At present I shall only give you my opinion, that, though your reasonings are subtile and may prevail with some readers, you will not succeed so as to change the general sentiments of mankind on that subject, and the consequence of printing this piece will be, a great deal of odium drawn upon yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to others. He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face.
But, were you to succeed, do you imagine any good would be done by it? You yourself may find it easy to live a virtuous life, without the assistance afforded by religion; you having a clear perception of the advantages of virtue, and the disadvantages of vice, and possessing a strength of resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common temptations. But think how great a portion of mankind consists of weak and ignorant men and women, and of inexperienced, inconsiderate youth of both sexes, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great point for its security. And perhaps you are indebted to her originally, that is, to your religious education, for the habits of virtue upon which you now justly value yourself. You might easily display your excellent talents of reasoning upon a less hazardous subject, and thereby obtain a rank with our most distinguished authors. For among us it is not necessary, as among the Hottentots, that a youth, to be raised into the company of men, should prove his manhood by beating his mother.

I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it. I intend this letter itself as a proof of my friendship, and therefore add no professions to it; but subscribe simply yours,

B. Franklin
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03-06-2015, 03:54 AM
RE: Paine
Welcome to the forum.

You've resurrected a twice dead thread but why not? Age Of Reason is one of Atheism's founding documents.

Interesting that Mr. Franklin's response can still be heard today to argue against tomes by Hitchens and Dawkins etc. and somewhat ironic that Dennett uses a similar argument when discouraging Harris from declaring that there is no Free Will.

Consider

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03-06-2015, 03:54 AM
RE: Paine
(03-06-2015 03:30 AM)Honorcode1 Wrote:  Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Paine

TO THOMAS PAINE.
[Date uncertain.]

DEAR SIR,

I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow a general Providence, you strike at the foundations of all religion. For without the belief of a Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection. I will not enter into any discussion of your principles, though you seem to desire it. At present I shall only give you my opinion, that, though your reasonings are subtile and may prevail with some readers, you will not succeed so as to change the general sentiments of mankind on that subject, and the consequence of printing this piece will be, a great deal of odium drawn upon yourself, mischief to you, and no benefit to others. He that spits against the wind, spits in his own face.
But, were you to succeed, do you imagine any good would be done by it? You yourself may find it easy to live a virtuous life, without the assistance afforded by religion; you having a clear perception of the advantages of virtue, and the disadvantages of vice, and possessing a strength of resolution sufficient to enable you to resist common temptations. But think how great a portion of mankind consists of weak and ignorant men and women, and of inexperienced, inconsiderate youth of both sexes, who have need of the motives of religion to restrain them from vice, to support their virtue, and retain them in the practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great point for its security. And perhaps you are indebted to her originally, that is, to your religious education, for the habits of virtue upon which you now justly value yourself. You might easily display your excellent talents of reasoning upon a less hazardous subject, and thereby obtain a rank with our most distinguished authors. For among us it is not necessary, as among the Hottentots, that a youth, to be raised into the company of men, should prove his manhood by beating his mother.

I would advise you, therefore, not to attempt unchaining the tiger, but to burn this piece before it is seen by any other person; whereby you will save yourself a great deal of mortification by the enemies it may raise against you, and perhaps a good deal of regret and repentance. If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it. I intend this letter itself as a proof of my friendship, and therefore add no professions to it; but subscribe simply yours,

B. Franklin

Ah...thanks for posting this. I didn't know BF was full of BS.
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03-06-2015, 04:26 AM
RE: Paine
What a coincidence as I added this book to my amazon wish list just a few days ago. So I'll be buying and reading it very soon.

"The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species." - Christopher Hitchens
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03-06-2015, 04:54 AM
RE: Paine
Hmm. So Ben Franklin subscribed too to the "it is desirable for people to believe there is a god, regardless of the truth" argument. I find that interesting. But not too surprising.
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03-06-2015, 05:21 AM
RE: Paine
I was unaware of this correspondence between TP & BF.
Many thanks.

"I am an Australian and I have no manners!"
Lt Col Oswald Watt.
Royal Australian Flying Corps.
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