Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
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21-08-2013, 01:37 PM (This post was last modified: 21-08-2013 02:01 PM by onedream.)
Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
This guy was a genius. If you haven't yet read "The Age Of Reason" you need to. Thomas Paine (one of our founding fathers) decimates all religion.

Free version here: http://www.deism.com/theageofreason.htm

He was a Deist. But were he alive today, in the age of better Science, he would almost certainly be an Atheist or an Agnostic.

I love what he says here about the ridiculous nature of the Doctrine of Redemption:


If I owe a person money, and cannot pay him, and he threatens to
put me in prison, another person can take the debt upon himself, and
pay it for me; but if I have committed a crime, every circumstance
of the case is changed; moral Justice cannot take the innocent for the
guilty, even if the innocent would offer itself. To suppose Justice to
do this, is to destroy the principle of its existence, which is the
thing itself; it is then no longer Justice, it is indiscriminate revenge.


What he says here about the canonization of the scripture is great. He argues that many of us (especially protestants) deem the Medieval Church to be discredited because they made up "Purgatory", "The selling of Indulgences" & the like. But in the same breath, we praise THOSE VERY PEOPLE for canonizing our "Inerrant Word Of God." In other words, we don't trust their sense when it comes to fringe doctrine. But we trust their ability to decide which books are inspired and which are not??? CRAZY!!!

The invention of purgatory, and of the releasing of souls
therefrom by prayers bought of the church with money; the selling of
pardons, dispensations, and indulgences, are revenue laws, without
bearing that name or carrying that appearance. But the case
nevertheless is, that those things derive their origin from the
paroxysm of the crucifixion and the theory deduced therefrom, which
was that one person could stand in the place of another, and could
perform meritorious service for him. The probability, therefore, is
that the whole theory or doctrine of what is called the redemption
(which is said to have been accomplished by the act of one person in
the room of another) was originally fabricated on purpose to bring
forward and build all those secondary and pecuniary redemptions
upon; and that the passages in the books, upon which the idea or
theory of redemption is built, have been manufactured and fabricated
for that purpose. Why are we to give this Church credit when she tells
us that those books are genuine in every part, any more than we give
her credit for everything else she has told us, or for the miracles
she says she had performed? That she could fabricate writings is
certain, because she could write; and the composition of the
writings in question is of that kind that anybody might do it; and
that she did fabricate them is not more inconsistent with
probability than that she could tell us, as she has done, that she
could and did work miracles.



I do disagree with his definitions of prophecy part way through the pamphlet. But overall, this is a brilliant work.
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21-08-2013, 02:09 PM
RE: Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
Tx for the link Smile
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21-08-2013, 02:15 PM
RE: Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
Yeah, Thom's OK in my book.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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21-08-2013, 02:23 PM
RE: Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
Holy shit this guy writes well. This is excellent...
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21-08-2013, 03:28 PM
Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
Yeah... It's great. We hear about how key his piece "Common Sense" was in winning the hearts and minds of the colonists toward revolution. But we hear much less about "The Age Of Reason." But what is to be expected from a nation where only 40% accept the fact of Evolution by natural selection?
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26-09-2013, 03:50 PM
RE: Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
I'm reading a book of his writings now :-)
Here's a nice except
"When we read the obscure 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 every thing that is cruel."

"I don't have to have faith, I have experience." Joseph Campbell
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28-09-2013, 09:08 AM
RE: Thomas Paine - The Age Of Reason - Some Thoughts
I have to read slowly to absorb it's richness.
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