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Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809)


English-American political writer, theorist, and activist who had a great influence on the thoughts and ideas which led to the American Revolution and the United States Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Paine
It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences human invention; it is only the application of them that is human. Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.
Paine quotes
Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher. Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil.
Paine
When at first thought we think of a creator our ideas appear to us undefined and confused; but if we reason philosophically, those ideas can be easily arranged and simplified. It is a Being, whose power is equal to his will..




Paine Thomas quotes
As to that which is called nature, it is no other than the laws by which motion and action of every kind, with respect to unintelligible matter, is regulated. And when we speak of looking through nature up to nature's God, we speak philosophically the same rational language as when we speak of looking through human laws up to the power that ordained them.
God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon.
But infidelity by ascribing every phenomenon to properties of matter, conceives a system for which it cannot account, and yet it pretends to demonstration. It reasons from what it sees on the surface of the earth, but it does not carry itself on the solar system existing by motion. It sees upon the surface a perpetual decomposition and recomposition of matter. It sees that an oak produces an acorn, an acorn an oak, a bird an egg, an egg a bird, and so on. In things of this kind it sees something which it calls a natural cause, but none of the causes it sees is the cause of that motion which preserves the solar system.
Paine Thomas
Government by kings was first introduced into the world by the Heathens, from whom the children of Israel copied the custom. It was the most prosperous invention the Devil ever set on foot for the promotion of idolatry.
Thomas Paine quotes
The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again.
Thomas Paine
The christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun.
Paine Thomas quotes
Hereditary succession has no claim. For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others for ever, and tho' himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his contemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them.
Paine
Wisdom is not the purchase of a day, and it is no wonder that we should err at the first setting off.
Paine Thomas
When Bonaparte returned from Italy he called on Mr. Paine and invited him to dinner: in the course of his rapturous address to him he declared that a statue of gold ought to be erected to him in every city in the universe, assuring him that he always slept with his book "Rights of Man" under his pillow and conjured him to honor him with his correspondence and advice.
This anecdote is only related as a fact. Of the sincerity of the compliment, those may judge who know Bonaparte's principles best.
Thomas Paine
The age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system.




Thomas Paine quotes
When the qualification to vote is regulated by years, it is placed on the firmest possible ground, because the qualification is such as nothing but dying before the time can take away ; and the equality of Rights, as a principle, is recognized in the act of regulating the exercise. But when Rights are placed upon, or made dependent upon property, they are on the most precarious of all tenures. "Riches make themselves wings, and fly away," and the rights fly with them ; and thus they become lost to the man when they would be of most value.
Thomas Paine
An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
Paine quotes
Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
Paine Thomas
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Paine Thomas quotes
The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.
Thomas Paine
But when the country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.
Thomas Paine quotes
O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her Europe regards her like a stranger, and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind.
Thomas Paine
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher.
Paine Thomas
As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of Atheism a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Manism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which it calls a Redeemer, as the moon introduces her opaque self between the earth and the sun, and it produces by this means a religious, or an irreligious, eclipse of light. It has put the whole orbit of reason into shade.


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