The Age of Reason (Google eBook)

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Digireads.com Publishing, Jan 1, 2004 - Philosophy
24 Reviews
Thomas Paine is a seminal figure in American History. An Englishman by birth, Paine immigrated to America in 1774 where he quickly took up the cause of the independence of the American colonies from England. His famous work "Common Sense" helped to gain great public support for the American Revolution and firmly established him as a central figure among the founding fathers. In "The Age of Reason" Paine turns his attention to a philosophical examination of Christianity. Within the work Paine lays the foundation of his Secularist Deist philosophy, which greatly influenced many of the founding fathers and the writing of the constitutional law of the United States of America.
  

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Review: The Age of Reason

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

Just happened to be reading this over the Easter long weekend. Don't know why I never happened to read it before. It is full of arguments that I recognise - because I have been making them myself all ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bke - LibraryThing

I wish I had read this years ago. Paine was perhaps one of the clearest thinkers of his or any other time. Should be on everyone's reading list. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

EDITORS INTRODUCTION
5
PART I
15
OF MISSIONS AND REVELATIONS
16
CONCERNING THE CHARACTER OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS HISTORY
18
OF THE BASES OF CHRISTIANITY
19
EXAMINATION IN DETAIL OF THE PRECEDING BASES
20
OF THE TRUE THEOLOGY
21
OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
25
THE EFFECTS OF CHRISTIANISM ON EDUCATION PROPOSED REFORMS
34
COMPARISON OF CHRISTIANISM WITH THE RELIGIOUS IDEAS INSPIRED BY NATURE
38
SYSTEM OF THE UNIVERSE
41
ADVANTAGES OF THE EXISTENCE OF MANY WORLDS IN EACH SOLAR SYSTEM
43
APPLICATION OF THE PRECEDING TO THE SYSTEM OF THE CHRISTIANS
44
OF THE MEANS EMPLOYED IN ALL TIME AND ALMOST UNIVERSALLY TO DECEIVE THE PEOPLES
45
PART II
50
THE OLD TESTAMENT
52

IN WHAT THE TRUE REVELATION CONSISTS
28
CONCERNING GOD AND THE LIGHTS CAST ON HIS EXISTENCE AND ATTRIBUTES BY THE BIBLE
29
OF THE THEOLOGY OF THE CHRISTIANS AND THE TRUE THEOLOGY
31
THE NEW TESTAMENT
87
CONCLUSION
104
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Born to parents with Quaker leanings, Thomas Paine grew up amid modest circumstances in the rural environs of Thetford, England. As the recipient of what he termed "a good moral education and a tolerable stock of useful learning," little in Paine's early years seemed to suggest that he would one day rise to a stunning defense of American independence in such passionate and compelling works as Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis essays (1776-83). Paine's early years were characterized by a constant struggle to remain financially solvent while pursuing a number of nonintellectual activities. Nevertheless, the young Paine read such Enlightenment theorists as Isaac Newton and John Locke and remained dedicated to the idea that education was a lifelong commitment. From 1753 to 1759, Paine worked alternately as a sailor, a staymaker, and a customs officer. Between 1759 and 1772, he married twice. His first wife died within a year of their marriage, and Paine separated amicably from his second wife after a shop they operated together went bankrupt. While these circumstances seemed gloomy, Paine fortuitously made the acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin in London in 1773. Impressed by Paine's self-education, Franklin encouraged the young man to venture to America where he might prosper. Arriving in Philadelphia in 1774, Paine quickly found himself energized by the volatile nature of Revolutionary politics. Working as an editor of Pennsylvania Magazine, Paine found a forum for his passionate radical views. In the years that followed, Paine became increasingly committed to American independence, and to his conviction that the elitist and corrupt government that had ruled over him in England had little business extending its corrosive colonial power to the States. Moved by these beliefs, Paine published Common Sense (1776), a test that proved invaluable in unifying American sentiment against British rule. Later, after joining the fray as a soldier, Paine penned the familiar lines in "The American Crisis": "These are the times that try men's souls." Fifteen years later, Paine wrote his other famous work, Rights of Man (1791). Drawing on his eclectic experiences as a laborer, an international radical politician, and a revolutionary soldier, Paine asserted his Lockeian belief that since God created humans in "one degree only," then rights should be equal for every individual.

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