Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Morning Quotes: Thomas Paine


Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.

Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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.

Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.

It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. 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.

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous execution, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible (Ed. Note: Old Testament) 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 everything that is cruel.

From whence then could arise the solitary and strange conceit that the Almighty who had millions of worlds equally dependant on his protection, should quit the care of all the rest, and come to die in our world, because, they say, one man and one woman had eaten an apple.

...to read the Bible without horror, we must undo every thing that is tender, sympathizing, and benevolent in the heart of man.

From the time I was capable of conceiving an idea, and acting upon it by reflection, I either doubted the truth of the christian system, or thought it to be a strange affair; I scarcely knew which it was: but I well remember, when about seven or eight years of age, hearing a sermon read by a relation of mine, who was a great devotee of the church, upon the subject of what is called Redemption by the death of the Son of God. After the sermon was ended, I went into the garden, and as I was going down the garden steps (for I perfectly recollect the spot) I revolted at the recollection of what I had heard, and thought to myself that it was making God Almighty act like a passionate man, that killed his son, when he could not revenge himself any other way; and as I was sure a man would be hanged that did such a thing, I could not see for what purpose they preached such sermons. This was not one of those kind of thoughts that had any thing in it of childish levity; it was to me a serious reflection, arising from the idea I had that God was too good to do such an action, and also too almighty to be under any necessity of doing it. I believe in the same manner to this moment; and I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system (emphasis added).
It seems as if parents of the christian profession were ashamed to tell their children any thing about the principles of their religion. They sometimes instruct them in morals, and talk to them of the goodness of what they call Providence; for the Christian mythology has five deities: there is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, the God Providence, and the Goddess Nature. But the christian story of God the Father putting his son to death, or employing people to do it, (for that is the plain language of the story,) cannot be told by a parent to a child; and to tell him that it was done to make mankind happier and better, is making the story still worse; as if mankind could be improved by the example of murder; and to tell him that all this is a mystery, is only making an excuse for the incredibility of it.




*these are but a few quotes by Paine. The man was a “quote generator” and it would impossible to even pick the top 100. Go forth and read The Age of Reason. 




2 comments:

Andy said...

Great quotes.
I think I'm going to use "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." in a blog post today.

Steve said...

Excellent. That is one of my favorite quotes. I think it illustrates the 14th Amendment perfectly.

Post your blog post in the comments here if you like.