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The Age of Reason (Optimized for Kindle) [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Paine , The Works of Thomas Paine
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)

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Book Description

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

COSIMO CLASSICS offers distinctive titles by the great authors and thinkers who have inspired, informed and engaged readers throughout the ages.

From the Author

THOMAS PAINE (1737-1809) was an Anglo-American political theorist and writer born in Norfolk, England. In 1774, Paine emigrated to America, bearing letters of introduction from Benjamin Franklin. Soon thereafter, he became involved in the clashes between England and the American colonies and published the enormously successful pamphlet Common Sense in 1776, which was widely distributed and contributed to the patriot cause throughout the American Revolution.

Product Details

  • File Size: 220 KB
  • Print Length: 162 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1434408728
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,857 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
174 of 180 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A defense of deism and a polemic against theism May 15, 2004
Thomas Paine, like others among our nation's founders (Ethan Allen, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Joel Barlow), considered himself a deist, a term that encompasses a wide range of beliefs but is principally based on "religious rationalism": that, initially created by a benevolent God, the universe operates on rational rather than supernatural principles. Paine (and Allen), however, departed from the cautiously nuanced approach to religious issues adopted by his peers and vociferously rejected Judeo-Christian tenets and scriptures. In "The Age of Reason," Paine outlines his objections to theism and his belief in deism, and he dissects the inconsistencies in both the Old and New Testaments.
Paine published the book in two parts: the first he hurriedly finished in January 1794 when he realized he would be arrested during the French Revolution (passages were in fact written from the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, where he was imprisoned). The second part was written the following year, and he responds to the critics of the first part with a no-holds-barred attack on the veracity of the Bible.
Paine presents his basic belief that "it is only in the creation that all our ideas and conceptions of a word of God can unite," and later in the book he says that "the creation is the bible of the deist." To Paine, the Bible is the word of man, not the Word of God, and he confronts many of the literalist beliefs proffered by the clergy and worshippers in his day. Many of his arguments, once shocking and blasphemous, are now taken for granted.
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103 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Age of Reason is still sparking debate December 27, 2000
By Sara
It is evident to me that the staying power of Paine's Age of Reason is strong-- I need only look through the mixed opinions here at Amazon to see how dramatically it impacts those who read it. For me, it was a great wake-up call. I read Age of Reason at the beginning of this year and didn't know much about what to expect. From the first few pages I knew that I had found a book that reflects how I feel about religion. Paine offers a sensible alternative to atheism and the vast supply of revealed religions that abound in the world. To be logical, Paine points out, you need not give up a belief in a Higher Power. But you also don't have to sell your soul to charlatans and holy books written hundreds of years ago by men, not gods.
The first half of Age of Reason outlines Paine's own beliefs as well as those he rejects. He gives reasons for every point he agrees or disagrees with and it is clear to the reader how Paine feels. Paine wants to spell out what his thoughts are so that he won't be misjudged by his peers. (Jefferson went through a similar ordeal-- because of his connections with France, he was labeled "a French infidel and atheist" neither of which was a true statement. See _The Religious Life of Thomas Jefferson_ for more info.)
In the second half, Paine sets out to show the Biblical discrepancies to those who wanted to prove his ideas false by using the Bible as their "evidence". In a relatively small number of pages, Paine debunks and demystifies (in my opinion) a fair amount of 'Christian' theology and scripture. If one man can do it so well in only a few pages, what does that say for revealed religion? That question is for each of us to answer individually and Age of Reason is required reading for anyone who is serious in doing just that.
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Remarkable Book Ever Written August 14, 2000
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If the title above seems like hyperbole, I am prepared to defend it: Thomas Paine was one of the most important figures of the American revolution, his pamphlet "Common Sense" did more to bring the colonies to revolt than any other document. After the revolution he went to France believing the French revolution to be the next step in the development of the freedom of mankind. While there he was condemned to death by Robespierre and detained pending execution. Believing that his death was imminent, Paine wrote Part One of Age of Reason, which is a compelling critique of the Bible and the faults of Christianity. His analysis is thorough, detailed and compelling, which is particularly impressive since he did it entirely without access to a Bible! This topic will offend many (which explains Paine's current demise from the pantheon of revolutionary heroes) but it should be read both for its analysis of the Bible and for appreciation of one of America's founding fathers.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you afraid to think? April 5, 1999
Format:Library Binding
Thomas Paine believed in a creator. He saw all around him the evidence of a creator. Within himself, he felt the inspiration of a creator. But he was repulsed by what he read in the Bible. I am in full agreement with Mr. Paine that the god depicted in the Bible and the man-made systems of religion which claim divine inspiration for authority are an insult to the creator. This book, whether one would agree with its conclusions or not, at least will inspire the reader to think about the books and teachings to which men tell us to bow. Paine analyzes the logic of revealed religions with the critical thinking he was given and encourages us to do the same. And why shouldn't we? The fact is, most people I have met have thought more about what kind of car to buy than about their religion. They have taken the religion of their parents as mindlessly as they put on socks. And most organized religions don't push the issue as long as the tax-free money keeps coming in. Thomas Paine states clearly and unflinchingly the arguments against revealed religions. And Paine's writing stands the test of time without the need of apologetics.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Thomas Paine (1737-1737) was, of course, an English-American author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Steven H Propp
5.0 out of 5 stars Ageless reason
I did not realize this was an indictment of the Bible. But what a strong, virulent attack it is! Mr. Paine makes point after irrefutable point. It really makes you wonder. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary Glass
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's a recommended book for all who love knowledge and progress of mankind.
Published 2 months ago by BEST GOODMAN
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Ode to Reason that Still Crackles and Shocks After 200+...
On reading Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason," which I greatly appreciated, I had an even deeper respect for the wonder and importance of the American experiment in governance... Read more
Published 2 months ago by plspom
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunner
I am ashamed to say I waited as
long as I did to read this piece of highly reasoned work of literary art. It must have been a stunner in 1794!
Published 3 months ago by Jack
1.0 out of 5 stars He did not use "common sense" in reasoning the scriptures!
Perhaps Thomas should have used some "common sense" when approaching the Word of God. He must have forgotten that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God. Read more
Published 3 months ago by William Smalt
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Paine really lays it out in this book and I really enjoyed it. Occasionally I would burst out laughing when I read it thinking of the day and age that Paine was in when he wrote... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Keith Stout
5.0 out of 5 stars Age of Reason -- Priceless Wisdom in Simple Prose
Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason

Thomas Paine was the impassioned voice of the American Revolution. Read more
Published 5 months ago by BookAWeekMan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of America
Growing up with all the awful, droning, encyclopedic tripe that passes for American history, all I'd ever been exposed to regarding the founding fathers was a litany of famous... Read more
Published 6 months ago by R. Gonzalez
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading.
This book, (essay), is a perfect example of the mindset during the Age of Enlightenment. I would recommend this work to anyone. A wonderful read.
Published 6 months ago by F. Porter
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