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Age Of Reason Paperback – September 14, 2012
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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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the more rational reviews of religion that I have ever read. Given that is was written by one of the most influential of our country's founders, it merits a new... Read morePublished 8 days ago by EP3
The Age of Reason is Thomas Paine's polemic against organized religion. In the first part of the book, Paine tackles miracles and written and spoken revelation. Read morePublished 20 days ago by JGar
This is important literature for the study of the enlightenment. It should be required reading in any history lesson on the enlightenment and deism.Published 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
Excellent read from a time where this kind of thinking was rarely spoken outloud.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer