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As Timely - Nay, as NEEDED - Today as it Was Back Then!
on August 6, 2016
I'm assuming that if one is looking at reviews of the Age of Reason, they already know what it is about, and are looking for information about whether *this* edition is a worthy candidate. So, let me say right up front: yes, it is. :-) This is an excellent version of this classic.
Some may not know that Thomas Paine wrote at least part of the Age of Reason while in prison, imprisoned in France by the French revolutionaries. It is thought by some that he only escaped being executed because of a clerical error (the cell door sign marking him as bound for the guillotine being misplaced); he was released after James Monroe pulled some strings for him.
Paine was a deist, and did not observe a particular doctrine or align himself with a particular church (the dictionary defines 'deist' as "A deist believes there is a God who created all things, but does not believe in His superintendence and government."). In the Age of Reason Paine makes the case *against* organized religion, and even the bible, arguing for a more rational explanation for the order of things, while still acknowledging the existence of a creator.
For example, he says "The most extraordinary of all the things called miracles, related in the New Testament, is that of the devil flying away with Jesus Christ, and carrying him to the top of a high mountain, and to the top of the highest pinnacle of the temple, and showing him and promising to him all the kingdoms of the World. How happened it that he did not discover America, or is it only with kingdoms that his sooty highness has any interest?"
Words sure to get the religious powers that were in a knot!
In our current age, of unreasonableness to the extreme, especially religious unreasonableness and intolerance, we definitely need a bit more reason. The Age of Reason is as timely today as it was back when it was first released.