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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.
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on July 7, 2016
Every person who thinks they know about religion and our founders, should read this immensely enlightening book. Having earned a doctorate of religion, should you choose to read The Age of Reason, I can promise you an incredibly enlightening experience from Thomas Paine, who along with James Madison, were among the best American thinkers and writers of their time.
Rev. Michael S, Retired UCC-Congregational
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on June 8, 2015
I enjoyed the vigor of Thomas Paine's thinking as displayed in this book. It's an interesting chunk of history, and an illuminating book. The modern reader will find parts of this book quite boring. Many Christians will find it quite shocking. The belief the United States was founded as a Christian nation is clearly contradicted in The Age of Reason. Paine was a deist and specifically not a Christian. He believed that we can learn about God only through science. Scientific law is the attempt to discover God's law to Paine. He was harshly critical of the Bible and all the trappings of Christianity which he considered to be illogical and immoral blasphemy.
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on December 10, 2017
For those who would love a good, thoughtful, intelligent and logical take on the Bible, this is a hoot to read. As someone who studies religion but doesn't have one to call her own, this book will provide hours of excellent, thoughtful prose. And a great deal of laughter.
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on November 16, 2014
This book, having been written by one of the main instigators and proponents of the American Declaration of Independence and who should definitely be considered as on of our most important Founding Fathers, has usually been shunned and ignored since its writing in 1794.

In a country where we claim to hold the Freedom of Religion sacred, it is ironic and deplorable that Thomas Paine was shut out and his writings and philosophy insulted and condemned as though he was an Atheist. It is a proven and recorded fact that the Founding Fathers were not Atheists, but neither were they Christians. This is documented as an official statement in the Treaty of Tripoli that was approved unanimously by the United States Senate and as such is still available for all that wish to read it.

The confusion lies in what is considered by many to be "Christian", and they often refer to the pre-Christian statuary and the ten commandments that are seen on the early buildings and structures in Washington, DC as early-american Christianity. Those depictions are representations of things in the old testament of the Bible and are actually Jewish, even though they were included in the Christian Bible by order of King Constantine at the first council of Nicaea in 325 AD.

For those who care to research the matter, our first "Christian" President was Andrew Johnson, our seventeenth President, who took office after the assassination of Lincoln. Lincoln would never talk much about his personal beliefs, but did make the statement on several occasions that he was not a Christian.

So how does that apply to this book? Thomas Paine was a "Deist" as were nearly all of the Founding Fathers, and he certainly believed in what he conceived to be God. But he did not believe in the Trinity, and certainly did not believe that Jesus was God.

Though I do not intend to express my own personal beliefs in this review, I must say that I appreciated the book for clarifying what the early Deists believed. In addition, he brings out some very interesting things about the historical aspects of the early Jewish religion as well as his take on their history.

If one feels it necessary to not even consider and to refute other viewpoints regarding religion arbitrarily, and does not want to be exposed to anything that might conflict with what they already choose to believe, they might be advised to not read this book. Because, even though it was written in 1794, the history he refers to has not changed, and by considering it, they might be inclined to have some serious questions about their own beliefs. Otherwise, for those who are not afraid to learn about alternative beliefs, it is a great book and well deserving of the rating of five stars. I might add that I find a remarkable similarity in the viewpoints of Thomas Paine, to those of Leucippus, who held similar viewpoints on "Reason" over 2,300 years before Thomas Paine wrote this book, so the viewpoints are expressing thoughts from over 2,500 years ago.
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on May 31, 2017
I have long been uncomfortable with the Bible, a discomfort that only increased after reading it entirely through and attending a Christian seminary. Paine expresses and explains my feelings with humor and intelligence.
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on January 4, 2018
An illuminating discussion of the toxicity of religion accompanied by a somewhat pedantic rundown of the inconsistencies of the Christian Bible.
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on May 23, 2015
The plot? Screw religion, as a whole. Religion divides, it is deadly, or damaging to relationships. Walk away while you still have intellect. I love this book. Having been a "Born Again Christian" for more than 20 years and having unanswered questions pastors tell to have faith, Thomas Payne delivers the answers. Every Christian should read this book. Every Christian should take these pages to heart. I recommend this book without reservations.
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on December 2, 2015
This book should be required reading for any candidate for President . . . and they should have to pass a test on it before they are allowed to give their first speech.

I had, of course, heard of Thomas Paine in history class, but had never read any of his works. To find such clear insight into matters if state and religion, written in the 18th century, still applicable to today... that's just amazing. I finally know what a diest believes.
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on October 15, 2016
This should be mandatory reading in High School.
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