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Book Title: The Age of Reason|
The author of the book: Thomas Paine
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 518 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.1
Edition: Xist Classics
Date of issue: May 15th 2015
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Thomas Paine who was a dynamic philosophical presence in the American Revolution of 1776 wrote his last book in 1795 on an investigation and commentary of organized religion with a focus on Christianity. Paine said that his "religious duties" included doing justice, loving benevolence, and attempting to make others happy. He called himself a deist which is a person who believes in the existence of a God based on the evidence of reason and nature but not on supernatural revelation. In this book he outlines deism as a rational religious belief and offers an analysis of the Bible based on textual content. He makes comparisons of the internal arguments of the Old and New Testaments by explaining, for example, inconsistencies of the biographic accounts in the four gospels. Paine suggests that since they were written separate of each other their basis is no better than hearsay. Because the United States convicted Paine of seditious libel in 1792, he escaped to France where he was selected to be a member of its National Convention. But there he conflicted with Robespierre, and while awaiting his arrest he wrote the first part of "The Age of Reason." Afterwards he was confined in Luxembourg and wrote the second half of the book. The work was published in 1795 and serves as a criticism of established religion from the point of view of the 18th century deists. Paine's clear and concise understanding of the development of the Christian religion from its pagan origins is especially significant when the reader examines the interconnecting references and implications of superstition and fallacy that are still involved in any ceremonial aspect. And, finally, Thomas Paine explains the answer to any confrontation best of all: "The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason."
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Read information about the authorThomas Paine was an English-American political activist, author, political theorist and revolutionary. As the author of two highly influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, he inspired the Patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era rhetoric of transnational human rights. He has been called "a corset maker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination".
Born in Thetford, England, in the county of Norfolk, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 with the help of Benjamin Franklin, arriving just in time to participate in the American Revolution. His principal contributions were the powerful, widely read pamphlet Common Sense (1776), the all-time best-selling American book that advocated colonial America's independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and The American Crisis (1776–83), a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Common Sense was so influential that John Adams said, "Without the pen of the author of Common Sense, the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain."
Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote the Rights of Man (1791), in part a defence of the French Revolution against its critics. His attacks on British writer Edmund Burke led to a trial and conviction in absentia in 1792 for the crime of seditious libel. In 1792, despite not being able to speak French, he was elected to the French National Convention. The Girondists regarded him as an ally. Consequently, the Montagnards, especially Robespierre, regarded him as an enemy.
In December 1793, he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris, then released in 1794. He became notorious because of his pamphlet The Age of Reason (1793–94), in which he advocated deism, promoted reason and freethinking, and argued against institutionalized religion in general and Christian doctrine in particular. He also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income. In 1802, he returned to America where he died on June 8, 1809. Only six people attended his funeral as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity.
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