Friday, August 31, 2007

"The Age of Reason" by Thomas Paine

If you are looking for something to read over the upcoming holiday weekend (at least here in the USA it will be a holiday weekend), then look no further than The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine. The link goes to a web site that contains the entire text of both parts of Paine's epic book and you can read it there (or print it off) free of charge. Hey, just try to find a better bargain that that!

In The Age of Reason, Paine criticizes Christian doctrines and advocated deism. Whereas I'm reasonable sure that most of the regulars around here know who Thomas Paine is, perhaps others who stumble in here might not, so here is a short synopsis of Paine.

Thomas Paine is one of the founding fathers of the USA. His biggest contribution to the revolution was perhaps the pamphlet he authored (anonymously) in 1776 titled Common Sense, in which he called for the colonies to declare their independence and break away from Great Britain. Later, he also contributed to the French revolution.

Even if you do not know Paine, you may know some of his words. One famous quote attributed to Paine is "Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one." From the American Crisis, he wrote "These are the times that try men's souls." And there from Common Sense: "That government is best that governs least."

What a better world it would be if we had more men (and women) like Thomas Paine alive today.

1 comment:

derF said...

Thank you for the link. It's a good one. I'll try to spread it around.