137 "Thomas Paine" Quotes And Sayings

Thomas Paine (1737–1809) was an English writer, philosopher, and revolutionary. He has been called "a man of tremendous natural gifts, of singular accomplishments, and of great achievements in the arts and sciences." The American Revolutionaries' most influential author, Paine is renowned for his forceful prose, especially in the pamphlet Common Sense (1776). Paine was a prolific writer during his lifetime, publishing over 40 titles. Many of his works were written in collaboration with others, including The American Crisis series Read more

Paine was an outspoken proponent of democracy, arguing that it could only exist under Christianity. His books have been translated into 34 languages and he is noted for being one of the principal authors of the doctrine of the Rights of Man.

Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they...
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Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. Thomas Paine
Let them call me a rebel and welcome. I feel...
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Let them call me a rebel and welcome. I feel no concern from it. But should I suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul. Thomas Paine
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from...
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It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. Thomas Paine
The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.
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The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark. Thomas Paine
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
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He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine
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It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. Thomas Paine
7
The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries, that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most dishonourable belief against the character of the divinity, the most destructive to morality, and the peace and happiness of man, that ever was propagated since man began to exist. It is better, far better, that we admitted, if it were possible, a thousand devils to roam at large, and to preach publicly the doctrine of devils, if there were any such, than that we permitted one such impostor and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God in his mouth, and have credit among us. Whence arose all the horrid assassinations of whole nations of men, women, and infants, with which the Bible is filled; and the bloody persecutions, and tortures unto death and religious wars, that since that time have laid Europe in blood and ashes; whence arose they, but from this impious thing called revealed religion, and this monstrous belief that God has spoken to man? The lies of the Bible have been the cause of the one, and the lies of the Testament of the other. . Thomas Paine
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In stating these matters, I speak an open and disinterested language, dictated by no passion but that of humanity. To me, who have not only refused offers, because I thought them improper, but have declined rewards I might with reputation have accepted, it is no wonder that meanness and imposition appear disgustful. Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. Thomas Paine
Nothing, they say is more certain than death, and nothing...
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Nothing, they say is more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than the time of dying Thomas Paine
One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred...
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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests. Thomas Paine
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I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it. Thomas Paine
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Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course. But we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time. It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie. Thomas Paine
All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and...
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All the tales of miracles, with which the Old and New Testament are filled, are fit only for impostors to preach and fools to believe. Thomas Paine
Persecution is not an original feature in any religion but...
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Persecution is not an original feature in any religion but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Thomas Paine
My country is the world, and my religion is to...
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My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. Thomas Paine
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Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of a God. It...has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind. Thomas Paine
17
Later times have laid all the blame upon the Goths and Vandals, but, however unwilling the partizans of the Christian system may be to believe or to acknowledge it, it is nevertheless true, that the age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system. There was more knowledge in the world before that period, than for many centuries afterwards; and as to religious knowledge, the Christian system, as already said, was only another species of mythology; and the mythology to which it succeeded, was a corruption of an ancient system of theism.; and if we take our stand about the beginning of the sixteenth century, we look back through that long chasm, to the times of the Ancients, as over a vast sandy desert, in which not a shrub appears to intercept the vision to the fertile hills beyond. Thomas Paine
18
The difficulty of learning the dead languages does not arise from any superior abstruseness in the languages themselves, but in their being dead, and the pronunciation entirely lost. It would be the same thing with any other language when it becomes dead. The best Greek linguist that now exists does not understand Greek so well as a Grecian plowman did, or a Grecian milkmaid; and the same for the Latin, compared with a plowman or a milkmaid of the Romans; and with respect to pronunciation and idiom, not so well as the cows that she milked. It would therefore be advantageous to the state of learning to abolish the study of the dead languages, and to make learning consist, as it originally did, in scientific knowledge. . Thomas Paine
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That which is now called learning, was not learning originally. Learning does not consist, as the schools now make it consist, in the knowledge of languages, but in the knowledge of things to which language gives names. Thomas Paine
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Later times have laid all the blame upon the Goths and Vandals, but, however unwilling the partizans of the Christian system may be to believe or to acknowledge it, it is nevertheless true, that the age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system. There was more knowledge in the world before that period, than for many centuries afterwards; and as to religious knowledge, the Christian system, as already said, was only another species of mythology; and the mythology to which it succeeded, was a corruption of an ancient system of t . Thomas Paine