Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (February 9, 1737 – June 8, 1809) was an English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, he authored the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and he inspired the rebels in 1776 to declare independence from Britain.

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To say that any people are not fit for freedom is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression, for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

I love the man that can smile in trouble that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink but he whose heart is firm and whose conscience approves his conduct will pursue his principles unto death.

Reputation is what men and women think of us, character is what God and angels know of us.

The harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.

'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.

It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be true.

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil, in its worst state an intolerable one.

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.

Virtues are acquired through endeavor Which rests wholly upon yourself. So to praise others for their virtues Can but encourage one's own efforts.

That which we obtain too easily we esteem too lightly.

He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.

I prefer peace. But if trouble must come let it come in my time so that my children can live in peace.

Society in every state is a blessing but government even in its best stage is but a necessary evil, in its worst state an intolerable one.

We can only reason from what is, we can reason on actualities but not on possibilities.

The greatest remedy for anger is delay.

But such is the irresistable nature of truth that all it asks and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must like men undergo the fatigue of supporting it.

If there must be trouble let it be in my day that my child may have peace.

It is not a God just and good but a devil under the name of God that the Bible describes.

When men yield up the privilege of thinking the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

Character is much easier kept than recovered.

These are the times that try men's souls.

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

I believe in the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice loving mercy and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

Titles are but nicknames and every nickname is a title.

Persecution is not an original feature in any religion, but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.

War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end, it has but one thing certain and that is to increase taxes.

It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance.

Reason obeys itself, and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.

We have it in our power to begin the world over again.

Every religion is good that teaches man to be good, and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.

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.

The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.

What we obtain too cheap we esteem too lightly, it is dearness only that gives everything its value.

Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind tyranny in religion is the worst.

Lead follow or get out of the way.

Time makes more converts than reason.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.

He that rebels against reason is a real rebel but he that in defence of reason rebels against tyranny has a better title to Defender of the Faith than George the Third.

The Vatican is a dagger in the heart of Italy.

The instant formal government is abolished society begins to act. A general association takes place and common interest produces common security.

That God cannot lie is no advantage to your argument because it is no proof that priests can not or that the Bible does not.

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice.

My country is the world and my religion is to do good.

There are matters in the Bible said to be done by the express commandment of God that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice.

All national institutions of churches whether Jewish Christian or Turkish appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind and monopolize power and profit.

Suspicion is the companion of mean souls and the bane of all good society.

It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.

The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.

My mind is my own church.

There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord.

To establish any mode to abolish war however advantageous it might be to Nations would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches.

The World is my country all mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion.

Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.

Human nature is not of itself vicious.

When we are planning for posterity we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.

The abilities of man must fall short on one side or the other like too scanty a blanket when you are abed. If you pull it upon your shoulders your feet are left bare, if you thrust it down to your feet your shoulders are uncovered.

Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.

Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.

It is error only and not truth that shrinks from inquiry.

Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice.

An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.