Thomas Paine Quotes


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.
The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.
Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
The most formidable weapons against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.
My mind is my own church.
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.
Age after age has passed away, for no other purpose than to behold their wretchedness.
Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each other, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
...any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system.
The danger to which the success of revolutions is most exposed, is that of attempting them before the principles on which they proceed, and the advantages to result from them, are sufficiently seen and understood.
Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.
...when men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
Practical religion consists in doing good: and the only way of serving God is that of endeavoring to make His creation happy. All preaching that has not this for its object is nonsense and hypocrisy.
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance or distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggers; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, becausei am friend of its happiness; when these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.

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