The Age of Reason
- For other uses, see Age of reason.
The Age of Reason is a book by Thomas Paine, published in 1794. Influenced by the so-called Enlightenment, Paine gives his views on religion, espouses his philosophy of deism, and criticizes the Bible and organized religion:
- I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own 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.
The book attacks the concept of revelation, saying,
- It is a contradiction in terms and ideas, to call anything a revelation that comes to us at second-hand, either verbally or in writing. Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication - after this, it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it cannot be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to me, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.