Thomas PaineIn existographies, Thomas Paine (1737-1809 ACM) (13 BG – 59 AG) (IQ:180|#137) (Cattell 1000:583) [RGM:132|1,500+] (RMS:24) (HD:15) (FA:44) (GA:28) (Stokes 100:52) (founding father:6) (CR:102) was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, irreligionist, and revolutionist, known as the “leading atheistic writer in the American colonies” (Ѻ); his The Age of Reason (1794) is the most-widely cited “atheist’s bible”, historically (Ѻ)(Ѻ); one of the rocks to avoid in the Christian captain parable.

In England, Paine met Benjamin Franklin who gave him letters of introduction to go to America. In 1802, Paine, when he returned to America, was befriended by Thomas Jefferson. [4] He also was friends with Elihu Palmer and his wife, who nursed him.

Origin of Christianity
In c.1803, Paine drafted a chapter entitled “Origin of the Christian Religion”, where, among other things, he asserted: [3]

“The [Christian] Cosmogony, that is, the account of the creation with which the book of Genesis opens, has been taken and mutilated from the Zend-Avesta of Zoroaster, and was fixed as a preface to the Bible after the Jews returned from captivity in Babylon, and that the Robbins of the Jews do not hold their account in Genesis to be a fact, but mere allegory. The six thousand years in the Zend-Avesta, is changed or interpolated into six days in the account of Genesis.”

In c.1804, Paine, in his “Essay on the Origin of Free-Masonry”, citing his “Origin of Christianity” chapter, stated the following: [4]

“The Christian religion and Masonry have one and the same common origin: both are derived from the worship of the Sun. The difference between their origin is, that the Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun.”

Paine then, citing George Smith (1783), who speaks about Egyptian mythology, and William Dodd (c.1770) (Ѻ)(Ѻ), comments:

“In Masonry many of the ceremonies of the Druids are preserved in their original state, at least without any parody. With them the Sun is still the Sun; and his image, in the form of the sun is the great emblematical ornament of Masonic Lodges and Masonic dresses. It is the central figure on their aprons, and they wear it also pendant on the breast in their lodges, and in their processions. It has the figure of a man, as at the head of the sun, as Christ is always represented.

At what period of antiquity, or in what nation, this religion was first established, is lost in the labyrinth of unrecorded time. It is generally ascribed to the ancient Egyptians, the Babylonians and Chaldeans, and reduced afterwards to a system regulated by the apparent progress of the sun through the twelve signs of Zodiac by Zoroaster the law giver of Persia, from whence Pythagoras brought it into Greece. It is to these matters Dr. Dodd refers in the passage already quoted from his oration.

The worship of the Sun as the great visible agent of a great invisible first cause, "Time without limits," spread itself over a considerable part of Asia and Africa, from thence to Greece and Rome, through all ancient Gaul, and into Britain and Ireland.”


Religion | Beliefs
Paine, in respect to his upbringing, stated that his father was a Quaker. [1] His own mind, in youth, as he says, was had a natural bent to science, astronomy in particular.

Quotes | On
The following are quotes on Paine:

Paine’s [49-page] Common Sense [1776] pamphlet [selling some 500,000 copies in the mid 1770s] became the biggest seller per capita in American publishing history and almost single-handedly sparked the [American] revolution.”
— Scott Smith (2013), “Thomas Paine’s Writing Sparked the American Revolution” (Ѻ)

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Paine:

“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 one does not believe.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 22) (Ѻ)

“Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from god, communicated to certain individuals.The Jews say, that their word of god was given by god to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of god came by divine inspiration, to Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints; and the Turks say, that their word of god (the Koran) was brought by an angel, from heaven, and given to Mahomet. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 23)

“When also I am told that a woman, called the Virgin Mary (see: Isis), said, or gave out, that she was with child without any cohabitation (see: virgin birth) with a man, and that her betrothed husband, Joseph (see: god Geb), said that an angel told him so, I have a right to believe them or not.”
Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 24); cited by Jennifer Hecht (2003) in Doubt: a History (pg. 356)

“It appears that Thomas [see: Doubting Thomas] did not believe the resurrection and as they say would not believe without having ocular and manual demonstration himself. So neither will I: and the reason is equally as good for me and every other person as for Thomas.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 27); cited by Jennifer Hecht (2003) in Doubt: a History (pg. 356)

“The Christian mythologists, calling themselves the Christian church, have erected their fable, which for absurdity and extravagance is not exceeded by anything that is to be found in the mythology of the ancients.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 28)

“Are we to suppose that every world in the boundless creation had an Eve, an apple, a serpent, and a redeemer?”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 52); cited by Arthur Lovejoy (1933) in The Great Chain of Being (pg. 108)

“The age of ignorance commenced with the Christian system.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 60) (png)

“I wrote Common Sense the latter end of the year 1775, and published it the first of January, 1776. Independence was declared the fourth of July following.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 63)

“I trouble not myself about the manner of future existence. I content myself with believing, even to positive conviction, that the power that gave me existence is able to continue it, in any form and manner he pleases, either with or without this body; and it appears more probable to me that I shall continue to exist hereafter than that I should have had existence, as I now have, before that existence began.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 83)

“Deism was the religion of Adam, supposing him not an imaginary being; but none the less must it be left to all men to follow, as is their right, the religion and worship they prefer.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 84)

“It has often been said that any thing may be proved from the Bible; but before any thing can be admitted as proved by Bible, the Bible itself must be proved to be true; for if the Bible be not true, or the truth of it be doubtful, it ceases to have authority, and cannot be admitted as proof of any thing.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 89)

“As it is nothing extraordinary that a woman should be with child before she was married, and that the son she might bring forth should be executed, even unjustly, I see no reason for not believing that such a woman as Mary, and such a man as Joseph, and Jesus, existed; their mere existence is a matter of indifference, about which there is no ground either to believe or to disbelieve.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), The Age of Reason (pg. 152)

“The study of theology as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and admits of no conclusion. Not any thing can be studied as a science without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is not the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing.”
— Thomas Paine (1794), Age of Reason (§3)

“I would give worlds, if I had them, that the Age of Reason had never been published. Oh, god, save me; for I am at the edge of hell alone.”
Thomas Paine (1809), supposed last words [2]

1. Paine, Thomas. (1795). The Age of Reason (editor: Moncure Conway) (txt) (disbelieve, pg. 23; Quaker, pg. 62). Merchant Books, 1896.
2. Zuck, Roy B. (1997). The Speaker’s Quote Book: Over 4,500 Illustrations and Quotations for All (§:Dying Words, pg. 124) (Ѻ). Kregel Academic.
3. (a) Paine, Thomas. (c.1803). “Origin of the Christian Religion” (or Origin of Christianity), unpublished chapter.
(b) Paine, Thomas. (c.1804). “An Essay on the Origin of Free-Masonry” (Ѻ). Bonneville’s widow, 1810 (abbreviated); full printing, 1818; in: Writings of Thomas Paine (editor: Moncure Daniels Conway). G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1896.
4. Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pgs. 356-57). HarperOne.

External links
Thomas Paine – Wikipedia.

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