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Thomas Paine

Geburtstag: 9. Februar 1737
Todesdatum: 8. Juni 1809
Andere Namen: Пейн Томас

Thomas Paine, geboren als Thomas Pain, war ein einflussreicher politischer Intellektueller und einer der Gründerväter der Vereinigten Staaten im Zeitalter der Aufklärung.

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Zitate Thomas Paine

„Die Gesellschaft ist in jedem Zustande ein Segen, während die Regierung selbst im besten Zustande nur ein nothwendiges, im schlechtesten Zustande aber ein unerträgliches Uebel ist; […].“

—  Thomas Paine

Der gesunde Menschenverstand, in: Die politischen Werke von Thomas Paine, Erster Band, Philadelphia 1852. S. 178
Original engl.: "Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; [...]." - Common Sense (14. Februar 1776), Philadelphia: Bradford. MDCCLXXVI. p. 7 , en.wikisource http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Common_Sense

„Unabhängigkeit ist mein Glück, und ich sehe die Dinge wie sie sind ohne Rücksicht auf Ort oder Person: mein Vaterland ist die Welt, und meine Religion ist Gutes thun.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Die Rechte des Menschen: Aus dem Englischen übersetzt. Worin Grundsatz und Ausübung verbunden sind. Zweiter Theil, Kopenhagen 1792, S. 115
Original engl.: "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." - "Rights of Man" (1792), Part Two, Chapter V, en.wikisource https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Rights_of_Man

„The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.“

—  Thomas Paine

Quelle: A Letter Addressed to the Abbe Raynal on the Affairs of North America

„These are the times that try men's souls.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch The American Crisis

Quelle: The American Crisis

„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, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Part 2.7 Chapter V. Ways and means of improving the condition of Europe, interspersed with miscellaneous observations
Quelle: 1790s, Rights of Man, Part 2 (1792)
Kontext: 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.

„I care not how affluent some may be, provided that none be miserable in consequence of it.“

—  Thomas Paine

1790s, Agrarian Justice (1797)
Kontext: I care not how affluent some may be, provided that none be miserable in consequence of it. But it is impossible to enjoy affluence with the felicity it is capable of being enjoyed, while so much misery is mingled in the scene.

„The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent—of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe.“

—  Thomas Paine

1770s, Common Sense (1776)
Kontext: The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. 'Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent—of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe. 'Tis not the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest, and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time, by the proceedings now. Now is the seed time of continental union, faith and honor. The least fracture now will be like a name engraved with the point of a pin on the tender rind of a young oak; The wound will enlarge with the tree, and posterity read it in full grown characters.

„Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?“

—  Thomas Paine

The Crisis No. I.
1770s, The American Crisis (1776–1783)
Kontext: It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. The far and the near, the home counties and the back, the rich and the poor, will suffer or rejoice alike. The heart that feels not now is dead; the blood of his children will curse his cowardice, who shrinks back at a time when a little might have saved the whole, and made them happy. 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.
My own line of reasoning is to myself as straight and clear as a ray of light. Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man.

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„When we look back on the dangers we have been saved from, and reflect on the success we have been blessed with, it would be sinful either to be idle or to despair.“

—  Thomas Paine

The Crisis No. IV.
1770s, The American Crisis (1776–1783)
Kontext: You have too much at stake to hesitate. You ought not to think an hour upon the matter, but to spring to action at once. Other states have been invaded, have likewise driven off the invaders. Now our time and turn is come, and perhaps the finishing stroke is reserved for us. When we look back on the dangers we have been saved from, and reflect on the success we have been blessed with, it would be sinful either to be idle or to despair.

„Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, — and all it wants, — is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness“

—  Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Part 2.2 Introduction
1790s, Rights of Man, Part 2 (1792)
Kontext: Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, — and all it wants, — is the liberty of appearing. The sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness; and no sooner did the American governments display themselves to the world, than despotism felt a shock and man began to contemplate redress.

„In things of this kind it sees something which it calls a natural cause, but none of the causes it sees is the cause of that motion which preserves the solar system.“

—  Thomas Paine

1790s, Discourse to the Theophilanthropists (1798)
Kontext: As to that which is called nature, it is no other than the laws by which motion and action of every kind, with respect to unintelligible matter, is regulated. And when we speak of looking through nature up to nature's God, we speak philosophically the same rational language as when we speak of looking through human laws up to the power that ordained them.
God is the power of first cause, nature is the law, and matter is the subject acted upon.
But infidelity by ascribing every phenomenon to properties of matter, conceives a system for which it cannot account, and yet it pretends to demonstration. It reasons from what it sees on the surface of the earth, but it does not carry itself on the solar system existing by motion. It sees upon the surface a perpetual decomposition and recomposition of matter. It sees that an oak produces an acorn, an acorn an oak, a bird an egg, an egg a bird, and so on. In things of this kind it sees something which it calls a natural cause, but none of the causes it sees is the cause of that motion which preserves the solar system.

„Every principal art has some science for its parent, though the person who mechanically performs the work does not always, and but very seldom, perceive the connection.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch The Age of Reason

1790s, The Age of Reason, Part I (1794)
Kontext: The Book of Job and the 19th Psalm, which even the Church admits to be more ancient than the chronological order in which they stand in the book called the Bible, are theological orations conformable to the original system of theology. The internal evidence of those orations proves to a demonstration that the study and contemplation of the works of creation, and of the power and wisdom of God, revealed and manifested in those works, made a great part in the religious devotion of the times in which they were written; and it was this devotional study and contemplation that led to the discovery of the principles upon which what are now called sciences are established; and it is to the discovery of these principles that almost all the arts that contribute to the convenience of human life owe their existence. Every principal art has some science for its parent, though the person who mechanically performs the work does not always, and but very seldom, perceive the connection.

„The universe is the bible of a true Theophilanthropist. It is there that he reads of God.“

—  Thomas Paine

1790s, Discourse to the Theophilanthropists (1798)
Kontext: The universe is the bible of a true Theophilanthropist. It is there that he reads of God. It is there that the proofs of his existence are to be sought and to be found. As to written or printed books, by whatever name they are called, they are the works of man's hands, and carry no evidence in themselves that God is the author of any of them. It must be in something that man could not make, that we must seek evidence for our belief, and that something is the universe; the true bible; the inimitable word, of God.

„Men who are sincere in defending their freedom, will always feel concern at every circumstance which seems to make against them“

—  Thomas Paine

The Crisis No. IV.
1770s, The American Crisis (1776–1783)
Kontext: Men who are sincere in defending their freedom, will always feel concern at every circumstance which seems to make against them; it is the natural and honest consequence of all affectionate attachments, and the want of it is a vice. But the dejection lasts only for a moment; they soon rise out of it with additional vigor; the glow of hope, courage and fortitude, will, in a little time, supply the place of every inferior passion, and kindle the whole heart into heroism.

„He investigates nothing to its source, and therefore he confounds everything“

—  Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Part 1.3 Rights of Man
1790s, Rights of Man, Part I (1791)
Kontext: To possess ourselves of a clear idea of what government is, or ought to be, we must trace it to its origin. In doing this we shall easily discover that governments must have arisen either out of the people or over the people. Mr. Burke has made no distinction. He investigates nothing to its source, and therefore he confounds everything; but he has signified his intention of undertaking, at some future opportunity, a comparison between the constitution of England and France. As he thus renders it a subject of controversy by throwing the gauntlet, I take him upon his own ground. It is in high challenges that high truths have the right of appearing; and I accept it with the more readiness because it affords me, at the same time, an opportunity of pursuing the subject with respect to governments arising out of society.

„Man is not the enemy of man, but through the medium of a false system of Government.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Part 1.7 Conclusion
1790s, Rights of Man, Part I (1791)
Kontext: Man is not the enemy of man, but through the medium of a false system of Government. Instead, therefore, of exclaiming against the ambition of kings, the exclamation should be directed against the principle of such governments; and instead of seeking to reform the individual, the wisdom of a nation should apply itself to reform the system.

„Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator Himself, they stop short and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of His existence. They labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter and jump over all the rest by saying that matter is eternal.“

—  Thomas Paine

1790s, Discourse to the Theophilanthropists (1798)
Kontext: The evil that has resulted from the error of the schools in teaching natural philosophy as an accomplishment only has been that of generating in the pupils a species of atheism. Instead of looking through the works of creation to the Creator Himself, they stop short and employ the knowledge they acquire to create doubts of His existence. They labor with studied ingenuity to ascribe everything they behold to innate properties of matter and jump over all the rest by saying that matter is eternal.

„It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences human invention; it is only the application of them that is human.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch The Age of Reason

1790s, The Age of Reason, Part I (1794)
Kontext: It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences human invention; it is only the application of them that is human. 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.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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