Zitate Thomas Paine

„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.

„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.“

—  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.

„There never did, there never will, and there never can, exist a Parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the "end of time," or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed“

—  Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Part 1.3 Rights of Man
1790s, Rights of Man, Part I (1791)
Kontext: There never did, there never will, and there never can, exist a Parliament, or any description of men, or any generation of men, in any country, possessed of the right or the power of binding and controlling posterity to the "end of time," or of commanding for ever how the world shall be governed, or who shall govern it; and therefore all such clauses, acts or declarations by which the makers of them attempt to do what they have neither the right nor the power to do, nor the power to execute, are in themselves null and void. Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the age and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies. Man has no property in man; neither has any generation a property in the generations which are to follow.

„Toleration is not the opposite of Intolerance, but is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Part 1.3 Rights of Man
1790s, Rights of Man, Part I (1791)
Kontext: Toleration is not the opposite of Intolerance, but is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding Liberty of Conscience, and the other of granting it. The one is the Pope armed with fire and faggot, and the other is the Pope selling or granting indulgences. The former is church and state, and the latter is church and traffic.

„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.“

—  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.

„As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of Atheism — a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Manism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch The Age of Reason

1790s, The Age of Reason, Part I (1794)
Kontext: As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of Atheism — a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Manism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which it calls a Redeemer, as the moon introduces her opaque self between the earth and the sun, and it produces by this means a religious, or an irreligious, eclipse of light. It has put the whole orbit of reason into shade.

„We have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again.“

—  Thomas Paine

1770s, Common Sense (1776)
Kontext: We have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand, and a race of men, perhaps as numerous as all Europe contains, are to receive their portion of freedom from the event of a few months.

„We profess, and we proclaim in peace, the pure, unmixed, comfortable, and rational belief of a God, as manifested to us in the universe.“

—  Thomas Paine

1790s, Discourse to the Theophilanthropists (1798)
Kontext: It was the excess to which imaginary systems of religion had been carried, and the intolerance, persecutions, burnings, and massacres, they occasioned, that first induced certain persons to propagate infidelity; thinking, that upon the whole, that it was better not to believe at all, than to believe a multitude of things and complicated creeds, that occasioned so much mischief in the world. But those days are past, persecution has ceased, and the antidote then set up against it has no longer even the shadow of apology. We profess, and we proclaim in peace, the pure, unmixed, comfortable, and rational belief of a God, as manifested to us in the universe. We do this without any apprehension of that belief being made a cause of persecution as other beliefs have been, or of suffering persecution ourselves. To God, and not to man, are all men to account for their belief.

„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.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch The Age of Reason

Quelle: 1790s, The Age of Reason, Part II (1795), Chapter III: Conclusion.
Kontext: 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.

„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.“

—  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.

„I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch The Age of Reason

1790s, The Age of Reason, Part I (1794)
Kontext: I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consists in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. http://books.google.com/books?id=mHpbAAAAQAAJ&q="I+believe+in+one+God+and+no+more+and+I+hope+for+happiness+beyond+this+life+I+believe+the+equality+of+man+and+I+believe+that+religious+duties+consists+in+doing+justice+loving+mercy+and+endeavoring+to+make+our+fellow+creatures+happy"&pg=PA3#v=onepage.

„The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch The Age of Reason

Quelle: 1790s, The Age of Reason, Part II (1795), Chapter I: The Old Testament; this may be the origin of Napoleon's celebrated mot, Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas (From the sublime to the ridiculous there is but one step).
Kontext: The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately. One step above the sublime makes the ridiculous, and one step above the ridiculous makes the sublime again.

„The atheist who affects to reason, and the fanatic who rejects reason, plunge themselves alike into inextricable difficulties.“

—  Thomas Paine

1790s, Discourse to the Theophilanthropists (1798)
Kontext: The atheist who affects to reason, and the fanatic who rejects reason, plunge themselves alike into inextricable difficulties. The one perverts the sublime and enlightening study of natural philosophy into a deformity of absurdities by not reasoning to the end. The other loses himself in the obscurity of metaphysical theories, and dishonours the Creator, by treating the study of his works with contempt. The one is a half-rational of whom there is some hope, the other a visionary to whom we must be charitable.

„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.

„To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case.“

—  Thomas Paine

1790s, First Principles of Government (1795)
Kontext: The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case.

„Man cannot make principles, he can only discover them.“

—  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.

„I speak an open and disinterested language, dictated by no passion but that of humanity.“

—  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
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.

„There is an unnatural unfitness in an aristocracy to be legislators for a nation.“

—  Thomas Paine, buch Die Rechte des Menschen

Part 1.3 Rights of Man
1790s, Rights of Man, Part I (1791)
Kontext: There is an unnatural unfitness in an aristocracy to be legislators for a nation. Their ideas of distributive justice are corrupted at the very source. They begin life trampling on all their younger brothers and sisters, and relations of every kind, and are taught and educated so to do. With what ideas of justice or honor can that man enter a house of legislation, who absorbs in his own person the inheritance of a whole family of children, or metes out some pitiful portion with the insolence of a gift?

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