The Age of Reason
The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology is a work by Thomas Paine. It follows in the tradition of 18th-century British deism, and challenges institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible. Paine advocates reason in the place of revelation, leading him to view the Bible as an ordinary piece of literature, rather than a divinely-inspired text. The book was a best-seller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival.
About The Age of Reason in brief
The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology is a work by Thomas Paine, arguing for the philosophical position of deism. It follows in the tradition of 18th-century British deism, and challenges institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible. Paine advocates reason in the place of revelation, leading him to view the Bible as an ordinary piece of literature, rather than a divinely-inspired text. The book was a best-seller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. British audiences, fearing increased political radicalism as a result of the French Revolution, received it with more hostility. Deists embraced a Newtonian worldview and believed that all things in the universe, even God, must obey the laws of nature. They insisted that God, as the first cause or prime mover, had created and designed the universe with natural laws as part of his plan. deists argued that priests had deliberately corrupted Christianity for their own gain by promoting the acceptance of miracles, unnecessary rituals, and illogical and dangerous doctrines. The worst of the doctrines was original sin. By the time Part I of The Age ofreason was published in 1794, many British and French citizens had become disillusioned by the French revolution. The most important position that united the early deists was their call for free rational inquiry into all subjects, especially religion. By the middle of the decade, the moderate voices had disappeared: Richard Price, whose sermon on political liberty had prompted Edmund Burke’s Reflections on France had died in the fire of the Reign of Terror, and William Godwin’s Political Justice was exemplified by his sermon on Godwin’s Justice in 1788.
The Age Of Reason belongs to the later, more radical, stage of the British political reform movement, which embraced republicanism and sometimes atheism and sometimes embraced secularism and atheism. It is published in three parts, and was originally distributed as unbound pamphlets, putting it within the reach of a large number of buyers. Fearing the spread of what it viewed as potentially-revolutionary ideas, the British government prosecuted printers and booksellers who tried to publish and distribute it. Nevertheless, Paine’s work inspired and guided many free thinkers, including many philosophers, writers and philosophers of the day. It is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Spanish and German, and in the U.S. and is available on Amazon for about $20 to $30. It has been translated into more than 100 languages, including Spanish, French and German. It was published by Paine in 1807, and has been published in a number of countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands, as well as in Australia, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, among other countries. It can be purchased on Amazon and the Kindle for about £10 to £20.