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Thomas Paine quotes (66)

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
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A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
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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.
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An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
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Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
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Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
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Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.
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Character is much easier kept than recovered.
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Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.
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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.
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Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
Thomas Paine   Category: Government

He that rebels against reason is a real rebel, but he that in defence of reason rebels against tyranny has a better title to Defender of the Faith, than George the Third.
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He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
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He who is the author of a war lets loose the whole contagion of hell and opens a vein that bleeds a nation to death.
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Human nature is not of itself vicious.
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I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.
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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.
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If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
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If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.
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Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.
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It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance.
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It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.
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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 he does not believe.
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It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.
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It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.
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It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.
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Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
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Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
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My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
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My mind is my own church.
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Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.
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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.
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Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.
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Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.
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Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.
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Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best stage, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one.
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Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.
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That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not.
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That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.
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The abilities of man must fall short on one side or the other, like too scanty a blanket when you are abed. If you pull it upon your shoulders, your feet are left bare; if you thrust it down to your feet, your shoulders are uncovered.
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The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
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The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
Thomas Paine   Category: Motivational

The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.
Thomas Paine   Category: Government

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.
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The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
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The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.
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The Vatican is a dagger in the heart of Italy.
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The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.
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The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
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There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice.
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There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord.
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These are the times that try men's souls.
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Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
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Time makes more converts than reason.
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'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   Category: Politics

Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.
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To establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches.
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To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not.
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Virtues are acquired through endeavor, Which rests wholly upon yourself. So, to praise others for their virtues Can but encourage one's own efforts.
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War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end; it has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes.
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We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities.
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We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
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What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
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When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
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When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
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