Thomas Paine Analysis

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Ridiculed and despised for stating his beliefs on religion, Thomas Paine stood firm on his faith of reforming religion for the betterment of society. He took a different road than most of his fellow reformers of the time as he represents his beliefs on faith and science with a twist on the common idea of God writing the Bible and man developing science. He did this while frequently proclaiming his belief in everyone having the opportunity to follow their own faith; that said, Paine used subtle humor to suggest the need for believers to be educated on how they identify themselves. Even as Paine reiterates this acceptance for all religions, he is detested for this work simply because his opinions contradicted the mindset of his readers. Suggesting…show more content…
Some may call the oral tradition the basis of rumors, others may call this the transmission of true stories, but most would agree that these stories change a bit every time they are told. Oral tradition is like a game of elementary telephone where the last person hardly ever reiterates what the first actually said. Thomas Paine gives this depiction as he ties the oral tradition in with this idea of a man-made religion. Preceding his analysis on the authority of oral tradition, Paine gives the definition of revelation—commonly synonymous with exposure or surprise—by stating, “Revelation when applied to religion, means something communicated immediately from God to man,” alluding to the fact that only one person can have a revelation in each story of man speaking with God (Paine 654). This represents a curiosity with the truth of the biblical stories and aids in Paine’s argument of a man-made religion as the decreasing authority of hearing things second-hand can almost result in a false story. With humor, Paine gives examples of some well-known biblical stories and implies how they may have been falsified by man. For example, Paine tells the reader, “When Moses told the children of Israel that he received the two tables of the commandments from the hand of God, they were not obliged to believe him, because they had no other authority for it than his telling him so; and I have no authority for it than some historian telling me so, the commandments carrying no internal evidence of divinity with them” (Paine 655). With this, Thomas Paine implies the revelation is the only evidence people have of this actually happening; that said, the revelation was only witnessed by one person—this questions the truth of the story at hand. This portrays a fault in the truth of the Christian Bible as stories can be falsely created by man and naturally believed by his or her
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