Famous Quotes By Thomas Paine


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
  4. Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
  5. But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.
  6. Every religion is good that teaches man to be good and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.
  7. 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.
  8. Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil in its worst state, an intolerable one.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Human nature is not of itself vicious.
  12. 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.
  13. I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.
  14. If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
  15. Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.
  16. It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.
  17. 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.
  18. It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.
  19. My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
  20. Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.
  21. One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.
  22. Persecution is not an original feature in any religion but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.
  23. Reputation is what men and women think of us character is what God and angels know of us.
  24. 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.
  25. Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.
  26. 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.
  27. The greatest remedy for anger is delay.
  28. The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
  29. The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.
  30. The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
  31. The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance.
  32. The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
  33. 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.
  34. These are the times that try men's souls.
  35. Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
  36. Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.
  37. Time makes more converts than reason.
  38. '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.
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
  43. When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

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