Deism is an enlightened spiritual philosophy based on the gift of reason. It is the spiritual philosophy that motivated many of America's founding fathers to write the United States' declaration of independence, constitution, and bill of rights. It is a spiritual philosophy free from dogma, revelation, and firmly grounded in science, nature, and the wonders of the universe. Deists acknowledge that the only way to know our creator is through the creation itself.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."--Thomas Jefferson
Deistic beliefs as described by Thomas Paine (as portrayed by the marvelous Ian Ruskin).
THE AGE OF REASON
by Thomas Paine
FULL Audio Book:
Greatest Audio Books--The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology is a pamphlet, written by a British and American revolutionary Thomas Paine, that challenges institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible, the central sacred text of Christianity. Published in three parts in 1794, 1795, and 1807, it was a bestseller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. British audiences, however, fearing increased political radicalism as a result of the French Revolution, received it with more hostility. The Age of Reason presents common deistic arguments; for example, it highlights what Paine saw as corruption of the Christian Church and criticizes its efforts to acquire political power. Paine advocates reason in the place of revelation, leading him to reject miracles and to view the Bible as an ordinary piece of literature rather than as a divinely inspired text. It promotes natural religion and argues for the existence of a creator-God.
Most of Paine's arguments had long been available to the educated elite, but by presenting them in an engaging and irreverent style, he made deism appealing and accessible to a mass audience. The book was also inexpensive, putting it within the reach of a large number of buyers. Fearing the spread of what they viewed as potentially revolutionary ideas, the British government prosecuted printers and booksellers who tried to publish and distribute it. Paine nevertheless inspired and guided many British freethinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. (Summary from Wikipedia.org)
Thomas Paine is widely regarded as one of the fathers of free speech. What is collected here are some excellent excerpts of his enlightened free-thinking. Enjoy!
On Social Justice:
On God and the Creation:
On Rights and Responsibilities:
On the Enlightenment:
On Progressive Thought:
Lastly, this is a wonderful song by Graham Moore, sung by Dick Gaughan, in tribute to the man, Thomas Paine.