Thomas Paine Quotes
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.
Common Sense (1776)
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.
But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.
Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.
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.
Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.
Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.
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.
The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act. A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.
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.
The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
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.
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.