> Author Index > P - Authors > Thomas Paine Quotes

Thomas Paine Quotes


An English political writer, theorist, and activist. He wrote the three best selling books of the 18th Century; Common Sense, The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason.
(1737 - 1809)

Pages: 12345Next

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
[Being]
 

A man may write himself out of reputation when nobody else can do it.
[Writing]
 

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.
[Moderation]
 

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.
 

An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
 

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. 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.
 

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
 

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.
 

At sixty, labor ought to be over, at least from direct necessity. It is painful to see old age working itself to death, in what are called civilized countries, for its daily bread.
[Age]
See quote detail

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
 

But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.
 

But when the country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.
 

Calumny is a vice of curious constitution; trying to kill it keeps it alive; leave it to itself and it will die a natural death.
[Calumny]
 

Character is much easier kept than recovered.
[Character]
 

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.
[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.
[Against]
 

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach 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.
 


Pages: 12345Next