The Age Of Reason

The Age Of Reason - Thomas Paine Before I read this book, I used to think there were just six general arguments that Christians (or other theistic religions) needed to debate: design (teleological), first cause, morality, ontological, purpose of life, and proof of the resurrection. Paine did something else entirely. He argued by showing the absurdity of Christianity as a whole, and the internal contradiction within and between chapters of the bible. Those are the debates apologist never participate in because they are the low hanging fruits and aren't defendable.

Adam (man) caused original sin by eating an apple in spite of a talking snake's admonition. God comes to earth in the form of his son to die a horrible death to atone for all men (and women). One can pay a debt of a pauper and keep him out of debtors prison, but the punishment for other crimes can't be atoned by somebody else vicariously (at least not for the world I live in). Paine makes a good point on how all revealed truth becomes hearsay for everyone else but the one who God talked to directly.

Paine shows at the most the books of the bible are history books and are not written by who the books claim they are written by and were written well after they claim they were. He gets quite detailed in demonstrating inauthentic claims of authorship, and shows anachronisms internal to the document. Also, he shows directly the cruelty of the people of the Old Testament.

Paine is a Diest, but he attaches no predicates to his God. I like to think of God as Arthur C Clark did in one of his books as Bob a supercomputer of some kind. It perfectly reasonable in the time before Darwin to have been a Deist after all as Kant wrongly said "there will never be a Newton for a blade of grass".