This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Thomas Paine: Faith And Reason Essay

1280 words - 5 pages

The issue of Faith versus Reason and the relationship between them has been discussed throughout civilization. A prime figure in this discussion during the recent past, the mid 18’th to the early 19’th centuries, was Thomas Paine. Paine’s writings during both the United States and French revolutions helped to spearhead the respective countries into revolution and eventually freedom. As such, Paine is certainly seen as an influential figure during this time period for practical reasons. But Paine is equally important because of the way in which he influenced entire countries and helped to bring about change. Paine’s approach to doing this shows the distinction between faith and reason as well as how the two can coexist together and accomplish a great many things. To adequately see this relationship it is necessary to look at the way Thomas Paine lived as well as his writings and then to compare how these two things relate and affected the world as a whole. In this way it is possible to get a clear view of the relationship between faith and reason and how it relates to a time period and a man.

The issue of faith versus reason is clearly evident throughout Paine’s life as much of his life seemed to focus on conflicts and contradictions. Paine was born in 1737 in Thetford, England in a relatively poor section of the city. It is speculated that this poorer upbringing combined with the rather brutal and tyrannous rule of the local Duke set the basis for Paine’s later crusades against those in power and quests in favor of equality and protection for the lower class. Much of Paine’s early life was spent wandering from place to place and station to station without ever really finding a niche. His formal education lasted up until the age of twelve when he was sent off to apprentice to his father who was a corset maker. The business went into decline shortly there after though which caused Paine to go to sea for awhile and to then eventually take a job collecting the excise tax. It was after losing this job in seventeen seventy three that Paine eventually set off to America, largely penniless, in the hopes of starting over again and perhaps finding some level of stability.

Paine’s early years are interesting because the instability which one can see during these years continues throughout his life. Even after writing the incredibly successful and important Common Sense in 1776 and The American Crisis papers from 1776 to 1783 he was still unable to find a real place within society. Paine never made any money off of his publications because he waived fees and royalties so that more copies of his work could be produced and sold at a lower price. For this reason Paine was often penniless and seemed perpetually on the edge of bankruptcy. This apparent nobility and selflessness is balanced however by the fact that for the majority of his adult life after his publications, Paine lived off of either the United States government or off...

Find Another Essay On Thomas Paine: Faith and Reason

Faith and Reason Essay

2166 words - 9 pages struggled to unify faith and reason, their attempt demonstrates that no matter how much these modes of belief differ, they should both be acknowledged as powerful and revolutionary. Works Cited 1 Socrates. Plato’s Apology 2 Seneca. Letters to Lucilius 3 Epictetus. Discourses 4 Perry, Marvin. Western Civilization Ideas, Politics, and Society. Mason: Cengage Learning. 2009. 5 Proverbs 3 6 St. Paul. Corinthians 1 7 St. Paul. Corinthians 13 9 Tertullian. One the Prescription Against Heretics 11 Alexandria, Clement of. Stromata 13 St. Augustine. Confessions 15 Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologica

Faith and Reason Essay

1348 words - 5 pages freedom” (Counterbalance, Faith and Reason). On the other hand, reason has often been applied to religion, with somewhat vague results. St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, sought to prove the existence of God by postulating that, “We see things changing. Now anything changing is being changed by something else... This something else, if itself changing, is being changed by yet another thing; and this last by another. Now we must stop somewhere

Faith, Reason, and Imagination

2141 words - 9 pages fulfilling his life, he must adopt faith and reason. I feel that Faith and reason are correlated in many aspects, and are vital to one another. Reason precedes faith in the process of knowing God’s existence and reigning power; although one cannot truly know the reasoning of something to be known without knowledge first. Faith is built on spirituality surrounding one’s cultural beliefs, behaviors, and thoughts. To have reason is simply

Faith and Reason

1366 words - 5 pages Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science once said, “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.” Professor Dawkins is an avid evangelist of reason and logic, and condemns any faith-based worldviews, seeing faith and reason as complete

Faith, Reason and Doubt

10716 words - 43 pages than reason; and the result was death and destruction.Not everyone who thinks that way will suffer such immediate and dire consequences. Every one of these would be better off with a reshaped world view; and I venture to say that if these people had been more like Thomas, the whole tragic incident need never have happened.When I think of naive faith, one of the things that come to my mind is Thoreau's story of the Canadian woodcutter. He devoted a

Faith and Reason

897 words - 4 pages There are numerous ideas and theories trying to explain how faith and reason are related. Darwinian's evolution theory is based on mutation and natural selection, while Michael Behe states that Darwinians theory cannot explain the complexity in the biological world, therefore Darwinians theory is not legitimate. This is just one example of many theories that may be explored. I believe in many different theories because of the way I was raised

Faith, Reason, Belief and Action

2001 words - 8 pages pillars of understanding in the Catholic tradition. In the current church, belief and faith, without reason, have a much lesser impact than when reason is involved. Society outside of the Church links itself to fact and science, so without a logical sense of reason, the faith and belief remain stagnant in the minds of the inhabitants. When Von Balthasar describes “God the Spirit[,]” as “...expound[ing] the revelation of love...,” the terminology

Faith, Reason, and Sociological Perspectives

834 words - 4 pages inequality with his psychoanalytical theories of people acting on their personal desires and wants. He would conclude that inequality is there because of those who choose to act on desires instead of their needs. Freud and Lewis both did not have an easy childhood. At a young adolescent age both men felt a sense of lost that gave reason to lose their faith in God. However, over time Lewis returned to the Christian faith wholehearted. He believes

Religion and Faith vs. Reason and Science

1039 words - 4 pages The general assumption with people is that science and religion, or faith and reason, are stuck in an infinite war against each other. Someone must choose to be a person of thought, reason, and science, or choose to embrace religion, scripture, and faith alone. If this is true, then someone who is with the Roman Catholic Church rejects science with all of its theories, and if one embraces science, then one rejects the Church and all of her

Faith and Reason: Creacionists and Evolutionists

1712 words - 7 pages ). How did this person know which timings were right before even creating? Only our creator knows everything, and that is God. Again, I completely accept Collin's claim. Even when we have trust, reason should still be behind it. We should have complete faith in God, who used physics' reasons to help organisms survive during evolution. If the gravitational force was stronger or weaker, we would not be able to live on earth. In Genesis 1:2, we know

The Interdependence between Faith and Reason

978 words - 4 pages The argument between faith and reason may be just another way for people to simplify things. It may very well be an excuse. People may want to cling to an extreme, which is reason or faith, because of personal bias. But faith is not simply the act of believing in God. Faith comes to use in everybody’s lives, regardless or not if they are atheists, theists, or agnostics. It is as useful as reason is. Faith cannot be seen as the polar opposite

Similar Essays

Thomas Paine And Thomas Jefferson Essay

606 words - 2 pages Thomas Paine was one of the great supporters of the American Revolution. He was a journalist and used his pen and paper to urge the public to break free from Great Brittan. He wrote anonymously, yet addressed the public as he spoke out about his beliefs. The first pamphlet he published, influencing independence from Brittan, was called Common Sense Paine believed that America needed to break free of the British clutches. He spoke out

Thomas Paine: Propaganda And Persuasion Essay

726 words - 3 pages Thomas Paine, often called the "Godfather of America" was an eighteenth century writer who used propaganda and persuasion techniques to motivate Americans in the fight for freedom from Britain. In one of several editions of his pamphlets titled The Crisis, Paine used several propaganda and persuasion techniques including over generalization, either/or fallacy, bandwagon appeal, parallelism, analogy, repetition, anecdote, and loaded language

Faith And Reason Essay 1429 Words

1429 words - 6 pages The relationship between faith and reason is thoroughly discussed in Thomas Aquinas's Summa Contra Gentiles. In his writings, Aquinas distinguishes his thoughts between truths about God which can be arrived at via 'natural reason' and those which are known through revelation. According to Aquinas, faith and reason are related in a unique way. He explains that reason is not enough to understand God's essence. To fully understand God's essence, we

Faith And Reason Essay 1749 Words

1749 words - 7 pages , reason and their compatibility; these philosophers include Hildegard of Bingen, Ibn Rushd, Moses Maimonides, and St. Thomas Aquinas. The following essay will examine each of the previously stated philosopher’s viewpoints on faith and reason, and will essentially try to determine whether or not faith and reason are ultimately one in the same. Each previously discussed philosopher is very different in their own personal beliefs. Hildegard of