Tom Paines...letter to a Christian friend...(it's good!)

by upside/down 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • upside/down

    On May 12, 1797 while living in Paris, France Tom Paine wrote the following letter to a Christian friend who was trying to convert Paine to Christianity. Paine's response fits perfectly with what's often discussed here on JWD.

    "In your letter of the twentieth of March, you give me several quotations from the Bible, which you call the Word of God, to show me that my opinions on religion are wrong, and I could give you as many, from the same book to show that yours are not right; consequently, then, the Bible decides nothing, because it decides any way, and every way, one chooses to make it.

    in my opinion the Bible is a gross libel against the justice and goodness of God, in almost every part of it."

    So...What do you think?

    u/d(of the Tom Paine class)

  • willyloman

    This is why Paine's name is recited to this day by schoolchildren.

    Alas, they know not what he said, just that he was famous for saying it.

  • VM44

    hi u/d,

    "with this page regarding the origins of the Bible."

    Where is that page? Is it here at JWD?


  • mkr32208

    very very nice!

  • upside/down

    "with this page regarding the origins of the Bible."

    Oops..I didn't edit it properly.

    I took it from another discussion that erupted on a totally non-religious website


    Hope this works / helps...


  • robhic

    Very interesting reading the thoughts of Tom Paine. Thanks for posting this letter.

  • Tea4Two

    So according to Paine...God has not revealed himself in word....but only in creation?

  • upside/down

    I think he contrasting the two...and just saying which one seems to be the more reliable of the two...and seems to be more logical in the sense that "the creation"... at least paints Him in the kindest light and fits the "facts".

    Men tend to f*ck everything up... especially interpretations of "god".

    Yet the Sun the East...without fail.


  • Tea4Two

    And it rains on the good and the bad

  • GoingGoingGone

    That letter was great! I've saved it to my files.

    I have had very similar thoughts. I don't know if I believe the Bible is inspired, but why do I believe the Bible at all? Simply because I was born in a country that happens to be inhabited mostly by Christians? That's hardly 'proof' that the bible is inspired... yet it seems to be enough for the overwhelming number of believers.

    On the other hand, if the Bible is NOT inspired and we truly do learn of God and his goodness from his creation, then what about all the other things we want to know? Like, do we have a soul that lives on somewhere after we die? What happens when we die? Why is there so much suffering in the world? If God really did create us and loves us, wouldn't he want us to have answers to those things? And yes, I know, people who read the bible come up with condradictory answers to those questions, from reading the same passages...

    I believe that God exists. The rest is still a big question mark.


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