50+ Best Thomas Paine Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Thomas Paine was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. He authored the two most influential pamphlets whose writings influenced the American Revolution, and helped pave the way for the Declaration of Independence. Insightful Thomas Paine quotes reveal his free thoughts on common sense, rights of man, the revolutionary war, the duty of a patriot and liberty.

If you’re searching for thoughtful activist quotes that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of profound Thomas Jefferson quotes, Edmund Burke quotes, and wise Benjamin Franklin quotes.

Most Famous Thomas Paine Quotes

To establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches.

He that rebels against reason is a real rebel, but he that in defense of reason rebels against tyranny has a better title to Defender of the Faith, than George the Third.

Time makes more converts than reason.

It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.

Persecution is not an original feature in any religion, but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law.

My mind is my own church.

When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.

Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.

The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.

The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.

Virtues are acquired through endeavor, Which rests wholly upon yourself. So, to praise others for their virtues Can but encourage one’s own efforts.

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason.

Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.

Suspicion is the companion of mean souls and the bane of all good society.

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.

These are the times that try men’s souls.

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

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

It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.

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.

Human nature is not of itself vicious.

One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not.

It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.

Inspirational Thomas Paine Quotes

Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.

The Vatican is a dagger in the heart of Italy.

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.

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.

I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.

‘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.

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

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.

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.

Moderation in temper is always a virtue, but moderation in principle is always a vice.

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 up on your shoulders, your feet are left bare; if you thrust it down to your feet, your shoulders are uncovered.

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.

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.

There are two distinct classes of what are called thoughts: those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord.

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 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.

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

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.

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

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.

Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.

Reason obeys itself, and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.

It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance.

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