Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.
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.
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.
In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.
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.
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.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
What is it the Bible teaches us? - raping, cruelty, and murder. What is it the New Testament teaches us? - to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married, and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.
The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.
It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.
It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.
The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.
The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
He who dares not offend cannot be honest.
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
[A]ll churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, are simply human inventions. They use fear to enslave us. They are a monopoly for power and profit.
I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.
No country can be called free which is governed by an absolute power; and it matters not whether it be an absolute royal power or an absolute legislative power, as the consequences will be the same to the people.
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government.
To believe that God created a plurality of worlds, at least as numerous as what we call stars, renders the Christian faith at once little and ridiculous; and scatters it in the mind like feathers in the air.
Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
As to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men.
Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
In Deism our reason and our belief become happily united. The wonderful structure of the universe, and everything we behold in the system of the creation, prove to us, far better than books can do, the existence of a God, and at the same time proclaim His attributes.
I had come to realize the importance of the Nation, and of shared, communal, social responsibility, to be held as equally important as individual concerns. The elderly, the widowed, newly married couples, the poor, the unemployed, disbanded soldiers and children, who would be required to attend school, must be provided for from state funds. And all this support is not the nature of charity, but of a right.
The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case.
Science is the true theology.
What is it the Bible teaches us? - rapine, cruelty, and murder.
Of all the tyrannies that effect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst; every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in; but this attempts to stride beyond the grave, and seeks to pursue us into eternity.
When it shall be said in any country in the world my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want; the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, there may that country boast its Constitution and its Government
Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.
Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another. It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man.
The slavery of fear had made men afraid to think.
I consider the war of America against Britain as the country's war, the public's war, or the war of the people in their own behalf, for the security of their natural rights, and the protection of their own property.
The Grecians and Romans were strongly possessed of the spirit of liberty but not the principle, for at the time they were determined not to be slaves themselves, they employed their power to enslave the rest of mankind.
It has been the scheme of the Christian Church, and of all the other invented systems of religion, to hold man in ignorance of the Creator, as it is of Government to hold man in ignorance of his rights. The systems of the one are as false as those of the other, and are calculated for mutual support.
Religion is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest everything that is cruel.