Describe the main rhetorical and ideological features of The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine advocates a philosophy known as Deism. Basically, he accepts the existence of God as a benevolent force that created the universe. He also sees Jesus as a man who was himself very virtuous and had a close understanding of God, but only as a "Son of God" in the sense that all humans are children of God, not as a divine figure. He argues that many of the Biblical stories are either absurd or immoral, and that the selection of texts that ended up in the canonical texts of the Church was human and fallible rather than resulting from plenary verbal inspiration.

Rhetorically, he is an advocate of plain style, who tries to proceed from clear logical inferences from self-evident premises rather than argue from authority.


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