2. How did George Eliot typify the Protestant freethinker?
3. What would not have occurred to Mill, Bentham, and other advocates of pleasure as the end of life?
4. What must we remember about life in the middle ages, and about history in general?
5. Why did Tom Paine take up the American cause?
6. What religious duties did Paine attest?
“In a time when both rights and reason are under several kinds of open and covert attack, the life and writing of Thomas Paine will always be part of the arsenal on which we shall need to depend.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Thomas Paine's Rights of Man
Please post yours.
- Do you agree with James Mill about evil? 118
- If you're godless, which god do you not believe in - Protestant, Catholic, both, other,...?
- How would you apply Russell's distinction to the authors we've read? Is de Botton, for instance, a Catholic freethinker? Is Kitcher a protestant?
- What do you think of "moral holidays"? 120
- Do you agree with what James Mill taught his son about "who made me"? 120
- Would Voltaire have been a Deist if he'd come along a century later (in Darwin's time)?
- Are you a cheerful skeptic in the style of Voltaire and Montaigne? 122
- Considering Russell's remarks on Comte, what do you imagine he'd say about de Botton's School of Life? 122
- Would you support a Santayana Church built on the precepts of Lucretius and Democritus? Are you tempted to "worship matter," on the hypothesis that it has given rise to all good things? 122
- Is it true that Protestants like to be good and Catholics like to be bad, etc.? 123
- Should secularists have any use at all for the concept of "sin"? 124
- Do you regret the absence of chivalry in our time? Do you take the romantic view of it, or the view that it was a game invented to relieve the boredom of the upper classes? 129
- Do we need a new Dance of Death, or public festivals that insistently acknowledge our mortality (presuming Cinco de Mayo doesn't quite do that)? 130
- Are accessible ("simple, direct, unlearned") philosophers more dangerous than sophisticates and rigorous analysts? 134 What's the proper place of "common sense" in philosophy?
- Could a modern-day pamphleteer have the impact of a Paine? 137
- Do you admire Paine's parting words to the clergymen who visited him on his deathbed? 146
Part of the reason for the Tennessee state legislature's move re the bible is that the state makes money printing it