“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.”
― Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Yesterday marked the 281st birthday of America’s Revolutionary War era political philosopher, Thomas Paine.

Paine was born in 1737 in England (in the modern Gregorian calendar his birthdate moved to February 9th) and he emigrated to the colonies in 1774 – not coincidently, just in time for the coming revolution.

He was the author of the well-known, and well-regarded, revolutionary war essay collection Common Sense, as well as The Rights of Man. He also penned the Age of Reason, although his expressed opposition to organized religion diminished his popularity somewhat, at the time.

“That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord and cultivate predjudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.”
― Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Image from http://www.biography.com/people/thomas-paine-9431951