From today's featured article
The Age of Reason is a work by English and American political activist
Thomas Paine (pictured), arguing for the philosophical position of
Deism. Following in the tradition of eighteenth-century British deism, it challenges institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the
Bible. It was published in three parts in 1794, 1795, and 1807, and became a best-seller in the United States, where it caused a short-lived deistic revival. Fearing its revolutionary ideas, the British government prosecuted printers and book-sellers who tried to publish and distribute it. The Age of Reason highlights what Paine saw as corruption among
Christian churches and criticizes their efforts to acquire political power. Paine advocates reason over
revelation, leading him to reject
miracles and to view the Bible as "an ordinary piece of literature rather than as a divinely inspired text". He promotes
natural religion and argues for the existence of a creator-God. Most of Paine's arguments had long been available to educated people, but his engaging, irreverent and inexpensive
pamphlets made deism appealing and accessible to a mass audience. (
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Pakistan Day (
Mir space station
1848 – Scottish settlers on the
John Wickliffe, captained by
William Cargill, arrived at what is now
Port Chalmers in the
Otago Region of New Zealand.
1888 – Led by
clubs met in London for the purpose of founding the
, the oldest league competition in world football.
1908 – American diplomat
Durham Stevens, an employee of Japan's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was assassinated in
San Francisco by two
Korean American immigrants unhappy with his recent support of the increasing Japanese presence in Korea.
Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed into a hillside in
Kemerovo Oblast, Russia, after the pilot's 16-year-old son, while seated at the controls, had unknowingly disabled the
autopilot, killing all 75 people on board.
2001 – The
Russian Federal Space Agency
deorbited the 15-year-old
Mir (pictured), causing it to
reenter the Earth's atmosphere and break up over the Pacific Ocean.
Pierre-Simon Laplace (b. 1749) ·
Said Nursî (d. 1960) ·
Kangana Ranaut (b. 1986)