"He who dares not offend cannot be honest" [Thomas Paine].
Thomas Paine is making, what I believe, is a simple point here. He's not using the word "offend" in the sense of violating some law, but in the sense of causing wounded feelings in another. The author of the Biblical book of James makes the claim that, "If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man...(James 3:2). As far as I'm concerned this saying of James' is completely dishonest.
If one has never in their life offended anyone with their words, it is because they have been lying to everyone all of their life, or brown nosing. James uses the word in the sense of causing someone to stumble, but if our reasoning and logic as atheists causes a believer to stumble, then perhaps when they regain their balance, they will look up and finally see the light of reason, and that in reality their religious faith has been a mere stumbling about in darkness, not seeing the real light of truth. But, alas, some people are so tightly bound in their chains of religion that not even the truth will set them free.

Tags: Honesty, Offending, Paine, Thomas

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