You have a preference for Paine's concept. I don't dispute that, and it doesn't surprise me. He used the 'enlightenment' which is a very popular word because it promotes the idea that man has ascended to a higher level. Now we know how to destroy the entire world with a push of some buttons.<quoted text>
I am an agnostic. I dont necessarily accept Thomas Paines God either, but his incomprehensible creator makes a lot more sense than your medieval tyrant creator. His god concept comes about through reason not revelation.
"It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.- Thomas Paine
"...the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion....Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests." - Thomas Paine
"If horses had gods, they would look like horses." - Xenophanes (4th century BCE)
In my opinion, Paine had an understanding of the divine nature of God the Creator. His seemed to have an understanding that God has control, and is in essence taking care of us. His view was along the lines of "Mother Nature" taking care of us, which is a popular view as well. I think instinctively you have a belief that something is taking care of us. Something is preventing us from annihilation. You may attribute it to balance of power, the will to live, that prevents nuclear annihilation; but I think many have just fallen into this subconscious security in spite of such a weak foundation of security to place confidence in. In reality, enlightened man will destroy the planet in a heartbeat without the 'divine'.
And what is that divine? Paine had his own view based on his personal view of what he thought a would/should be like. The question is, what is God really like? Does God have a say as to whether or not He just gave us only nature as a means of communication to man, and just smiles on everything including murder, genocide, racism, sexual exploitation, etc.
The whole "enlightenment" theme/mother nature theme is a "Brady Bunch" version of reality. It was a popular TV series depicting a nice family, nice neighborhood, nice kids. But in that fairytale land similar to the idea that is man is enlightened, there was no mention of murder, genocide, racism, sexual exploitation, etc.