Sunday, November 29, 2009

Can reason and faith coexist, parallel to each other, in the same man? Part 2: Objectivist-Thomist

[Can reason and faith coexist, parallel to each other, in the same man? - Part 1]

St. Thomas Aquinas and the Founders are the proof that reason and faith can coexist, parallel to each other, in the same man. Like them, their moral descendants revere reason, freedom, and happiness.

Thomas Aquinas, the man who ended the Middle Ages and ushered in the Renaissance, said reason does not rest on faith but is a self-contained, natural faculty which works on sense experience. Echoing Aristotle, he said that the essential task of reason is to gain knowledge of this world. Thomas Aquinas declared that men must use and obey reason because whatever one can prove by reason and logic is true. He held that faith is valuable as a supplement to reason.

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, enjoined, “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.”

The standard of good is exalted in the Declaration of Independence: man’s life! A Declaration worshipper, Ayn Rand held that man’s life is the standard of value – and his own life is the ethical purpose of every individual man.

Ayn Rand created Objectivism which advocates capitalism as the consequence and the ultimate practical application of its fundamental philosophical principles.

Objectivity is both a metaphysical and an epistemological concept pertaining to the relationship of consciousness to existence. Metaphysically, it is the recognition of the fact that reality exists independent of any perceiver’s consciousness. Epistemologically, it is the recognition of the fact that a man’s consciousness must acquire knowledge of reality by means of reason in accordance with logic.

Objectivity holds that in matters pertaining to human knowledge, metaphysically - reality is the only authority; epistemologically – one’s own intellect. “Reality is the ultimate arbiter of the mind”, says Objectivism. In all aspects of human existence, man achieves his values only by making his decisions consonant with the facts of reality.


Ayn Rand was an atheist. She greatly admired Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Jefferson, and the other Founders, noble advocates of reason who believed in God. What do I call one who reveres Thomas Aquinas, Thomas Jefferson, and Ayn Rand? An Objectivist-Thomist.

An Objectivist-Thomist fights theocracy warriors and the concept of a cruel, unjust, sadistic god.

Thomists, Jeffersonians, individualists, and other freedom fighters: this is the creator of Objectivism in essentials:

“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” -- Ayn Rand

“The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is — Hands off!” -- Howard Roark, The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

"I swear, by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." -- John Galt, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

"If it is ever proper for men to kneel, we should kneel when we read the Declaration of Independence… the greatest document in human history, both philosophically and literarily." -- Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand was hostile to theocracy warriors but never to private faith.

From Ayn Rand Answers, pages 62-63:

"We should keep religion out of politics for the same reasons the Founding Fathers gave. Religion is a private matter... With the American separation of church and state, all religions could live together peacefully, because each man is free to hold his own beliefs but cannot force them on others.

Persuasion, reason, argument are not the province of religion. Religion rests on faith - on an acceptance of certain beliefs apart from reason. THIS IS WHY IT MUST BE PRIVATE. WHEN IT'S A PRIVATE MATTER, IT'S FINE - IT CAN EVEN BE A KIND OF INSPIRATION TO PEOPLE. Faith is what each man may choose for himself, if he wishes. I don't."

From page 63:

"In America, religion is relatively nonmystical. Religious teachers here are predominantly good, healthy materialists. They follow common sense....

THERE ARE RATIONAL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. In fact, I was pleased and astonished to discover that some religious people support Objectivism. If you want to be a full Objectivist, you cannot reconcile that with religion; BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN RELIGIOUS PEOPLE CANNOT BE INDIVIDUALISTS AND FIGHT FOR FREEDOM. THEY CAN, AND THIS COUNTRY IS THE BEST PROOF OF IT....

In America, you would not find it difficult to divorce religion from altruism. After all, Christ said - "Love your neighbor as yourself." So you must love yourself. After that, you can argue about your neighbors."


One’s soul is one’s private domain. Where one’s private domain is concerned, the Declaration of Independence and Objectivism both declare: Hands off!

Reason and faith can coexist, parallel to each other, in the privacy of one’s soul.

30 comments:

Ilyn Ross said...

[Ayn Rand's answer to the question of whether it is appropriate for an atheist to celebrate Christmas:]

Yes, of course. A national holiday, in this country, cannot have an exclusively religious meaning. The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.

The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: “Merry Christmas”—not “Weep and Repent.” And the good will is expressed in a material, earthly form—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . .

The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift-buying . . . stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only “commercial greed” could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle.

-- The Objectivist Calendar, Dec. 1976.

Ilyn Ross said...

Religion vs. America
Monday, November 11, 2002
By: Leonard Peikoff

http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5360&news_iv_ctrl=1225

1) In this article, Dr. Peikoff extols Thomas Aquinas.

2) Dr. Peikoff describes what I call Objectivist-Thomists:

"Many of the Founding Fathers, of course, continued to believe in God and to do so sincerely, but it was a vestigial belief, a leftover from the past which no longer shaped the essence of their thinking. God, so to speak, had been kicked upstairs. He was regarded now as an aloof spectator who neither responds to prayer nor offers revelations nor demands immolation. This sort of viewpoint, known as DEISM, cannot, properly speaking, be classified as a religion. It is a stage in the atrophy of religion; it is the step between Christianity and outright atheism."

3) Dr. Peikoff explained the evil of the religious right (THEOCRACY WARRIORS):

"What we are seeing is the medievalism of the Puritans all over again, but without their excuse of ignorance. We are seeing it on the part of modern Americans, who live not before the Founding Fathers' heroic experiment in liberty, but after it.

The New Right is not the voice of Americanism. It is the voice of thought control attempting to take over in this country and pervert and undo the actual American revolution."

4) "The early Christians did contribute some good ideas to the world, ideas that proved important to the cause of future freedom. I must, so to speak, give the angels their due. In particular, the idea that man has a value as an individual--that the individual soul is precious--is essentially a Christian legacy to the West..."

5) "There are many good people in the world who accept religion, and many of them hold some good ideas on social questions. I do not dispute that. But their religion is not the solution to our problem; it is the problem. Do I say that therefore there should now only be "freedom for atheism"? No, I am not Mr. Kemp. Of course, religions must be left free; no philosophic viewpoint, right or wrong, should be interfered with by the state. I do say, however, that it is time for patriots to take a stand--to name publicly what America does depend on, and why that is not Judaism or Christianity."

carlyndowdle said...

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Joshua Lipana said...

Very interesting.

Ilyn Ross said...

“What reason shows to be true is absolutely true, so that the opposite is absolutely false and impossible.” – Thomas Aquinas

“If religion, therefore, teaches something that is opposed to reason, … it would teach what is absolutely false and impossible.” - http://www.radicalacademy.com/aquinas1.htm

Ilyn Ross said...

"Two contradictory truths cannot be admitted; truth is one, either in the field of reason or of religion. The two fields are separate but not opposed." -- Thomist philosophy

Ilyn Ross said...

"What reason shows to be true is absolutely true, so that the opposite is absolutely false and impossible.... Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand." -- Thomas Aquinas

Ilyn Ross said...

Belief in God is faith, not knowledge.

A fundamental principle to the metaphysics of Objectivism is the primacy of existence. Existence comes first. Reality exists independent of any perceiver’s consciousness.

An existent, like God, could exist though none has knowledge of the existence.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/We-The-People-America-In-Black-White/131667092027#!/group.php?gid=200168714336&v=info

Ilyn Ross said...

"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

Ilyn Ross said...

The following are consistent with the principle of individual rights:

‎"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

“The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is — Hands off!”

Ilyn Ross said...

Thomas Aquinas ended the Middle Ages and ushered in the Renaissance, while Thomas Jefferson is the greatest man who ever lived.

THEY DID NOT REPLACE THEIR MINDS with anything. They were men of reason. They are the proof that men of reason who also have faith can achieve GLORIOUS feats.

Ilyn Ross said...

St. Thomas Aquinas and the Founders are the proof that reason and faith can coexist, PARALLEL to each other, in the same man.

PARALLEL: never mixing, never using faith in place of reason.

http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2009/11/can-reason-and-faith-coexist-parallel_29.html

Ilyn Ross said...

Aquinas Quotes:

"What reason shows to be true is absolutely true, so that the opposite is absolutely false and impossible.... Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand."

"Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good."
...
"Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will.... Well-ordered self-love is right and natural."

"The things that we love tell us what we are."

"Wonder is the desire for knowledge."

"Art is right reason in the doing of work.... The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces."

The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas - Page 1
www.radicalacademy.com

Ilyn Ross said...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2111174/Intelligent-people-less-likely-to-believe-in-God.html

Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, & Jose Rizal were polymaths & polyglots. They believed in God - they were deists.

Aristotle, whose ideas & achievements continue to carry the world, & Thomas Aquinas, who ended the Middle Ages & ushered in the Renaissance, were deists.

John Locke, George Washington, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, & Charles Darwin were deists.

http://www.adherents.com/largecom/fam_deist.html

Ilyn Ross said...

Via Kirk Howard (thanks) - ‎"And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together." - James Madison

Ilyn Ross said...

"We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt." - James Madison

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions66.html

Ilyn Ross said...

One's personal stand on anything is no one's business. Only those who lust to impose must be fought. The following are consistent with the principle of individual rights:

‎"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson

“The only good which men can do to one another and the only statement of their proper relationship is — Hands off!” - Howard Roark

Ilyn Ross said...

“It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens.” -- George Washington

Ilyn Ross said...

An Introduction to the Doctrines of Thomas Aquinas

http://www.themoralliberal.com/theradicalacademy/2011/08/29/iii-an-introduction-to-the-doctrines-of-thomas-aquinas/

Ilyn Ross said...

"Rand acknowledged Aristotle as her greatest influence and remarked that in the history of philosophy she could only recommend "three A's"—Aristotle, Aquinas, and Ayn Rand."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

Ilyn Ross said...

From Ayn Rand herself: she was a proud Thomist!

http://books.google.com/books?id=-2D6VqMXfFIC&pg=PT133&lpg=PT133&dq=Aristotle,+Aquinas,+and+Ayn+Rand&source=bl&ots=D8XCSdyvau&sig=-DOagog5pE1EwaplwNjImNe4_Fg&hl=en&ei=AxVwTuCQH-XV0QH1zsinCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=Aristotle%2C%20Aquinas%2C%20and%20Ayn%20Rand&f=false

Ilyn Ross said...

I wrote this article in 2009. I have since discontinued the term, Objectivist-Thomist.

I am a deist. I revere Thomas Jefferson, who was a deist, and I admire Ayn Rand, who was an atheist. The difference between Jeffersonianism and Objectivism, Ayn Rand's philosophy, is: Jefferson did not place any boundaries to reason while Ayn Rand placed an atheistic imperative on Objectivism.

http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2009/11/can-reason-and-faith-coexist-parallel_29.html

Ilyn Ross said...

Thomas Jefferson, Leonardo da Vinci, Ben Franklin, and Jose Rizal, were polymaths and polyglots [super geniuses] who revered reason and believed in God.

Aristotle, whose ideas & achievements continue to carry the world, & Thomas Aquinas, who ended the Middle Ages & ushered in the Renaissance, were reason-giants who believed in God. Galileo, a glorious man of science who was satan-ed by the church believed in God.

Paine believed in God and loathed the bible. John Locke, George Washington, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, & Charles Darwin were deists.

"God gives us everything for the price of an effort." - Leonardo DaVinci

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151315336873137&set=a.10150727339213137.394481.38599663136&type=1&theater

http://www.adherents.com/largecom/fam_deist.html

Ilyn Ross said...

"The history of the legend, however, is revealed in James Moore, The Darwin legend (1994). For most of his life Darwin was NOT AN ATHEIST, BUT A DEIST; that is he believed that a creator had designed the universe and set up natural laws according to which all of nature was unwaveringly governed. It was the pursuit of a man of science to discover the laws by which nature operated. He discussed his religious views in his autobiography (these appear, however, only in the 1958 edition by Nora Barlow with original omissions restored.)" --[caps are mine]

http://darwin-online.org.uk/darwin.html

Ilyn Ross said...

I no longer like Objectivism because of its atheistic imperative, so I no longer call myself an Objectivist-Thomist. I am a Jeffersonian.

Ayn Rand greatly admired Thomas Aquinas, who, together with Aristotle, Galileo, Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Jose Rizal, is proof that faith in God can coexist parallel to reason. The hostility to Christians exercising reason was not shared by Ayn Rand.

Regarding Christianity and Individualism, Ayn Rand said: "Jesus was one of the first great teachers to proclaim the basic principle of individualism -- the inviolate sanctity of man's soul." Dr. Peikoff called the early Christians, "ANGELS", because of their contribution to freedom: That the Individual Soul is precious.

The Objectivist-Thomist self-description was honest, since I was not an atheist. Ayn Rand would not have minded since she admired Thomas Aquinas, and as evidenced by these statements from Ayn Rand Answers, page 63: THERE ARE RATIONAL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. In fact, I was PLEASED and astonished to discover that some religious people support Objectivism."

http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2011/04/most-sublime-morality.html

Ilyn Ross said...

I no longer like Objectivism because of its atheistic imperative, so I no longer call myself an Objectivist-Thomist. I am a Jeffersonian.

Ayn Rand greatly admired Thomas Aquinas, who, together with Aristotle, Galileo, Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Jose Rizal, is proof that faith in God can coexist parallel to reason. The hostility to Christians exercising reason was not shared by Ayn Rand.

Regarding Christianity and Individualism, Ayn Rand said: "Jesus was one of the first great teachers to proclaim the basic principle of individualism -- the inviolate sanctity of man's soul." Dr. Peikoff called the early Christians, "ANGELS", because of their contribution to freedom: "That the Individual Soul is precious is essentially a Christian legacy to the West."

The Objectivist-Thomist self-description was honest, since I was not an atheist. Ayn Rand would not have minded since she admired Thomas Aquinas, and as evidenced by these statements from Ayn Rand Answers, page 63: THERE ARE RATIONAL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. In fact, I was PLEASED and astonished to discover that some religious people support Objectivism."

http://ilynross.blogspot.com/2011/04/most-sublime-morality.html

Ilyn Ross said...

Like Aristotle, the thinkers of the Enlightenment were not atheists. Mostly they were deists, who believed in God but cut His connection to life on earth. In this view God has a plan, but it is irrelevant to us, since we receive no communication from Him. The supernatural, they conceded, created Nature and its immutable laws, including man's rights and the laws of politics, but these rights and laws are discovered by our unaided reason and - since they are immutable - not even God can change them.

- Leonard Peikoff, The DIM Hupothesis

Ilyn Ross said...


Joel Osteen Ministries: "Renew your mind. Get ready to experience God's best in your life when you learn to transform the way you think..."

Religious people who extol the mind, like Joel Osteen, hold that God can stand the test of truth and reason.

The anti mind are either zombies or have rackets that would be exposed by reason.

Ilyn Ross said...

Felix Mueller​ Anoop Verma​

Rand Corle, an atheist calling himself an Objectivist, just removed me from The New Intellectual Group. I never asked to be added in that group. Anoop added me twice. I was removed once, also by a Group Admin who is anti speech; like Corle.

Felix posted that he spreads info about Objectivism. I replied that I love Howard Roark and admire Ayn Rand, but that I am not an Objectivist since I am not an atheist, that I am a Jeffersonian, that atheists calling themselves Objectivists have tried to bully me here on fb.

Corle equates belief in God with irrationality. If he had self-respect, he would go to an atheistic country, like a Communist one, since this country was founded by people he deems irrational.

Corle is a pusher for atheism, not an advocate for freedom.

Ilyn Ross said...

"Jesus was one of the first great teachers to proclaim the basic principle of individualism -- the inviolate sanctity of man's soul." - Ayn Rand


https://books.google.com/books?id=TYZaNwrIM8YC&pg=PT290&lpg=PT290&dq=%22Jesus+was+one+of+the+first+great+teachers+to+proclaim+the+basic+principle+of+individualism+--+the+inviolate+sanctity+of+man%27s+soul.%22&source=bl&ots=10LeoqLe0j&sig=O1ROdPeNy6d1EMfdfsBT7w9rv9Y&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3acXVeuLCdScygTr4YL4Cg&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22Jesus%20was%20one%20of%20the%20first%20great%20teachers%20to%20proclaim%20the%20basic%20principle%20of%20individualism%20--%20the%20inviolate%20sanctity%20of%20man's%20soul.%22&f=false