Part I: Why Objectivism Rejects the Supernatural
Knowledge Through Reason; Facts: A is A
Part II: What's wrong with religious, specifically Biblical, doctrine
General View of Athiesm vs. Christianity
Why the General View of Christianity is Wrong
A fundamental and essential principle of Objectivism is that of Objective Reality. In fact, it is where it gets its name. Objective reality means:
"Reality exists independant of any perceiver's consciousness. Epistemologically, it is the recognition of the fact that a perceiver's (man's) consciousness must acquire knowledge of reality by certain means (reason) in accordance with certain rules (logic). This means that although reality is immutable and, in any given context, only one answer is true, the truth is not automatically available to human consciousness and can be obtained only by a certain mental process which is required for every man who seeks knowledge- that there is no substitute for this process, no escape from the responsibilty for it, no shortcuts, no special revelations to privleged observers- and that there can be no such thing as a final "authority" in matters pertaining to human knowledge. Metaphysically, the only authority is reality; epistemologically- one's own mind. The first is the ultimate arbiter of the second.
The concept of objectivity contains the reason why the question, 'who decides right and wrong', is wrong. Nobody decides. Nature does not decide- it merely is; man does not decide, in issues of knowledge, he merely observes that which is. When it comes to applying his knowledge, man decides what he chooses to do, according to what he has learned, remembering that the basic prinicple of rational action in all aspects of human existence is: 'Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed'. This means that man cannot create reality and can achieve his values only by making his decisions consonant with the facts of reality." (Rand, Lexicon p345-346)
"Existence exists- and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.
If nothing exists, there can be no consciousnes: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something. If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness." (Rand, Lexicon, p 155)
"Existence is a self-sufficient primary. It is not a product of a supernatural dimension,or of anything else. There is nothing antecedent to existene, nothing apart from it- and no alternative to it. Existence exists- and only existence exists. Its existence and its nature are irreducible and unalterable." (Peikoff).
What does all this have to do with why Objectivism rejects the supernatural? Objective reality can be summarized very simply as "Reality exists as an objective absolute- facts are facts, independant of man's feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears".(Rand) Mystics, those who believe in the supernatural, have no proof or facts that exist in reality, they have only their own feelings, wishes or fears to support their own faith, which according to objective reality is no proof at all. Moreover, their feelings, wishes, or fears cannot change nor disprove the facts that DO exist as evidence against the supernatural. Christianity, specifically, is completely against reason and facts. Jesus, in the Bible, said blessed are those who believe without seeing. It is also said in the Bible, not to tempt God by asking him for signs. The Bible is against facts, wanting you only to accept it based on a blind faith. Nothing is to be taken as truth based on faith, only facts. Therefore, Objectivism rejects the supernatural under the principle of objective reality.
Along with objective reality goes reason. Knowledge can be obtained only through reason. Facts can be established only though the process of reason and logic. Feelings do not establish fact. "If one recognizes the supremecy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows" (Rand).
"Knowledge is a mental grasp of a fact of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation." (Rand)
"Reason is man's only means of grasping reality and of acquiring knowledge- and therefore, the rejection of reason means that men should act regardless of and/or in contradiction to the facts of reality". (Rand)
"Man's essential characteristic is his rational faculty. Man's mind is his basic means of survival- his only means of gaining knowledge... In order to sustain its life, every living species has to follow a certain course of action required by its nature. The action required to sustain human life is primarily intellectual: everything man needs has to be discovered by his mind and produced by his effort. Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival" (Rand)
"Reason is man's tool of knowledge, the faculty that enables him to perceive the facts of reality. To act rationally means to act in accordance with the facts of reality. Emotions are not tools of cognition. What you feel tells you nothing about the facts; it merely tells you something about your estimate of the facts" (Rand).
To reject reason and accept faith is to accept life over death. Man's mind is his means of survival, just as animals have physical adaptations for their survival. To deny your means of survival is to deny your life.
The answer to the question, why does Objectivism reject the supernatural, is quite simply in the question: for the very things that make something SUPERnatural. Supernatural means not found in nature. It is something that must be taken on faith, not facts. If it were proven with facts, than it would be natural, not supernatural.
I would now like to direct you to a quote from Atlas Shrugged. This is a very small excerpt of the speech given by John Galt at the end of the novel:
"What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his [mans] original sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge- he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil- he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor- he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire- he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy- all the cordinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was, that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love, he was not man.
Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives."- p 943-944
"At the crossroads between the choice 'I know' and 'They say', he chose the authority of others, he chose to submit rather than to understand, to believe rather than think. Faith in the supernatural begins as faith in the superiority of others." p961
For part two, CLICK HERE