Thursday, May 21, 2009

Introduction To The Fountainhead, Part 1

Ayn Rand on religion and ethics:

But an issue of this sort should not be left to implications. What I was referring to was not religion as such, but a special category of abstractions, the most exalted one, which, for centuries, had been the near-monopoly of religion: ethics—not the particular content of religious ethics, but the abstraction "ethics," the realm of values, man's code of good and evil, with the emotional connotations of height, uplift, nobility, reverence, grandeur, which pertain to the realm of man's values, but which religion has arrogated to itself.

The same meaning and considerations were intended and are applicable to another passage of the book, a brief dialogue between Roark and Hopton Stoddard, which may be misunderstood if taken out of context:

" 'You're a profoundly religious man, Mr. Roark—in your own way. I can see that in your buildings.'

" 'That's true,' said Roark."

In the context of that scene, however, the meaning is clear: it is Roark's profound dedication to values, to the highest and best, to the ideal, that Stoddard is referring to (see his explanation of the nature of the proposed temple). The erection of the Stoddard Temple and the subsequent trial state the issue explicitly.

The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand, p. viii-ix

1 comment:

  1. Hello:

    It is most good when you can come to understand that it is okay to offer words such as "God Bless You", or "I thank God for being able to know you" etc without violating ones rational values even though one understands that reality and rationality require one to understand that the universe which we all do share is not governed by Aqua Buddha, Grand Master Rationale Spider, Jesus Christ or some other unknowable (and at the same time) non-existent entity who runs this place. The Sense and Love of Life and of Total Joy which one wishes to express by offering these kind words to a loved friend such as "Go With God" or “God meant for us to be together” is simply a reflection of the Exaltation we FEEL (and our LOVE) at our most inner core and wish to express on an emotional level, it’s use is not a demand that we disvalue or disavow reason. God, in this sense is an expression of the greatest within us. It’s okay to say, in other words!!!