Reason Needs No Supplement
By Keith Lockitch (sent to the New York Times, June 1, 2007)
Re "What I Think About Evolution" (May 31, 2007), in which Senator Sam Brownback insists that faith is needed to "supplement" reason.
Reason needs no supplement. Faith is not only unnecessary, it is a positively destructive, harmful force.
Only reason provides a method of discovering truths about the world, the truths of nature as well as truths involving "values, meaning and purpose." Anyone who has given thoughtful consideration to Ayn Rand's scientific system of ethics knows that reason answers the questions of morality as readily as it does those of science.
Faith, by contrast, means believing in things precisely when one has no reason to believe--when there are no facts, evidence, logical arguments supporting one's belief. It is not a method for discovering truth, but for evading it in favor of wishes and dogma. The notion that faith can offer any sort of life-sustaining "spiritual" guidance, where reason allegedly fails to do so, is one of the most pernicious Big Lies of our era.