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IPFS News Link • Philosophy: Objectivism

Thomas Aquinas v. Ayn Rand

In a recent interview, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) rejected Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism as atheist. Instead, Ryan prefers the epistemology of Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas adhered to the correspondence theory of truth, which says that something is true “when it conforms to the external reality.” This sounds a lot like Rand’s Primacy of Existence wherein consciousness is subordinate to  reality – wishing doesn’t make it so.

Rand’s and Aquinas’ worldviews quickly diverge after that brief congruence.

Aquinas claimed that certain truths were only available through supernatural revelation. Aquinas’ first problem is to resolve this supernatural transmission to a human mind with external reality. Calvin postulated the “Sensus Divinitatis,” but this revelation wasn’t available to Aquinas. How does one distinguish a supernatural revelation from a mere product of one’s imagination?

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by PureTrust
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In the article, the statement: "This argument is self-refuting. If everything has a cause other than itself, then God must also have a cause other than God, so God cannot be the first cause. If the first premise is true then the conclusion must be false," is inaccurate.

God exists outside of this Universe - outside of every Universe - even though He may overlap into the various universes. What this means is that the word "everything" as used above does not apply to God... at least in any way that we have the ability to understand. If there are laws with regard to the existence of God, they are not necessarily the same as the laws of our Universe. God's Personal existence laws may be something so abstractly different than what could possibly even exist in our Universe, that there is no way that we could begin to understand anything about them.

It might be that God exists - wherever He exists - without such things as laws of existence. Such things as laws - laws of energy, laws of motion, physical laws, quantum and string laws, any other laws that we can conceive of or not conceive of - might not exist at all with regard to the existence of God.