Earth to Conservatives: Faith Won’t Bring Us Freedom

I have said that faith and force are corollaries, and that mysticism will always lead to the rule of brutality.  The cause of it is contained in the very nature of mysticism.  Reason is the only objective means of communication and of understanding among men; when men deal with one another by means of reason, reality is their objective standard and frame of reference.  But when men claim to possess supernatural means of knowledge, no persuasion, communication or understanding are possible.  Why do we kill wild animals in the jungle?  Because no other way of dealing with them is open to us.  And that is the state to which mysticism reduces mankind — a state where, in case of disagreement, men have no recourse except to physical violence.  And more: no man or mystical elite can hold a whole society subjugated to their arbitrary assertions, edicts and whims, without the use of force.  Anyone who resorts to the formula: “It’s so, because I say so,” will have to reach for a gun, sooner or later.

— Ayn Rand from “Faith and Force: The Destroyers of the Modern World” published in Philosophy: Who Needs It