By Paul Hsieh
Note: This post is part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays.]
The October 9, 2010 PajamasMedia has published Amit Ghate's OpEd, "Values and the Defense of Freedom".
In it, he responds to the question, "Is faith necessary for defending natural rights, or is reason sufficient?" Here is the opening:
In the wake of the recent Values Voter Summit, a worrisome question arises: will the Tea Parties or a reformed GOP be able to champion limited government and fiscal responsibility, without also importing the religious right’s so-called "social values"?(Read the full text of "Values and the Defense of Freedom".)
HotAir's Allahpundit raises this issue, noting that speakers at the summit repeatedly asserted the idea that limited government must ultimately be based on religious beliefs -- on the existence of a "Big God." Uncomfortable with these assertions and searching for a better, secular defense of freedom, Allahpundit asks how Objectivists (adherents of Ayn Rand's philosophy) would respond.
It's a perceptive question. Though many recognize Rand as a stalwart defender of freedom, few appreciate how radically her defense differs from that of traditional religionists. Key to her innovative approach is an original conception of values and morality -- one which ultimately puts her at odds with much of the religious program...