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The Role of Religion Today

The Role of Religion Today

May 23, 2023

“What hath Athens to do with Jerusalem?” That was a question asked by Tertullian, an early Church father. In his time, Athens and Jerusalem were symbols of philosophy vs. religion, reason vs. faith. Tertullian wanted nothing to do with Athens. But the legacy of ancient Greece—especially the works of Plato, Aristotle, and others—have always played an important role in Western civilization. Reason and religion have had changing roles and degrees of impact throughout the history of the West. Today, Athens is represented by the Enlightenment culture of reason and science; its impact is exclusive in some areas. But Jerusalem—the Judeo-Christian outlook—is still part of Western culture.

What is the Objectivist Position in Morality (Ethics)?

The table below is my assessment of the respective roles of religion and other cultural influences in serving human needs. If we draw a broad distinction between material, spiritual, and social needs, then we can say, equally broadly, that the economic dimension of society serves man’s material needs, whereas culture serves his spiritual needs. Culture also serves social needs, but these are also strongly shaped by the economic division of labor (as well as the political structure).

Throughout most of the history of civilizations, religion has provided the core of culture, but it has been losing many cultural as well as social functions over the centuries. The table is a list of various needs and of religion’s role as a provider—the main, significant, or minimal one—and the other forms and institutions that also serve these needs.

My assessments in each row are based on decades of observing and analyzing our culture, but they are only my intuitive assessments. There is abundant data, from Pew Research and other sources, and I have reviewed a lot of that data over the years. But the table is not based on the systematic evidence currently available. Please do not take my assessments as anything more than the judgments of an intelligent observer.

Hicks: Are there absolute truths in morality?

Religion remains a powerful cultural player a) because it is still the main provider of certain important needs; and b) because no other institution or cultural form has taken its place in any unified way. Indeed, one aspect of modernist civilization has been precisely this fragmentation of culture, a greater degree of division of labor in the cultural “industry.”

In principle, Objectivism is capable of providing for all of these needs, either directly (e.g., morality, understanding man’s place in the universe) or indirectly (setting basic standards in education, art, logic of science, etc.) My table may be a guide to the level of difficulty Objectivism faces in becoming a major provider for our various needs.

神とアイン・ランドを愛せるか?| について|WSJ
David Kelley Ph.D
About the author:
David Kelley Ph.D

David Kelley founded The Atlas Society (TAS) in 1990 and served as Executive Director through 2016. In addition, as Chief Intellectual Officer, he was responsible for overseeing the content produced by the organization: articles, videos, talks at conferences, etc.. Retired from TAS in 2018, he remains active in TAS projects and continues to serve on the Board of Trustees.


ケリーの哲学的著作には、倫理学、認識論、政治学の独創的な著作があり、その多くは客観主義の思想を新たな深みと方向性で発展させている。著書に 五感の証拠を、 認識論で論じたものです。 目的論における真理と寛容目的論運動の問題点に関するもの。 無抵抗の個人主義。博愛の利己的根拠そして 推理の極意論理学入門の教科書として広く利用されている論理学入門』も第5版となりました。

ケリーは、政治や文化に関する幅広いテーマで講演や出版を行っている。社会問題や公共政策に関する記事は、Harpers、The Sciences、Reason、Harvard Business Review、The Freeman、On Principleなどに掲載されています。1980年代には、Barrons Financial and Business Magazineに 、平等主義、移民、最低賃金法、社会保障などの問題について頻繁に執筆した。

彼の著書 A Life of One's Own:個人の権利と福祉国家福祉国家の道徳的前提を批判し、個人の自律性、責任、尊厳を守る私的な選択肢を擁護するものである。1998年、ジョン・ストッセルのABC/TVスペシャル「Greed」に出演し、資本主義の倫理に関する国民的議論を巻き起こした。

客観主義の専門家として国際的に知られ、アイン・ランドとその思想、作品について広く講演を行っている。の映画化ではコンサルタントを務めた。 アトラス・シュラッグドの編集者であり アトラス・シュラッグド小説、映画、哲学.



"Concepts and Natures:A Commentary onThe Realist Turn(by Douglas B. Rasmussen and Douglas J. Den Uyl)," Reason Papers 42, no.1, (Summer 2021); 近著のレビューで、概念の存在論と認識論への深掘りが含まれています。






The Party of Modernity, Cato Policy Report, May/June 2003; andNavigator, Nov 2003; プレモダン、モダン(啓蒙主義)、ポストモダンの文化的分裂に関する論文として広く引用されている。

"I Don't Have To"(IOS Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, April 1996) と "I Can and I Will"(The New Individualist, Fall/Winter 2011): 個人として自分の人生をコントロールすることを現実化するためのコンパニオン作品です。