What is Reason's Fellowship?

By Thomas D. Blackburn, Jr., Ph.D.

As the title of Jerome Tuccilleís book proclaims: It usually begins with Ayn Rand. (1971, Cobden Press, San Francisco) Many of the people involved with Reasonís Fellowship first found Reason as a way of life after reading one or more of the works of Ayn Rand. Her philosophy of Objectivism © provides a framework for a person to live a rational life. There are others who somehow manage to figure these things out for themselves and we salute them for their ability to do so!

We do not claim to be Objectivists. We believe that the principles identified by Rand in her work and by others in asserting that Reason is the key to mankindís finding happiness and a fulfilling life on earth are far and away better then anything identified by any of the mystics. What we are attempting to do in our Fellowship is to help each other in coming to understand what is required to live and to provide support to be able to adopt and live by what we understand.

There appear to be many self-proclaimed Objectivists who worship Rand and her philosophy. We are not among them. While we have the greatest respect for her and her philosophy, we worship only Reason! Our aim is to figure out how to maximize our lives - to achieve the greatest possible happiness.

We think that there are guidelines we can develop that will aid others and ourselves in living a happy and productive life. We think that a happy life is one that is productive. We subscribe to Randís idea that the principle virtues are Reason, Purpose, and Self-esteem. Starting from these virtues, we are working to develop our understanding further.

Are you put off by a religious connection to reason? We affirm Professor Brand Blanchard's definition of religion as "man's attempt to live in the light of what he holds to be ultimately true and good" (Reason and Belief, Yale University Press), and his position that reason should shape belief. We had in fact, however, developed these positions independently and established the Church to institutionalize them before we came upon the corroboration of our views by Professor Blanchard.

In essence, what men hold to be necessary for their survival, no matter how they came to hold it, and how they act to achieve and keep it, whether by rational or irrational means, encompasses their religion. People whose religion is based on hand-me-down platitudes without basis in reality will suffer the consequences of holding such a belief to the extent that they attempt to practice that religion. (Note that this helps explain the lack of serious practice of most religions by most people.) People whose religion is based on their best understanding of nature as it exists will have a much better chance of happiness.

Our Fellowship is open to those who wish to extend their knowledge and enhance their skill in leading reasonable, productive, and happy lives. We are, however, neither a debating society nor a reform school, and those seeking to dispute for the sake of disputation should look elsewhere. We seek truth - nothing less.

If you have the sense that there are contradictions between conventional religious beliefs and the way you think reality is and the way you think life should be conducted, then Reason's Fellowship extends you a warm invitation to join us and share the pleasure and satisfaction of the company of other truth seeking, reason oriented people. What a joy!

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Church of Reason doctrine is limited to its Creed. The views herein are those of the author(s).

TDB 2001 Reason's Fellowship It is our understanding that Objectivism © is a term copyrighted by Ayn Rand and her heirs to denote her philosophy.