“There aren’t any standards. The purpose of philosophy is not to help men find the meaning of life, but to prove to them that there isn’t any. It is this insistence of man upon meaning that makes him so difficult. Once he realizes that he is of no importance whatever in the vast scheme of the universe, that no possible significance can be attached to his activities, that it does not matter whether he lives or dies, he will become much more tractable.”
“But it stands to reason that if—”
“Reason, my dear fellow, is the most naive of all superstitions. That, at least, has been generally conceded in our age,”
“But I don’t quite understand how we can—”
“You suffer from the popular delusion of believing that things can be understood. You do not grasp the fact that the universe is a solid contradiction.”
“A contradiction of what?” asked the matron.
“My dear madam, the duty of thinkers is not to explain, but to demonstrate that nothing can be explained. The purpose of philosophy is not to seek knowledge, but to prove that knowledge is impossible to man.”
“But when we prove it,” asked the young woman, “what’s going to be left?”
“Instinct,” said Dr. Pritchett reverently.
Ayn Rand – Atlas Shrugged