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news and things sacred and irreverent put together by opinionated people.

Quotable author

Posted by 1minionsopinion on December 16, 2009

Everyone probably knows C.S. Lewis dabbled with atheism (at least doubted his faith enough to think he was) for a while before getting further into Christian writing. I found this quote via Natalie Asplund (which makes it sound like we’re friends, heh):

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”
— C.S. Lewis

I could say much the same thing and mean it. Why? Because the sun doesn’t rise; the earth rotates. I believe in Christianity as much as I believe the sun rises.

She also includes this quote by the same man:

“Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning…”

Actually, I have no idea what this means. I don’t particularly mind if the universe has no meaning. Why does it need one? Why is it necessary to think we’re special in any kind of way? Why is it necessary to think the whole universe exists so we can see it by the light of God’s balls of flaming gas?

Okay, I find that very funny. I have to remember I wrote that.

From Secular Humanism (breaks added):

If it is true that Lewis at one time considered himself an atheist, his ignorance of the subject is a glaring indictment of atheism’s failure to educate even its own adherents about the true merits of our position. For instance, in Lewis’s The Case for Christianity, he makes this ludicrous statement: “When I was an Atheist, I had to persuade myself that the whole human race was pretty good fools until about one hundred years ago.”

Perhaps C.S. Lewis, the naïve naive but skeptical student, could labor under the fantasy that there had been no unbelievers until the nineteenth century, but how could the mature, academician Lewis, expert on the subject of religious philosophy, fail to recognize the history of non-belief, which probably stretches back as far as religion itself?

Whom other than atheists did Lewis suppose his Bible was referring to in Psalms 14:1: “The fool hath said in his heart there is no God?” And did he not consider the possibly chilling effect such pronouncements may have had upon expressions along these lines? Did he not draw any conclusion from the fact that the Christian predilection for murdering anyone critical of their faith waned at about the same time he recognizes the appearance of atheism?

Thoughts?

5 Responses to “Quotable author”

  1. princessxxx said

    i didn’t even know who c s lewis is until i just realized he wrote the chronicles of narnai.

    christian leaders were in an uproar over the movie “chronicles of narnai” due to the religious implications of some lion being killed and returning to life.

    anyway, c s lewis is dead, so i’m sure she has all her answers now.

    tilda swinton was the greatest ice queen ever.

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  2. dorian said

    cs lewis and buddy jrr tolkien, such great minds and great work! easy to see how minds like theirs would have religious ambivalence.

    why question the meaning or no meaning of the universe? we exist, so we should just do our best to live a good life. and make art for everyone to enjoy forever.
    ars longa, vita brevis.

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  3. There’s an essay on my web site I wrote about The meaning of Life. No, it’s not about the Monty Python film, but that along with their others is one of my all-time fave movies.

    This post also reminds me of the hidden bias in asking somebody if they “believe” in evolution. Asking someone if they “believe” in evolution is just as ridiculous as asking if they “believe” in gravity or electricity. A more accurate question is to ask whether or not they accept the fact that evolution occurs. For further thoughts on this matter, I recommend reading Do You Believe in Evolution? and Is the Theory of Evolution Really a Matter of Faith?

    The Onion did an article called I Believe in Evolution, Except for the Whole Triassic Period that is pretty funny.

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  4. You can see evidence in Evolution in the variety in humanity. The physical attributes of a certain group of people from a certain continent, share certain physical and social traits found in primates on that continent. I did not mean that as a racist statement, but more along the lines of truth. Then you have the change from that warmer climate to a colder climate. Paleontology found evidence that the Earth at one time could have been one whole land mass. A majority of that land mass until close to the ice age was a jungle climate. Then you go from Europe to what was persia. There are physical differences between the two. This was an adaptation to a very different climate. Then you goto asia, the humans there have physical traits that is the same adaptation stated above. I could go on, but I would rather address the psychology behind Christianity’s hatred for this subject, and a fundamentalist Christians hatred of Science. I am talking in generalizations here. Making it as simple to understand as possible. I hypothesize that a major reason for the Christian stance on evolution is not that it disproves God, but it is more likely (in Caucasians mainly) that it is a mix of racism and guilt. I mean look how many hundreds of years the White Europeans had slaves from Africa. It was a very long time the slave trade happened. For many many years these human beings where considered a lower form of human beings, or not human at all. Without a doubt these thousands, or at least hundreds of years of the social thought being exactly that. I mean we learn as children a lot more than we actually think. We pass on that body language and our prejudices to our children, they do it to their children and so on. In America the first civil rights movement, was infact, the civil war. But thousands of years of social prejudices just doesn’t go away. It took many years for people to even be open to the idea that these people were human beings. That’s where the guilt comes in. When the descendants of these people threw off the archaic mentality that these people with different color skin and attributes, where also and should be considered human beings. This is where the guilt comes in. For many years a slang vocabulary for someone descended from Africa was indeed monkeys. (For the reasons I stated above.) So a combination of racism and guilt, makes some people uneasy about this subject. (In some cases the racism is more evident than the guilt, but you have to know what true hate looks like when you hear it in a voice, and see it on a face. The same with guilt.) As for science trying to disprove God, that was because of the propaganda that was taught by Christianity for just as long as there was the African Slave Trade. Christianity taught that scientists were trying to replace God. This came from many instances but the most quoted was Galieo’s “heresy”. If anyone does not know it, he very loudly and publicly said the Church was wrong that the Earth was round and it orbited the Sun. So that propaganda stuck. Then in the 1960’s when we launched people in outer space, we saw definitive proof that the Earth was round. And did orbit the Sun. But the damage was already done due to Christian propaganda. It may take many generations to stamp out all the erroneous propaganda the organized religion professing that they are the ultimate authority on Christ and God. My thoughts is if the Church was wrong about the Earth, what other propaganda is wrong?

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  5. Enkill_Eridos said

    My thoughts are that CS Lewis was not only a Christian, but one that followed an initiatory spiritual practice that did not conflict with the religious dogma of Christianity. After he started believing in a Higher Power, thus ceasing to be an atheist. More than likely he was more Agnositc. (Someone who believes that there may be a higher power, but does not have any evidence to support or deny that there is. Which is different from an atheist. Contrary to erroneous religious propaganda. For instance many fundamentalist Christian churches teach, that either you believe in God and all of the doctrines of the organized church because the Church can be the only authority on God, are in a cult (Anything that is contrary to organized Christianity’s doctrines and creeds.), or you are an atheist. They also teach that Agnostics go to a Gnostic Church, which is a church of Satan. (These people clearly do not own a webster dictionary. I think the only dictionary they have is the $120 Strong’s Biblical Dictionary…)

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