C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

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SEG
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C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:15 am

In the Preface of this proselytising handbook for Christians, I found this strangely disturbing statement: “You will not learn from me whether you ought to become an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic”

Lewis says that he will not discuss the differences in doctrine between the various Christian sects for two reasons: the second reason, is this:
And secondly, I think we must admit that the discussion of these disputed points has no tendency at all to bring an outsider into the Christian fold. So long as we write and talk about them we are much more likely to deter him from entering any Christian communion than to draw him into our own. Our divisions should never be discussed except in the presence of those who have already come to believe that there is one God and that Jesus Christ is His only Son
Lewis confesses that the doctrinal disputes between Christian denominations are more likely to turn someone away than cause him to convert – so hide these disputes from people who are considering Christianity. This behaviour is just deceptive.

This is analogous to a person who buys a house because a real estate agent failed to disclose that it was built on the site of a flood prone area or was riddled with termites. This guy is lying already, I hope it gets better than this. Moving onto the main book;

Book 1 Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe
1. The Law of Human Nature
On the 3rd page of my book he states;
I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature or decent behaviour known to all men is unsound, because different civilisations and different ages have had quite different moralities.
But this is not true. There have been differences between their moralities, but these have never amounted to anything like a total difference. If anyone will take the trouble to compare the moral teaching of, say, the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Greeks and Romans, what will really strike him will be how very like they are to each other and to our own
This demonstrably incorrect. How can anyone claim that all societies throughout history have had essentially the same moral code? Has Lewis never heard of the polygamy of the Mormons, Arab and ancient Greek paedophilia, Aztec human sacrifice, female genital mutilation in the Middle East, Islamic "honour killings”, and oppression of women? The Bible itself has nothing against polygamy, slavery, child abuse or discrimination against the handicapped, in fact it recommends them! How about racism, intolerance and genocide? It is clear that all societies do not have the same unchanging moral law.

Things like murder and theft, do not need God to explain them, they had been around for thousands of years before Judaism. If there is no universal Law of Nature, or unchanging universal moral laws then Lewis’ argument for the existence of God collapses.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:28 pm

In fact, Lewis is doing a poor job of hiding those disputes, if that is his method, since he directly addresses them in introduction, as you cited above. He implicitly admits that said differences exist, and then simply says that he's not trying to create partisans for a single denomination, but rather, express the core values of the Christian Religion per se.

So if he's dishonest, he's very bad at it.

As for the moral values, could one say that there is a certain overlap? In any culture, has it been acceptable to murder your brother? In any culture, has it been acceptable to violate the rules of marriage, whatever rules those may be? So Lewis may perhaps over-state the "Law of Decent Behavior" but he is not entirely baseless.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am

Og3 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:28 pm
In fact, Lewis is doing a poor job of hiding those disputes, if that is his method, since he directly addresses them in introduction, as you cited above. He implicitly admits that said differences exist, and then simply says that he's not trying to create partisans for a single denomination, but rather, express the core values of the Christian Religion per se.

So if he's dishonest, he's very bad at it.
Unless he was writing a proselytising book for Christians to bring in people to the fold - which he was.
As for the moral values, could one say that there is a certain overlap? In any culture, has it been acceptable to murder your brother?
Yep, in so called "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures.
In any culture, has it been acceptable to violate the rules of marriage, whatever rules those may be?
Yep, in your favourite Christian denomination of the Mormons
So Lewis may perhaps over-state the "Law of Decent Behavior" but he is not entirely baseless.
It's baseless if you consider major issues like gay marriage, homosexual love, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. Universally societies do NOT have the same moral laws.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

Og3
Posts: 965
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am

SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
Og3 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:28 pm
In fact, Lewis is doing a poor job of hiding those disputes, if that is his method, since he directly addresses them in introduction, as you cited above. He implicitly admits that said differences exist, and then simply says that he's not trying to create partisans for a single denomination, but rather, express the core values of the Christian Religion per se.

So if he's dishonest, he's very bad at it.
Unless he was writing a proselytising book for Christians to bring in people to the fold - which he was.
Then, as I say, he was remarkably bad at it. One normally does not call attention to facts one wishes to hide. A magician never says, "Please ignore the canary I am pulling from my sleeve."
As for the moral values, could one say that there is a certain overlap? In any culture, has it been acceptable to murder your brother?
Yep, in so called "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures.
Ah, but those are not "murders" (unlawful killings). Within that culture, those are seen as justice.
In any culture, has it been acceptable to violate the rules of marriage, whatever rules those may be?
Yep, in your favourite Christian denomination of the Mormons
Pseudo-Christian sect, you mean. And within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct:
No divorces except by reason of apostasy; One may marry many ("For eternity only" at this time) but may not sleep with those to whom one is not married; One defers to the elders in terms of the right to marry any given bride. Violation of such rules may result in sanctions ranging from loss of a temple recommend to excommunication. So within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct; and the point holds.
So Lewis may perhaps over-state the "Law of Decent Behavior" but he is not entirely baseless.
It's baseless if you consider major issues like gay marriage, homosexual love, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. Universally societies do NOT have the same moral laws.
Be careful. You are undermining your belief that morality is simple and that people simply know how to treat each other, based on common sense and the golden rule. LOL.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:05 pm

Og3 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:28 pm
In fact, Lewis is doing a poor job of hiding those disputes, if that is his method, since he directly addresses them in introduction, as you cited above. He implicitly admits that said differences exist, and then simply says that he's not trying to create partisans for a single denomination, but rather, express the core values of the Christian Religion per se.
So if he's dishonest, he's very bad at it.
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
Unless he was writing a proselytising book for Christians to bring in people to the fold - which he was.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Then, as I say, he was remarkably bad at it. One normally does not call attention to facts one wishes to hide. A magician never says, "Please ignore the canary I am pulling from my sleeve."
You are missing my point again. He is advising Christians not to tell non-believers about the doctrinal disputes among the denominations. Sure, if the non- believers read his book too, they will see the deceit, but what if they don't read his book?
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
As for the moral values, could one say that there is a certain overlap? In any culture, has it been acceptable to murder your brother?
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
Yep, in so called "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Ah, but those are not "murders" (unlawful killings). Within that culture, those are seen as justice.
Granted, there may be some primitive cultures where no action is taken for murdering a brother in "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures, but in the majority of cultures, it would be prosecuted as murder.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
In any culture, has it been acceptable to violate the rules of marriage, whatever rules those may be?
Yep, in your favourite Christian denomination of the Mormons
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Pseudo-Christian sect, you mean.
No, they are a genuine Christian denomination, just like yours. You just don't like their different beliefs. Did you know that they have a whole lot more and much better evidence of their beliefs than other sects like yours? They have several signed eye witness accounts and volumes of documentation. Yet it is just as silly, lol!
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
And within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct:
No divorces except by reason of apostasy; One may marry many ("For eternity only" at this time) but may not sleep with those to whom one is not married; One defers to the elders in terms of the right to marry any given bride. Violation of such rules may result in sanctions ranging from loss of a temple recommend to excommunication. So within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct; and the point holds.
Except for their founder, he made it up as he went along, stealing the wives of his congregation.
So Lewis may perhaps over-state the "Law of Decent Behavior" but he is not entirely baseless.
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
It's baseless if you consider major issues like gay marriage, homosexual love, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. Universally societies do NOT have the same moral laws.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Be careful. You are undermining your belief that morality is simple and that people simply know how to treat each other, based on common sense and the golden rule. LOL.
I never said that morality is simple, only that it is not unchanging and universal.
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

Og3
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:42 am

quote=SEG post_id=5588 time=1556316356 user_id=52]
Og3 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:28 pm
In fact, Lewis is doing a poor job of hiding those disputes, if that is his method, since he directly addresses them in introduction, as you cited above. He implicitly admits that said differences exist, and then simply says that he's not trying to create partisans for a single denomination, but rather, express the core values of the Christian Religion per se.
So if he's dishonest, he's very bad at it.
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
Unless he was writing a proselytising book for Christians to bring in people to the fold - which he was.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Then, as I say, he was remarkably bad at it. One normally does not call attention to facts one wishes to hide. A magician never says, "Please ignore the canary I am pulling from my sleeve."
You are missing my point again. He is advising Christians not to tell non-believers about the doctrinal disputes among the denominations. Sure, if the non- believers read his book too, they will see the deceit, but what if they don't read his book?
Then those non-believers will not be deceived by the lack of deception.

But for the record,in the preface of the 30th printing of the 1960 edition, he explicitly states,
Lewis, in the Preface to the 1960 edition, wrote: All this is said simply in order to make clear what kind of book I was trying to write; not in the least to conceal or evade responsibility for my own beliefs. About those, as I said before, there is no secret. To quote Uncle Toby: "They are written in the Common-Prayer Book."

The danger clearly was that I should put forth as common Christianity something peculiar to the Church of England or (worse still) to myself. I tried to guard against this by sending the original script of what is now book II to four clergymen (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic) ...


So what you portray as dishonesty is actually honesty and integrity on his part, vetting his own book through the eyes of other faiths, and keeping the book to that common ground in the central core of Christianity, rather than writing polemics about his own particular doctrines. I know that it irks you, Screwtape, when Christians refuse to squabble, and instead insist upon unity, but you can't say that he's hiding anything.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
As for the moral values, could one say that there is a certain overlap? In any culture, has it been acceptable to murder your brother?
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
Yep, in so called "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Ah, but those are not "murders" (unlawful killings). Within that culture, those are seen as justice.
Granted, there may be some primitive cultures where no action is taken for murdering a brother in "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures, but in the majority of cultures, it would be prosecuted as murder.
Ah, then, so you DO agree with Lewis that there is a cultural overlap of moral codes. Excellent.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
In any culture, has it been acceptable to violate the rules of marriage, whatever rules those may be?
Yep, in your favourite Christian denomination of the Mormons
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Pseudo-Christian sect, you mean.
No, they are a genuine Christian denomination, just like yours. You just don't like their different beliefs. Did you know that they have a whole lot more and much better evidence of their beliefs than other sects like yours? They have several signed eye witness accounts and volumes of documentation. Yet it is just as silly, lol!
Moreso; they have the form but not the content. I believe that we have discussed the issue on another thread.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
And within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct:
No divorces except by reason of apostasy; One may marry many ("For eternity only" at this time) but may not sleep with those to whom one is not married; One defers to the elders in terms of the right to marry any given bride. Violation of such rules may result in sanctions ranging from loss of a temple recommend to excommunication. So within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct; and the point holds.
Except for their founder, he made it up as he went along, stealing the wives of his congregation.
Ah, but that was one of their rules.
So Lewis may perhaps over-state the "Law of Decent Behavior" but he is not entirely baseless.
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
It's baseless if you consider major issues like gay marriage, homosexual love, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. Universally societies do NOT have the same moral laws.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Be careful. You are undermining your belief that morality is simple and that people simply know how to treat each other, based on common sense and the golden rule. LOL.
I never said that morality is simple, only that it is not unchanging and universal.
Oh, but you have also said that knowing how to treat each other was simply a matter of common sense. So which is it?
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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SEG
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:13 am

Og3 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:28 pm
In fact, Lewis is doing a poor job of hiding those disputes, if that is his method, since he directly addresses them in introduction, as you cited above. He implicitly admits that said differences exist, and then simply says that he's not trying to create partisans for a single denomination, but rather, express the core values of the Christian Religion per se.
So if he's dishonest, he's very bad at it.
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
Unless he was writing a proselytising book for Christians to bring in people to the fold - which he was.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Then, as I say, he was remarkably bad at it. One normally does not call attention to facts one wishes to hide. A magician never says, "Please ignore the canary I am pulling from my sleeve."
You are missing my point again. He is advising Christians not to tell non-believers about the doctrinal disputes among the denominations. Sure, if the non- believers read his book too, they will see the deceit, but what if they don't read his book?
Then those non-believers will not be deceived by the lack of deception.
They would be if he or anyone else that he nefariously advises to deliberately withhold denominational conflicts to strengthen their arguments.
But for the record,in the preface of the 30th printing of the 1960 edition, he explicitly states,
Lewis, in the Preface to the 1960 edition, wrote: All this is said simply in order to make clear what kind of book I was trying to write; not in the least to conceal or evade responsibility for my own beliefs. About those, as I said before, there is no secret. To quote Uncle Toby: "They are written in the Common-Prayer Book."

The danger clearly was that I should put forth as common Christianity something peculiar to the Church of England or (worse still) to myself. I tried to guard against this by sending the original script of what is now book II to four clergymen (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic) ...
That was probably inserted as a defence to cover up his previous deceit.
So what you portray as dishonesty is actually honesty and integrity on his part, vetting his own book through the eyes of other faiths, and keeping the book to that common ground in the central core of Christianity, rather than writing polemics about his own particular doctrines. I know that it irks you, Screwtape, when Christians refuse to squabble, and instead insist upon unity, but you can't say that he's hiding anything.
Yes I can and he did!
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
As for the moral values, could one say that there is a certain overlap? In any culture, has it been acceptable to murder your brother?
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
Yep, in so called "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Ah, but those are not "murders" (unlawful killings). Within that culture, those are seen as justice.
Granted, there may be some primitive cultures where no action is taken for murdering a brother in "honour killings" or in "eye for an eye" cultures, but in the majority of cultures, it would be prosecuted as murder.
Ah, then, so you DO agree with Lewis that there is a cultural overlap of moral codes. Excellent.
Only some and certainly not the majority as stated, so it is nowhere near universal.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
In any culture, has it been acceptable to violate the rules of marriage, whatever rules those may be?
Yep, in your favourite Christian denomination of the Mormons
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Pseudo-Christian sect, you mean.
No, they are a genuine Christian denomination, just like yours. You just don't like their different beliefs. Did you know that they have a whole lot more and much better evidence of their beliefs than other sects like yours? They have several signed eye witness accounts and volumes of documentation. Yet it is just as silly, lol!
Moreso; they have the form but not the content. I believe that we have discussed the issue on another thread.
Yes we have and I pointed out then that their evidence was a lot more persuasive. They have signed eyewitness accounts, the authors are revealed on their documents, they are dated and geographically located.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
And within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct:
No divorces except by reason of apostasy; One may marry many ("For eternity only" at this time) but may not sleep with those to whom one is not married; One defers to the elders in terms of the right to marry any given bride. Violation of such rules may result in sanctions ranging from loss of a temple recommend to excommunication. So within their rules, the rules are sacrosanct; and the point holds.
Except for their founder, he made it up as he went along, stealing the wives of his congregation.
Ah, but that was one of their rules.
Conveniently, huh?
So Lewis may perhaps over-state the "Law of Decent Behavior" but he is not entirely baseless.
SEG wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:27 am
It's baseless if you consider major issues like gay marriage, homosexual love, abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. Universally societies do NOT have the same moral laws.
Og3 wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:39 am
Be careful. You are undermining your belief that morality is simple and that people simply know how to treat each other, based on common sense and the golden rule. LOL.
I never said that morality is simple, only that it is not unchanging and universal.
Oh, but you have also said that knowing how to treat each other was simply a matter of common sense. So which is it?
I never said that either! I said
I argue from common sense, which in Christian beliefs is not too common and rarely makes sense!
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

Og3
Posts: 965
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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:45 pm

SEG wrote: I never said that either!
Okay, so to be clear: When and if you ever, in the future, state that everyone just knows what right and wrong are, I can refer you to this page and you will not argue the point, but concede that right and wrong are not a simple matter of common sense, right?

Yes, I do bookmark things like this, why do you ask?

As for Lewis being deceptive, do you feel that you were personally deceived? Were you blissfully unaware that there are differences in denominations?

Or are you perhaps accusing Lewis of "hiding" something so blindingly obvious that no one in their right mind would deny it?

And that raises another point, which I will address in a different thread.
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by SEG » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:54 pm

Og3 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:45 pm
SEG wrote: I never said that either!
Okay, so to be clear: When and if you ever, in the future, state that everyone just knows what right and wrong are, I can refer you to this page and you will not argue the point, but concede that right and wrong are not a simple matter of common sense, right?
I would much prefer you to quote exactly what I said and not try to paraphrase me, as you can quote me in error.
As for Lewis being deceptive, do you feel that you were personally deceived? Were you blissfully unaware that there are differences in denominations?
No, you would know this about me by now. Others without much knowledge at all about Christianity could easily be deceived by this after speaking to Lewis, if this was his strategy to convert them into the fold. As for him being deceptive, there is more evidence of this when he became a ghost writer of another book and when he was living in sin with a much older, married woman. I saw that he also married outside the church much later in life in a marriage of convenience.
Or are you perhaps accusing Lewis of "hiding" something so blindingly obvious that no one in their right mind would deny it?
Nice straw manning!
And that raises another point, which I will address in a different thread.
Cool! I noticed in the preface that he made this weird statement:
“Ever since I served as an infantryman in the first world war I have had a great dislike of people who, themselves in ease and safety, issue exhortations to men in the front line. As a result I have a reluctance to say much about temptations to which I myself am not exposed. No man, I suppose, is tempted to every sin. It so happens that the impulse which makes men gamble has been left out of my make-up; and, no doubt, I pay for this by lacking some good impulse of which it is the excess or perversion. I therefore did not feel myself qualified to give advice about permissible and impermissible gambling: if there is any permissible, for I do not claim to know even that. I have also said nothing about birth-control. I am not a woman nor even a married man, nor am I a priest. I did not think it my place to take a firm line about pains, dangers and expenses from which I am protected; having no pastoral office which obliged me to do so·”

If this "Law of Nature" is so universal, why wouldn't he feel comfortable talking about these things that he has no qualifications in? Shouldn't he just know "naturally"?
Premise One: If a compassionate God exists, then he would do things just as a compassionate person would.
Premise Two: God doesn't do things as a compassionate person would.
Conclusion: Therefore, a compassionate God does not exist.

Og3
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2018 6:41 am

Re: C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity

Post by Og3 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:10 am

so, in other words, you have no intention of addressing his actual statements, and instead merely intend to make fun of random phrases out of context?

So, what exactly is the point of us having this discussion, if your only goal is to mince words?
EGO TE ABSOLVO, and there's nothing you can do about it.

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