Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Atheism turns out to be too simple...

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless--I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently 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: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."

~C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

6 Comment(s):

At Tue Sep 07, 12:52:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning"

Wow.

Now *that* is a powerful sentence!

I gotta put that quote somewhere...

~Joelle

 
At Tue Sep 07, 09:03:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning."Hmmm...

Light = Goodness
Dark = Evil

We would not know we were evil--the concept of evil would have no meaning. It reminds me of this other quote by Lewis:

"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."

or this one:

"Where, except in uncreated light, can the darkness be drowned?"

(--Letters to Malcolm)

He is just so darn quotable!

 
At Tue Sep 07, 10:59:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Thu Sep 09, 10:42:00 AM EST, Blogger jesusandME said...

"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."
That is my all-time favourite Lewis quote. It was in my footer on TORn for so long I can't even remember when I discovered it. Oh yes I do. It was in one of his essays - the Screwtape Proposes a Toast series. I read it when I first got sick and had loads of time on my hands. Have you read them? I love those essays...

~Amatire

 
At Thu Sep 09, 08:45:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

I have read The Screwtape Letters, but I need to re-read it. I remember thinking how clever Lewis was, and how totally ACCURATE the whole premise of the story could be.

 
At Sat Sep 11, 01:17:00 PM EST, Blogger jesusandME said...

do read it again! It's amazing.

I kept going: 'oops! fell for that one.. and that one.. and I know I've done that one!' all the way through.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home