I say classic because his arguments for a “Real Morality” (i.e. God given morality), and his famous “Trilemma“ (we know it as the “Jesus was either Liar, Lunatic or Lord” argument ) are so vapid, so fallacious, so easily refutable though research, reason and observation that only a Christian could perceive them as intellectual or worthy of repeating.
Although raised in a religious family Lewis claims he became atheist at the age of 15, only to find Christianity, again, in his later years. But here’s the thing: he claimed that as an atheist he was “very angry with God for not existing". Now think about that. Can you conceive of yourself, or any one who rejects the concept of a god as man made fallacy as being “angry with God for not existing”? It is oxymoronic at best, patently absurd at worst. Atheist at fifteen? Dubious.
Nevertheless, Christians love to quote Lewis, throw his name around, pull examples from his writings, implore us to read his works and use him as some kind of proof of religion’s veracity. After all an “atheist” becoming a Christian makes him the darling of the religiously enamored. It’s a validation of their belief. I would also venture that the insipid and hackneyed platitude “You’re just angry at God” that Christians love to throw at atheists is probably attributable to CS Lewis’ self described anger with god as an “atheist.” Now there’s a contribution to Christian apologetics.
As an example of a Lewis quote that makes any thinking person wince is this:
“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.”
Two things are obvious to anyone with a modicum of intellectual awareness:
1) It is unsupportable opinion in an attempt to establish that strong belief in the afterlife has motivated the best contributions to this civilization.
2) The premise is not intended to be challenged, researched, and evaluated because the examples that disprove it / falsify it are vast.
But that doesn’t matter to believers. They take that kind of statement at face value…as a “Truth.” They don’t think for a moment “What degree of belief in the afterlife did Copernicus have? Did Dr. Christiaan Barnard have? Charles Darwin?” They were Christians all, but not one sliver of historical and corroborated evidence exists that establishes their belief, or degree of belief, in the afterlife. Indeed, there are many examples of hideous Christians’ words, acts, and legacies whose thoughts of the “next world” occupied their minds constantly. Martin Luther comes to mind, and his contribution to anti-Semitism is legend. Perhaps that’s the kind of contribution Lewis admired.
And what about reform Jews and non-believers who have contributed so much to this world that the list would fill volumes; they who never held belief in the afterlife? How does that reconcile with being “ineffective” in this world with no belief in the next? Is it only those Christians who have lesser or no belief in an afterlife that are ineffective in this world –all other believers and non-believers being unaffected by their rejection of the afterlife myth? Please.
Yet Christians elevate CS Lewis to cult figure status; an articulate icon of Christian “Truth;” the poster boy for defender of the faith; a man of letters who has tasted the bitterness of godlessness, rejected it, and come back into light of Jesus’ goodness. In reality, Lewis was a religious hack playing to an audience who are as willing to swallow his shallow apologetics whole as they are to accept without question virgin births or dead things coming to life.