What do people think of Lewis' arguments in this?
Good introduction to Christianity. Lewis writes in an uncomplicated way and doesn't come off as pompous, which I like. It feels more like you're talking to some kind old man in church.Here's an introductory excerpt for those of you who are considering reading the book:>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. Some of the evidence for this I have put together in the appendix of another book called The Abolition of Man; but for our present purpose I need only ask the reader to think what a totally different morality would mean.>Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five. Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to—whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or every one.>But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked.While I'm not a christian, this book certainly poses some very interesting objections to contemporary attitudes. At least in my case, I had absorbed implicitly the assumption that people of the past were mostly uncivilized, which is really quite arrogant of me. Though I wouldn't be surprised if most people still think this. Everyone should read this book.
>>12390378More, because why not:>But the most remarkable thing is this. Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later. He may break his promise to you, but if you try breaking one to him he will be complaining ‘It’s not fair’ before you can say Jack Robinson.> A nation may say treaties don’t matter; but then, next minute, they spoil their case by saying that the particular treaty they want to break was an unfair one. But if treaties do not matter, and if there is no such thing as Right and Wrong—in other words, if there is no Law of Nature—what is the difference between a fair treaty and an unfair one? Have they not let the cat out of the bag and shown that, whatever they say, they really know the Law of Nature just like anyone else?>It seems, then, we are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong. People may be sometimes mistaken about them, just as people sometimes get their sums wrong; but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table. Now if we are agreed about that, I go on to my next point, which is this. None of us are really keeping the Law of Nature.>[...] These, then, are the two points I wanted to make. First, that human beings, all over the earth, have this curious idea that they ought to behave in a certain way, and cannot really get rid of it. Secondly, that they do not in fact behave in that way. They know the Law of Nature; they break it. These two facts are the foundation of all clear thinking about ourselves and the universe we live in.(End of chapter 1)This I agree with 100%. It's a mysterious thing about human nature, that we can feel like we should do something without really knowing where it comes from. C. S. Lewis argues that this surely is proof of something outside the universe suggesting to us to do what's right. What do you think?
>>12390378>Everyone should read this bookYeah, there's a lot of seemingly basic things most people don't know about, but they're happy to opine about it as authorities.As the Proverb says: "He who restrains his words has knowledge"
It's worth reading. The most interesting argument for me or at the least the one which changed my mind on a pretty big topic was his defense of witch burning. They weren't moral errors but instead factual errors. If witches were real it would be morally acceptable to burn them but witches don't actually exist so the historical burnings were instead a failure to uncover the facts.Another one I liked was the food/sex analogy where he points out that if we went to a strip club and gawked at a plate of ham like we currently do with strippers we would realize that our behavior towards the ham was disordered. There's something wrong with that and we should try to change it.
His trilema is overly reductive and doesn't argue with charitable objections
>>12390955His trilema that Jesus must be either:>Insane>A liar>The son of GodIgnores any actual objections that a person who disagrees with him might have. Namely that:>It might not be limited to three options>The records might not be accurate>Exegesis/translations of his sayings may have misinterpreted his points>That any of the three options he gives contradict each other
My grandma gave me this for Winterfest (I don't call it Christmas because I'm not a good goy). I told her to fuck off and started playing some Iron Maiden (Number of the Beast). Crazy old crone started crying so my dad tried to make me leave the room but I put him in a headlock and made him admit that I'm stronger than him.
>>12390254His explanation of Christianity and the experience of being a Christian are very good. The arguments for being a Christian aren’t great.
>>12391342None of your objections are reasonable. Julius Caesar either crossed the Rubicon or he didn't. We only have two options. You could play these little games and question the historical facts which are commonly accepted for a reason but you're not bringing anything novel to the conversation.Jesus existed and the historical information relevant to the trilemma is rock solid, coming from multiple sources and perspectives. There's no room for misinterpretations.
>>12391798Pretty much what I was going to write. His descriptions of life as a Christian are very warm and charming. His attempts to be logical are weaker.>>12392775You seem to assume that not accepting the trilemma makes one a Jesus Mythicist, which is clearly not the case.
>>12393074It's not clear. The only historical fact assumed by the trilemma is that Jesus existed. If Jesus existed, A, B, or C. What are these missing options you keep alluding to?
>>12393099>It's not clear. The only historical fact assumed by the trilemma is that Jesus existed. If Jesus existed, A, B, or C. What are these missing options you keep alluding to?Not him but you should really think about this stuff harder before posting. I can easily come up with a variety of alternative options and I just popped into this thread by chance on a whim several moments ago. You say it either has to be that Jesus must be either:>Insane>A liar>The son of GodWell, how about>Neither insane nor a liar, but a very spiritually pure and wholesome person who honestly believed he was the son of God but was simply mistaken>That 'son of God' was a way of referring to some transcendent mystical experience he had and was teaching to others, which would go a long way towards explaining some of the more eastern-like statements in the canonical gospels (to say nothing of Thomas etc)You say 'historical information relevant to the trilemma is rock solid, coming from multiple sources and perspectives' but this obscures the fact that what determined which texts went into the bible was largely the result of an interplay of power struggles, intra-church politics and individual personalities exerting their willpower and influence. It could have easily ended up very different if just a few events happened differently or if different people had higher up positions in the church than they had when it happened. No offense but this is an embarrassingly bad hill to die on.
>>12393437Don't lecture me, you cunt. If Jesus honestly believed but was mistaken, that would fall under the category of liar. It's the same if he was influenced by other religions so maybe you should think a little harder about this. The only historical information relevant to the trilemma is that a person named Jesus existed and made some claims about the nature of God. To deny the trilemma because of historicity you would have to deny the existence of Jesus which is backed by neutral and hostile sources like Tacitus and Josephus, so I don't even have to rely on Christian sources to prove he existed.
trilemma moves the ball forward, whether meant to finally settle the question or not
>>12390422I always think of the Shakespeare quote about there being more to heaven and earth that can be dreamt up by philosophy. I certainly believe there is a hidden world/dimension(s) as I get older.
>>12390689I liked the witch point as well. Also the argument that if you take Jesus seriously you have to accept that he at least thought he was the son of God. This was important to me, because I was raised extremely secularly but taught that Jesus was the greatest "philosopher" that ever lived or something cheesy like that
>>12393099It assumes so much more: that the gospels are perfectly accurate about Jesus, that any strange claim means someone is mentally ill to the point of being brain-dead, that someone with moral teachings is incapable of lying, that someone cannot be deluded about their divinity but must be "the devil from hell" if they claim divinity and aren't insane to the point of being brain-dead.
>>12394000I don't know that much about the Bible, so I won't argue with you on the accuracy of reporting of his claims to be God, I'll leave that to someone else if possible.However, your later arguments seem basically to be saying that you can believe yourself to be divine without it being true or you insane. I would say that this is axiomatically untrue –if you believe yourself to be divine without being divine, you are insane. This doesn't imply maliciousness, just something clearly wrong with your brain.
>>12394000A man named Jesus existed and he made some claims about the divine. You don't need more than Tacititus to confirm that so what else is being assumed by the argument? You could apply the trilemma to anyone making a strange or extraordinary claim. They're either telling the truth, they're not mentally fit or perceiving reality as you should, or they're lying or mistaken.If I tell you I caught a bullet with my teeth like Ace Ventura I'm either lying or mistaken, insane, or actually telling the truth. What other option can there be?
>>12394000He claimed to be God to the point of nightmarish crucifixionWhy would he lie?Crucifixion seems key to trilemma
>>12393464Neither Josephus nor Tacitus say Jesus claimed to be God.
>>12393464>Don't lecture me, you cunt. If Jesus honestly believed but was mistaken, that would fall under the category of liar.LOL
>>12394037You inserted mistaken along with lying, which Lewis doesn't do. He doesn't acknowledge that Jesus could be just mistaken. Also, it's a claim about the second-hand reports we have of Jesus, not his own testimony.>>12394082Not even the gospels say he kept asserting his Godhood in the face of his crucifixion. He just lets others condemn him. And again, assuming the gospels are perfectly accurate is another flaw in Lewis' argument.
>>12394092>Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.Followers of Jesus were being persecuted over a "mischievous superstition" which is obviously referring to something religious.
>>12394082>He claimed to be God to the point of nightmarish crucifixionSo what?, there are various incidents of eastern mystics doing the same thing. The greeks wrote about an Indian gymnosophist coming to Athens and self-immolating to demonstrate the resoluteness of his convictions (they thought very highly of this), there are countless instances recorded in history of Mughal rulers executing Hindu and Sikh mystics in horrible ways who refused to convert. The same logic you are using also applies to them, which shows how useless it is to apply that logic to Jesus in the way Lewis does
>>12394123To lie is to tell an untruth. You can tell unintentional lies. What is a claim about second hand reports of Jesus? I don't know what you're talking about.
>>12394127Obviously it's something religious. "Mischievous superstition" doesn't automatically mean believing Jesus claimed to be God. It could refer to any number of other Christian beliefs, such as refusal to worship the Roman gods, which is actually more likely to be seen as "mischievious" by Tacitus.>>12394140If that's how you're defining it, that's ok. But Lewis doesn't, he strongly implies that the trilemma only allows for a malicious lying, hence the "devil from hell" comment.