Monday, March 27, 2006

Atheism and CS Lewis

One of the things I fear most is apostasy. Knowing what I know about the Catholic church there would be no where for me to go unless I became Atheist. Whenever I start to get pulled in this direction I read CS Lewis. Yes I know he wasn't Catholic, but his arguments against Atheism snap me out of my daze.

You can find these arguments in almost all of his books (which are all wonderful and highly recommended). I found this one hidden in the sixth book of the Narnia Chronicles, The Silver Chair.

At this point the witch has been trying to enchant the children into believing that there is no world but her cave. Strumming on her little harp and burning incense in the fire she tells them that all the things of the Overworld are just extensions of the things in the cave. The sun is no more than a "bigger and better lamp" and Aslan is no more than a bigger cat. Puggleglum then walks up to the fire and, putting his frog-like foot into it, stops the sweet aroma and breaks most of the enchantment.

"One word, Ma'am," [Puddleglum] said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't an Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narina. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for the Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."


A friend has often used these same arguments against God. He's said that God is no more than an extension of the things known in this world and that religion is only for the emotionally immature and naive. Furthermore, I shouldn't throw my life away looking for something that doesn't exist. Well I have this to say! (of course, totally in my own words)

I have one thing left to say to you Atheist. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a lass who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - soul and heaven and God; Father, Son and Spirit. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a existence of yours is all there is in the world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on God's side even if there isn't a God to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Christian as I can even if there isn't any Christ. So, thanking you kindly for our talks, if my fellow Christians are ready, we're leaving you at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for heaven. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say.

3 comments:

Mary said...

I have always loved that quotation! In high school I sent it to an agnostic friend of mine. God bless. I will try to pray for you in your discernment.

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christina said...

Ah, so that's what happens when I delete a comment ;)

Do you know if that had any effect on your agnostic friend? I tried the same thing, but I can only pray that the Holy Spirit is still working on him...

Thank you for your prayers and God bless!