Sunday, October 02, 2011

C.S. Lewis on Christianity

"If Christianity is untrue, then no honest man will want to believe it, however helpful it might be; if it is true, every honest man will want to believe it, even if it gives him no help at all."

- C.S. Lewis
Essay, Man or Rabbit


Anonymous said...

This quote has some serious problems. Surely, some honest people will want to believe in Christianity despite it being untrue. Conversely, not every honest person would want to believe in Christianity even if it were true. Why do you apologists laud fallacious statement such as this and pretend that C.S. Lewis is so profound?

Brian said...

If I thought Lewis was trying to categorize what honest people will believe, I would agree with you. But I don't think Lewis is using this language to make categorical truth claims about what kinds of people will believe something and for what motives.

It's more like he is saying that if it's not true you shouldn't believe it, and if it is true you should believe it --- whether or not it helps you or not should not be the issue. He's emphasizing that our priority in choosing to believe something is whether or not we have good reason to believe it is true.

Some context may help. Original context here. Some good comments by Boa and Bowman in this book here.

COMDER said...

In response to what jimocracy said.
I believe this quote is sound. I believe CS Lewis is saying the honest people --- those people who are searching for the truth and are honest with themselves regarding the truth --- those are the people want to believe in a true religion. I don't think Lewis is merely referring to people who just tell the truth. We hear this all the time about people being dishonest when it comes to what is likely to be the truth or not, especially in debates.... hence the term "be honest with yourself;" or "do you honestly believe so and so?"

Or put simply, what's a more succient adjective of people who want the truth and nothing but the truth? Truth-seekers? Do you want Lewis to change his language to "truth-seekers" instead?

Got to go.

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