Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books

Stive Claples writes:
opposite effect
Since I was young when I read this and I was not at first expecting a Christian allegory, I think the veil of science fiction had quite the opposite effect from what Lewis intended. When I tried to make sense of this alien world's morality, I did so according to my instincts and not according to what I was taught. And my moral instincts told me that--beginning of Chp 12--the pleasure of sex need not be so maligned as to be avoided beyond its biological usefulness. This is akin to saying we should not eat things that taste better than necessary, or that we, being given the ability to speak, should not do so any more than we must. The same goes for any instinctual behavior.

CS Lewis's reasoning at times sounded good enough to me at a young age, but now approaching it from the other side, ie the non-believing side, it just doesn't hold water. And it's simple why. All his arguments--and indeed the arguments of all apologists I've read--boil down with the assumption that faith is a virtue. Why should faith be a virtue? I can think of areas where it certainly is not a virtue--accounting, Fda product testing, driving a car--but never have I heard a convincing argument for this assumption. All such arguments are basically more or less stringent forms of ''well it's a virtue because if you don't have faith you go to hell.'' And that's just not enough.

So although I found the story and the writing pretty good, I did not like the way it made me feel guilty for being what I am.
[627] Posted on Friday, 22 October 2010 at 4:58 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Some Guy writes in reply to Stive Claples:
opposite effect
The book is entertaining and thought provoking. Certainly it's allegorical (what in literature, really, isn't?), but it's not a textbook(!) So maybe ''feeling guilty'' is more a comment on your belief system than on the story.
[639] Posted on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 at 10:04 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

NathanSepllman writes in reply to Stive Claples:
opposite effect
Actually, I do not think Lewis to be trying on convincing anyone of gilt (that's the devil's work).
However, there's something I think you should consider about faith. If you read the previous posts, you may notice everyone speaking of different beliefs. As if they actually believed something. You can only through faith believe on the nonexistence of deities for there is no way to prove it true or false.
Either you believe in order or chaos, you may find your self realizing that it is only faith -at the very end-, which sustains it.
IMAO, atheists are too proud to think themselves as a part of an organized system and end up making gods of themselves to fight this.
[645] Posted on Friday, 31 December 2010 at 19:44 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

(anonymous) writes in reply to NathanSepllman:
opposite effect
That was put very well. I had never actually thought about belief systems that way, even though I have been a Christian all of my life.
[660] Posted on Friday, 07 January 2011 at 22:28 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

(anonymous) writes in reply to Stive Claples:
opposite effect
I see where you are coming from, but I think the reason you couldn't ''make sense'' of Malacandra's morals is because human beings are born without goodness, a fact Lewis knew quite well. The main reason Lewis's reasoning seems to you flawed is the fact that you made your decision about his beliefs before you even read the back cover. No amount of reasoning would change your opinion. I say this in the utmost respect; it is, in truth, human nature. For example, if I were to prove the existence of God using pure logic and reason, would you permit His existence? Of course not. It takes God Himself to change your mind.

Also, blind faith is not a virtue in and of itself. Everyone puts their faith in something, whether it be a religion (mind you, Christianity is not a religion), or themselves, or whatever they believe in. We were created to trust and worship something. The question of eternal importance is what. R.C. Sproul proves that Christianity is logical in his book, Defending Your Faith. I challenge you to read more of Lewis or Sproul (I could recommend Mere Christianity) and look at their arguments from a completely abstracted point of view.

Finally, the book, whether or not Lewis intended, does not make you feel guilty for what you are, but rather for not being what you were created to be.
[659] Posted on Friday, 07 January 2011 at 22:25 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

Marissa writes in reply to (anonymous):
sorry, my name's Marissa.
[662] Posted on Friday, 07 January 2011 at 23:40 GMT [Reply to this] [Permalink]

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