By Erik J. Wielenberg
C. S. Lewis is without doubt one of the such a lot liked Christian apologists of the 20 th century; David Hume and Bertrand Russell are between Christianity's most crucial critics. This publication places those 3 highbrow giants in dialog with each other on a number of vital questions: the life of God, anguish, morality, cause, pleasure, miracles, and religion. along irreconcilable modifications, astounding components of contract emerge. Curious readers will locate penetrating insights within the reasoned discussion of those 3 nice thinkers.
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Extra resources for God and the Reach of Reason: C. S. Lewis, David Hume, and Bertrand Russell
Freely loving God is true human happiness. The devil Screwtape explains some of these ideas to his nephew Wormwood in Lewis’s fictional work The Screwtape Letters as follows: He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself – creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His. . But you now see that the Irresistible and the Indisputable are the two weapons which the very nature of His scheme forbids Him to use.
Go on then! Hit me again! But what for! ”93 When seen through the eyes of someone in the grips of mistaken conceptions of omnipotence, goodness, and happiness, Ivan’s suffering can seem like overwhelming evidence against the existence of God. But for someone with a correct understanding of these concepts (and of Ivan’s character), Ivan’s suffering is no evidence against the existence of God at all. In fact, Lewis would maintain that once we 38 15:10 P1: KNP 9780521880862c01 CUNY1074/Wielenberg 978 0 521 88086 2 July 25, 2007 The Love of God and the Suffering of Humanity understand these concepts correctly, we will see that it is precisely because God loves Ivan that He permits him to suffer.
Ivan Ilyich married for both reasons: in acquiring such a wife he did something that gave him pleasure and, at the same time, did what people of the highest standing considered correct. 83 Ivan is, in a nutshell, a “bad man, happy . . ”84 Just when everything has fallen into place for Ivan, he injures himself in a fall from a ladder, and as time passes it becomes clear that he is suffering from a chronic and ultimately fatal illness. One of the first consequences of the illness is that it ruins Ivan’s greatest pleasure – the pleasure of whist.