Information icon.svg

Campaigning for the RationalMedia Foundation 2019 board of trustees election has begun. Ask questions, read slogans, and (un)endorse candidates!

Information icon.svg

RationalWiki has reached 7,000 articles!

Talk:C.S. Lewis

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Re: refutation v disagreement[edit]

He based his arguments on logic, and logic can be refuted Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:36, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

That certainly depends on the circumstances. Which of his arguments are we talking about and who is supposed to have refuted them? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 07:42, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
The ontological argument, I think, is the big one. Bertrand Russell refuted that one. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 08:10, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
Actually, that was rather Kant, although it's not so much a refutation as a debate on whether or not one believes that existence is a predicate. In any case, I don't immediately recall Lewis having that much to say on the ontological argument. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 10:12, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

Oh, whatever. I've never read his work, but he's a byword for faulty logic and wishful thinking.Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:41, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

O rly? Among whom, if I might ask? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 17:32, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
Wazza, he's a fantasy writer. He isn't trying to convert anyone. And where are my palm fronds? <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 17:38, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
His apologist thing was "Mere Christianity", but if you read Narnia books thinking "Christian, christian..." you suddenly realise how heavy-handed it is. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 17:41, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
Additionally, he stated (I don't remember where) that Jesus clearly could not have merely been a "great teacher", as some people claimed, because in the Bible Jesus clearly stated "I am the Son of God", therefore he is either divine or a liar, and if he's a liar, then he cannot be a great teacher. Ergo, Jesus was divine.
And that is what told me that C.S. Lewis was the weakest-minded little atheist there ever was, if he could be converted by that logic. Stunning, no? He presumes biblical inerrancy, right off the bat. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:53, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
That is the Trilemma, from Mere Christianity. That argument is not what converted him, however - he developed it much later. If you want to know why he converted, you can go read his autobiography Surprised by Joy. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 17:59, 9 June 2008 (EDT)
Still, that's some really bad logic there. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:04, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

Weak minded, faulty logic, wishful thinking, lol keep it coming please! SHahB 18:01, 9 June 2008 (EDT)

OK, can we get us some refutations? His arguments are rather popular in propping up the faith of the fundies... though Jack Chick doesn't like the Narnia books. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:37, 15 June 2008 (EDT)

Why not? Are they not extremist enough for him? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:47, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
They can be found in occultist shops, apparently... he doesn't like Tolkien either. It's in the dungeons and dragons tract. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 07:16, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Of course they don't like it. The Narnia books draw as much on Classical and British mythological themes as they do on Christian material, if not more. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 10:27, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
Yes, but christianity plagiarises classical themes too... and christian mythology is definitely the main basis of the books.Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 21:31, 15 June 2008 (EDT)
I think that's what you'd call a matter of interpretation. I happen to think the "main basis" of the books is to tell a good story. In doing so, the author draws on a whole range of different themes and materials, just like any author does. One of those happens to be Christianity. Personally, I don't find the Christian themes particularly overwhelming, but I guess if that's what you're looking for, that's what you'll find. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:01, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

When I first read them, I was like "What is this guy on" and then I read up on christianity, reread the books, and realised "Oh, hey, he's fucked off his face on the Holy Spirit." It is definitely a powerful influence, especially the (Narnia chronology) first and last books, which are basically rewritten Genesis and Revelations. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:24, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

That's an... interesting way of phrasing it. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:51, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

Well, there's a saying amongst christians: "I'm high on the holy spirit!". I just extrapolated. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 06:19, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

Wazzock! <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 06:22, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

Ok, so I guess the implication here is that writing books based on Christian themes makes for bad literature, amirite? Can we attempt to quantify this in some way? For instance, by assuming that the Narnia books are on average about 70% Christian themes, while something like Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment is more or less 100% Christian themes, and assuming a direct correlation between Christianity and crappiness, can we conclude that Crime and Punishment is about thirty percentage points more crappy than Narnia? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 11:46, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

You got your proportions wrong. Crime and Punishment would be 43% crappier than Narnia. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 14:02, 16 June 2008 (EDT)
I did write percentage points, exactly because I couldn't be bothered to figure out the exact proportion. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 14:59, 16 June 2008 (EDT)

I'm not saying they're bad books, I'm just saying the christian propaganda is a little heavy-handed. I mean, the same could be said about His Dark Materials and atheist propaganda, if you were reading it from a theist perspective. They're still good books, just written from a specific viewpoint which may colour your enjoyment thereof.

On the other hand, Left Behind is an example of a series written from a particular viewpoint which is also crap. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 02:34, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Button button button button button button button button button button button button, mushroom, mushroom![edit]

I don't think Narnia or HDM really count as propaganda, Mr Wazzock. They're just stories about things the authors were interested in. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 02:45, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
I think that they are propaganda, subliminal maybe, but still propaganda. SusanG  ContribsTalk 02:56, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
Then all novels are propaganda, and we must never read anything. Woe! <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 03:02, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Read the one about the horse, forget the title... read that, and tell me it's not anti-islamic propaganda. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 03:11, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Jelly: No: the uncritical acceptance of their POV in each, and surrounding it with an otherwise interesting storyline based on that POV is definitely propaganda. Your ordinary novel doesn't depend on such pushing of POV. Narnia annoyed me at first reading, HDM would annoy a religious person. When the reason for a novel is its POV then it's propaganda. SusanG  ContribsTalk 03:16, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
No, I still disagree, and I found HDM very enjoyable despite its supposed hostility towards religion. The key is that when you read a novel you can easily follow the story without having to accept the logic. Even when you read something where the entire storyline is based around a very limiting philosphy (like anything by Ayn Rand, for example), it isn't likely to sway a sceptic towards the author's POV, and hence isn't really propaganda. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 03:23, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
Ah, but think of the target audience: teen/sub teen kids who aren't likely to be as discriminatory as your good self SusanG  ContribsTalk 03:26, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
I can't tell which one you're talking about now. Halp, halp! <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 03:31, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
Either/both. SusanG  ContribsTalk 03:35, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
I think "children of all ages" might be a better description, then :) <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 03:54, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
And how, then, do we tell whether or not the "reason" for a given novel is "its POV"? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 04:55, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
You're supposed to add a button. Please carry on.
But there's one right up there ^ . Just half 3/4 of a screen up. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:02, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
I mean you're supposed to add another instance of the word "button" to that subtitle. Look at the diff for this edit.
Oh, I see. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:59, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
I fixed your tag. Don't mention it :)
Ah. Thanks. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 06:35, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
Why don't you sign, by the way? Are you perhaps planning to perpetrate more deceit? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 06:36, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
I thought signing might defeat the purpose of talking small-ly. Got lots of buttons now, haven't we?
Yes. I suggest we end this while the going is good. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 07:18, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

New non-silly edit button. Please carry on.[edit]

What does he say?[edit]

For those of us lazy illiterates who have not actually read the books - is there any chance we could we have some concrete examples of what it is that he actually wrote? Either here or, even better, in the article.--Bobbing up 04:10, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

NO. SusanG  ContribsTalk 04:14, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
Narnia has a King (Aslan - lion) who is killed & resurrected. It's the whole premise of good shall triumph (good as in "supporter/defender of Aslan") etc ... No one word or sentence can show the idea. SusanG  ContribsTalk 04:31, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
OK - but the idea of heroes - or even Gods - being killed and resurrected well predates Christianity doesn't it? Isn't the Christian myth is simply a copy of earlier ones?--Bobbing up 17:29, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
sorry, Bob, you've got to read it to get all the symbolism. SusanG  ContribsTalk 17:43, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
Enjoyed the books as a kid - don't how they'd stand up today. (LOTR has become unreadable :P) I got the crucifixion reference, but The Last Battle aside, nothing else really registered Christianity-wise. --Robledo 17:55, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
For the record, the Christian themes in Narnia are neither symbolical nor allegorical, but suppositional - at least Lewis himself said as much. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 17:57, 17 June 2008 (EDT)
AKjeldsen, I ask that you stop linking to Wikipedia as an explanation for every term you use. Wikipedia is almost never of any help if you just want to know what the frick something means. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:42, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

yes, but this is also the man who formulated the trilemma, so I would take everything he says with a grain of salt. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 19:20, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

What is the "trilemma"? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:42, 17 June 2008 (EDT)

Please get a grip. Lewis was a highly distinguished medieval scholar of his age. I think we can be reasonably sure that on this, at least, he knew what he was talking about. RA: wp:Lewis's_trilemma :unrepentant: --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 04:53, 18 June 2008 (EDT)

AK: You're too edjumificated for me I've looked @ that "suppository" thing & I'm no wiser now. I'll take your word for it (at least I would if I understood your word) SusanG  ContribsTalk 04:59, 18 June 2008 (EDT)
Indeed. AK, you really need to write "AKjeldsen's Handy Dandy Vocabulary Guide for Uneducated Nontheists". I imagine it'll make the bestseller lists. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:32, 18 June 2008 (EDT)
Maybe I should. On a closer look, that WP article doesn't actually explain the concept very well. Briefly, the basic difference between supposition and allegory is that while allegory or symbolism is a literary image that represents a certain concept or idea, such as the blindfolded lady representing "justice" or the unicorn representing "purity" etc., in supposition you have one thing or concept that so to say "takes the place" of another. For instance, to use the WP example, in the expression "drink another cup", the term 'cup' takes the place of or "supposits" the wine in the cup.
In regard to Narnia, it is clear that there is a connection between Aslan and Christ. However, there are still sufficient differences between them that we can't talk about a straight allegory. Instead, we should see Aslan as taking the place in Narnia which Christ occupies in ours - Aslan "supposits" for Christ.
In other words, the Christian themes in eg. Lion, Witch and Wardrobe are best seen as a response to the question, "How would Christ appear in a world so significantly different from our own as Narnia, and how would the Passion take place?" Lewis's answer apparently is that it would be similar, but also considerably different in many ways. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 06:08, 18 June 2008 (EDT)

Wait, I thought you said christian themes weren't that important. Suddenly it's all about the christians! Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 03:08, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

No, it is not "all about the Christians". I am just trying to explain my interpretation of those Christian themes that *do exist* in the books, since that's apparently all you guys are interested in talking about. But why don't we talk about river gods instead? Why is there a river god and water spirits in a book that is supposed to be so heavy-handedly Christian? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 04:34, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

why is there a messiah in a book so heavily classical? Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:18, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

Because, as I wrote four days ago, in order to tell the story the author draws on a whole range of different themes and materials, just like any author does, one of which happens to be Christianity. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:43, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

Yes, but, as a christian, he adds more christian themes, thus turning the books into blatant christian propaganda. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:45, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

"As a Christian, he adds more Christian themes so it must be propaganda"? Your underlying implication seems to be just that the fact that he was Christian makes his work both religiously themed and cynically motivated. I'm going to have to ask for your RW Membership Card back. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 06:43, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
Wazza, the only way you can reach that conclusion is by focusing excusively on *one* aspect of the books and dismiss the others as irrelevant. That's a weak and biased literary criticism. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 06:58, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

No, but my point is that when you read them, they are christian propaganda, and I'm trying to explain why they became christian propaganda even though he used a wide range of sources. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 21:24, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

If you want to see the books as propaganda, you need to demonstrate - with sufficient sources, please - that Lewis wrote them for the specific purpose of converting people to Christianity. Otherwise anything could be termed "propaganda". Dostoevsky and Dante would be "Christian propaganda", too. Waiting for Godot would be "existentialist propaganda". La Peste would be "absurdist propaganda". And so forth. Besides, I still don't understand what a pagan river god is doing in Christian propaganda. Seems counterproductive to me. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 04:40, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

so a book aimed at children (give me a child up to the age of seven) and centred around heavily christian themes (to the point of demonising the Muslim god) can't possibly be christian propaganda because he covered it up with a couple of non-christian concepts? Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 09:16, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

Certainly they can be. What remains is for you to credibly demonstrate that these books are so, i.e. that this was actually the intention of the author. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 10:53, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

How could he publish a book like that and not intend that it "bring more children to Jesus"?Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 21:47, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

buffoonery button button[edit]

Buffoonery, I say! I owned and read all seven of the series, certainly by the age of eight if not earlier, and it didn't work on me. Hell, I didn't even get the Xtian subtext until it was explained to me by a friend 30-odd years later. Next thing you know, I'll be getting told that reading Jungle Book made me an imperialist! ħumanUser talk:Human 21:55, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

It's not a matter of whether it works, it's a matter of what it was intended to do. I mean, his logic didn't work, either, but we don't say "that's not christian theology because he didn't manage to convert anyone", do we? Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 22:47, 21 June 2008 (EDT)
"Intention" is difficult to ascertain. Did Clive intend to convert young minds, or did he just write a series of children's books loosely based around an old, pre-existing story with which he was very familiar? In order to accuse him of attempted brainwashing, first you must prove his intent. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:54, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

He's a christian. That's a proselytizing faith. There's your intent right there.

OK, I admit I may be simplifying somewhat. But read The Horse And His Boy, particularly the representation of the god in that and the culture, and tell me it isn't demonising of Islam. I'm not fond of Islam myself, but I don't portray Muslims making human sacrifices. (I think those are in there... it's been a while since I read it.)Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 22:59, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

I'm sorry, but many Xtians do not proselytize, on a regular basis (the nutjob sects do, of course, and so we hear a lot more about them). I read the Horse story at the age, as noted above, of about 8. All it struck me as was one of the suckier books. How on earth could I relate it to Islam, at that age? All I got out of the stories as a kid was a sort of Star-Wars-ish battle between Good and Evil (at that age, that's simple enough), and a really cool science-fictiony time slip effect. Oh, and I liked the Turkish Delight. And I always though the "eternal winter" that the Witch imposed was a kind of pagan-ish perspective, so there :P ħumanUser talk:Human 23:47, 21 June 2008 (EDT)

I'm not saying he can't include elements from other mythologies to spice things up (because christianity is boring!) so pointing to pagan or classical elements doesn't disprove my central point... which is that the idea of these was to fill kids up with these ideas, like the Manichean struggle and Jesus's sacrifice... so they're more accepting of christianity. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 03:16, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

"Presumptuous" doesn't begin to describe your position, Wazza. It is little more than a one-man conspiracy theory. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:22, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
Wazza, you're not listening. I am one-man proof that your hypothesis fails. Also check the atheism rates in CS Lewis' home country... It's a pretty story. I probably enjoyed it more about a lion than I did about a God. Why? Willing suspension of disbelief. Different standard for what is presented as fiction and what is presented as, by some religions (but certainly not C of E) as fact. Hey, I heard a joke... soldier dying, needs "religion" tag... someone says he's an atheist.... "mark him as C of E". Either that or backwards it, either way, same joke, same reality. ħumanUser talk:Human 03:29, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
Wazza, for the third time now: Are you able to provide actual references to support your theory, other than vague generalizations such as "he's a Christian, so obviously it must be Christian propaganda"? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 04:21, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
Wow. Just wow. That question makes me think this is becoming an atheist version of Conservapedia. AK, how many times have we asked that question to ASchlafly? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:24, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
N+1, I believe. Oh and as for The Horse and his Boy, again I can't help but notice that the Calormenes are polytheists, which seems like an odd way to portray Muslims if that were the intention. But that's probably more Christian deceit, right? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 04:26, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
On consideration, I have to agree that he was just using myths which would be familiar to his target audience. If they reinforced any preconceptions then so be it. Like H, I read the series & didn't get the allusion 'til later. SusanG  ContribsTalk 04:33, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
That's a good point, actually. To realize e.g. that Aslan is supposed to be Christ, you have to be both pretty familiar with the Bible story and able to think abstractly enough to make the connection. It's pretty obvious to all of us here, because we know the stories, but I don't think most pre-teen kids would be able to do that unless they were already raised in a Christian environment, and perhaps not even then. If my faint memories of high school psychology classes serve me, it's only at about that time they start to develop the ability to think that way. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:02, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Sorry I don't have an extensive collection of C.S. Lewis in my student flat... Anyway, this is my opinion, it's not even something I've added to the article, but the defensiveness here seems kind of out of proportion. It's known he was a christian, it's known he wrote apologetic works, it's known he wrote these books pretty much as a paraphrase of the bible (from Genesis to Revelations)... I think it does begin to add up to the possibility that just maybe he was hoping that these books would further the christian cause. And the whole point to propaganda is that you don't think abstractly about it. Its meaning is not meant to be immediately apparent, but rather to get under your skin and induce a susceptibility to certain ideas. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:21, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

A hallmark of propaganda is also that it's fairly blatant from the point of view of disinterested parties. Which CoN is not. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:24, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Are you saying I'm not a disinterested party!?! Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:49, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

wouldn't have expected someone with the undoubted intelligence of Lewis to attempt propaganda but equally I can't see him being disappointed if it did have some such effect. You might also look at Perelandra etc. - undoubtedly written with a Christian viewpoint/message but propaganda? SusanG  ContribsTalk 06:12, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Possibly the pre-nazi meaning of propaganda is more applicable. But it's still propaganda! Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 06:22, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

I think you're confusing "propaganda" with "biases I disagree with". Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:25, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Um... check our own article on Propaganda. Basically an attempt to sway opinions rather than inform is propaganda. By presenting christian ideas as exciting and non-nonsensical, C.S. Lewis is essentially producing propaganda. I'm not saying that it is therefore horrible and must be burned in big piles at the town square, just that you should be aware of this bias in his presentation. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 06:37, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

Check Merriam-Webster's definition of propaganda:
  • 2: the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person
  • 3: ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect
You'll note that both definitions center on intentionality: "for the purpose of" and "spread deliberately". In other words, if is to be considered propaganda, we need to demonstrate that this was the intention of the author. I still don't see any indication that this was the case re: Narnia and Lewis. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 12:31, 22 June 2008 (EDT)
I'm more worried about "presenting [C]hristian ideas as exciting and non-nonsensical [...] is essentially producing propaganda". Yikes, Wazza. Just... yikes. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>It is hard to know if nothing is actually nothing, and thus difficult to know if a policy of doing nothing is successful. 12:34, 22 June 2008 (EDT)

AK: want to edit our page on propaganda to bring it in line with that, then? Jelly: Explain one christian idea (uniquely christian, not the golden rule or somesuch) in a way which is exciting and makes sense, and I'll concede that point. The Eucharist will do nicely, thought I would also accept original sin. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 04:28, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Defensiveness[edit]

Everyone chill. I expressed an opinion that the Narnia books were written to present christian ideas to children, suddenly everyone's acting like I suggested we go firebomb some churches and then impregnate some nuns. Seriously, guys, what is up with that? I enjoyed the books too as a kid, but looking back on them now, I'm pretty sure they were written for that aim. You might not think so, and you are entitled to that opinion, it has been noted here, and nothing either way has ever been on the mainspace page. That's what we're supposed to do: present viewpoints, present arguments, let everyone decide for themselves. None of this overreaction. K? Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 04:54, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Well, what else do you expect? You're advancing a controversial point of view with no other supporting arguments than some vague generalizations about how Christian authors are supposed to behave. Nothing of this seems to have anything to do specifically with Narnia and Lewis's own intentions with the books. You're more or less skipping over the "present arguments" stage, so we more or less have to do the "decide for ourselves" in the light of the viewpoint alone.
On the other hand, it is of course possible that I'm misreading the situation. Maybe you're actually proposing a radically postmodernist approach where the only relevant point of reference is how the reader constructs the material, while the author doesn't matter at all. Are you a radical postmodernist, Wazza? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 05:14, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
If he were, why on earth would he be at a wiki, a thing designed to make post-modernists' head explode (the reader is the writer! OMG!)? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:18, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

I advance the book's own material - which is basically a paraphrase of the bible - as evidence that he at least intended to write a book which was a paraphrase of the bible. No? Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 05:43, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Perhaps. But then you claim that he wrote the books for the purpose of Christian propaganda, and that he included pagan elements in order to hide their true intent. Without any further supporting evidence, one might as well say that he wrote them as Pagan propaganda and included the Christian elements to hide that. --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 06:02, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Which is where his own faith comes in... unless the famous christian apologist had a few pagan skeletons in his closet, I'd say he was aiming for the christian bias. Not logical? In any case, I didn't say he put the pagan elements in to hide it, just to make it more interesting and hide the boringness. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 06:39, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

No, you didn't. Must be a false memory. But in any case, you still haven't supported your theory with anything other than variations on the fallacious argument that "Christianity is a proselytizing religion, Lewis was a Christian, thus Chronicles of Narnia must have been written with the intention to proselytize." Isn't it possible that a Christian, or for that matter a Muslim, a Buddhist or a Jedi author could write fiction books that draw on their personal beliefs for other purposes than for proselytization? Such as to understand aspects of their faith better, or perhaps just to tell a good story? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 07:42, 23 June 2008 (EDT)
Out of curiosity, did CS Lewis himself make any comment in this regard? That is to say, did he ever make statements to the effect that his books were meant to promote, represent or validate Christianity in some way? Obviously if he did then I would suppose the debate is closed; if he made no such comments then the question remains open. --Bobbing up 08:14, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

I think he did state that he wrote the books in order to present the bible to children in a different way, but I'm buggered if I can remember where. But I think the difference between, say a mormon writer writing a series of books about God etc (Children of Earth by Orson Scott Card) and C.S. Lewis writing a book paraphrasing the bible is that Lewis is, in his other works, an apologist, that is, someone whose whole job is to defend christianity and the bible. Also, I'm not necessarily saying he didn't mean also to write an entertaining story or to explore his faith more fully, because a book can be more than one thing at once. But I think, reading these books, that they are strongly christian, and that's the point I was trying to make; that the christian element is central to them. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 09:19, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Indeed. But surely you'll agree that there's a world of a difference between saying on the one hand that Christian elements are central to a lesser or greater degree, and on the other that the books are "Christian propaganda"? --AKjeldsenPotential fundamentalist! 09:39, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

well, the last definition of propaganda I read (before the one you provided) said that it was any material intended to sway opinions rather than inform, so the two could be regarded as more or less analogous. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:04, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

That definition includes every persuasive essay ever written. Which they're not. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 13:24, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Dropping in here... Aren't Lewis' intentions rather moot? What seems more important is whether the Narnia series has been taken over by others to promote Christianity. With the recent movies and their marketing campaigns, that point seems rather self-evident. --Edgerunner76Save me Tsisnaajini! 10:28, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

Can we jump up and down on Edge and call them post-modernist now? Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:36, 23 June 2008 (EDT)

I will give an example of C.S. Lewis' apologism. I read Mere Christianity once, long ago, and there still are a couple of bits I remember. One is a defense of the Bible passage that tells wives to obey their husbands. It went something (not word-for-word) like this:

"Ideally, a husband and wife will be in agreement, and there will be no need for one to obey the other. However, this is not always the case. How then should they decide? Well, they ought to talk it out and try to come to an understanding, but if this fails, what then? Vote? In a body of two people, that is impossible. Thus either the husband or wife must have the final say. Some might ask why it should be the husband, but do women really want to be in charge? A woman may say she wants to be, but she'll shake her head and cluck her tongue at the man who allows his shrew of a wife to order him about."

I don't know where my copy is -- possibly I got rid of it. Go read it if you want to find the exact wording. I'm pretty sure what I wrote is condensed; I seem to remember the whole argument taking up a entire page, maybe two. You want to have at C.S. Lewis? Go read his arguments and refute them.— Unsigned, by: 98.218.76.93 / talk / contribs

Some free links for the lazy: with some relevant quotes here, which can be plugged into Google to give us a version of the chapter in question. "There must be something unnatural about the rule of wives over husbands, because the wives themselves are half ashamed of it and despise the husbands whom they rule." Really now? 76.105.223.176 23:01, 3 November 2008 (EST)

I'm pretty sure C.S. Lewis was a theistic evolutionist.[edit]

but i could be wrong. but if he is, shouldn't we put it on the page?— Unsigned, by: Sanity / talk / contribs

If you can become completely sure and source it then then go ahead.--Bobbing up 11:52, 4 November 2008 (EST)

His name is C.S. Lewis[edit]

I don't understand why his full name is given as 'Clive Staples'. Nobody even recognises the name. I'm a big fan but I had to scratch my head to understand who this was about.

Most academics of a certain era tended to have an aristocratic background and hence had triple barreled names. Thus they used initials. It was the common practise at the time. You should think about changing it back. MarcusCicero (talk) 20:16, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

It's his real, full name, and many people know it. A few versions of cs lewis redirect to it, so it's not like it won't be found. ħumanUser talk:Human 20:28, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
I know its not a big deal, but there is a reason why both they wrote their name like that and why we remember their name like that.
You wouldn't dream of calling J.R.R. Tolkien anything other than J.R.R. Tolkien. I'm just trying to understand the rationale. Its a bit like converting Queen Elizabeth Windsor into her families original German name. (presuming they never formally got round to changing their name) MarcusCicero (talk) 20:37, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Clive Staples Lewis should redirect to C.S. Lewis due to popularity. It's fine to have his full name in the lede. Occasionaluse (talk) 20:39, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
+1 to this bold move, which I woulda made if Occasionaluse hadn't already - David Gerard (talk) 20:55, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Agree. It's like DDT, only a complete fool would call it by it's full name. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 21:00, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Orly? ORLLLYY?[edit]

"some his arguments are still used today, despite having been logically dismantled a long time ago."

When, by whom and how? And what, in the first place, was Lewis actually saying? If I won't get clear answers in the next, eh, five second, then intellectual honesty requires me to remove this untruthful sentence. --Idiot number 59 (talk) 20:41, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

  • I was required to read Mere Christianity for a core class at Eastern University. That was a while ago, but it's still an influential book that Christians are reading, and they're naturally picking up the arguments he used. --ShorinBJ (talk) 13:50, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

Auden[edit]

I changed the last part of the article mostly because, the way it was written (He was...) grammitcally it made it sound like CS Lewis was an open homosexual. I think its totally cool that Lewis could be friends with all sorts of people who disagreed with him and I think the refference should stay, I just wanted to make it more clear. Im not a evangelical troll, i promise! Powers (talk)

Tobacco[edit]

You say Lewis enjoyed ale and a tobacco pipe, both were acceptable in moderation in the time of Lewis. Controlled beer drinking is acceptable today though we know today that tobacco causes cancer and no Christian as important as Lewis could smoke without censure. What was the position of evangelicals at the time of Lewis? Proxima Centauri (talk) 16:16, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

Please state your argument in English. ТyNo 16:28, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
1) why does it matter what evangelicals thought? He was Anglican. Two, "Huh?" Pink mowse.pngGodotoi, putain, genial, merci 16:29, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

C of E and Catholic[edit]

The current wording of this article misrepresents the Church of England, in a couple of ways; first of all, it is quite diverse, with individual churches on a spectrum ranging from 'high' (close to Roman Catholicism) Anglicanism -- which C. S. Lewis practised -- and 'low', which is practically evangelical. The other thing is the misunderstanding of the meaning of 'reformed' and 'catholic' in this context. It has nothing to do with sectarian identity. The word 'reformed' is self-explanatory (it was changed), 'catholic' though means something specific that has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic church, and is a Greek word which appears in the Nicene Creed ("I believe in one holy catholic church"). It is sometimes translated 'universal' (which isn't exactly what it means). Because it appears in the Nicene Creed, churches which take that as a declaration of faith call themselves catholic. So, for the sake of accuracy, I'm correcting this error :) 80.7.84.248 (talk) 08:24, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Racism Ottoman Empire[edit]

It's been nearly 20 years since I've read the parts of the Narnia series which have "Calormen" - or whatever they're called. C.S. Lewis doesn't come off to me as an overtly racist kind of guy, nor does he seem like the type who would be rabidly opposed to it. However, I present this picture from an old Children's book. The picture contains a gnome walking under the notoriously poisonous and dangerous fly amanita mushroom. It's extremely common to characterize longstanding enemies in children's books so that the children know that those people will not be nice to them. The Ottoman Empire was a belligerent in WWI against Britain, so it's not surprising that Lewis would criticize Islamic cultures, and there's a lot to criticize about the Islamic Caliphate. Furthermore, Islamic cultures have been a historical enemy of western cultures ever since Muhammad started conquering Saudi Arabia. You'll find similar portrayals of Islamic barbarism in literature dating all the way back to the dark ages, including, for example, Chaucer. Some of this is definitely religious bias of Christianity vs. Islam, but it's also religious bias in the sense that Islamic cultures, for centuries, have attempted to conquer Christian cultures. There have also been retaliatory military actions as well, such as the Crusades. The fly amanita is in children's literature so children can be told "don't eat that, ever, it will kill you." (e.g. Mario eats fly amanita to grow) The same principle applies to historical western presentations of Islamic cultures in children's literature. It's unfortunate to see people on something called "rationalwiki" catering to politically correct historical revisionism in an attempt to remove the long-standing historical warnings our academics and greatest authors have passed down. To say that C.S. Lewis was "just an ignorant racist" is to seriously undermine the absolutely established credibility of Oxford University as well as the fact that Lewis, due to his area of study, would have a fairly decent knowledge of Islamic collisions with the west in history. The west has interfered with Middle-Eastern cultures throughout history, that's true, but Islamic cultures have, also, frequently been aggressors against European. Take heed from people smarter than you like Dawkins and Hitchens and Lewis, assume, when they criticize Islam, they are trying to protect people in their culture. If Rush Limbaugh criticizes something, ignore it, he's a moron, but never just sit back and dismiss an author because he puts in a giant red mushroom with white spots on it.— Unsigned, by: Bloomingdedalus / talk / contribs 12:37, 17 January 2014‎ (UTC)

New Section[edit]

Should we have a section devoted to problematic themes and ideas in his books? Off the top of my head, there's the idea that women couldn't fight, and in The Last Battle, it bugged me that skepticism on the part of the dwarves was depicted as a bad thing. And as mentioned, the Calorman thing. --ShorinBJ (talk) 13:54, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

C.S LEWIS Christianity overload[edit]

I think this article reads too much like a hit piece to be objective. It hardly focuses on what most people would care about. Narnia seems to take a backseat to the man's religion. — Unsigned, by: Doublethink / talk / contribs