As the 50th anniversary of Lewis's death is looming this November (the 22nd, to be exact), and because I'm writing a book on Lewis, C. S. Lewis in Crisis that I'll be finishing this October, I'm musing about an article on the three ways that Lewis faced off against scientific materialism that still resonate today.
|Undoubtedly writing on 1 of these 3 themes|
Here they are
- The first one is materialism. The basic question is this: Are we just material stuff, or are we something more? In Miracles, Lewis argued that naturalism is self-defeating, and consequently faced off against the scientific materialism of his day, which seems to be enjoying a sort of resurgence today. (Think Dawkins, Dennett, Pinker.)
- The second is meaninglessness, you know, Dawkins's "blind, pitiless indifference" and Weinberg's "pointless" universe: Why do human beings seek something transcendent, something (or Someone) beyond this world? Lewis maintains that we desire God more than anything we can find on earth.
- The problem of anomie: Why do we have an innate sense of what’s right and wrong? This is Lewis’s argument from natural law and God as the Lawgiver. (Lewis presented this argument most forcefully in Mere Christianity.) Justin Barrett argues, from neuroscience--against others in his field--that this argument makes a great deal of sense in the ways our brains have evolved.
I have no interest in creating a hagiography of Lewis, but I would like to see in what ways his insight resonate, or need to be reworked, today.