C S Lewis on thinking and atheism

 

“Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It’s like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can’t trust my own thinking, of course I can’t trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Uniess I belleve in God, I cannot belleve in thought. So I can never use thought to disbelieve in God.” 
– C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity, p. 32

Sam Harris’ major blows against William Lane Craig *sic*

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2011/04/sam-harris-to-debate-william-lane-craig.html#comment-180804632

At John Loftus‘ blog linked above, a guy raised these points as Sam Harris‘ “major blows”.

● But first: the definition of what is good and bad in the moral sense. Harris proposed to start as in science or math with a concept that is unprovable, yet everyone would agree. He said: consider the state of maximal suffering for everyone for all times. Everyone would agree that this state is bad.

Now, we can define good which everyone agrees is the opposite, as the state of minimal suffering or the state of maximal well being for everyone for all times. Between these two states, there is a landscape of infinite possible states, of varying degrees of good and bad.

This was a major blow to WLC, who had defined that morality can only be grounded in God, who is the source of all good. And furthermore, WLC had accused that in the atheist world, anything goes as the atheist cannot say that one action is good or evil since in nature, everything is neutral.

● Another major blow to WLC was when Harris proposed a fictitious tribe who believed that God order them to pull the eyes of everything third child. Since God commands, and God is the source of all good, then pulling out the eyes of everything third child would be consider good.

● Another major blow to WLC is Harris saying: suppose Islam is the true religion, then everyone here, including me, who is not a Muslim will go to hell and burn eternally, because even though we will live a life doing good, we bet on the wrong God, or we were born in the wrong country, inheriting the wrong religion or wrong set of values.

● Another major blow to WLC is when Harris said that in India, where the vast majority are Hindus, according to WLC’s religion, there are all going to hell, regardless of how they will have lived their lives.

● Another major blow to WLC is Harris pointing out that each year millions of children across the globe will die before the age of 5, which boils down to thousands a day, and by the end of this sentence 17 children will have died. Imagine he said the suffering of these parents, many praying with all their heart. Yet God who is the source of all good will let them die. And many of them, millions of them, because they were born in the wrong religion will go to hell for eternity.

● Another major blow to WLC is when Harris pointed out that WLC had accused atheists of being incapable of defining what is good, yet WLC himself could only define good in terms of God being the source of good, which is circulatory.

● And to conclude this, not that Harris concluded his debate in this way, but Harris proposed that we can live like those christians who proposed how we should live two thousand years ago, or like the muslims, what was proposed a thousand four hundred years ago, or live in the 21st century by using science to determine what is good, which everyone in the end can agree, and putting an end to sectarian strife that has marked our history so far.

 

Now, I dont consider myself qualified to really comment on this, but I’d be interested to hear what some of you have to say.. or more importanly, what we think WLC would respond to the above.

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