An exellent writer he was. He penned wondrous childrens books and intriguing science-fiction. I loved them when I was a kid and even as an adult I sometimes find myself reading them again.

He is renowned today not only by his books, but also by the fact he proclaimed to be an atheist who returned to Christianity. And for this conversion he is celebrated, almost worshipped by some of the outspoken Christians of our time. He is constantly quoted and people turn to him frequently to seek wisdom.

One of his famous quotes is about judging past morality by modern standards as “snobbery of choronology”. He was wrong. We may accept that mere time does not make anything better, but Lewis was referring to a particular religion not being outdated. Well, perhaps we can not say religion is obsolete as long as it is popular, but the ideas of morality any religion presents have been outdated by better information, we have for human social and moral evolution today.

Judgement of situations i.e. morals, is about information. With better information we are able to make better judgement. Therefore, if we have better information, then that results in higher morals. I know what you think. That even with very high level of information we are able to make immoral and selfish descisions. Perhaps so, but the higher level of information we actually have, the more aware we become of our dependence on others and everything around us, and that leaves us less logical reasons to be selfish. Pity the selfish, because they live without love, and love is just a word for the satisfaction of our inherent social needs. Morals is like any other cultural phenomenon, it evolves as our understanding of it grows.

A nother perhaps even more famous quote from Lewis is this:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronising nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. … Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God.”

This is like claiming that the Narnia tales have to be the work of a liar, lunatic, or that they are true. Wich would you think is most likely? But there is a third option, that they were the work of fiction. And even so, they had a number of good moral teachings.

A good story requires certain amount of reality mixed in with the fictional events to become plausible. Like for example real historical events and places, such as Jerusalem, Roman empire, London, British empire and The religious rivalry of Jewish priesthood and hermit rabbis, or the bombing of London and children evaquated to the countryside. Some believable characters, such as treacherous follower like Judas, or an old exentric professor in a country manor may also give credibility to any good story. Good fiction is also based on human experience and all the supernatural and magical events described are just means to make the story more wondrous, than just stating something obvious we all know, like you should treat people good and sometimes you need to forgive.

I claim, that Jesus was both a great moral teacher and a bit of a lunatic. If he indeed existed and said, that he was the son of a god, then he was simply wrong about that, while he was right about the need to treat other people as good as you would want to be treated yourself by other people. The first claim is in such extraordinary proportions, that it requires extraordinary evidence, but none exist. The second claim is so natural and obvious to most of us, that it requires hardly any evidence, but has plenty to back it up, that is perfectly natural and not at all supernatural, or otherwise unnatural.  People can be wrong about one thing and right about a nother, as you know. Just like Lewis was wrong about Jesus while he was right about selfihsness being a destructive force capable of devouring worlds.

If I told you that you should do as Laotze, Buddha, Zaraoster and so many have suggested, that you should treat other people as you would expect them to treat you,  you all would most likely agree me being right about this, but if I on the other hand, told you, that I am the flesh and blood son of a god, most of you would think I have gone barmy, right? That would by no means lessen the value of my previous words, would it?

It is kind of sad, that the talented fictional author, has become more important by his childish re-conversion to the religion of his cultural heritage.  As if one known atheist to have converted back to Christianity served some great testimony for the truth of the religion. Silly. I sincerely hope, that in the future there will not be cults that incorporate his fantasies to any religious beliefs, because that would be degrading to the actual stories.

A lot more could be said about him, that could possibly not fit into this post.

Have you read his books?