Mere Christianity 5: The Invasion

Having dismissed atheism and “Christianity-and-water” as “boys’ philosophies”, Lewis now zeroes in on the fundamental problem of the universe, which is this:  The universe contains much that is bad and meaningless, yet also contains creatures who are aware of it being bad and meaningless (that would be us).  How is this possible?  The only alternative to the Christian explanation which takes into account all of the facts is dualism.

Dualism is the belief that there are two equal and opposite powers, one which is all about love and justice and mercy and is what we would call “good”, and the other which is all about cruelty and treachery and destruction and is what we would call “bad”.  These two powers have both existed independently from all eternity, and are locked in an endless war for control of the universe.

Now, because of the equal standing of these powers, there is no compelling reason for you to choose one over the other beyond mere personal preference.  But good is what you ought to do and to be regardless of personal preference, and so if personal preference is all we have to go on, then good does not deserve to be called good.  So if calling one of these powers good and the other bad is not just a matter of personal preference, then there must be Someone or Something, some standard of right which is higher than both of these powers, which the good power conforms to and the bad power fails to conform to.  This brings us right back to the God of Christianity, with whom the good power is in right relation and the bad power is in wrong relation. Continue reading “Mere Christianity 5: The Invasion”

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