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c.s lewis on secularism

C.S Lewis on Secularism and the real divide of the Old West from the New,

It is hard to have patience with those Jeremiahs, in Press or pulpit, who warns us that we are “relapsing into Paganism.” It might be rather fun if we were.  It would be pleasant to see some future Prime Minister trying to kill a large and lively milk-white bull in Westminster Hall.  But we shan’t.  What lurks behind such idle prophecies, if they are anything but careless language, is the false idea that the historical process allows mere reversal; that Europe can come out of Christianity ‘by the same door as in she went’ and find herself back where she was.  It is not what happens.A post-Christian man is not a Pagan; you might as well think that a married woman recovers her virginity by divorce.  The post-Christian is cut off from the Christian past and therefore doubly from the Pagan past. . . . Lastly, I play my trump card.  Between Jane Austen and us, but not between her and Shakespeare, Chaucer, Alfred, Virgil, Homer, or the Pharaohs, comes the birth of the machines.  This lifts us at once into a region of change far above all that we have hitherto considered.  For this is parallel to the great changes by which we divide epochs of pre-history.  This is on a level with the change from stone to bronze, or from a pastoral to an agricultural economy.  It alters Man’s place in nature.– 1955.

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1 reply to this post
  1. I, in my early life agreed with Lewis that no milk-white bull needs fear a death in Westminster Hall. But now I have my doubts. There is no creature as a Christian society. There are just people. And with time and death people forget, or if they turn to a golden calf, it is because Christianity was never really part of their bones.

    People do not read Stephen King because he is pure silliness. He is read because, in the mist of our machines, King-typing on a fantastical machine, tells us the things we know to be true, even if we deny them in the light of our neon signs. And it is not a long step from there to putting out treats to keep the darkness away on other nights besides Halloween.

    Wise caring aliens, or Artificial Intelligences are not far removed from the semi-human gods of Olympus.

    As for machines, they have done more than augment our abilities; they have augmented the effects of original sin. We are growing increasingly separated from ourselves and from others. We love machines now more then we do our kith and kin.

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