Friday, November 22, 2013

A terrible anniversary

Everyone will be focused on the fact that today is the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy's assassination. A few lesser people will focus instead on the fact that it's also the 50th anniversary of the death of Aldous Huxley, who wrote Brave New World -- remember Sheryl Crow's song "Run Baby Run"? "She was born in November, 1963, the day Aldous Huxley died..."

I'll pitch my tent with the even lesser people who will focus on the fact that today is also the 50th anniversary of C.S. Lewis's death. That's right, JFK, Aldous Huxley, and C.S. Lewis all died on November 22, 1963. Peter Kreeft even wrote a book where the three of them meet up in a kind of limbo and debate what's going to happen next (spoiler: Lewis wins). Here, I'll just point out some of my posts with the C.S. Lewis label.

First, I just completed a ridiculously long series on Lewis's argument from reason -- this argues that naturalism is self-defeating, naturalism being the view that there is no supernatural. This was actually a thesis I wrote for one of my Master's degrees. You can see part 1part 2part 3part 4part 5, part 6, and part 7. You can also read a post I wrote on how Lewis expresses the argument from reason in his Space Trilogy, and a post where I suggest that Lewis's formulation of the argument was influenced by G.K. Chesterton. Or, if you just want to read what Lewis wrote instead of what I wrote, I brought together all of his shorter statements on the argument from reason here.

Other than this argument, my main post on Lewis was a summary of his fiction for adults, i.e. not the Chronicles of Narnia (although I still haven't read The Dark Tower and Other Stories). If you want to get an idea of which Lewis book you should read if you've never tried him, read that post.

The other main post, one of the earliest ones I wrote on this blog, is a short summary of his book The Discarded Image. This is about the premodern cosmology and the many misconceptions people have of it. For example, they did think the earth was at the center of the universe, but they also thought the center was the worst possible place to be -- the least prestigious, least honorable location. Another example: they certainly thought the universe was orders of magnitude smaller than we have discovered it to be, but they were starting from an unfathomably large universe and an earth that was, for all practical purposes, infinitely small. Still another example: they were well aware that the earth is round, despite claims to the contrary. The Discarded Image is a good book to show that the alleged history of conflict between science and religion is more bluster than anything else.


Earl Wajenberg said...

The people who mark the death anniversaries of Huxley and Lewis are fewer, but not, I think you would agree if you reflect a bit on your wording,lesser. At least, I'd hate to think so, because I am one.

Jim S. said...

I was intending it to be a little sarcastic. "I, and the dregs of society with whom I associate, will instead be thinking of C.S. Lewis..."