Monday, December 10, 2018

C.S. Lewis on Science, Statism and Liberty

Two or three weeks ago I posted on my Facebook page this link to an article about how C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien "defied the spirit of the age" in the era after World War one which interested a number of my Facebook friends.

The discussion on that previous post included the issue of whether Lewis was anti-science.

I absolutely do not agree that he was, but he was certainly opposed to a certain view of science which he suggested might be called 'scientism.'

I have since obtained and have been reading a copy of the book "Of this and other worlds," a collections of Lewis's writings published posthumously on his behalf by Walter Hooper, which includes the essay "A reply to Professor Haldane" (or rather almost all of it - the last one or two pages are missing.)

In that essay Lewis makes a very entertaining and interesting reply to those who accused him of traducing science.

I have also found a very interesting series of three essays posted on the "Front Porch Republic" blog by David Theroux about Lewis's views on Liberty and the evils of Statism which I think will be of particular interest to anyone with an interest in the importance of freedom.

The first of those essays, which begins to explain why Lewis was sceptical of overmighty governments, can be found here and the second, which particularly deals with moral relativism, here.

The third essay, linked to here, quotes extensively from Lewis's reply to Haldane and a number of other relevant essays by Lewis with provocative titles like "Willing slaves of the Welfare State."
and I recommend all three essays as a powerful and interesting read.

For anyone interested in the other point of view or who wants to understand Lewis's response by reading the piece which he was responding to, I have also found a web page which quotes in full both Haldane's original article "Auld Hornie FRS," a critique of Lewis' writings to which Lewis's "reply to Professor Haldane" was a reply, and a second Haldane article criticising Lewis which it's target probably never saw.

You can find that web page here.

1 comment:

Earthpages said...

Thanks... I've blogged a quote (and link back) from this.