C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from Reason

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InterVarsity Press, Sep 20, 2009 - Religion
Who ought to hold claim to the more dangerous idea--Charles Darwin or C. S. Lewis? Daniel Dennett argued for Darwin in Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Touchstone Books, 1996). In this book Victor Reppert champions C. S. Lewis. Darwinists attempt to use science to show that our world and its inhabitants can be fully explained as the product of a mindless, purposeless system of physics and chemistry. But Lewis claimed in his argument from reason that if such materialism or naturalism were true then scientific reasoning itself could not be trusted. Victor Reppert believes that Lewis's arguments have been too often dismissed. In C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea Reppert offers careful, able development of Lewis's thought and demonstrates that the basic thrust of Lewis's argument from reason can bear up under the weight of the most serious philosophical attacks. Charging dismissive critics, Christian and not, with ad hominem arguments, Reppert also revisits the debate and subsequent interaction between Lewis and the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. And addressing those who might be afflicted with philosophical snobbery, Reppert demonstrates that Lewis's powerful philosophical instincts perhaps ought to place him among those other thinkers who, by contemporary standards, were also amateurs: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke and Hume. But even more than this, Reppert's work exemplifies the truth that the greatness of Lewis's mind is best measured, not by his ability to do our thinking for us, but by his capacity to provide sound direction for taking our own thought further up and further in.

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User Review  - gottfried_leibniz - LibraryThing

I took this book to explore my knowledge on the Argument from Reason. In fact, this book would be the best book to read about it. I have to say, it was difficult to understand a lot of the concepts ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gottfried_leibniz - LibraryThing

I took this book to explore my knowledge on the Argument from Reason. In fact, this book would be the best book to read about it. I have to say, it was difficult to understand a lot of the concepts ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
7
Assessing Apologetic Arguments
29
Several Formulations of the Argument from Reason
72
Explanatory Dualism
86
The Inadequacy Objection
105
Bibliography
129
Copyright

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Page 124 - We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism...
Page 41 - oysters are good" and another says "I think they are bad," we recognize that there is nothing to argue about. The theory in question holds that all differences as to values are of this sort, although we do not naturally think them so when we are dealing with matters that seem to us more exalted than oysters. The chief ground for adopting this view is the complete impossibility of finding any arguments to prove that this or that has intrinsic value. If we all agreed, we might hold that we know values...
Page 26 - They err, therefore, who think that of the will of God to do this or that, there is no reason besides his will.
Page 95 - We shall be obliged to admit that there are some truths about the world which we can know independently of experience ; that there are some properties which we can ascribe to all objects, even though we cannot conceivably observe that all objects have them. And we shall have to accept it as a mysterious inexplicable fact that our thought has this power to reveal to us authoritatively the nature of objects which we have never observed.
Page 50 - For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms.
Page 118 - In contrast, the theist allows for exactly what is needed: For him, reason — the reason of God — is older than Nature, and from it the orderliness of Nature, which alone enables us to know her, is derived. For him, the human mind in the act of knowing is illuminated by the Divine reason.
Page 26 - It has sometimes been asked whether God commands certain things because they are right, or whether certain things are right because God commands them. With Hooker, and against Dr. Johnson, I emphatically embrace the first alternative.

About the author (2009)

Reppert (Ph. D., University of Illinois) is adjunct professor of philosophy at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona. He is active in several C. S. Lewis societies, and he has written articles on Lewis's apologetics for such journals as The Christian Scholar's Review, Philosophia Christi and the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion.

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