Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was an Oxford academic, novelist, Christian apologist and broadcaster. He claimed to have been an Atheist in his youth but in all his writings about his 'new-found' faith nowhere does he explore the different possible gods and religions. Having become convinced that some phenomena must have a supernatural origin, he seems to have concluded without further questioning that this must be the Christian god of the Bible and that the Anglican Church into which he had been baptised a child must be the True Faith. It is therefore highly likely that, rather than being an Atheist in the sense of accepting that there is no evidential reason to be otherwise, and that the only reason for belief is evidence and not merely not knowing or not understanding how something works or why something is as it appears, he was simply a non-practising believer.
His reasoning is therefore often little more than a verbose God Of The Gaps or an Argument From Ignorance fallacy which he keeps well hidden beneath his homely fire-side chat style, often adapted from his radio broadcasts which were intended to be just that. He was also obviously filling a war-time propaganda function in helping to keep the morale of the population high and secure in the belief that they had the one true faith and that therefore God could be guaranteed to be on our side.
Running through all his writing is an ingrained English upper-class snobbery and freedom from the encumbrance of self-doubt, which may have been influenced by his Belfast Protestant childhood. It often leads him not to explain the reasoning behind many of his assumptions and it underpins his condescending and patronising style. He was writing for a deferential, class-ridden audience which could be expected to accept what Lewis was saying and be in thrall that a 'brilliant Oxford academic' was confirming what they knew already - that the English had the right culture, the right church, the right religion and the right god. A god who was, of course, as English as roast beef and the smack of leather on willow.
It was probably the English class system of the 1940s and 50s which enabled C.S.Lewis to get away with so much.
C.S.Lewis, You Cannot Be Serious! 1 The Argument From Desire. An almost laughable argument that God must exist because some humans, particularly C.S.Lewis, have a desire for a god.
C.S.Lewis, You Cannot Be Serious! 2 The Trilemma Argument. Lewis presents only three options for considering the nature of Jesus - Liar, Lunatic or Lord, and neglects to mention the other equally valid options - Legendary, Invented. His argument is thus dishonest and disingenuous.
C.S.Lewis, You Cannot Be Serious! 3 The Argument from Morality. Lewis argues that, because he can't think how human morality could have a natural origin it can't be natural and must therefore be supernatural in origin. Assumes that the only possible supernatural origin is the Anglican Christian God without any explanation. A good example of a God of the Gaps Fallacy.
C.S.Lewis Turns Out To Be Too Simple. Lewis uses a non-sequitur to arrive at the conclusion he requires. He shows that, rather than Atheism being too simple, as he sets out to prove, his reasoning is too simple so he his conclusion is not established. A good example of how the detail of the argument were less important than the conclusion he wished to arrive at and how he doesn't expect too much from his audience by way of critical analysis.
More Simple C.S.Lewis. Not so much an attempt at logical argument as a lecture telling us what we should believe. Contains the common Christian ploy of the promise of a reward later if you believe what he says - a form of the Pig In A Poke confidence trick used by dishonest salesmen and shysters.
C.S.Lewis Gets It Wrong Again. Another attempt at the Argument From Morality which betrays Lewis' over-eagerness to settle for the answer he requires and which owes as much to his arrogance as to his ignorance.
C.S.Lewis Dispenses With Faith. On faith. It must be true because C.S.Lewis believes it.
C.S.Lewis Shows His Double Standards C.S.Lewis shows how he applies one set of standards to arguments against Atheism but much lower standard to arguments for his god. Even a fellow Christian took him to task for this carelessness.