Gray Hair Wisdom

Just and Unjust

-C.S. Lewis Wisdom-

MY argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal; a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God would collapse too – for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist – in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless – I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality – namely my idea of justice – was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning; just as, if there was no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Macmilllan Publishing Company, 1960) p.31


2 thoughts on “Just and Unjust

  1. I love C.S. Lewis ! His way of explaining things were so profound, yet so clear. If I don’t believe God exists simply because life is a chaotic universe, how did I get the idea of “chaotic” if I did not first have an idea of an orderly universe? If I don’t believe in God because He does not seem to answer prayers, how do I know about the idea of God answering prayers (or simply when things go my way)? When bad things happen to “good people” that does not necessarily mean that there is no God, it simply means that things don’t always have to happen the way that I would rather see happen. It is simply not about me.

    • Thanks for the comment. Part of the reason I posted this quote was to remind myself to revisit it on occasion. I am still trying to wrap my head around it.

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