. 7
( 8)


16. Walter Hooper (ed.), The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume II: Books,
Broadcasts, and the War 1931“1949 (New York: HarperCollins, 2004),

1. The Love of God and the Suffering of Humanity
1. Kenneth L. Woodward, “Countless Souls Cry Out to God,” Newsweek,
January 10, 2005, 37.
2. Voltaire, Candide, trans. L. Bair (New York: Bantam Books, 1959), 29.
Among the more interesting of the assorted horrors is the severing of
one buttock of various characters.
3. G. W. Leibniz, Theodicy, trans. E. M. Huggard (LaSalle, IL: Open Court,
1985), 128.
4. Russell also discussed the problem of evil, though it is probably not
really accurate to say that he “grappled” with it; his view (at least some-
times) seemed to be that the evil in our world decisively establishes
the nonexistence of the traditional God of monotheism. See, for exam-
ple, Russell™s 1939 essay “The Existence and Nature of God,” in Russell
on Religion, ed. L. Greenspan and S. Andersson (New York: Routledge,
1999), 94. Also see Chapter 4, section 4.3.3.
5. J. C. A. Gaskin, Hume™s Philosophy of Religion, second edition (Atlantic
Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1988), 5.
6. David O™Connor, Hume on Religion (New York: Routledge, 2001), 5.
7. See, for example, A. J. Ayer, Hume: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2000), 32.
8. David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, second edition
(Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998), 58.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid., 59.
11. Ibid., 69.
12. Ibid., 63.
13. Ibid., 75.
14. See Chapter 2, section 2.2.3.
15. Ibid. Shortly after Philo reaches this conclusion, Demea recognizes
Philo™s true colors; not long after that, Demea leaves the conversation
16. Hume, Dialogues, 7.
17. For an apt characterization of Philo™s “two-track” strategy, see O™Connor,
Hume on Religion, 189“90. That Philo™s position has these two “tracks”
to it sheds light on how both defenders and critics of the problem of evil
have found support in the words of Philo. For a criticism of the problem
of evil that draws on the ¬rst, skeptical track, see Stephen J. Wykstra,
“The Humean Obstacle to Evidential Arguments from Suffering: On
Avoiding the Evils of ˜Appearance™,” International Journal for Philosophy
of Religion 16 (1984), 73“93. For a defense of the problem of evil that

Notes to Pages 14“21

draws on the second, atheistic track, see Paul Draper, “Pain and Pleasure:
An Evidential Problem for Theists,” NOUS 23 (1989), 331“50.
18. Hume, Dialogues, 66.
19. I say “more or less” because, strictly speaking, an additional principle
is required, namely, something like this: If God wants p to be the case,
and God could bring it about that p, then God brings it about that p.
20. Hume, Dialogues, 69.
21. Ibid., 69“73.
22. See, for example, The Problem of Evil: Selected Readings, ed. Michael L.
Peterson (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1992), 3.
23. C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (New York: Har-
court, 1955), 63. This autobiographical work describes in some detail
Lewis™s departure from and later return to Christianity.
24. Walter Hooper (ed.), Letters of C. S. Lewis, revised edition (Orlando, FL:
Harcourt, 1993), 52.
25. Walter Hooper (ed.), The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume II: Books,
Broadcasts, and the War 1931“1949 (New York: HarperCollins, 2004),
26. Ibid., 145.
27. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, 237.
28. Hooper (ed.), Letters, 288. The ¬rst letter to Greeves was written on
October 12, 1916, the second on October 18, 1931.
29. Ibid., 212.
30. C. S. Lewis, All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922“1927
(New York: Harvest Books, 2002), 332.
31. Hume, Dialogues, 74.
32. Ibid., 75.
33. C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 1.
34. Ibid., 1“3.
35. Ibid., 16.
36. Matthew 19:26.
37. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (New York: Benziger Brothers Inc.,
1947), 139, I, q. 25, a. 4.
38. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 18. Lewis™s language here is close to that of
the seventeenth-century Cambridge Platonist Ralph Cudworth, who
declared “that which implies a contradiction is a nonentity and there-
fore cannot be the object of divine power.” Ralph Cudworth, A Treatise
Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality, ed. S. Hutton (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1996), 25.
39. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 18.
40. Ultimately, this de¬nition may not be adequate either, but its short-
comings are not relevant to our discussion. For an examination of the
concept of omnipotence that highlights some of the shortcomings of
Lewis™s analysis of omnipotence, see Erik Wielenberg, “Omnipotence
Again,” Faith and Philosophy 17:1 (January 2000), 26“47.

Notes to Pages 22“31

41. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 20.
42. Ibid., 21.
43. Ibid., 22.
44. Ibid., 23“4.
45. Hume, Dialogues, 70.
46. Ibid.
47. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 24“5. Lewis does emphasize that God can and
does interfere with nature on some occasions (to maintain otherwise
would be to deny the occurrence of miracles); what he means to reject
is the notion that God could interfere in such a way as to prevent all
suffering. This passage makes it clear that Lewis is assuming a libertarian
account of free will according to which S performs act A freely only if
S could have performed an action other than A.
48. The free will defense goes back at least to Augustine; see his On Free
Choice of the Will, trans. T. Williams (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1993). The
best-known contemporary development of the free will defense is prob-
ably Alvin Plantinga™s. Plantinga™s defense has been published multi-
ple times; for one presentation, see Alvin Plantinga, “The Free Will
Defense,” Chapter 2 of The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader,
ed. J. F. Sennett (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 22“49.
49. For a discussion of the precise nature of Lewis™s goals in The Problem of
Pain, see the ¬nal section of this chapter.
50. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 31“2.
51. Ibid., 32.
52. Ibid., 38.
53. Ibid., 34“5.
54. Ibid., 41.
55. Ibid., 46.
56. Ibid., 46“7.
57. C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 4, let-
ter VIII.
58. As I noted above, this is just one component of divine goodness.
59. Lewis also says that “the free will of rational creatures” is itself good;
Lewis, Problem of Pain, 63.
60. Ibid., 85.
61. Ibid., 87.
62. Ibid., 86.
63. Ibid., 90.
64. Ibid., 91.
65. Ibid., 93.
66. Ibid., 70.
67. Peter van Inwagen, “The Magnitude, Duration, and Distribution of Evil:
A Theodicy,” in God, Knowledge, and Mystery: Essays in Philosophical Theol-
ogy (Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press, 1995), 110.
68. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 96.

Notes to Pages 31“38

69. Ibid., 94“5. Lewis himself may have fallen into this category; for an
autobiographical account of his suffering, see C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
(New York: HarperCollins, 2001).
70. Matthew 19:23“4.
71. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, 101, letter XXVIII.
72. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 116. These remarks about the absence of security
may have their origin in the loss of security Lewis felt upon the death
of his mother when he was a child; see Surprised by Joy, 21.
73. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 97“8.
74. This is not to say that there is no action that I performed freely: It may
be the case that the drinking and video game playing were done freely.
What was not done freely was drinking and playing video games because
these things were commanded by God.
75. Genesis 22:12.
76. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 100“1.
77. Well, almost; Lewis also discusses animal suffering, but our discussion
is limited to human suffering.
78. Interestingly, the second premise is the premise in which Philo seems
to have the least con¬dence.
79. Lewis signals his awareness of the dif¬culty in the last sentence of the
passage that I quoted at the beginning of the present section.
80. Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, trans. L. Solotaroff (New York: Ban-
tam Books, 1981), 49.
81. Note Screwtape™s advice to Wormwood: “Murder is no better than cards
if cards can do the trick. Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual
one “ the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without
milestones, without signposts.” Lewis, Screwtape Letters, 54, letter XII.
82. Tolstoy, Death of Ivan Ilyich, 50“1.
83. Ibid., 55“6.
84. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 91.
85. Tolstoy, Death of Ivan Ilyich, 83.
86. Ibid., 126“7.
87. Ibid., 119.
88. Ibid., 132.
89. Ibid., 133.
90. Note the parallels between Ivan™s death and Christ™s death: After suffer-
ing for an extended period of time (three days “ surely no coincidence),
Ivan dies for the sake of others.
91. Ibid.
92. The two roles of pain that are illustrated by the case of Ivan Ilyich are
also illustrated by certain episodes in Lewis™s Chronicles of Narnia. For
a discussion of these ideas, see Erik Wielenberg, “Aslan the Terrible:
Painful Encounters with Absolute Goodness,” in The Chronicles of Narnia
and Philosophy, ed. Greg Bassham and Jerry Walls (Chicago: Open Court,
2005), 221“30.

Notes to Pages 38“46

93. Tolstoy, Ivan Ilyich, 118.
94. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 33.
95. Hume, Dialogues, 69.
96. Ibid., 70.
97. Ibid., 69“73.
98. As one of my students, Loren Faulkner, pointed out.
99. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, 41, letter VIII.
100. John Beversluis, C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion (Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985), 113.
101. Lewis himself considers this possibility in A Grief Observed, 29“30.
102. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, 41, letter VIII.
103. In this respect, God™s use of pain is akin to Socrates™ use of perplexity.
Socrates allegedly brought his interlocutors into a state of perplexity so
that they would recognize their own ignorance with respect to some
question and would be motivated to search for the correct answer to the
question. But the state of being perplexed does not impose a particular
answer on the interlocutor; rather, it (ideally) initiates a process of
re¬‚ection in which the interlocutor is an agent, a process that is not
limited to one possible outcome.
104. Beversluis, Search for Rational Religion, 117.
105. For a good defense of Lewis™s solution to the problem of pain against
some of the other objections suggested by this passage, see James
Petrik, “In Defense of C. S. Lewis™s Analysis of God™s Goodness,” Inter-
national Journal for Philosophy of Religion 36 (1994), 45“56.
106. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 32.
107. Indeed, the claim that God does not love all humans seems to strike at
the heart of Christianity itself.
108. Ibid., 110.
109. Matthew 22:39.
110. Lewis seems to consider this sort of objection himself (see Problem of
Pain, 110“12), but, frankly, I think he could have done better job of
responding to it.
111. Ibid., 110.
112. Lewis, Grief, 43.
113. This is just one necessary condition on the permissibility of in¬‚icting
suffering on another.
114. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 89.
115. Ibid., 91.
116. Ibid.
117. Petrik, “Defense of C. S. Lewis™s Analysis,” 51“2. Lewis also likens God
to a surgeon (as well as to a dentist) in A Grief Observed, 43.
118. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 126.
119. Ibid., 93. In fact, Lewis was troubled by the existence of suffering that
did not seem to function as it should. In a 1954 letter, he wrote: “I meet
sel¬sh egoists in whom suffering seems to produce only resentment,

Notes to Pages 46“51

hate, blasphemy, and more egoism. They are the real problem.”
Hooper, Letters, p. 441.
120. C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces (New York: Harcourt, 1984), 294, empha-
sis added.
121. See, for example: Peter Goldie, On Personality (New York: Routledge,
2004), Chapter 3; Immanuel Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals, trans.
M. Gregor (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 155; R. E.
Nisbett, and T. D. Wilson, “Telling More than We Can Know: Verbal
Reports on Mental Processes,” Psychological Review 84 (1977), 231“59;
and R. Nisbett and L. Ross, Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings
of Social Judgment (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1980), particu-
larly 195“227. A recent accessible book that summarizes much of the
relevant evidence from psychology is Cordelia Fine, A Mind of Its Own:
How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives (New York: Norton, 2006).
122. As far as I know, Lewis never explicitly developed the line of thought
sketched here, although its basic components are present in his writ-
ing. In an essay written many years after the publication of The Prob-
lem of Pain and Mere Christianity, Lewis does develop the idea that
Christianity predicts that God™s activities will often seem to us to be
evil (see Chapter 4, section 4.2.2). The response to the problem of not
enough pain I have given here seems, in this respect, to anticipate
Lewis™s later essay.
123. But see letter XXVIII of The Screwtape Letters for some of Lewis™s thoughts
on death.
124. Notice that I didn™t say the amount of pain required for the promotion
of that individual™s genuine happiness; Lewis™ view does not require
that a given individual™s suffering promote that individual™s genuine
happiness. I will discuss this point in more detail later.
125. As Lewis himself would, I think, acknowledge: “It is so [very] dif¬cult
to believe that the travail of all creation which God Himself descended
to share, at its most intense, may be necessary in the process of turning
¬nite creatures (with free wills) into “ well, Gods.” Hooper (ed.), Letters,
126. Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, trans. A. H. MacAndrew
(New York: Bantam Books, 1981), 291.
127. Information about metachromatic leukodystrophy was found at
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/metachromatic leukodystrophy/
metachromatic leukodystrophy.htm (accessed January 4, 2007).
128. Petrik, “Defense of C. S. Lewis™s Analysis,” 53.
129. Augustine, Free Choice, 116.
130. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 94“5.
131. Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov, 296.
132. In fact, Ivan™s position seems to be that the suffering of children is
so evil that nothing could possibly justify it; see, for instance, ibid.,

Notes to Pages 51“55

133. At this point, the Christian may point to the suffering and death of
Christ as evidence that the answer to this question is “yes”; didn™t
God sacri¬ce His own son for the sake of humanity? However, this
case is complicated by the fact that the Child God sacri¬ced was really
Himself. Moreover, according to the Second Eucharistic Prayer, at any
rate, it was a death He freely accepted. These factors make the suffering
and death of Christ quite different from the suffering and death of a
nondivine, unwilling child.
134. Augustine, Free Choice, 116“17.
135. See William Lane Craig and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, God? A Debate
between a Christian and an Atheist (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2004), 92; and Marilyn McCord Adams, “Horrendous Evils and the
Goodness of God,” in Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert Merrihew
Adams (eds.), The Problem of Evil (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1990), 214.
136. For an interesting proposal about how Lewis™s position might be mod-
i¬ed and extended to handle the kind of problem under discussion
here, see Thomas Talbott, “C. S. Lewis and the Problem of Evil,” Chris-
tian Scholar™s Review 17 (September 1987), 36“51.
137. Lewis, Grief Observed, 43.
138. Alvin Plantinga™s free will defense is widely (though not universally)
regarded as a successful defense. This near-consensus has motivated
many contemporary atheists to move from defending logical versions
of the problem of evil to evidential versions. For an interesting critical
discussion of Plantinga™s free will defense, see Quentin Smith, Ethical
and Religious Thought in Analytic Philosophy of Language (New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press, 1998), 148“57.
139. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 27.
140. Ibid., 86, emphasis added.
141. Ibid., 119“47.
142. Hume, Dialogues, 69.
143. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 19.
144. For a proposal along these lines, see Talbott, “Lewis and the Problem
of Evil,” 47“51.
145. The possibility of a justi¬cation of evil that is known by God but not
by us has come to occupy a central role in contemporary philosophical
discussions of the problem of evil; this idea receives further attention
in the present work in sections 2.3 and 4.2.2 .
146. I should point out that this claim is distinct from the charge of incom-
pleteness I have leveled against The Problem of Pain; from the fact that
Lewis has not or even cannot account for such suffering it hardly fol-
lows that such suffering cannot be accounted for within a Christian
framework. This claim is also highly controversial, and I do not pre-
tend to have established it here; proper discussion of it would require
a book-length project unto itself.

Notes to Pages 56“63

2. Beyond Nature
1. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 138.
2. Ibid., 25.
3. Romans 1:18“20. Not all have understood this passage as endorsing
arguments from design. For one alternative interpretation of the pas-
sage, see Caleb Miller, “Faith and Reason,” in Michael J. Murray (ed.),
Reason for the Hope Within (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1999), 135“64,
particularly 146“9.
4. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 24.
5. C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 3“4.
For similar remarks, see Mere Christianity, 29; and C. S. Lewis, The Four
Loves (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1960), 21.
6. David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, second edition
(Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998), 69. For more on this point of agreement
between Lewis and Hume, see Chapter 4, section 4.3.2.
7. Walter Hooper (ed.), The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume II: Books,
Broadcasts, and the War 1931“1949 (New York: HarperCollins, 2004),
8. Robert Holyer, “C. S. Lewis “ The Rationalist?,” Christian Scholar™s Review
18:2 (1988), 148“67.
9. Lewis, Mere Christianity, xvii.
10. Ibid., 5.
11. Ibid.
12. Elsewhere, Lewis says that we learn some moral facts “from parents
and teachers, and friends and books” (ibid., 12). If we interpret Lewis™s
claim that moral facts are known “by nature” in the way I have sug-
gested, there is no inconsistency here. A given proposition p might be
such that (i) it could be known a priori and (ii) is in fact known (by a
given person) on the basis of teaching. Many mathematical truths have
these two features.
13. C. S. Lewis, Miracles: A Preliminary Study (New York: HarperCollins,
2001), 54. See also C. S. Lewis, “The Poison of Subjectivism,” in Christian
Re¬‚ections (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1995), 79.
14. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 25.
15. Ibid., 24“5.
16. John Beversluis, C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion (Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 50“1.
17. The logical form of the argument is: (i) If P, then Q; (ii) Q; (iii) there-
fore, P. This is an invalid argument form, meaning that the truth of the
premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion.
18. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 25.
19. Ibid., 30.
20. Ibid., 29.
21. Ibid.

Notes to Pages 64“68

22. Bertrand Russell, “Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civili-
zation?,” in A. Seckel (ed.), Bertrand Russell on God and Religion (Amherst,
NY: Prometheus, 1986), 169.
23. Bertrand Russell, “Why I Am Not a Christian,” in Seckel (ed.), Russell on
Religion, 83. The classic discussion of the relationship between God and
morality, by which Russell™s objection is obviously inspired, is the Pla-
tonic dialogue Euthyphro; see, in particular, Plato, Five Dialogues, second
edition, trans. G. M. A. Grube (Indianapolis: Hackett, 2002), 12, 10a.
24. Lewis, “Poison of Subjectivism,” 79.
25. Ibid.
26. Ibid.
27. Ibid., 80.
28. Ibid.
29. Steve Lovell, “Philosophical Themes from C. S. Lewis” (Ph.D. disserta-
tion, University of Shef¬eld, 2003), Chapter 2, 23.
30. The contemporary literature on divine command theory includes some
efforts to develop the notion that God = the Good. Of particular note in
this regard are William Alston, “What Euthyphro Should Have Said,” in
William Lane Craig (ed.), Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide (New
Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2002), 283“98; and Robert
Adams, Finite and In¬nite Goods (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).
The approach suggested by these two works is quite subtle and com-
plex, making use of a number of recent developments in contempo-
rary analytic philosophy, and there is no way of knowing what Lewis
would have thought of it. For these reasons, discussion of this contem-
porary approach is outside the scope of this work; however, I do discuss
Adams™s view in Erik Wielenberg, Value and Virtue in a Godless Universe
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 53“67.
31. Lovell develops a theory he calls “Divine Nature Theory” (DNT) that he
maintains secures many of the conclusions Lewis was trying to estab-
lish (see Lovell, Philosophical Themes, Chapter 2, 26“34). The theory is
interesting in its own right, but I think it is incompatible with Lewis™s
position in “The Poison of Subjectivism” because DNT implies that the
moral law is created by God, a view Lewis denies in “Poison.”
32. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 31, emphasis added.
33. Ibid., 36.
34. Ibid., 30.
35. Lovell explores a proposal along these lines; see Lovell, Philosophical
Themes, Chapter 2, 25. For an extensive development of this basic idea
by a contemporary philosopher, see Thomas Hurka, Virtue, Vice, and Value
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).
36. Another option is that God™s goodness consists in a combination of all
of these factors “ that God is good in virtue of being a loving moral law
that desires genuine human happiness (and that all of this is necessary

Notes to Pages 68“77

for God to be good). Even if this proposal is coherent, the argument that
I will make in section 2.2.4, if successful, tells against it.
37. Apparently the English word “dualism” was ¬rst used to refer to
Zoroastrianism; see Charles Taliaferro, Evidence and Faith: Philosophy and
Religion since the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2005), 30.
38. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 42.
39. For an account of the crusade against the Cathars, see Jonathan Sump-
tion, The Albigensian Crusade (London: Faber and Faber, 1978).
40. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 42.
41. Hooper (ed.), Letters II, 532.
42. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 43.
43. Ibid., 43“4.
44. As one of my students, Courtney Hague, pointed out.
45. Augustine, Confessions, revised edition, trans. F. J Sheed (Indianapolis:
Hackett, 1993), 26“7.
46. C. S. Lewis, All My Road before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922“1927 (New
York: Harvest Books, 2002), 191.
47. I owe the line of reasoning contained in this paragraph to an anonymous
48. A slightly different version of the argument is based on the principle
that all rational actions aim at goals regarded as good or worthwhile.
But this principle establishes at most that the evil Power of Dualism
does not act rationally, and I do not see why such a result is problematic
for the Dualist; if the Dualist is comfortable with positing a thoroughly
depraved and evil Power in opposition to God, it™s hard to see why the
Dualist should be reluctant to attribute irrationality to such a Power as
49. Romans 7:18“19.
50. Charles Freeman, The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the
Fall of Reason (New York: Vintage Books, 2005), 122.
51. Immanuel Kant, Lectures on Ethics, trans. L. In¬eld (Indianapolis: Hack-
ett, 1930), 76.
52. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 45.
53. Ibid., emphasis added.
54. Recall my suggestion that Lewis offers a cumulative-case argument,
of which his moral argument is merely one component. Might other
aspects of this cumulative case break the stand-off described here? My
short answer is no: The other phenomena Lewis appeals to in making
his case for a Higher Power (our ability to reason and a desire that no
earthly object can satisfy) do not, as far as I can see, tell against the
existence of an evil Higher Power in addition to a good Power.
55. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 25, 29.
56. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 91.

Notes to Pages 78“84

57. Bertrand Russell, “The Existence and Nature of God,” in L. Greenspan
and S. Andersson (eds.), Russell on Religion (New York: Routledge, 1999),
99. Similar remarks may be found in Bertrand Russell, “Science and
Religion,” ibid., 137; and Bertrand Russell, “The Sense of Sin,” ibid.,
58. Bertrand Russell and F. C. Copleston, “A Debate on the Existence of
God,” ibid., 141.
59. Ibid.
60. Bertrand Russell, “Science and Religion,” ibid., 137.
61. Bertrand Russell and F. C. Copleston, “A Debate,” ibid., 141.
62. Bertrand Russell, “Existence and Nature,” ibid., 99.
63. Bertrand Russell, Autobiography (New York: Routledge, 1998), 126.
64. C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (New York: HarperCollins, 2001),
83“101; also see www.religioustolerance.org/reciproc.htm (accessed
January 11, 2007).
65. See Robert D. Hare, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psy-
chopaths among Us (New York: The Guilford Press, 1999), 40“6; and
Martha Stout, The Sociopath Next Door (New York: Broadway Books,
2005), 36“51. Stout refers to psychopaths as “ice people.”
66. Hare, Without Conscience, 75“6.
67. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 5.
68. Hare, Without Conscience, 53.
69. Ibid., 129.
70. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 31.
71. Stout, Sociopath Next Door, 136.
72. David Hume, Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding and Concerning
the Principles of Morals, third edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
1990), 271.
73. Ibid., 272.
74. Ibid., 273.
75. Ibid., 276.
76. Ibid.
77. Hume at one point actually suggests that these emotional dispositions
are a product of the “Supreme Will”; ibid., 294. As we will see, Hume™s
considered views on religion make it unclear how seriously this remark
should be taken. Nevertheless, Hume did make it.
78. Interestingly, Darwin identi¬ed the very same pair of emotional dispo-
sitions identi¬ed by Hume and, like Hume, suggested that they are part
of human nature. See Robert Wright, The Moral Animal: Evolutionary
Psychology and Everyday Life (New York: Random House, 1994), 184.
79. This understanding of evolutionary explanations focuses on classical
¬tness and ignores complications that arise from the concept of inclu-
sive ¬tness; for useful discussions of inclusive ¬tness, see Wright, Moral
Animal, 155“79; and David M. Buss, Evolutionary Psychology: The New Sci-
ence of the Mind, second edition (Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2004),

Notes to Pages 84“89

13“15. I also ignore here the controversial notion of group selection; for
a discussion of group selection in connection with morality, see Michael
Shermer, The Science of Good and Evil (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2004),
80. Buss, Evolutionary Psychology, 48. Buss goes on to discuss one speci¬c
fertility clue “ a relatively low waist-to-hip ratio.
81. Wright, Moral Animal, 196“7; also see Buss, Evolutionary Psychology, 254“
82. This brief sketch is just that; a number of subtleties and complexities
arise in connection with reciprocal altruism and TIT FOR TAT. For an
accessible discussion of some of these, see Chapter 9 of Wright™s The
Moral Animal and Chapter 9 of Buss™s Evolutionary Psychology.
83. Wright, Moral Animal, 206.
84. Francois duc de la Rochefoucauld, Maxims, trans. L. Kronenberger (New
York: Random House, 1959), 66, 180.
85. Of course, if this sort of explanation is plausible, it may lead one to
wonder why psychopathy has not been eliminated through evolution.
For a discussion of evolutionary explanations for psychopathy, see Hare,
Without Conscience, 166“8.
86. To be clear: I do not mean to suggest that the evolutionary explanation
I have sketched is nontheistic in the sense that it is incompatible with
the existence of God; rather, the idea is that the explanation does not
require the existence of God.
87. Lewis, “Poison of Subjectivism,” 80.
88. Lovell, Philosophical Themes, Chapter 2, 21. Alston brie¬‚y mentions
this possibility in “What Euthyphro Should Have Said,” 291. A longer
discussion of this view can be found in William Wainwright, Reli-
gion and Morality (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005), 62“7. I brie¬‚y dis-
cuss Wainwright™s remarks in Erik Wielenberg, “Response to Maria
Antonaccio,” Conversations in Religion and Theology 4:2 (November 2006),
89. I develop just such a theory in Wielenberg, Value and Virtue.
90. For some useful discussions of this topic, see Colin McGinn, Ethics,
Evil, and Fiction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997), 7“60; and
Russ Shafer-Landau, Moral Realism: A Defence (Oxford: Oxford University
Press, 2005), 231“302. A number of recent writers (including McGinn)
have suggested that the way we acquire moral knowledge is similar to
the way we learn language and that, as in the case of language acquisi-
tion, we possess innate cognitive capacities dedicated to morality. This
idea is explicated and defended at great length in Marc Hauser, Moral
Minds: How Nature Designed Our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong (New
York: HarperCollins, 2006).
91. Lewis, Miracles, 54.
92. For a recent extended defense of this sort of approach, see Michael
Heumer, Ethical Intuitionism (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

Notes to Pages 89“96

93. See Chapter 4, section 4.2.3. The line of reasoning hinted at here
assumes the falsity of coherentism. For a useful discussion of this and
related issues, see Richard Feldman, Epistemology (Upper Saddle River,
NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2003), Chapter 4, 39“80.
94. Wright worries about this; see Moral Animal, 324“6.
95. Peter Singer, How Are We to Live? Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest (Amherst,
NY: Prometheus Books, 1995), 226“7.
96. Singer also suggests this idea; see How Are We to Live?, 227.
97. For a brief sketch of a similar account, see Steven Pinker, “Evolution
and Ethics,” in J. Brockman (ed.), Intelligent Thought (New York: Vintage
Books, 2006), 142“52.
98. Hume, Dialogues, 57.
99. Lewis, Miracles, 18.
100. Ibid., 43.
101. Anscombe™s criticisms together with an account of the ensuing discus-
sion and Lewis™s response on that occasion are contained in G. E. M.
Anscombe, “A Reply to Mr. C. S. Lewis™s Argument that ˜Naturalism™
is Self-Refuting,” in G. E. M. Anscombe, The Collected Papers of G. E. M.
Anscombe Volume II: Metaphyics and the Philosophy of Mind (Oxford: Basil
Blackwell, 1981), 224“32.
102. For two quite different views on the philosophical signi¬cance of
Anscombe™s criticisms, see Beversluis, Rational Search, 58“83; and Vic-
tor Reppert, C. S. Lewis™s Dangerous Idea: In Defense of the Argument from
Reason (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 45“71.
103. Anscombe, Collected Papers, ix.
104. The revised chapter is either ignored or overlooked by S. T. Joshi in
his crude discussion of Lewis™s argument from reason in “Surprised by
Folly: C. S. Lewis,” in S. T. Joshi, God™s Defenders: What They Believe and
Why They Are Wrong (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2003), 105“27.
105. Another relevant and useful discussion may be found in William
Hasker™s The Emergent Self (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999),
106. Lewis, Miracles, 22.
107. Ibid.
108. In his response to Anscombe™s criticism, Lewis noted that “valid was
a bad word for what I meant; veridical . . . would have been better”
(Anscombe, “A Reply,” 231).
109. Lewis, Miracles, 23. As Beversluis points out (see Rational Search, 75),
this claim is, strictly speaking, false. However, I do not think that this
particular mistake is fatal to Lewis™s argument. The essential point is
that there must be some suitable perceived evidential or logical rela-
tionship between the propositions involved in the various thoughts
if a given series of thoughts is to constitute reasoning that leads to
knowledge “ and this seems correct.
110. Ibid., 24, my addition.

Notes to Pages 96“105

111. Ibid., 25. Reppert suggests that from this point Lewis™s argument runs as
follows: “But if naturalism is true, then this type of causation, accord-
ing to Lewis, is impossible. Events in nature are determined by the
previous position of material particles, the laws of nature, and (per-
haps) a chance factor. In that situation, according to Lewis, the object
that is known determines the positive character of the act of know-
ing. But in rational inference what we know is a logical connection,
and a logical connection is not in any particular spatio-temporal loca-
tion.” (Reppert, Dangerous Idea, 64) An interesting argument “ but I see
nothing in what Lewis says to indicate that he actually makes such an
argument in Miracles.
112. Anscombe, “A Reply,” 231.
113. Lewis, Miracles, 26.
114. Ibid., 27“8.
115. Beversluis appears to have missed both points. He suggests that Lewis™s
revised argument relies on the false claim that reasons must have
causes and that this fact destroys the validity of reasoning (see Bever-
sluis, Rational Search, 73“4). It should be clear from my reconstruction
of Lewis™s argument that in my view, Lewis™s argument does not rely
on any such claim.
116. Lewis, Miracles, 27.
117. Ibid., 43“4.
118. Ibid., 28.
119. Ibid.
120. Ibid., 25.
121. Ibid., 28.
122. Ibid.
123. Ibid., 37“8. For Reppert™s discussion of intentionality, see Dangerous
Idea, 74“6.
124. In his discussion of Lewis™s argument from reason, Joshi describes
Lewis as “cataclysmically ignorant” of the relevant scienti¬c knowledge
and characterizes his knowledge of science as “feeble to nonexistent”
(Joshi, God™s Defenders, 111). These are strong words, but I think that
Joshi fails to grasp the complexity and subtlety of Lewis™s argument.
125. C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (New York:
Harcourt, 1955), 208.
126. For Plantinga™s most recent presentation of the argument, together
with a slew of critical responses to it and Plantinga™s replies to those
criticisms, see J. K. Beilby (ed.), Naturalism Defeated? Essays on Plantinga™s
Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univer-
sity Press, 2002). For my own attempt to refute Plantinga™s argument,
see Erik Wielenberg, “How to Be an Alethically Rational Naturalist,”
Synthese 131:1 (April 2002), 81“98.
127. For one accessible and interesting attempt, see Daniel Dennett, Kinds
of Minds (New York: Basic Books, 1996).

Notes to Pages 106“112

128. This is a crude rendering of a line of reasoning found in William Rowe,
“The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism,” American Philo-
sophical Quarterly 16 (1979), 335“41. This kind of argument is a version
of the evidential problem of evil.
129. Daniel Howard-Snyder uses this phrase in his introduction to The Evi-
dential Argument from Evil (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana Uni-
versity Press, 1996), xvii.
130. Colin McGinn, The Mysterious Flame: Conscious Minds in a Material World
(New York: Basic Books, 1999), 45“6.
131. Steven Pinker also develops this theme in The Blank Slate: The Modern
Denial of Human Nature (New York: Viking, 2002), 239“40.
132. Reppert, Dangerous Idea, 13.
133. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, 17.
134. Ibid., 17“8. Joy also makes an appearance in Till We Have Faces when
Psyche describes a kind of longing that she felt when she was at her
happiest; see C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces (New York: Harcourt, 1984),
135. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, 222.
136. Ibid., 238.
137. Ibid., 230.
138. Samuel Alexander, Space, Time, and Deity, Vol. II (New York: Macmillan,
1950), 374.
139. Ibid., 374“8.
140. As far as I can tell, Beversluis gave the argument this name; see his
critical discussion of it in Beversluis, Rational Search, 8“31.
141. Peter Kreeft, “C. S. Lewis™s Argument from Desire,” in M. H. Mac-
Donald and A. A. Tadie (eds.), G. K. Chesterton and C. S. Lewis: The Riddle
of Joy (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1989), 249.
142. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 136“7.
143. Ibid., 135.
144. Lovell, Philosophical Themes, Chapter 6, 132.
145. Bertrand Russell, “From ˜My Mental Development™ and ˜Reply to Crit-
icisms™,” in Greenspan and Andersson (eds.), Russell on Religion, 29.
146. C. S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory,” in The Weight of Glory and Other
Addresses (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 32“3.
147. From this point on I drop the cumbersome expression “natural and
innate desires” and speak simply of “natural desires”; the shorter phrase
is to be understood as shorthand for the longer, more cumbersome one.
148. Robert Holyer defends this line of reasoning in “The Argument from
Desire,” Faith and Philosophy 5:1 (January 1988), 61“70, particularly
149. Lovell, Philosophical Themes, Chapter 6, 134; also see Kreeft, “Argument
from Desire,” 255.
150. See Kreeft, “Argument from Desire,” 269.
151. See Wielenberg, Value and Virtue, 93, 122.

Notes to Pages 112“122

152. This way of formulating the inductive case is based on the discussion
of inductive reasoning found in Howard Kahane, Logic and Philosophy:
A Modern Introduction, sixth edition (Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1990),
153. Holyer, “Argument from Desire,” 69“70.
154. Of course, if there are characteristics that are conceptually linked to
swanhood, we will be able to infer that the swan has those “ for exam-
ple, we can be sure that the swan is a physical object. But this point will
not save the argument from desire, as there is little plausibility in the
claim that it is a conceptual truth that natural desires can be satis¬ed.
155. Lovell, Philosophical Themes, Chapter 6, 140.
156. Ronald W. Dworkin, Arti¬cial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy
Class (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2006), 8.
157. Wright, Moral Animal, 369. Interestingly, Lewis describes much the
same phenomenon as one of the possible ways of dealing with the
experience of Joy in Mere Christianity under the title of “The Fool™s
Way”; see Lewis, Mere Christianity, 135.
158. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, 170.
159. Ibid.
160. This is not to say that theism itself lacks empirical evidence; rather, my
claim here is that there is no empirical evidence (beyond Joy itself) to
support the speci¬c hypothesis that God instilled Joy in human nature.
161. Kreeft, “Argument from Desire,” 258.
162. Lovell, Philosophical Themes, Chapter 6, 141.
163. For useful discussions of some of the causes of our false beliefs, see
Wright, Moral Animal; and Pinker, Blank Slate, particularly Chapters
12 and 13. For discussions of family con¬‚ict and phobias, see Buss,
Evolutionary Psychology, Chapters 7 and 8 (families), and pages 90“5
164. See Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine (New York: Macmillan,
1967), particularly Part 3, “Disorder,” 225“339. I discuss some similar
ideas (in much less detail) in Wielenberg, Value and Virtue, 127“42.
165. See Buss, Evolutionary Psychology, 28“9.
166. See, for instance, Pinker, Blank Slate.

3. Miracles
1. Graham Greene, “The Second Death,” in Graham Greene, Collected
Short Stories (New York: Penguin Books, 1986), 156.
2. Ibid., 157.
3. Ibid., 158.
4. Ibid. At the conclusion of the story, the narrator remembers being cured
of his blindness, indicating that the miracles were real “ and the dying
man™s fears well founded.

Notes to Pages 122“128

5. Similar issues are raised by Quentin Tarantino™s 1994 ¬lm Pulp Fiction,
in which hired killers Vincent and Jules take different views about
whether their unlikely escape from a hail of bullets constitutes a
6. This very question is raised in Lewis™s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,
the ¬rst book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. For a useful discussion,
see Thomas D. Senor, “Trusting Lucy: Believing the Incredible,” in Greg
Bassham and Jerry Walls (eds.), The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy
(Chicago: Open Court, 2005), 27“40.
7. Samuel Clarke, “A Discourse Concerning the Unalterable Obligations of
Natural Religion, and the Truth and Certainty of the Christian Revela-
tions,” in John Earman (ed.), Hume™s Abject Failure: The Argument against
Miracles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 120.
8. Thomas Sherlock, The Tryal of the Witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus,
eleventh edition (1729), in Earman (ed.), Abject Failure, 131.
9. Ibid., 132.
10. Earman, Abject Failure, 16.
11. Ibid., 18.
12. David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, second edition
(Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998), 154.
13. Ibid. It is interesting to compare these remarks to Philo™s remarks con-
cerning the connection between general laws and suffering in the
Dialogues; see Hume, Dialogues, 70“1.
14. C. S. Lewis, Miracles: A Preliminary Study (New York: HarperCollins,
2001), 156.
15. Ibid.
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid., 156“7.
19. Earman, Abject Failure, vii.
20. Ibid., 73.
21. Robert Fogelin, A Defense of Hume on Miracles (Princeton, NJ: Princeton
University Press, 2003), 3.
22. David Hume, “Of Miracles,” in Hume, Dialogues, 122.
23. Ibid., 108.
24. Ibid.
25. Contra Earman; see Earman, Abject Failure, 23.
26. More precisely, P(the sun will not rise tomorrow/observed constant
conjunction of night followed by sunrise) = n, where n is extremely
small but greater than zero. For a defense of this interpretation, see
Fogelin, Defense, 47“53.
27. Hume, “Of Miracles,” 108.
28. Ibid., 111. In a footnote (112, n. 4), he offers a more restrictive de¬ni-
tion, declaring a miracle to be “a transgression of a law of nature by a
particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible

Notes to Pages 128“138

agent.” However, Hume seems to use the looser de¬nition of “miracle”
throughout the essay.
29. See Earman, Abject Failure, 12; and Fogelin, Defense, 27.
30. Hume, “Of Miracles,” 111. Note that what is given here is a necessary
condition on a law of nature, not a complete de¬nition.
31. Ibid.
32. Ibid., 112, emphasis added.
33. Ibid., 109.
34. For a useful discussion of this point, see Fogelin, Defense, 24“9.
35. Hume™s claim here is quite plausible; for an account of many such
debunked miracles, see Karen Armstrong, A History of God (New York:
Ballantine Books, 1993).
36. Hume, “Of Miracles,” 114“15.
37. Ibid., 114.
38. Ibid., 113.
39. Ibid., 114.
40. Ibid., 113.
41. Foeglin, Defense, 29.
42. Hume, “Of Miracles,” 112.
43. Ibid., 108.
44. Ibid., 122.
45. Here is another similar example: Despite the general unreliability of
reports found in tabloids, they sometimes report events that actually
occurred. And one can often pick out which reports are accurate based
on the nature of the events reported.
46. Fogelin, Defense, 31.
47. Hume, “Of Miracles,” 122, emphasis added.
48. Lewis, Miracles, 2. This passage explains why the subtitle of Miracles is
A Preliminary Study. It is a philosophical study that is preliminary to any
historical inquiry into the Christian miracles.
49. Ibid, 5. Unlike Hume, Lewis does not think that a miracle necessarily
violates some law of nature, and the analyses of miracle offered by
the two thinkers seem to differ. However, we can safely ignore this
disagreement, since the two thinkers agree that the Resurrection of
Christ is a miracle.
50. Ibid., Chapter 8.
51. Ibid., Chapter 11.
52. Ibid., 159.
53. Ibid.
54. Ibid., 162.
55. Ibid., emphasis added.
56. Fogelin discusses this objection of Lewis™s in Fogelin, Defense, 19.
57. Ibid., 162“4.
58. Hume, “Of Miracles,” 108.
59. Lewis, Miracles, 162.

Notes to Pages 139“148

60. See Steve Lovell, “Philosophical Themes from C. S. Lewis” (Ph.D. dis-
sertation, University of Shef¬eld, 2003), Chapter 4, 75.
61. Hume, “Of Miracles,” 109.
62. Lovell, Philosophical Themes, Chapter 4, 76.
63. Lewis, Miracles, 166.
64. Ibid., 168.
65. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 25.
66. Lewis, Miracles, 170.
67. Ibid., 171.
68. More precisely: Hume thinks the relevant claim of conditional proba-
bility is P(miracle M occurred/past experience), whereas Lewis thinks
the relevant claim is P(miracle M occurred/M™s level of ¬tness).
69. Ibid., 170.
70. Ibid., 173.
71. Ibid., 175“6.
72. Ibid., 178.
73. Ibid.
74. Ibid., 179.
75. Ibid., 180.
76. Ibid., 181.
77. Ibid., 180.
78. Ibid., 190.
79. Ibid., 188.
80. Ibid., 191.
81. Ibid.
82. Ibid.
83. C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 77“8.
84. Lewis, Miracles, 213.
85. Ibid., 159.
86. Interestingly, it appears that Lewis actually accepts Hume™s of¬cial con-
clusion. Hume and Lewis agree that religious testimony alone is never
enough to make it reasonable to believe that a miracle occurred, but
Lewis thinks that ¬tness and testimony together can do the trick. How-
ever, Hume™s argument actually supports a stronger conclusion than the
one he of¬cially draws. If Hume™s argument succeeds, it shows that it is
reasonable to believe that all religious testimony in support of miracles
is false. This does con¬‚ict with Lewis™s position, which explains why
Lewis is so concerned to criticize Hume™s reasoning.
87. Ibid., 170.
88. Charles Taliaferro arrives at a similar conclusion in his discussion of
Hume™s argument against miracles; see Charles Taliaferro, Evidence and
Faith: Philosophy and Religion since the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 2005), 197.
89. Terence Penelhum, “Hume™s Criticisms of Natural Theology,” in James
F. Sennett and Douglas Groothius (eds.), In Defense of Natural Theology: A

Notes to Pages 148“154

Post-Humean Assessment (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005),
90. Hume, “Miracles,” 123“4.
91. Hume™s writings do, of course, include criticisms of natural theology.
His Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion contains criticisms of the main
theistic arguments that were popular at the time, most notably the argu-
ment from design (for more on this, see Chapter 4, section 4.3). Penel-
hum argues that section XI of Hume™s Enquiry Concerning Human Under-
standing (which immediately follows “Of Miracles”) is also intended to
undermine the argument from design; see Terence Penelhum, “Religion
in the Enquiry and After,” in Themes in Hume: The Self, the Will, Religion
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 222“43.
92. Lewis, Mere Chrstianity, 52“3.
93. See R. B. Bernstein, Thomas Jefferson (Oxford: Oxford University Press,
2003), 139“40 and 179.
94. See Daniel Howard-Snyder, “Was Jesus Mad, Bad, or God? . . . or
Merely Mistaken,” Faith and Philosophy 21:4 (October 2004), 456“
95. Richard Chessick, “Who Does He Think He Is: Remarks on the Psy-
chology of Jesus,” American Journal of Psychoanalysis 55:1 (March 1995),
96. Lewis, Miracles, 174.
97. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 13.

4. Faith, Design, and True Religion
1. Charles Freeman suggests that the roots within the Christian tradi-
tion of such a view of faith can be found in the writings of Paul the
Apostle; see Charles Freeman, The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of
Faith and the Fall of Reason (New York: Vintage Books Freeman, 2005),
2. A. C. Grayling, “Faith,” in Meditations for the Humanist: Ethics for a Secular
Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 117.
3. Quoted in Freeman, Western Mind, 272.
4. Bertrand Russell, “The Existence and Nature of God,” in L. Greenspan
and S. Andersson (eds.), Russell on Religion (New York: Routledge, 1999),
5. Bertrand Russell, “Can Religion Cure Our Troubles?,” in Why I Am Not
a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects (New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1957), 194.
6. Ibid., 197. For a useful discussion of the connection between the view
Russell criticizes here and the horrors of Stalinism, see Jonathan Glover,
Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century (New Haven, CT and
London: Yale University Press, 2000), 274“82.
7. Bertrand Russell, “What I Believe,” in Not a Christian, 56

Notes to Pages 154“161

8. Bertrand Russell, “The Value of Free Thought,” in A. Seckel (ed.),
Bertrand Russell on God and Religion (Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books,
1986), 239.
9. Ibid., 240.
10. Ibid., 253“4.
11. C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 138.
12. C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 59. Vic-
tor Reppert argues that this view of faith is also evident in The Chronicles
of Narnia; see Victor Reppert, “The Green Witch and the Great Debate:
Freeing Narnia from the Spell of the Lewis-Anscombe Legend,” in Greg
Bassham and Jerry Walls (eds.), The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy
(Chicago: Open Court Press, 2005), 260“72.
13. C. S. Lewis, “Man or Rabbit,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and
Ethics (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1970), 108“9.
14. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 139. For a similar de¬nition, see C. S. Lewis,
“Religion: Reality or Substitute?,” in Christian Re¬‚ections (Grand Rapids,
MI: Eerdmans, 1995), 42.
15. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 140.
16. Ibid., 139.
17. Ibid.
18. Lewis, “Reality or Substitute,” 43.
19. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 141.
20. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, 19.
21. Ibid., 21.
22. Bertrand Russell, “Why I Am Not a Christian,” in Greenspan and Ander-
sson (eds.), Russell on Religion, 90.
23. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 141.
24. Bertrand Russell, “The Sense of Sin,” in Greenspan and Andersson
(eds.), Russell on Religion, 189“90.
25. John Beversluis, C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion (Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1985), 93.
26. C. S. Lewis, “On Obstinacy in Belief,” in The World™s Last Night and Other
Essays (New York: Harcourt, 1955), 17.
27. Ibid., 21.
28. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 138.
29. Lewis, “Obstinacy,” 22.
30. Ibid., 27.
31. Ibid., 25.
32. Ibid., 23.
33. Ibid., 24“5.
34. Daniel Howard-Snyder, “God, Evil, and Suffering,” in Michael J.
Murray (ed.), Reason for the Hope Within (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans,
1999), 113.
35. The interpretation of Lewis™s view I am arguing for here is very similar
to the view put forth by Stephen Wykstra in “The Humean Obstacle

Notes to Pages 161“167

to Evidential Arguments from Suffering: On Avoiding the Evils of
˜Appearance™,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 16 (1984),
36. Lewis, “Obstinacy,” 21(emphasis added).
37. In fact, there is a tremendous amount of literature concerning argu-
ments along these lines; a healthy chunk of this literature is conve-
niently gathered together in Daniel Howard-Snyder (ed.), The Evidential
Argument from Evil (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996).
38. Lewis, “Obstinacy,” 19“20. I said that these remarks are almost abso-
lutely correct because Lewis makes the false assumption that Christian-
ity and atheism are the only options. So there are far more than the
four predicaments Lewis identi¬es.
39. See, for instance, David Hume, Enquiries Concerning Human Understand-
ing and Concerning the Principles of Morals, third edition, ed. L. A. Selby-
Bigger (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975), 165.
40. Ibid., 96.
41. Ibid., 41.
42. Ibid., 110.
43. David O™Connor, Hume on Religion (New York: Routledge, 2001), 9.
44. Hume, Enquiries, 279.
45. Ibid., 14.
46. Ibid., 12.
47. Ibid.
48. H. O. Mounce, Hume™s Naturalism (New York: Routledge, 1999), 15.
49. Hume, Enquiries, 34.
50. Ibid.
51. Ibid., 37. This point should sound familiar; recall that Lewis argued that
we can know that the future will resemble the past only if we know
that naturalism is false.
52. Ibid.
53. Ibid., 41.
54. Ibid., 43“4.
55. Ibid., 45.
56. In his earlier work A Treatise of Human Nature, Hume reserves the term
“knowledge” for “relations . . . which [depend] solely upon ideas”; David
Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, second edition, ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978), 70. Beliefs formed on the basis
of inductive reasoning are not in this category, and so, strictly speak-
ing, the Hume of the Treatise would not count them as instances of
knowledge. However, in the Treatise Hume seems to want to count as
knowledge only beliefs that are absolutely certain, beyond any possible
doubt, whereas in the Enquiry he seems to use “knowledge” in a looser
sense “ one that is closer to ordinary, nonphilosophical usage. Thus,
when I attribute to Hume the view that custom can produce knowl-
edge, I am using “knowledge” in the looser sense.

Notes to Pages 167“173

57. See Hume, Enquiries, 104.
58. When I speak of warrant, I mean epistemic warrant “ warrant as the
thing that turns true belief into knowledge.
59. See, for example, Alvin Plantinga, “Reason and Belief in God,” in J.
Sennett (ed.), The Analytic Theist: An Alvin Plantinga Reader (Grand
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1998), 102“61.
60. Thus, Hume holds the view that H. O. Mounce calls “epistemological
naturalism,” according to which “our knowledge depends on what is
given us by nature” (Mounce, Hume™s Naturalism, 11).
61. It is important to note that though there is no evidence that bestows war-
rant on such beliefs, it does not follow that nothing gives them warrant;
they may have warrant derived from another source. For more on this,
see Plantinga, “Reason and Belief.”
62. This indicates how Hume would answer the question from the end of
Chapter 3: What is the basis of our belief that nature is uniform? Hume™s
answer: It is a properly basic belief, one that we can know even though
we cannot infer it from other things we know.
63. Bertrand Russell, “The Faith of a Rationalist,” in Seckel (ed.), Bertrand
Russell on God and Religion, 88. Also see Bertrand Russell, The Problems of
Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959), 111“12.
64. C. S. Lewis, Miracles: A Preliminary Study (New York: HarperCollins,
2001), 54. Also see C. S. Lewis, “Why I Am Not a Paci¬st,” in The Weight
of Glory (New York: HarperCollins, 2001), 66.
65. David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, second edition
(Indianapolis: Hackett, 1998), 15.
66. Ibid., 18.
67. Some quali¬cations may be required here; for instance, the principle
holds only when the creations in question represent the best work
of which the two designers are capable. But nothing in what follows
depends on this point.
68. Ibid., 16.
69. Ibid., 23.
70. Ibid., 25.
71. O™Connor, for instance, refers to it as “Cleanthes™s second design
argument”; see O™Connor, Hume on Religion, 77“93. Charles Taliaferro
also sees the irregular argument as one that, unlike Cleanthes™s earlier
argument, is based on an inference to the best explanation; see Charles
Taliaferro, Evidence and Faith: Philosophy and Religion since the Seventeenth
Century (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 186.
72. This seems to be Gaskin™s position; see J. C. A. Gaskin, Hume™s Philosophy
of Religion, second edition (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press
International, 1988), 51, 129.
73. See Hume, Treatise, 103“4.
74. Hume, Enquiries, 43“4.
75. Hume, Dialogues, 25.

Notes to Pages 174“179

76. Ibid., 26. Hume makes very similar remarks (in his own voice) in The
Natural History of Religion. See David Hume, Dialogues and Natural History
of Religion, ed. J. C. A. Gaskin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993),
77. Gaskin and O™Connor both argue that in Hume™s view, belief in God is
not what Gaskin calls a “natural belief.” Both argue that belief in God
fails to meet one of the conditions required for it to be a natural belief:
that it be universally accepted (see Gaskin, Hume™s Philosophy of Religion,
122“3; and O™Connor, Hume on Religion, 92). The passage I just quoted
suggests Hume™s explanation of why belief in God does not satisfy this
universality requirement.
78. Hume, Dialogues, 26.
79. Ibid.
80. William Lad Sessions, Reading Hume™s Dialogues: A Veneration for True Reli-
gion (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002), 83.
81. Hume, Dialogues, 23.
82. See Parts VI, VII, and VIII, respectively.
83. Ibid., 53.
84. Ibid., 77.
85. Ibid., 79.
86. Gaskin in Hume, Natural History, xxiii.
87. O™Connor, Hume on Religion, 195.
88. Sessions, Reading Hume™s Dialogues, 185.
89. “Hollowing out” is O™Connor™s expression; see O™Connor, Hume on Reli-
gion, 197.
90. Hume, Dialogues, 80“1. I will ignore the question of whether the dis-
agreement Philo describes is properly characterized as a purely verbal
91. Ibid., 80.
92. Ibid., 81. We see Philo here explicitly alluding to two of his earlier pro-
posed alternatives to the design hypothesis.
93. Ibid.
94. Ibid. This is in direct contrast with Lewis™s insistence that God™s goodness
cannot be entirely unlike human goodness.
95. Ibid., 66.
96. Ibid., 88.
97. Ibid.
98. Jerry Walls has made the interesting suggestion that if we also include
the moral nature of human beings as described by Hume in the data
under consideration, the proper conclusion to draw is that the cause of
the universe is actually evil (because it constructed us such that we care
deeply about human happiness, while the cause itself cares nothing for
human happiness). For this argument, see Jerry Walls, “Hume on Divine
Amorality,” Religious Studies 26 (June 1990), 257“66. Walls™s ultimate
conclusion is that “the only kind of God we can plausibly believe in is a

Notes to Pages 179“187

perfectly good God” (ibid., 265), but this conclusion relies on a kind of
moral argument that, as far as I can tell, renders the Humean argument
entirely super¬‚uous. Because our concern here is with Hume™s actual
position, I will not consider Walls™s argument in any detail.
99. Hume, Dialogues, 88.
100. Hume, Natural History, 134.
101. Ibid., 136, 138, 142, 150, 153, 154, 155, 159, 183.
102. Ibid., 153.
103. Susan Neiman, Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2002), 167.
104. Hume, Natural History, 25.
105. O™Connor reaches a somewhat similar conclusion, although he focuses
on just two of the three ideas I have identi¬ed (skepticism and design)
and suggests that perhaps Hume never arrived at a settled position, but
instead was “genuinely of two minds, at once inclining two contrary
ways” (O™Connor, Hume on Religion, 218). For a somewhat different
interpretation, see Terence Penelhum, “Natural Belief and Religious
Belief in Hume™s Philosophy” and “Religion in the Enquiry and After,”
both in Themes in Hume: The Self, the Will, Religion (Oxford: Oxford Uni-
versity Press, 2000), 204“43. At the end of the latter essay, Penelhum
concludes that Hume was probably a “closet atheist” (242).
106. Hume, Dialogues, 69.
107. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 29.
108. Russell, “Existence and Nature,” 98.
109. Russell, “Not a Christian,” 82. Russell made similar remarks twelve
years later; see Russell, “Existence and Nature,” 94.
110. Ibid., 96.
111. Russell, “Free Thought,” 257.
112. Russell, “Not a Christian,” 81.
113. See, for example, Peter van Inwagen, Metaphysics (Boulder, CO: West-
view Press, 1993), 132“48.
114. Russell, “Free Thought,” 258.
115. John Stuart Mill, “Theism,” in Three Essays on Religion (Amherst, NY:
Prometheus Books, 1998), 176“7.
116. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 18.
117. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, letter VIII, 41.
118. Russell, “Free Thought,” 261.
119. Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man™s Worship,” in Not a Christian, 105“6.
120. Hume, Dialogues, 37“8.
121. Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan (New York: Dell Publishing, 1998).
122. Douglas Adams, “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish,” in The Ultimate
Hitchhiker™s Guide to the Galaxy (New York: Ballantine Books, 2002),
123. Hume, Dialogues, 88.
124. Romans 1:20.

Notes to Pages 187“194

125. This may explain why many contemporary Christian apologists
advance cumulative-case arguments of which design arguments con-
stitute just one part; see, for example, James Sennett, “Hume™s Stop-
per and the Natural Theology Project,” and R. Douglas Geivett, “David
Hume and a Cumulative Case Argument,” both in James F. Sennett and
Douglas Groothius (eds.), In Defense of Natural Theology: A Post-Humean
Assessment (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 82“104 and
126. Sessions, Hume™s Dialogues, 196.
127. Hume, Dialogues, 88.
128. Ibid., 88“9.
129. Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 132“48.
130. Ibid., 146.
131. Hume, Dialogues, 89.
132. Ibid., 4.
133. Ibid., 12, emphasis added.
134. Globalization only makes the need for reason more obvious; even if
there were only one alleged sacred text, reason would still be required
to evaluate its authenticity.
135. Hume, “Of Miracles,” in Dialogues, 122.
136. Hume, Dialogues, 58.
137. Ibid., 89.
138. Gaskin suggests a similar interpretation; see Gaskin, Hume™s Philosophy
of Religion, 227.
139. I owe this suggestion to Jordan Harp.
140. Hume, Dialogues, 85.
141. Ibid., 82.
142. Ibid., 85. The meaning of the remark about “fasces and axes” is that
both political authority and military power should be kept out of the
hands of religious leaders.
143. Hume, Natural Religion, 184.
144. David Hume, “Of Superstition and Enthusiasm,” in Selected Essays
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 38.
145. Ibid.
146. Hume, Natural Religion, 167.
147. Ibid., 157.
148. Ibid., 212“13.
149. Ibid., 166.
150. In his 1794 work The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine criticizes this aspect of
Christianity, referring derisively to “the Christian system of arithmetic”
(Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason [New York: Citadel Press, 1948], 79).
151. Hume, Natural Religion, 184. Gaskin draws the same conclusion; see
Gaskin, Hume™s Philosophy of Religion, 191.
152. C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (New York:
Harcourt, 1955), 63.

Notes to Pages 194“198

153. Bertrand Russell, “Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to
Civilization?,” in Not a Christian, 24.
154. Ibid.
155. Ibid., 47.
156. Bertrand Russell, “The Essence of Religion,” in Greenspan and Anders-
son (eds.), Russell on Religion, 57.
157. Ibid.
158. Ibid., 59.
159. Ibid., 58.
160. Ibid., 60.
161. Ibid.
162. Ibid., 61.
163. Ibid.
164. Ibid., 64.
165. Ibid., 65.
166. Matthew 22:37“9.
167. Russell, “Essence of Religion,” 67.
168. Ibid., 66.
169. Ibid., p. 67.
170. Ibid., 67“8. Perhaps we could call this a “Russellian Holy Trinity”?
171. Ibid., 68.
172. C. S. Lewis, “Religion without Dogma?,” in God in the Dock, 131.
173. Russell, “Essence of Religion,” 68.
174. Genesis 3:5.
175. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 75.
176. Russell, “Essence of Religion,” 59.
177. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 76.
178. Ibid., 79.
179. Ibid., 88.
180. Russell, “Essence of Religion,” 60.
181. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 89.
182. Ibid.
183. Lewis, Screwtape Letters, letter XIV, 59.
184. See, for example, Karen Armstrong, A History of God (New York: Bal-
lantine Books, 1994), 396“9; Andrew Newberg, Eugene D™Aquili, and
Vince Rause, Why God Won™t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of
Belief (New York: Ballantine Books, 2001); and Samuel Harris, The End
of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (New York: Norton,
185. Walter Hooper (ed.), Letters of C. S. Lewis, revised edition (Orlando, FL:
Harcourt, 1993), 501.
186. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960), 30.
187. Lewis, Mere Christianity, xv.
188. Ibid., xvi.

Notes to Pages 199“202

189. C. S. Lewis, “Answers to Questions on Christianity,” in God in the Dock,
190. Hooper (ed.), Letters, 428. In the same letter, Lewis goes on to reject
paci¬sm and endorse capital punishment and killing in war, so his
advice here does not stem from a general prohibition against all types
of violence; see also Lewis, “Not a Paci¬st,” 64“90.
191. Lewis, Mere Christianity, 82“7.
192. Ibid., 83.
193. Ibid.
194. Ibid., 104“14.
195. Ibid., 112.
196. Ibid.
197. C. S. Lewis, “On the Transmission of Christianity,” in God in the Dock,
198. Ibid., 119. It should also be pointed out that Lewis™s conception of
Christian education is quite different from that of, say, Demea. It con-
sists of telling the young “what the Christians say” and providing them
with arguments in favor of Christianity (ibid., 115).
199. Hooper (ed.), Letters, 473.
200. Lewis, “Answers,” 61.
201. Exodus 20:7.
202. C. S. Lewis, “Meditation on the Third Commandment,” in God in the
Dock, 198.
203. Ibid.
204. Ibid., 198“9.
205. Ibid., 199.
206. More precisely, all three accepted quali¬ed evidentialism, as described
earlier in section 4.2.3.
207. Lewis, “Transmission of Christianity,” 117.


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