Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This work of C.S. Lewis is very complex and difficult to understand. This article that I read said that Bulverism is “a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe the state of public discourse and debate in the 20th century thought.” This principle assumes that a person is wrong without any logical discussion. This essay has discusses reason, cause, and tainted thoughts. It involves deep thinking and allows us to understand how we are able to go about proving things.

Lewis writes that we exist in two senses. The Freudians say we exist as bundles of complexes, while the Marxians say that we exist as members of some economic class. Lewis says, “Their thoughts are tainted at the source.” Lewis goes on to question whether all thoughts or some thoughts are tainted at the source and how we find out which ones are tainted and which are not. To demonstrate his point, Lewis gives the example of his large balance in his bank account. If someone wanted to validate this, he would have to find out what is arithmetically incorrect or correct. A person can only prove him wrong on arithmetical grounds. A man needs to be shown why he is wrong before someone starts explaining why he is wrong.

C.S. Lewis explains that reason can play no effective part in human affairs until Bulverism is crushed. To do this, you must reason to even bulverize. A reason is a special kind of cause. Lewis writes, “ Bulverism tries to show that the other man has causes and not reasons and that we have reasons and not causes.” He gives the example of a fictional man named Bulver. Bulverism began when Bulver heard his mother say to his father, “You say this because you are a man.” An argument based on a bias against a certain group has no substance behind it.

Lewis points out that the mind is affected by physical events, but thought has no father but thought. Something beyond nature exists. Will and reason can only depend on themselves, but nature can depend on Will and Reason, showing God exists.

This essay really makes us think about what it means to think, rationalize, and reason. When we discuss with others who disagree with us, our goal should be to understand the truth more fully rather than trying to win. It all winds back to God, who created nature. With our human minds, we can not fully understand reasons, causes, and thinking. Romans 11:33 says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” God made our minds complex to reflect part of the complexity of His own nature. We must use our minds and our reasoning to learn more about God because He calls us to seek after His Truth.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Jori,

    I like the comment "our goal should be to understand the truth more fully rather than trying to win"!

    Let's pray for wisdom...
    Adriana & Paulo