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Nonreligious The Great Divorce by C. An attempt at refuting universalism whose Kafkaesque depiction of the afterlife ironically shows why it would be a better idea.
The book takes the form of a bus ride that carries the damned from Hell to Heaven, where the narrator learns that they are offered a chance to stay there, but ultimately reject it because they prefer to remain in Hell. Following is an extended review of the book containing comments on specific chapters, concluded by overall impressions.
Some chapters have been omitted, since they contain no material I wish to make any specific remarks about; in any event, every claim both explicitly and implicitly made in this book has been answered elsewhere on this site.
Wandering through abandoned streets, the narrator finally stumbles across a bus stop, where a group of people are waiting for the bus. The boundaries of the town cannot be seen, however; in fact, the higher Describing an event essays climb, the huger it is revealed to be, filling all the field of vision.
We learn that this is because its inhabitants, unable to tolerate each other, keep moving further and further out to be away from everyone else. Since they have no physical needs, necessity does not force them together to build a functioning society. It is further explained that the average damned soul will never meet any of the interesting historical personalities that dwell there, because by now they are so far away from everyone else — millions of miles — that it would take forever to find them.
The bus at last lands atop a great cliff, and as the passengers pile out, Heaven is revealed to be an idyllic wilderness paradise, an Eden-like garden country of rivers and trees. Its sense of scale is enormous, and in a distance unimaginably far away, the narrator catches sight of indistinct cities built on the summits of gigantic mountains.
The strangest thing the passengers discover, however, is that the place is suffused with a supernatural reality, in a sense more solid, more real, than anything else. In fact, it is so real that the damned find themselves to be insubstantial shadows by comparison, unable to move a single leaf or bend a blade of grass beneath their feet.
From this point onward Lewis refers to them as Ghosts. It is not long before the residents of Heaven arrive. Unlike the damned, they are as fully solid and real as anything else in this place; Lewis calls them Spirits.
This chapter, of course, serves as a vehicle for Lewis to promote his view of no-effort salvation by faith. We none of us were and we none of us did. Of course, there are good arguments against this position — how can justice be done when the guilty are not punished?
Lewis makes no reply to these counterarguments, even though the Ghost presents some of them. Instead, the most he does is to engage in a none too subtle well-poisoning by depicting the Ghost making them as angry and violent he was first introduced earlier in the book, at the bus stop, where he physically assaulted another passenger for essentially no reason.
I could not help but get the impression that Lewis believes that because he has crafted a story in which Christianity is true, that alone renders objections to Christianity, presented within the context of the story, invalid.
Of all the chapters in the book, this was the only one that made me genuinely angry. The conversation begins promisingly enough. So far, so good. He goes on to claim that nonbelievers are afraid of Christianity being true and that they rejected the supernatural without ever seriously considering whether it might actually occur.
In any event, if this is not meant to be a description of all nonbelievers, then why is it in the book? It is implied that the Ghost no longer asks questions because he wants answers, but only for the sake of asking questions; he does not actually want to possess the truth he claims to be seeking.
The Spirit compares this to masturbation. Again, Lewis misrepresents the skeptical position by creating a caricature of it and attacking that.Buy The Future of the Brain: Essays by the World's Leading Neuroscientists: Read 30 Kindle Store Reviews - monstermanfilm.com Essay about describing an event.
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