“I sometimes wonder whether we shall not have to re-convert men to real Paganism as a preliminary to converting them to Christianity. If they were Stoics, Orphics, Mithraists, or (better still) peasants worshipping the Earth, our task might be easier.”What's most interesting in this essay is that he points out six causes for this shift. Of those six, I wanted to highlight two: the Emancipation of Women and Practicality (which are very closely related).
To begin, it should be noted that he is all for most freedoms women now experience in civil and social arenas. He just notes a change in the way conversation has shifted. For instance, he says:
“Any mixed society thus becomes the scene of wit, banter, persiflage, anecdote – of everything in the world rather than prolonged and rigorous discussion on ultimate issues, or of those serious masculine friendships in which such discussion arises...The only serious questions now discussed are those which seem to have a ‘practical’ importance, for these satisfy the intense practicality and concreteness of the female...But the proper glory of the masculine mind, its disinterested concern with truth for truth’s own sake, with the cosmic and the metaphysical, is being impaired.”Dang females :). Seriously though, I'm not sure how much I agree that it is the woman's fault for causing us men to have less serious discussion and to speak more pragmatically, but I think the truth of the evolution of conversation is there.
In talking specifically about how practicality has affected the shift in our thinking, he says:
“Man is becoming as narrowly ‘practical’ as the irrational animals. In lecturing to popular audiences I have repeatedly found it almost impossible to make them understand that I recommended Christianity because I thought its affirmations to be objectively true. They are simply not interested in the question of truth or falsehood. They only want to know if it will be comforting, or ‘inspiring’, or socially useful.”It's amazing how relevant Lewis is to today's postmodern culture. Pragmatism trumps objectivity, then and now. Let's seek to avoid this.
(I'd love to hear your thoughts)