Religious Mathematics

I am rereading C.S. Lewis’ excellent Mere Christianity again. I read it five or six years ago as I was starting to have real doubts about my atheism. I thought I would revisit it to see if there was more cash in the drawer the second time around – so to speak.

In the chapter Rival Conceptions of God, he is talking about how other religions have some truths to them, but where they differ from Christianity, they are wrong. After all, in arithmetic there is only one correct answer to a sum, but, some answers are closer to the right answer than others.

So, I thought, if we take 2 + 2 = 4 and Judaism is 3 for an answer, Islam 7 (I really hate to say even that) Hinduism 6 and so on. Then, atheism would be (it is my belief these years later) the answer of -29,333.

Just a something that struck me as funny and true.


11 thoughts on “Religious Mathematics

    1. A religion, for instance, Christianity, says there is a God. Atheism says, there is no god. What is the truth beyond these two positions that you claim these are the way to get to it?

      Since Christianity could be say, the 3+1, Islam 9-5, Judaism square root of 16, and atheism 4+0 and these are merely paths to truth “ways to get to truth” (despite their fundamental truth claims) what is the truth of which these are merely the path?

  1. I’m curious. You’re a Christian; so why would you consider the Hindu conception of deity– which can be polytheistic or pantheistic or even atheistic, depending on the particular sect of Hinduism under discussion– to be closer to the correct understanding of God than that of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion which tends to share Christianity’s views on Classical Theology?

    1. Uh, because I hashed out something that struck me as funny. I was not writing a dissertation. Give Hinduism a 14 then, I don’t care. I was simply setting it up to pick on atheism.

      Who said I was a Christian?

      1. I apologize. I thought your Christianity was implied by your referring to Lewis’ ‘Mere Christianity’ as “excellent” and your statement that “where [other religions] differ from Christianity, they are wrong.”

        So, then, are you not a Christian?

        1. Ha! I was just jerking your chain because I never, in fact, have stated that I am – not on my blog. I am Catholic (I just haven’t been able to seal the deal yet) at least Catholic in desire and intention.

          Honestly though, I merely set up the original post as a dig on atheism, which I was an ardent one for years. In fact, I was an acolyte of Ayn Rand.

          I also confess to an ignorance of Hinduism. Islam I merely consider a heresy.

          I have known a few atheists that found Mr. Lewis’ writings, including Mere Christianity, to be excellent. I thought so myself when I first read it as an atheist.

          …and your statement that “where [other religions] differ from Christianity, they are wrong.”

          This is actually me describing Mr. Lewis’ argument not my statement.

  2. Hey! I had commenters on my blog! Thank you for stopping in! Its been quite quiet in here since my only other commentator got anal probed by aliens (alright, my uncle) and will no longer speak.

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