Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Screwtape Explains It All

 

The Enemy loves platitudes. Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible? Now if we can keep men asking ‘Is it in accordance with the general movement of our time? Is it progressive or reactionary? Is this the way that History is going?’ they will neglect the relevant questions. And the questions they do ask are, of course, unanswerable; for they do not know the future, and what the future will be depends very largely on just those choices which they now invoke the future to help them to make. As a result, while their minds are buzzing in this vacuum, we have the better chance to slip in and bend them to the action we have decided on. And great work has already been done. Once they knew that some changes were for the better, and others for the worse, and others again indifferent. We have largely removed this knowledge. For the descriptive adjective ‘unchanged’ we have substituted the emotional adjective ‘stagnant.’ We have trained them to think of the Future as a promised land which favoured heroes attain–not as something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is,

Your affectionate uncle
Screwtape

~ from The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis reminds us of some relevant, very simple questions.

May we train ourselves and our children to ask these questions and demand that our fellow citizens answer them with us, as we all travel to the Future at 60 minutes per hour.

Published in Group Writing
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  1. Jim Chase Member
    Jim ChaseJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wish I could like this more than once, Mama T. That, and I think I’m due for a re-read of ol’ Screwtape.

    • #1
    • September 23, 2020, at 7:27 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Ekosj Member

    Thanks MT. CS Lewis never gets old. The bit about the future Reminds me of ….

    “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning–“

    F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

    • #2
    • September 23, 2020, at 7:37 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    The future ain’t what it used to be.


    This is the Quote of the Day. There are still blank spots on our schedule for the 24th and the 28th. Or, if you have a hankering for the hither horizon, we also have openings in October.

    If quotations aren’t your thing, perhaps you would like to join in on the Group Writing Project. Clifford still has the 23rd and 24th available with the writing cue of If I was a _____, I would _____. 

    If you’ve never started a conversation before on Ricochet, these are the ways to do it. You can borrow another’s wisdom in QotD, or have fun telling us how you would change the world with Group Writing. Come join us.

    • #3
    • September 23, 2020, at 8:04 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I only have a quibble with the question, “is it possible?” I just watched an inspiring video of Scott Adams talking about all the impossible things Americans have done, starting with the impossible aspiration of winning independence from the greatest military force of the time with only a ragtag militia of tradesmen and frontiersmen. “Is it possible” is nearly as unknown as the future. And besides, all things are possible with God. 

    I think what Lewis was getting at with the question is the Left believes (and it is an article of faith) it can build utopia on a foundation of lies — without God. 

    Good luck with that.

    • #4
    • September 23, 2020, at 8:22 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  5. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just watched an inspiring video of Scott Adams talking about all the impossible things Americans have done, starting with the impossible aspiration of winning independence from the greatest military force of the time with only a ragtag militia of tradesmen and frontiersmen. “Is it possible” is nearly as unknown as the future. And besides, all things are possible with God. 

    I think that, rather than referring to technological marvels, he might have been thinking of the impossibility of making men angels.

    • #5
    • September 23, 2020, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama ToadJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I just watched an inspiring video of Scott Adams talking about all the impossible things Americans have done, starting with the impossible aspiration of winning independence from the greatest military force of the time with only a ragtag militia of tradesmen and frontiersmen. “Is it possible” is nearly as unknown as the future. And besides, all things are possible with God.

    I think that, rather than referring to technological marvels, he might have been thinking of the impossibility of making men angels.

    Which, of course, is pretty much what you said!

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I think what Lewis was getting at with the question is the Left believes (and it is an article of faith) it can build utopia on a foundation of lies — without God. 

     

    • #6
    • September 23, 2020, at 9:01 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  7. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western ChauvinistJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Here’s the link to the video, hopefully:

    H/t Annefy

    • #7
    • September 23, 2020, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. Mark Camp Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    I only have a quibble with the question, “is it possible?”

    I don’t know what you mean by quibbling with a question. I am guessing you might have meant to say that you quibble with the assertion that contains the question.

    CB Toder aka Mama Toad: Of a proposed course of action He wants men, so far as I can see, to ask very simple questions; is it righteous? is it prudent? is it possible?

    But if you think about it more carefully, I think you will agree with Screwtape that God wants men to seek the truth, by thinking, rather than be deceived by his distractions.

     

    • #8
    • September 23, 2020, at 2:29 PM PDT
    • Like