14 Sep 2021

C.S. Lewis: On Living Today

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Written by CS Lewis in 1948.

“ ‘How are we to live in an atomic age?’ I am tempted to reply: Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of chronic pain, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.

In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways.

It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.

The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about death. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”

5 Feedbacks on "C.S. Lewis: On Living Today"




Totally different but exactly the same. Except that they didn’t expect anything different back then. The current “children” have come to expect “safe” and “secure”. The endless socialist fantasy.

Life isn’t like that.

“They” are all gone, even the old cat, and when the sun rises, I still have to cook something to eat. Let’s see what the day brings. Whatever, I can deal.


The Muslim terrorists will sooner or later acquire an atomic device and they will pick a large U.S. city, perhaps NY City, to set it off in. A couple million dead instantly, millions more in days to weeks. The entire city destroyed-rubble. What then with all this brave talk???

And that will just be the beginning. We will retalliate and other super powers will get involved one the atomic genie is out of the bottle. So more cites destroyed, more millions killed and injured… What then?

Martin Murcek

Right. I’d rather die of plague or a nuke than on the guillotine.


The entire world war of the 1940s, with fleets of ships and tanks and bombers combined with death camps and atom bombs, only killed two percent of the human population. In prehistoric times, one third of the male population died in war between villages. And that was just one of the many things that killed people off before they reached thirty years old.

All things considered, I’d rather be vaporized by an atom bomb in a world war than be stabbed with a pointy stick defending my village.


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