Vitz argues that such a view is a double-edged sword that can also be used to explain atheists' unbelief.
He studies such militant atheists as Voltaire, Hume, Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, Sartre, and others.
He dwelt on the "Argument from Undesign" stated well by Lucretius.
Certainly there were many other factors drawing Lewis toward atheism. Lewis indicated that if the wrong person had come along he might have ended up a sorcerer or a lunatic.
Another factor Lewis had to face was the problem of evil.
He was surprised by what happened during his reading. Moore, mother to Lewis's college roommate "Paddy," lived with Lewis and his brother after Paddy was killed in World War I) Askins had been wounded in World War I and never recovered physically or spiritually. Askins had become a psychoanalyst after the war and developed an obsession with spiritualism and contacting the dead. He began to feel that "Christianity was very sensible 'apart from its Christianity'" (p. Lewis also found that he was drawn to many other authors that had this strange Christian twist: Spenser, Milton, Johnson, Mac Donald, and others. Once while riding on a bus in Oxford, Lewis had the sense that he was "holding something at bay, or shutting something out" (p. He could either open the door or let it stay shut, but to open the door "meant the incalculable." He finally submitted himself to God, the most "dejected and reluctant convert" in all England.
Something came off the pages and "baptized his imagination." Although he couldn't put this quality into words at that time, he later came to describe it as holiness. During one fourteen-day period, Lewis had to "hold him while he kicked and wallowed on the floor, screaming out that devils were tearing him and that he was at that moment falling into hell" (p. While atheist Lewis was aware that there could be physical causes for Askins' problems, he could not separate the man's state from his passionate pursuit of the occult. In contrast, those with whom he theoretically agreed-Voltaire, Gibbon, Mill, Wells, and Shaw-seemed thin and "tinny." On top of this, some of the brightest, most intelligent at Oxford were also "supernaturalists." People like Neville Coghill, Hugo Dyson, and J. This belief in God happened in 1929, but it was not until 1931 that he surrendered himself to Christ.
He concludes that atheism of the strong or intense type is to a substantial degree caused by the psychological needs of its advocates, usually related to defective father figures.