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The Question of God -- C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God, Love, Sex, and the Meaning of Life by Dr. Armand M. Nicholi, Jr. © 2002
(The Free Press: New York, NY) All rights reserved [281 pages]
[Answer 14 of 20 questions correctly to receive
12 hours of Continuing Education credit]


Chapter 2: The Creator (p. 36-56)
1.Many writers before Freud (Voltaire, Diderot, Darwin, Feuerbach) suggested that God was only a projection of human needs and wishes. More specifically, Freud asserted that
a. God is a projection of the childhood image of our father.
b. We create an image of God that is both loved and feared because of ambivalence toward our own father.
c. When we become adults, we still find ourselves helpless when confronted with the great forces of life, so we conjure up a figure like the one who protected us as a child.
d. all of the above.

2. C.S. Lewis countered Freud’s wish-fulfillment argument by asserting that
a. the biblical worldview involves a great deal of despair and pain and is certainly not anything one would wish for.
b. a child’s ambivalent feelings toward his father would create a wish that God did not exist as strong as the wish for His existence, just as prior to his conversion, Lewis wanted no one to interfere with his life.
c. the wish that God exists may actually be evidence for His existence since “creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exist.”
d. all of the above.

Chapter 3: Conscience (p. 57-75)
3. Freud argued that people feel guilty, not because they break the moral law, but because they have inherited guilt over the killing of the primal father. Freud developed this theory in his controversial book
a. The Origins of Psycho-Analysis
b. Totem and Taboo
c. The Future of an Illusion
d. The Interpretation of Dreams

4. Lewis argues that people feel guilty because of a universal moral law which is basically the same in all cultures: “Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him…Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired.” Lewis says all
people are aware of this moral law through their

a. parents
b. theology
c. conscience
d. socialization

Chapter 4: The Great Transition (p. 76-94)
5. Unlike St. Paul and St. Augustine, Lewis describes his conversion as “gradual and intellectual”. Which of the following had some influence toward C.S. Lewis eventually concluding that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?
a. Lewis concluded that the Gospels were not myths or legends; instead, they appeared to be simple eyewitness accounts of historical events rather than rich, imaginative writings typical of ancient legends. No author of a legend would omit most of the life of Jesus as the Gospel writers did.
b. Lewis accepted the arguments he read in G.K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man, that Christ, who claimed to be the Messiah and to forgive sins, had to be more than just a great moral teacher, because no great moral teacher ever claimed to be God -- not Mohammed, Confucius, Plato, Moses, or Buddha.
c. Lewis observed that all the main characters in the Bible, except for Christ, broke the moral law, resulting in separation from God. Since only God Himself could keep the moral law, He would have to be the one to reconcile the human race to Himself. Lewis realized that all the pagan myths about a dying god, along with the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures, pointed to that moment in history when the Creator Himself would come to earth, die, and rise again.
d. all of the above.

Chapter 5: Happiness (p. 97-125)
6. Freud believed that “sexual love affords the strongest experiences of satisfaction and provides the prototype of all happiness.” Lewis believed that the greatest source of happiness was
a. God
b. marriage
c. friendship
d. knowledge

7. When Freud began an analysis of himself in his forties, he observed long-standing, intense desire to be famous, to be known as a great man. Similarly, Lewis desired to be recognized as a great writer. After his conversion, Lewis considered his desire for fame to be an expression of pride. By “pride” he meant
a. being praised by others for a job well done.
b. self-conceit, the need to feel superior to others.
c. a love for reading and writing.
d. self-respect.

Chapter 6: Sex (p. 126-159)
8. The author believes that Freud brought unnecessary criticism on himself and the field of psychoanalysis by
a. trying to abolish traditional morality.
b. being unfaithful to his own wife.
c. applying the term “sexual” to almost all human interaction that involves pleasurable feelings, including affection.
d. encouraging physical contact between psychoanalysts and their patients.

9. Lewis would support which of the following?
a. A married couple should stay married even if they are no longer in love.
b. Our society today has so many sexual problems because sex was hushed up in the Victorian age.
c. If an unmarried couple is truly in love, their sexual relationship is not immoral.
d. Historically, marriages that were arranged by parents for couples who were not in love usually ended in divorce.

10. What did Lewis believe about the state of “being in love”?
a. It is a significant, wonderful human experience.
b. It does not last because, although it is a noble feeling, it is still a feeling, and feelings come and go.
c. It needs to change to a deeper, more comfortable and mature kind of love, maintained by the will and strengthened by habit.
d. all of the above.

11. Freud observed that all people have an underlying hostility and tendency to look down on others. He observed that “the South German cannot endure the North German, the Englishman casts every kind of aspersion upon the Scot, the Spaniard despises the Portugese.” He saw the repugnance of the Gallic for the German, the Aryan for the Jew, and whites for blacks. Freud called these examples of hostility
a. “the narcissism of minor differences”
b. “discrimination”
c. “aim-inhibited”
d. “transference”

12. Freud made a fundamental contribution to our understanding of all human relationships when he asserted that we tend to displace our feelings and attitudes from past figures onto people in the present. This transference occurs most frequently and most intensely in relationships characterized by
a. love
b. friendship
c. age differences
d. authority

13. Of the four human loves, C.S. Lewis said that “______ is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our natural lives.”
a. affection (Storage)
b. friendship (Philia)
c. romantic love (Eros)
d. charity (Agape)

14. Lewis agrees with which reason for joining a group?
a. to avoid being left out
b. to relieve feelings of inferiority
c. to share a deep-seated interest with them
d. to be accepted by people we consider important

15. Freud would support which statement?
a. Love your enemies.
b. If I love someone, he must deserve it in some way.
c. Love your neighbor as yourself.
d. People are basically good and trustworthy.

Chapter 8: The Problem of Suffering (p. 187-215)
16. At the age of 62, Lewis lost his wife, Joy Davidman, to cancer. In his book, A Grief Observed, Lewis made the observation that people in mourning want
a. to be alone.
b. to be with people without having to talk to them.
c. to talk about their loss.
d. to write down their thoughts and reactions.

17. Lewis believed that _____ was the primary cause of suffering,
illness, and death
a. poverty
b. ignorance
c. the abuse of free will
d. envy

18. When Freud tried to comfort others, he advised them to endure
their suffering with

a. resignation.
b. hope.
c. courage.
d. faith.

Chapter 9: Death (p. 216-239)
19. Which was TRUE of Freud?
a. Birthdays were a time of celebration and joy.
b. He rarely thought about death.
c. When he lost a loved one through death, he felt utterly hopeless.
d. He enjoyed growing old.

20. Which was TRUE of C.S. Lewis?
a. He viewed the death of Jesus as “God’s great weapon” to put us right with Himself.
b. He viewed autumn (growing older) as the best of the seasons.
c. He expected to see old friends again after he died.
d. all of the above.