Last night, I led an Honors Colloquium on C. S. Lewis's Four Loves. Lewis's main point is that Affection, Friendship and Eros all run the danger of falling into a whole host of problems which he describes with great insight. There is only one solution: charity. It is charity that orders all the loves, keeping them faithful to themselves—keeping Friendship from usurping the role of Eros, keeping Affection from imposing on those close to one, keeping Eros from becoming a tyrant, and so on. Note that this is an empirically informed claim: it is informed by the universal human experience of the difficulties of love, and centuries of Christian experience in finding charity to be a remedy for these ills. Suppose that these quasi-empirical[note 1] claims are correct. Then we have the following plausible argument, which Lewis does not himself make in this book:
- (Premise) Ordering one's loves in charity is a good solution to the ills of love.
- (Premise) Ordering one's loves in a love for an imaginary being is not a good solution to the ills of love.
- (Premise) Charity is a love for God.
- (Premise) Either God is imaginary or God exists.
- Ordering one's loves in a love for God is a good solution to the ills of love. (1 and 3)
- God is not imaginary. (2 and 5)
- God exists. (4 and 6)
This argument is closely related to this one.