Many of the arguments are what you'd expect, and they are put nicely, as you'd hope from an author of Lewis's standing... though with a lot of rhetorical flourishes.
All fine. I'm quite enjoying it, and I'm not entirely out of sympathy with Lewis. Well, maybe I am, but he did write some fiction that is still entertaining. At least up to a point.
Anyway... Lewis puts one of the most popular arguments against philosophical naturalism, and this merits a look (if only to sort out where it goes wrong). It's a classic of its kind. But one passage that leapt out at me early in the book included these sentences:
There is, then, a God who is not part of Nature. But nothing has been said yet to show that He must have created her. Might God and Nature be both self-existent and totally independent of each other? If you thought they were you would be a Dualist and would hold a view which I consider manlier and more reasonable than any form of Naturalism.
Which he considers what? I get that he thinks philosophical naturalism is unreasonable, based on his argument against it in the opening chapter, though really it's not a matter of reasonableness so much as truth or falsity - his argument is either persuasive against it or it's not. Or maybe the argument depends on imponderable premises and is difficult to assess. But whatever you make of that, what does manliness have to do with it? Does Lewis want to persusade us to abandon philosophical naturalism because it's - oh noes! - an effeminate philosophical position, a girlie one?
I mean, really, I know this was first published back in the 1940s, when social attitudes were different, and I'm sure this conveyed something to his imagined (presumably male) reader. But really, what is Lewis talking about? Does the idea of manliness have any actual content here, or is it just an otherwise-meaningless word of commendation? Does he mean something like "realistic" or "respectable" or "logical", or perhaps "hard-headed" or "rigorous"? Or what? What is going on here?
What exactly would it have conveyed in 1947, other than what it does now, i.e. that the book is written by a narrow-minded, sexist clown?