C. S. Lewis’s “No Right to Happiness”

A friend recommended this excerpt from C.S. Lewis on our attitudes to sex, as an addendum to yesterday’s post.

Deacons and Dragons

I remember, years ago, reading and being struck by the sensibleness of C. S. Lewis’s essay, “We have no ‘right to happiness'”. I have just re-read it and my memory has been confirmed. Here is an excerpt:

“When I was a youngster, all the progressive people were saying, ‘Why all this prudery? Let us treat sex just as we treat all our other impulses.’ I was simple-minded enough to believe they meant what they said. I have since discovered that they meant exactly the opposite. They meant that sex was to be treated as no other impulse in our nature has ever been treated by civilised people. All the others, we admit, have to be bridled. Absolute obedience to your instinct for self-preservation is what we call cowardice; to your acquisitive impulse, avarice. Even sleep must be resisted if you’re a sentry. But every unkindness and breach of faith seems…

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