To be honest I do not think that I understood half of what CS Lewis was saying in “Bulverism” when I first read it. At times I felt like I understood what he was saying, then in the next paragraph I lost the meaning to the one before. Regardless, I think I still may have understood the jist of the exert, but don’t quote me on anything because I may be way off the mark.
One of the things I thought CS Lewis emphasized a lot was the fact that often times we naturally decide or assume that another person is wrong and try to explain why, without first actually determining whether that person is write or wrong. This is Bulverism, and it is seen all over the world today. CS Lewis use examples such as Freudianism and Marxism, and Capitalism and Communism. The followers of these ideas are so convinced that the other is wrong they never stop to reason for themselves which is the most logical solution.
In order to get down to the truth we must purge Bulverism in the world today. Lewis says that Bulverism eliminates reason. Every person has a bias even if only slightly; this is the taint that Lewis refers to. Because this taint corrupts every person, it takes away humility. It is very hard to admit that you are wrong especially when you were so convinced that you were right. If we lack humility it is hard to use reason to understand that you may be wrong. Lewis says it is better to get to the truth rather than to victory, even if it hurts our pride
In relationship to Bulverism, CS explains that you can only know something is certain if you figure it our youself: “Suppose I think, after doing my accounts, that I have a large balance at the bank. And suppose you want to find out whether this belief of mine is “wishful thinking.” You can never come to any conclusion by examining my psychological condition. Your only chance of finding out is to sit down and work through the sum yourself. When you have checked my figures, then, and then only, will you know whether I have that balance or not.” Without working thins out for yourself, you can never be sure whether someone else is right or wrong. Things cannot never taken as certainty at face value.
If I am wrong about all this, there is one thing I am sure of, that CS Lewis is a brilliant man.