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Myles Barfield
Theologian
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Male Number of posts : 1968
Age : 44
Year came to Christ : 1986
Registration date : 2007-06-28

PostSubject: Mere Christianity   Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:10 pm

BOOK 1
Lewis raises an important point: humans on the surface do appear to have a kernel of universally agreed-on morality. While Lewis never gives a clear statement of what moralities he considers to be part of this “Law of Nature,” prohibitions against lying, cheating, stealing and killing (at least those close to you) are seen in every culture.

Given the broad differences in the cultures of the world, it seems unlikely that these are simply social conventions. That our “human nature” are at odds with our broad “sense of right” is an important point of humans.

Lewis is correct that in every culture humans say they should do one thing, but actually do something else. Having made this point, Lewis states that this proves a “sense of right” originates outside of humans. Morality cannot be instinct in this, because “doing right” often conflicts with other instincts, and only through something beyond instinct could we choose which to follow.

Lewis states that morality cannot be social convention because then “there would be no sense in preferring civilized morality to savage morality, or Christian morality to Pagan morality.

At the end of Chapter 2 Lewis makes a statement that really stuck with me:

"…one man said to me, 'three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?' But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did–if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weather–surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did?

Lewis poses the question can you consider yourself advancing in morality if there is no threat in the first place? It is all theoretical to begin with so within that context we are simply saying what we may or may not do based on something that has no chance of being proven. In other words we shouldn't "pat ourselves on the back" in regard to how far we have come when there is no way of knowing how we would truly respond if an actual threat existed.

Toward the end of book 1 Lewis finally discusses God, stating it is the only possible truth given the “facts". Where he went next really laid the foundation for "the way of the master" showing that a very short time ago he was on to the same thing Ray Comfort would build his ministry on many years later.

This truth is "we must realize that there is nothing we can possibly do to be good" and we must realize that God has drawn for us a demand that we be "absolutely good."

And just as Ray Comfort states; Lewis shows us why he has brought us to this hopelessness, he unveils that we can finally have hope because “when you know you are sick, you will listen to the doctor.” Of course when you are truly hopeless you will finally listen to God.

We as humans are created by "God," through our conscience guides, how we ought to behave.

All of humanity feels the weight of some Law of Human Nature, which dictates to everyone's conscience a common sense of Right and Wrong, yet all of us fail to live up to it. Although instincts also persuade us in some course of action or another, this Law can override or promote instincts in a way that superscedes instinct. This chapter poses the question "If God exists and has dictated His morals as Law to us, we are condemned by it, because we do not keep it."

"If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end: if you look for comfort you will not get comfort or truth-only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair."

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When we know how little we deserve, we look for the gift in everything
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