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Old 02-07-2010, 01:57 PM
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Tyburn Tyburn is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Mere Christianity 1/33

I've found a most marvelous loop hole in writing a book review. Firstly, I have discovered that there is three separate books in one, and secondly I have noticed each one is made up of parts.

Rather then Rush things, I plan on doing a section by section review, that way I have more time to read and more time to think.



There are a few things to note, which I shall refer back to and hold in mind. The first is the exact time that CSLewis was writing this...during the period of the Second World War.Secondly As I am going through bit by bit, I may make points as objections that are resolved later in the book, so dont be too worried about that.

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His First book, which shall be my topic over the next five odd weeks is "Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of The Universe"

We begin with his section on "The Law of Human Nature"

Let us first consider that not all Philosophers are in aggreement that such a Universal Law even exists in terms of Natural Law. What Laws are in existance in Natural Law...I hasten to add the Declairation of Independance and such articals as The Bills of Human Rights, all claim that there are laws which are universal, cross cultural, and unilateral. They usually come up when some Government has tried to install a law which appears to conflict with what is believed to be an opinion held by all. Philosophers remain divided on whether such a Law exists and what is in it, and whether it is better then Positive Law (which is Human Governmental Laws, or the Law of The Land) many an objection to which has caused monumental change...again, the Independance of the United States of America, was definately an ideological war between what was felt by the Americans as a violation of Natural Law by a foreign form of Positive Law.

The American View asserts strongly that Nations and Societies have certain basic rights that just simply exist, The Romans, and many of the Early large scale Empires believed in a similar Stoical belief, that was spread because of their size. The Ideology itself may not have arrisen to anything, but its been passed along to the peoples whose land the Romans and such occupied, its so ingrained, that even a new nation formed from settlers of all different nationalities originally have kept such a belief alive.

Let us ever hold in mind that as Lewis pens this work, or speaks it from a pulpit, the Nation is fixed in the second war in so many decades against a nation who has very different ideas about what is right and what is wrong, on the boundaries of Natural Law and on their superiority of Positive Law OVER that.

Now The Christian church has long since held a third belief on this matter, and that is that Positive Law can often be oppressive, but Natural Law also shows the degredation of Sin in a fallen world, and they propose that we should be akin to The Divine Law...which they SEPARATE from Natural Law

in his writing thus far, Lewis has not done that, in the first section he comes to two conclusions, both of which I totally aggree with, BUT both he comes to the conclusion based purely on Natural Law, and I find his premesis faulty.

The conclusions he comes to that I aggree with are as follows. All humans believe there is a certain way in which to behave, and all are aware that they dont always behave in that manner. He puts this down to Natural Law, I most certainly do not...He also seems to indcate that he believes this set of laws regarding behaviour to be unversal, and I most certainly do not.

He begins with an interesting dessensitization technique about fighting the Germans. He claims as the law of nature is universal, the Germans are not only wrong, but they know they are wrong, therefore we can fight them with a vigour that we couldnt if we believed they were innocent by way of ignorance to what is right and wrong.

Firstly, "German" is a very unspecified term. What is he saying exactly? That all Germans are doing wrong?? Since when does the whim of a government happen completely unanimously. Perhaps he is refering to the Armed Forces, who have serious doubts over Hitler, but are doing what is called Duty. If your in the armed forces, can you be blamed for carrying out the whim of your government? What Lewis is not only implying is, that with the knowledge of right and wrong, comes a choice, and I aggree with that, but would not be stupid enough to apply that to a situation like the Germans who are fighting the war.

What good does it do one, if they know they are doing wrong in such a circumstance and choose not to go along? They will not only be martyred, but their martyrdom will have no cause. Infact better to try and begin a secret resistance...which of course is exactly what was attempted, a Military Coup in 1944.

Lewis then tries to play down the differences between cultures, in terms of what is acceptable and what is not. Now I live in the British Culture and already know of relationships somewhat damaged on this forum because of a clash between two almost indistinguishable cultures. What Lewis says is just entirely wrong. Does any of us think Human Sacrifices were acceptable? what of those cultures who willingly gave people to be sacrificed

Then Lewis claims that even if the above point is correct, there is one universal which no political or cultural stream ever upholds. That is Selfishness.

Obviously he has never met Jeff Monson...nor knows much about a Political Philosophy that talks about an Anarchist state.

Whilst I aggree there is no such thing as moral relativity I would rely on nothing but the Christian GOD to define what that actually is. I couldnt argue it without a preposition in GOD

He attempts to do it by making the one assertion which is just blatently untrue. He makes the Golden Law a case of right and wrong based on the OPINION of the person implying it by default sinse he says we all use this rule, and then neglects to say what other then the opinion of the user tells you whether your application is sound.

"Do to others as you would have them do to you" CANT tell you right from wrong!!!

So Like I say...I aggree with is conclusions, but how he got there is...philosophically quite crappy
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