Mere Christianity and Questions

C. S. Lewis is often an author that the public associates with the Chronicles of Narnia and their respective movies. Although upon further inspection, analysis of his writing reveals Christian themes, most don’t associate Lewis and his works with Christianity. The truth of the matter is that C. S. Lewis, a logical and reasonable man, was converted to Christianity by his friends and fellow writers. In Suprised by Joy he says, “When we [Warnie and Jack] set out [by motorcycle to the Whipsnade Zoo] I did not believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did.” This gave him an interesting perspective into both sides of the Apologetics argument, and from this perspective he wrote a book, Mere Christianity. As the second of the books I’ve chosen to read, I hope to get the version of Apologetics in which many of today’s scientific arguments about the creation of the universe. From what I’ve read Lewis delivers exactly this. In his first argument, he attempts to prove the existence of God through the stance of moral absolutes. He basically says that there is something called The Law of Human Nature which all people have. This law states that everyone knows there is a moral right and a moral wrong. It doesn’t mean that everyone will necessarily follow this moral standard, rather that there is an absolute right and wrong. Apologists claim that because there is indeed a moral absolute there must be something against which you have to measure that absolute… in other words, a God who is perfect. While this might deal with some of the older theories to prove the existence of God, by nature it fails to discuss the first of my questions about Apologetics. The first of these questions ask who are the prominent apologists, atheists, and agnostics. crossexamined.org gives a comprehensive list of the top 20 apologists in the world. Among them are William Lane Craig and C. S. Lewis. Another website, thebestschools.org, lists the top 50 atheists and lists Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Stephen Hawking. First before listing some of the agnostics, its important to define the term agnostic. An agnostic is a person who believes there is no way to ascertain whether or not there is indeed a deity or creator. Often they provide a middle ground between the two sides of atheism and religion. The Wikipedia page on Agnostic philosophers include Confucious and Democritus; however, finding a comprehensive list of agnostics is much more difficult because often they dismiss the argument of religion and often don’t speak much on the subject, choosing to speak on other issues instead.

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3 thoughts on “Mere Christianity and Questions

  1. Lewis argues that because there is a moral absolute, there must be something to measure that absolute against, which would be a “God who is perfect”. But that raises a few questions for me. In this “Law of Human Nature” that Lewis talks about everyone knows there is a moral right and a moral wrong, so why must we compare ourselves to something or someone else to know if we are “correctly” following these morals? Shouldn’t our actions be because they are what WE believe is morally correct and not because when compared to God they seem to be morally correct? I feel like if all of our decisions and choices are based off of what this “perfect God” says is morally correct, then we will never be able to be truly content because we are constantly comparing ourselves to a “perfect” being rather than listening to ourselves, finding peace within ourselves, and following the morals that we believe to be right.

    And that raises another question, how is this God perfect? if you really think about it, there is no possible way to be completely perfect. Everybody has separate views on what they think perfect is because everybody thinks differently and has different opinions. So I do not understand how it is possible to have a God that everyone thinks is perfect, in fact id say its almost impossible.

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    1. Thanks for asking Avi! Lewis really isn’t arguing that we all actually do the morally right thing all the time, because we don’t and can’t, rather that there is a right thing to do at all. In other words his “Law of Human Nature” is just to say that the vast majority of people have a moral compass (of course there are exceptions like psychopaths) that tells them things are morally justified. Once there ceases to be an absolute everything becomes relative. If you believe that everyone is pointed by their own beliefs, then that is to argue for moral relativism and to argue that anything can be held to be morally right and everything can be held morally wrong. that argument (to me at least) doesn’t make much sense because then nothing is really right or wrong, and I know some things to be right. If you have your own moral beliefs and said murder is wrong but that I can believe whatever I want, and I say murder is right, then wouldn’t you have to accept that as right? As for the question about how God can be perfect, the property of being outside of time and space means he really isnt bound to the same kind of perfection that we can imagine. especially in this case, the perfect that C.S. lewis talks about is the property of being flawless from evil. also, if a god really did create the universe, then wouldnt it be fairly simple to create it with the properties that make yourself perfect in relation to that universe? if you make a game in which the only rule is that you have to be exactly like yourself to win, wouldn’t it be impossible for anyone else to win the game? wouldnt everyone think it’s impossible to win?

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