Remember last week I posted that I was joining a book discussion on C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity? Today we discuss the first chapter, "The Law of Human Nature". My friend Sarah is hosting the discussion today, where you can find several links to other blogs discussing this chapter.
I'm glad I don't have to give a synopsis of the whole chapter (all FOUR pages), because every paragraph he writes says a mouthful! (though so far, not difficult at all to understand). Take parts of these two paragraphs.
" I know that some people say the idea of a Law of Nature or decent
behaviour known to all men is unsound, because different civilisations and
different ages have had quite different moralities."
"But this is not true.........for our present purpose I need only ask the reader to think what a totally different
morality would mean. Think of a country where people were admired for
running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the
people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a
country where two and two made five. Men have differed as regards what
people you ought to be unselfish to-whether it was only your own family, or
your fellow countrymen, or everyone. But they have always agreed that you
ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men
have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have
always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked."
All people will agree "What is mine is mine." We all feel entitled to our property. The question is whether what is yours is negotiable... I suppose Lewis would say the answer to that is dependent on whom "you" are in various cultures. Are you my family or friend? My neighbor? My protector? Different cultures may differ as to who gets treated with unselfishness, but not about what constitutes the rights of the chosen.
I find his take refreshing compared to the “truth is relative” nonsense we hear so much in our own culture.