Lewis refers to this sense f value in his work, Mere Christianity, as the “Law of Human Nature” or “Moral Law,” simply because “the human idea of decent behavior [is]… Known to everyone” (5). The Law of Human Nature provides humans with instincts on how to act, but we are not necessarily required to follow them. To keep record of and mentally tally up these actions is not the correct approach to advancing in moral knowledge and spiritual nourishment. Lewis’ suggests that acting In accordance with the Law of Human Nature should not be something one does merely for the sake of gaining entrance to the Heavenly Kingdom.
Instead, acting morally should be something one does out of pure love and respect for God In Dalton to fellow humans, The Law of Human Nature does not Infringe upon free will. Unfortunately, Just because humans have a sense of morality does not mean they are forced to follow it. According to Lewis, God gives us true independence through free will, because it is the only way for humans to prove their true desire to be united with Him. Nonetheless, it is unfair to expect moral actions of anyone if s/he does not first have a sense of what moral actions are.
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Moral or Human Nature Law should serve as a map hat will successfully guide us to God himself, but only if we choose to use and follow it correctly. Lewis states, “God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right… If a thing Is free to be good it Is also free to be bad and free will is what has made evil possible” (48). Lewis expresses that Just because Moral Law Is a law, It does not mean people are required to abide by It. Just Like any law put Into place for society today, there are always those who choose not to follow it.
Moral Law is a set of ethical rules that simply help make good sessions along the path to righteousness more clear and possible. If one does in fact choose to follow Moral Law, with every good decision that person makes he or she is brought closer to God. As with societal laws, tallying up good and bad moral actions is not the correct way to become a more virtuous moral agent in the Christian sense. People who abide by all of society laws simply to gain recognition and praise will ultimately fail to gain the respect they seek and so desire from their communities.
On the other hand, those who act righteously because they truly care for others will be rewarded. No one appreciates the “tattle-tale” who reports every little breach of the law to authorities only to gain the satisfaction of being recognized, Take for example a time when my little sister had a serious foot Injury. She couldn’t walk for long distances without pain. One day my parents chose to park in a handicapped parking space at a other spaces close by and we did not want her to walk farther than she had to because of her injury.
A shopper passing by saw us do this and, despite the fact that he saw my sister limping, he reported our illegal parking to the store manager. Fortunately, the manager completely understood the situation and disregarded the shopper’s complaint. This encounter is an example of an occasion when someone was most likely tallying up his good and bad actions in terms of society’s laws– an instance where he heeded the letter of the law without considering its intention. It is also an example off time when societal and moral laws clashed.
Societal law would obviously tell the man to report someone ignoring a legal stricture: using a handicapped parking spot without possessing the required sticker. On the other and, in my opinion, Moral Law would tell that man something much more important: to have mercy on an injured 6 year-old child. Like societal record keeping, moral record keeping can be equally damaging. Moral record keeping means that people are only performing good actions because they want to gain God’s acceptance and be seen as good people.
Instead of doing good for the sake of others, they do it for themselves. In addition, Lewis points out how moral record keeping is often difficult, because moral decisions vary from situation to situation. He states, “There is none of our impulses which the Moral Law may not sometimes tell us to suppress, and none which it may not sometimes tell us to encourage… There are no such things as good and bad impulses” (11). According to Lewis, tallying up good and bad actions is practically impossible because of the varying circumstances of a situation.
Going back to my sister’s experience with the man at the grocery store, making the right decision could have been completely different if for example she was perfectly healthy and mobile. For this reason, when it comes to our actions, record keeping of NY sort can be extremely dangerous and misses the point of what it means to be a moral agent in the Christian sense. Since moral record keeping is so dangerous when it comes to the Law of Human Nature, gauging conduct on a scale of one to ten is not easily done.
Measuring moral conduct in any way goes against Lewis’ view that advancing in moral knowledge rather than record keeping brings us closer to God. Nonetheless, if measuring strictly depends on how frequently we follow Lewis’ Moral Law, I believe my friends and family would most likely give me a seven or eight. While I do try to follow my instincts and make what I believe might be the most moral choice, doing so is oftentimes easier said than done. Making the right decision can be difficult a lot of the time, because the line between right and wrong can be blurry.
A lot of the time making the right decision can hurt yourself or those near to you. Making everyone happy in addition to making the right, moral decision is not always possible. While under conditions such as these, it may seem like there is no true Moral Law– that morality is relative, not absolute. Opponents to Moral Law would say that everyone as a different view of right and wrong depending on the situation. Lewis defends the absolute nature of Moral Law though by stating, “We are forced to believe in a real Right and Wrong.
People may be sometimes mistaken about them, Just as people sometimes get their sums wrong; but they are not a matter of mere taste and opinion any more than the multiplication table” (7). In short, acting in accordance blurry does not mean that there is not ultimately a better, more righteous choice to be made, path to be followed, or action to be taken. When the line between right and wrong becomes blurry for me, I usually look to y parents for guidance and advice. I could easily say that they serve as my most prominent role models when it comes to displaying a virtuous personality.
My parents are both extremely generous and unconditionally caring, both moral characteristics which I hope to imitate and display more frequently. In relation to the Cardinal Virtues which Lewis touches upon in Mere Christianity, both of my parents display exceptional Prudence, a virtue which I find to be especially important. “Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it” (Lewis 77). I try to be the most logical and practical person I can possibly be, and I thank my parents for that.
Whenever I let little things upset or bother me, my parents always encourage me to calm down and think things through before doing anything else. I believe Prudence is an essential virtuous behavior because after all, making the right moral decisions in accordance with the Law of Human Nature requires thorough thought and consideration. Life gives us a chance to Join God freely and lovingly. We are not forced to act in accordance to the Law of Human Nature which God sets out for us unless we choose o, because He grants us complete free will.
Nonetheless, we may do so by demonstrating virtuous, moral behaviors not for the sake of recognition but, for the sake of God and others much like ourselves. Instead of tallying up our good and bad actions, we should focus more on transforming ourselves into righteous people. Finally, when following Lewis’ Moral Law, we must not forget to take into full consideration and account the unique circumstances of an event, because although making the right decision may oftentimes seem difficult, there is always a more morally correct choice to be made and acted upon.