Morality in C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity
According to C.S. Lewis all living human beings are moral agents. Anyone who is physically and mentally capable of acting upon and making moral judgments in reference to right and wrong can be considered to be a moral agent. Of course, an agent must also be held responsible for such actions and judgments. Our society depends on people acting in accordance with this concept of moral agency. In order to make judgments on what is right and wrong, Lewis states that we as humans must have some sort of innate, universal standard of behavior. Lewis refers to this sense of 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 addition 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. Moral or Human Nature Law should serve as a map that 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....
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