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You're Selfish, But It's Not Your Fault. - C. S. Lewis


Video from Sea Harp


You're Selfish, But It's Not Your Fault. - C. S. Lewis

"In this passage from Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis reflects on two peculiar characteristics of the human race: the universal presence of a moral sense or a "Law of Nature" that dictates how people ought to behave, and the consistent failure of humans to adhere to this moral standard. He finds it odd not because people are imperfect, but because this imperfection implies a deeper truth about human nature.


Lewis explains that unlike natural objects, which simply follow the laws of physics without choice or moral implications, human behavior involves an additional dimension—morality. Humans recognize a way they ought to act, which is distinct from how they actually behave. This distinction is not seen in non-human elements of nature, which do not possess moral obligations.


He argues that this moral law is not merely a societal construct for convenience, but a real, pressing law that exists independently of human preference or utility. It's not enough to explain moral behavior by saying it benefits society because that doesn't address why an individual should value society's benefit over personal gain.


Ultimately, Lewis suggests that the existence of a moral law, which humans invariably fail to fully obey yet recognize and feel obliged to follow, points to a reality beyond mere physical facts—a real moral standard that exists and influences human thoughts and actions." from the video introduction


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