The Law of Universal Morality


The Moral Law as proposed by C.S. Lewis


A.) Human Beings find within themselves, a law pressing down that wants to direct their actions to do “the right thing”.

B.) This is not evolutionary herd instinct: the desire to help someone in danger could very well be some time of herd preservation instinct, but not that thing which says, “you ought to help, whether you want to or not”. This is entirely different.

C.) Anyone who claims that there is no real Right or Wrong, if tested, will go back on this a moment later. He may break a promise to you, but try breaking a promise to him! He will be crying foul just as quickly as anyone else.

D.) Someone caught breaking this law, will usually attempt to explain away the reason they broke the law in the first place… they will NOT bother to discredit the law itself.

E.) Not just a learned behavior. The moral law can be taught by parents and teachers easy enough. But it was not INVENTED by them. It existed before there were parents and teachers, and will exist after. Consider from mathematics the multiplication table. 5 x 5 = 25, no matter what!

F.) Let’s consider levels of morality. The minute you make the statement that one set of morality is better or worse than another (Nazi Morality vs. Christian morality for example), then you are judging it against a higher standard. And this standard that measures these 2 things is DIFFERENT than either of the 2 propositions.

G.) Observations then: A.) the moral law must be something above and beyond the facts of human behavior. Besides behavior alone, you have something else – a real law which we did not invent, but know we ought to obey. B.) from this we can extrapolate that whatever is behind this law is something like a mind, and is concerned with fair play, unselfishness, truthfulness, and right conduct.

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