Sunday, August 26, 2012

C.S. Lewis quotable quotes - Mere Christianity #1

I wasn't able to quote any favorite lines from previous chapters. I'm going to start with Chapter 4 and add on more later. I wish I have done this (blogged about/quoted extensively) while I was still reading "Miracles" and "The Great Divorce". I think I did post some quotes but then these were already buried in Plurk, Twitter, and Facebook. :-(

Anyway, I'm reading "The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics" published by HarperOne (an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, just for the sake of paging reference. I plan on buying more of his works once I'm done reading this, or if I have more money to do so, whichever comes first. Hehe.

Chapter 4: What Lies Behind the Law, pg. 28

On Laws of Nature, and on Laws of Human Nature:

"The so-called laws may not be anything real--anything above and beyond the actual facts which we observe. The Law of Human Nature, or of Right and Wrong, must be something above and beyond the actual fact of human behaviour. In this case, besides the actual facts, you have something else--a real law which we did not invent and which we know we ought to obey."

Personal note: I'd like to adopt Jack's quick "definition"of reality as "something above and beyond actual facts which we observe." I like how he was able to demonstrate this definition throughout his books such as in "The Chronicles of Narnia", and "The Great Divorce", as well as "Miracles" (the only ones I've finished so far). This definition is further expounded by the above quote, as "a real law which we did not invent and which we know we ought to obey." I've thought of this earlier, and I'm thinking of using "patience" as an example to this apparent truth. I cannot construct a scenario where a person wouldn't want, or would demand, patience from others, especially when we're not doing something right. It is a 'rule'. I am excited to read "The Abolition of Man" and the appendix explaining C.S. Lewis's comparison of world beliefs/religions, observing this Law.

More posts to come! :-)

pg. 28-29

"Ever since men were able to think they have been wondering what this universe really is and how it came to be there. And, very roughly, two views have been held. First, there is what is called the materialist view. People who take that view think that matter and space just happen to exist, and always have existed, nobody knows why; and that the matter, behaving in certain fixed ways, has just happened, by a sort of fluke, to produce creatures like ourselves who are able to think. By one chance in a thousand something hit our sun and made it produce the planets; and by another thousandth chance the chemicals necessary for life, and the right temperature, occurred on one of these planets, and so some of the matter on this earth came alive; and then, by a very long series chances, the living creatures developed into things like us. The other view is the religious view. According to it, what is behind the universe is more like a mind than it is like anything else we know. That is to say, it is conscious, and has purposes, and prefers one thing to another. And on this view it made the universe, partly for purposes we do not know, but partly at any rate, in order to produce creatures like itself--I mean, like itself to the extent of having minds. Please do not think that one of these views was held a long time ago and that the other has gradually taken its place. Wherever there have been thinking men both views turn up. And note this too. You cannot find out which view is the right one by science in the ordinary sense. Science works by experiments. It watches how things behave... why anything comes to be there at all, and whether there is anything behind the things science observes--something of a different kind--this is not a scientific question. If there is "Something Behind", then either it will have to remain altogether unknown to men or else make itself known in some different way. The statement that there is any such thing, and the statement that there is no such thing, are neither of them statements that science can make. And real scientists do not usually make them... Supposing science ever became complete so that it knew every single thing in the whole universe. Is it not plain that the questions, 'Why is there a universe?' 'Why does it go on as it does?' 'Has it any meaning?' wold remain just as they were?

Personal notes: Too rich in content. Comments to follow after. It's pretty late and I need to sleep soon. :-s