Saturday, March 22, 2008

Master Mentor #12

I am way behind on my Master Mentor reading... about 6 weeks behind. But I am catching up and will likely be posting double until I catch up in time to turn in this project near the end of next month.

Chapter 11 (Book 3, Chapter 1)
CS begins to talk about morality in this chapter. And he lays out three things that must be agreed upon for the “human machine” to operate properly. The first is that as individuals we must agree on mutual behavior between us as humans. The second is that we must agree on behavior that is proper for within each of us as individuals. And the third is acting in accordance with the general purpose of life as a whole as defined by the One who created it.
CS does a great job of laying out multiple examples in this chapter that help illustrate his point… that of a gearshifter in a car, ships sailing in a formation and a band playing a tune. And this does a great job of driving home his point… which is well-taken. Then he says this at the end of the chapter:
“It seems, then, that if we are to think about morality, we must think of all three departments: relations between man and man: things inside of each man: and relations between man and the power that made him. We can all co-operate in the first one. Disagreements begin with the second and become serious with the third” (page 73).
It is interesting to me how the breakdown of number three affects all the others. We are living in a different day and age from when CS wrote this. I’m not sure that CS could have imagined the world that we live in with the vastly different ideas about number 3. I think that CS has quite a bit to say about postmodernism… but I’m not sure he could have seen how incredibly skewed it would become… but maybe he did. Mostly because CS seems to be somewhat ideal about agreements on the first one.
I don’t think we have it easy enough to decide how we should act between man and man. To use CS’s terminology from this chapter, we have some people who have decided that it’s okay to drive their ship in whatever direction they want and they don’t care what anyone else thinks about it. Whereas in CS’s day, people generally still cared what others thought about them and whether or not they were going in a socially acceptable direction.
I think we are living in a day and age in which all three of this tenants of morality are up for discussion. It is also a great day for Christians to begin to set the table for a discussion on those three tenants.


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