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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mere Christianity Discussion Questions

Red and brown Nubians wearing feathers 
They resemble the Nabatean warriors of Petra.

C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity
Discussion Questions

Book I, Part 1 – The Law of Human Nature

What does Lewis’ analysis of common arguments reveal?

List the different expressions that one might hear instead of “Rule of Fair Play.”

While humans cannot disobey physical laws such as gravity, we are free to disobey the law that is “peculiar” to human nature. Describe some ways that this freedom might express itself.

Lewis asserts that the Law of Human Nature is universal, that is, it pertains to all humans at all times and in all places. What evidence does he give? What evidence do you find to support this view?

Lewis states that the Law of Human Nature is fixed, like the multiplication table. Do you agree? Explain your answer.

Lewis describes how humans play the “blame game” by making excuses for our lack of decent behavior or the same lack in others. Can you think of a time when you caught yourself doing this and stopped? What did that require of you?

Lewis concludes Part 1 with 2 related assumptions that appear to be self-evident. What are they?

A verse in Romans 7:15-18 summarizes Paul’s experience of the human condition as detailed by these two assumptions. Write the verse and cross-reference it with “MC, p. 8.”

Research the oldest known moral code. Come prepared to discuss this in class.

Cite incidents in which the code of reciprocity or moral decency was upheld even among moral relativists.


Lewis cites ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek and Roman cultures as having similar moral codes. This is due, in part, to the dispersion in the Late Holocene of a royal priesthood out of Africa into Arabia, Mesopotamia, the Mediterranean,Anatolia, Nepal, China, Cambodia and Japan. They were the rulers of the ancient Afro-Asiatic Dominion. They lived before the time of Abraham.

A civilization in moral decline shows evidence of disregard for moral decency or kindness. The first to experience such contempt are usually the most vulnerable in society: infants, the poor, foreigners, the handicapped, the mentally retarded, etc.

Moral obligation is part of the human experience. Philosophers have addressed the nature of moral obligation from the most ancient times. Lewis distinguishes between duty expected by one's culture - such as circumcision among Jews - and universal moral obligations. These would include behaviors that are universally regarded as right - such as caring for children and livestock, respecting territorial boundaries and protecting one's family and property.

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