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Lecture #3- Lewis' Religion and Tao

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Jeff Voth

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Transcript of Lecture #3- Lewis' Religion and Tao

Our Friend Jack
Through the Wardrobe...
The Origins of Religion and Illustrations of the Tao
11/29/1898-11/22/1963
Have you been there?
Oxfordshire, England
Lewis, Tolkein, Wiliams
Cover of TIME, 1947
Stuff he said...
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil."
The Abolition of Man
Whenever you find a man who says he doesn't believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find a man going back on this a moment later."
The Case for Christianity
"History is a story written by the finger of God."
Christian Reflections
"'Yes,' said Queen Lucy, 'In our world too, a Stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.'"
The Last Battle
"We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."
(29 April 1959)
Letters of C.S. Lewis
"And then she understood the devilish cunning of the enemies' plan. By mixing a little truth with it they had made their lie far stronger."
The Last Battle
"Love is not an affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained."
Answers to Questions on Christianity
"'Safe?' said Mr. Beaver. . .'Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.'"
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
"The heart never takes the place of the head; but it can, and should, obey it."
The Abolition of Man

"This feeling may be described as awe...The numinous...What is certain that now, at any rate, the numinous experience exists and that if we start from ourselves we can trace it a long way back.”
(
Problem of Pain
, p. 15)
Strand 2
“they feel towards certain proposed actions the experiences expressed by the words “i ought” or “i ought not.”...but they all agree in prescribing a behaviour which their adherents fail to practise. All men alike stand condemned, not by alien codes of ethics, but by their own, and all men therefore are conscious of guilt.”
(POP, pp. 18-19)
Strand 3
"What can be more natural than for a savage haunted at once by awe (numinous) and by guilt to think that the power which awes him is also the authority which condemns his guilt?...it was the jews who fully and unambiguously identified the awful presence haunting black mountain tops and thunderclouds with the “righteous Lord” who “loveth righteousness”.
(Pop, pp. 19-20)
Christianity's 4th Strand
“There was a man born among these jews who claimed to be, or to be the son of, or to be “one with”, the something (numinous) which is at once the awful haunter of nature and the giver of the moral law.
The claim is so shocking--a paradox and even a horror, which we may be lulled into taking too lightly--that only two views of this are possible. Either he was a raving lunatic of an unusually abominable type, or else he was, and is, precisely what he said. There is no middle way.”
(Pop, p. 21)
"In all developed religion, we find three strands or elements and in Christianity one more.”

The Problem of Pain (1996, p. 14)
The Origins of Religion
Strand 1
The experience of the "numinous"
Lewis' Three Strands
(and one more)
“Now this awe is not the result of inference from the visible universe.”
(POP, p. 17)
“When the deadly flesh began to behold the spiritual things.”
(Lewis, quoting Wordsworth’s prelude, Problem of Pain, p.16)
The acceptance of a universal morality (moral law) which cannot be adhered to
When the numinous is made guardian of an individual’s morality
A historical event
The Tao
"The following illustrations of the Natural Law are collected from such sources as come readily to the hand of one who is not a professional historian. The list makes no pretence of completeness. It will be noticed that writers such as Locke and Hooker, who wrote within the Christian tradition, are quoted side by side with the New Testament. This would, of course, be absurd if I were trying to collect independent testimonies to the Tao. But (1) I am not trying to prove its validity by the argument from common consent. Its validity cannot be deduced. For those who do not perceive its rationality, even universal consent could not prove it. (2) The idea of collecting independent testimonies presupposes that 'civilizations' have arisen in the world independently of one another; or even that humanity has had several independent emergences on this planet. The biology and anthropology involved in such an assumption are extremely doubtful. It is by no means certain that there has ever (in the sense required) been more than one civilization in all history. It is at least arguable that every civilization we find has been derived from another civilization and, in the last resort, from a single centre—'carried' like an infectious disease or like the Apostolical succession." (Appendix:
The Abolition of Man
)
Law 7
- 'The poor and the sick should be regarded as lords of the atmosphere.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)
- 'Whoso makes intercession for the weak, well pleasing is this to Samas.' (Babylonian. ERE v. 445)
- 'Has he failed to set a prisoner free?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)
- 'I have given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, a ferry boat to the boatless.'
(Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 446)
- 'One should never strike a woman; not even with a flower.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)
- 'There, Thor, you got disgrace, when you beat women.' (Old Norse. Hárbarthsljóth 38)
- 'In the Dalebura tribe a woman, a cripple from birth, was carried about by the tribes-people in turn until her death at the age of sixty-six.'... 'They never desert the sick.' (Australian Aborigines. ERE v. 443)
- 'You will see them take care of... widows, orphans, and old men, never reproaching them.' (Redskin. ERE v. 439)
- 'Nature confesses that she has given to the human race the tenderest hearts, by giving us the power to weep. This is the best part of us.' (Roman. Juvenal, xv. 131)
- 'They said that he had been the mildest and gentlest of the kings of the world.' (Anglo-Saxon. Praise of the hero in Beowulf, 3180)
- 'When thou cuttest down thine harvest... and hast forgot a sheaf... thou shalt not go again to fetch it: it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.' (Ancient Jewish. Deuteronomy 24:19)

Law 6
'A sacrifice is obliterated by a lie and the merit of alms by an act of fraud.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 6)
'Whose mouth, full of lying, avails not before thee: thou burnest their utterance.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)
'With his mouth was he full of Yea, in his heart full of Nay? (Babylonian. ERE v. 446)
'I have not spoken falsehood.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)
'I sought no trickery, nor swore false oaths.' (Anglo-Saxon. Beowulf, 2738)
'The Master said, Be of unwavering good faith.' (Ancient
Chinese. Analects, viii. 13)
'In Nastrond (= Hell) I saw the perjurers.' (Old Norse. Volospá 39)
'Hateful to me as are the gates of Hades is that man who says one thing, and hides another in his heart.' (Greek. Homer. Iliad, ix. 312)
'The foundation of justice is good faith.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i.vii)
'[The gentleman] must learn to be faithful to his superiors and to keep promises.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, i. 8)
'Anything is better than treachery.' (Old Norse. Hávamál 124)

Law 5
Part I: Sexual Justice
- 'Has he approached his neighbour's wife?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)
- 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:14)
- 'I saw in Nastrond (= Hell)... beguilers of others' wives.' (Old Norse. Volospá 38, 39)
Part II: Honesty
- 'Has he drawn false boundaries?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)
- 'To wrong, to rob, to cause to be robbed.' (Babylonian. Ibid.)
- 'I have not stolen.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)
- 'Thou shalt not steal.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:15)
- 'Choose loss rather than shameful gains.' (Greek. Chilon Fr. 10. Diels)
- 'Justice is the settled and permanent intention of rendering to each man his rights.' (Roman. Justinian, Institutions, I. i)
- 'If the native made a "find" of any kind (e.g., a honey tree) and marked it, it was thereafter safe for him, as far as his own tribesmen were concerned, no matter how long he left it.' (Australian Aborigines. ERE v. 441)
- 'The first point of justice is that none should do any mischief to another unless he has first been attacked by the other's wrongdoing. The second is that a man should treat common property as common property, and private property as his own. There is no such thing as private property by nature, but things have become private either through prior occupation (as when men of old came into empty territory) or by conquest, or law, or agreement, or stipulation, or casting lots.' (Roman.Cicero, De Off)
Part III: Justice in Court, etc
- 'Whoso takes no bribe ... well pleasing is this to Samas.' (Babylonian. ERE v. 445)
- 'I have not traduced the slave to him who is set over him.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)
- 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:16)
- 'Regard him whom thou knowest like him whom thou knowest not.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 482)
- 'Do no unrighteousness in judgement. You must not consider the fact that one party is poor nor the fact that the other is a great man.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:15)

Law 4
- 'Children, the old, the poor, etc. should be considered as lords of the atmosphere.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)
- 'To marry and to beget children.' (Greek. List of duties. Epictetus, in. vii)
- 'Can you conceive an Epicurean commonwealth? . . . What will happen? Whence is the population to be kept up? Who will educate them? Who will be Director of Adolescents? Who will be Director of Physical Training? What will be taught?' (Greek. Ibid.)
- 'Nature produces a special love of offspring' and 'To live according to Nature is the supreme good.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i. iv, and De Legibus, i. xxi)
- 'The second of these achievements is no less glorious than the first; for while the first did good on one occasion, the second will continue to benefit the state for ever.' (Roman. Cicero. De Off. i. xxii)
- 'Great reverence is owed to a child.' (Roman. Juvenal, xiv. 47)
- 'The Master said, Respect the young.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, ix. 22)
- 'The killing of the women and more especially of the young boys and girls who are to go to make up the future strength of the people, is the saddest part... and we feel it very sorely.' (Redskin. Account of the Battle of Wounded Knee. ERE v. 432)

Law 3
- 'Your father is an image of the Lord of Creation, your mother an image of the Earth. For him who fails to honour them, every work of piety is in vain. This is the first duty.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 9)
- 'Has he despised Father and Mother?' (Babylonian. List of Sins. ERE v. 446)
- 'I was a staff by my Father's side ... I went in and out at his command.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 481)
- 'Honour thy Father and thy Mother.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:12)
- 'To care for parents.' (Greek. List of duties in Epictetus, in. vii)
- 'Children, old men, the poor, and the sick, should be considered as the lords of the atmosphere.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 8)
- 'Rise up before the hoary head and honour the old man.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:32)
- 'I tended the old man, I gave him my staff.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 481)
- 'You will see them take care ... of old men.' (Redskin. Le Jeune, quoted ERE v. 437)
- 'I have not taken away the oblations of the blessed dead.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)
- 'When proper respect towards the dead is shown at the end and continued after they are far away, the moral force (tê) of a people has reached its highest point.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, i. 9)

Law 1
Part I: Negative
-
'I have not slain men.' (Ancient Egyptian. From the Confession of the Righteous Soul, 'Book of the Dead', v. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, vol. v, p. 478)
- 'Do not murder.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:13)
- 'Terrify not men or God will terrify thee.' (Ancient Egyptian. Precepts of Ptahhetep. H. R. Hall, Ancient History of the Near East, p. i3}n)
- 'In Nastrond (= Hell) I saw... murderers.' (Old Norse. Volospá 38, 39)
- 'I have not brought misery upon my fellows. I have not made the beginning of every day laborious in the sight of him who worked for me.' (Ancient Egyptian. Confession of the Righteous Soul. ERE v. 478)
- 'I have not been grasping.' (Ancient Egyptian. Ibid.) 'Who meditates oppression, his dwelling is overturned.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)
- 'He who is cruel and calumnious has the character of a cat.' (Hindu. Laws of Manu. Janet, Histoire de la Science Politique, vol. i, p. 6)
- 'Slander not.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)
- 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.' (Ancient Jewish. Exodus 20:16)
- 'Utter not a word by which anyone could be wounded.' (Hindu. Janet, p. 7)
- 'I have not caused hunger. I have not caused weeping.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 478)
- 'Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects of Confucius, trans. A. Waley, xv. 23; cf. xii. 2)
- 'Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:17)
- 'He whose heart is in the smallest degree set upon goodness will dislike no one.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, iv. 4)
The Law of General Beneficence

Law 1 (cont'd)
The Law of General Beneficence
Part II: Positive
- 'Nature urges that a man should wish human society to exist and should wish to enter it.' (Roman. Cicero, De Officiis, i. iv)
- 'By the fundamental Law of Nature Man [is] to be preserved as much as possible.' (Locke, Treatises of Civil Govt. ii. 3)
- 'When the people have multiplied, what next should be done for them? The Master said, Enrich them. Jan Ch'iu said, When one has enriched them, what next should be done for them? The Master said, Instruct them.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, xiii. 9)
- 'Speak kindness ... show good will.' (Babylonian. Hymn to Samas. ERE v. 445)
- 'Men were brought into existence for the sake of men that they might do one another good.' (Roman. Cicero. De Off. i. vii)
- 'He who is asked for alms should always give.' (Hindu. Janet, i. 7)
- 'I am a man: nothing human is alien to me.' (Roman. Terence, Heaut. Tim.)
- 'Love thy neighbour as thyself.' (Ancient Jewish. Leviticus 19:18)
- 'Love the stranger as thyself.' (Ancient Jewish. Ibid. 33, 34)
- 'Do to men what you wish men to do to you.' (Christian. Matthew 7:12)

Law 2
The Law of Special Beneficence
-
'It is upon the trunk that a gentleman works. When that is firmly set up, the Way grows. And surely proper behaviour to parents and elder brothers is the trunk of goodness.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, i.2)
- 'Love thy wife studiously. Gladden her heart all thy life long.' (Ancient Egyptian. ERE v. 481)
- 'Nothing can ever change the claims of kinship for a right thinking man.' (Anglo-Saxon. Beowulf, 2600)
- 'Did not Socrates love his own children, though he did so as a free man and as one not forgetting that the gods have the first claim on our friendship?' (Greek, Epictetus, iii. 24)
- 'Natural affection is a thing right and according to Nature.' (Greek. Ibid. i. xi)
- 'I ought not to be unfeeling like a statue but should fulfil both my natural and artificial relations, as a worshipper, a son, a brother, a father, and a citizen.' (Greek. Ibid. 111. ii)
- 'This first I rede thee: be blameless to thy kindred. Take no vengeance even though they do thee wrong.' (Old Norse. Sigdrifumál, 22)
- 'Is it only the sons of Atreus who love their wives? For every good man, who is right-minded, loves and cherishes his own.' (Greek. Homer, Iliad, ix. 340)
- 'Part of us is claimed by our country, part by our parents, part by our friends.' (Roman. Ibid. i. vii)
- 'Has it escaped you that, in the eyes of gods and good men, your native land deserves from you more honour, worship, and reverence than your mother and father and all your ancestors? That you should give a softer answer to its anger than to a father's anger? That if you cannot persuade it to alter its mind you must obey it in all quietness, whether it binds you or beats you or sends you to a war where you may get wounds or death?' (Greek. Plato, Crito, 51, a, b)
- 'If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith.' (Christian. I Timothy 5:8)
- 'Put them in mind to obey magistrates.'... 'I exhort that prayers be made for kings and all that are in authority.' (Christian. Titus 3:1 and I Timothy 2:1, 2)

Duties to Parents, Elders, Ancestors
Duties to Children and Posterity
The Law of Justice
The Law of Good Faith and Veracity
The Law of Mercy
Law 8
The Law of Magnamity
(noble and generous in spirit)
'There are two kinds of injustice: the first is found in those who do an injury, the second in those who fail to protect another from injury when they can.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. I. vii)
'Men always knew that when force and injury was offered they might be defenders of themselves; they knew that howsoever men may seek their own commodity, yet if this were done with injury unto others it was not to be suffered, but by all men and by all good means to be withstood.' (English. Hooker, Laws of Eccl. Polity, I. ix. 4)
'To take no notice of a violent attack is to strengthen the heart of the enemy. Vigour is valiant, but cowardice is vile.' (Ancient Egyptian. The Pharaoh Senusert III, cit. H. R. Hall, Ancient History of the Near East, p. 161)
'They came to the fields of joy, the fresh turf of the Fortunate Woods and the dwellings of the Blessed . . . here was the company of those who had suffered wounds fighting for their fatherland.' (Roman. Virgil, Aeneid, vi. 638-9, 660)
'Courage has got to be harder, heart the stouter, spirit the sterner, as our strength weakens. Here lies our lord, cut to pieces, out best man in the dust. If anyone thinks of leaving this battle, he can howl forever.' (Anglo-Saxon. Maldon, 312)
'Praise and imitate that man to whom, while life is pleasing, death is not grievous.' (Stoic. Seneca, Ep. liv)
'The Master said, Love learning and if attacked be ready to die for the Good Way.' (Ancient Chinese. Analects, viii. 13)
'Death is to be chosen before slavery and base deeds.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i, xxiii)
'Death is better for every man than life with shame.' (Anglo-Saxon. Beowulf, 2890)
'Nature and Reason command that nothing uncomely, nothing effeminate, nothing lascivious be done or thought.' (Roman. Cicero, De Off. i. iv)
'

Law 8 (cont'd)
We must not listen to those who advise us "being men to think human thoughts, and being mortal to think mortal thoughts," but must put on immortality as much as is possible and strain every nerve to live according to that best part of us, which, being small in bulk, yet much more in its power and honour surpasses all else.' (Ancient Greek. Aristotle, Eth. Nic. 1177 B)
'The soul then ought to conduct the body, and the spirit of our minds the soul. This is therefore the first Law, whereby the highest power of the mind requireth obedience at the hands of all the rest.' (Hooker, op. cit. i. viii. 6)
'Let him not desire to die, let him not desire to live, let him wait for his time ... let him patiently bear hard words, entirely abstaining from bodily pleasures.' (Ancient Indian. Laws of Manu. ERE ii. 98)
'He who is unmoved, who has restrained his senses ... is said to be devoted. As a flame in a windless place that flickers not, so is the devoted.' (Ancient Indian. Bhagavad gita. ERE ii 90)
'Is not the love of Wisdom a practice of death?' (Ancient Greek. Plato, Phadeo, 81 A)
'I know that I hung on the gallows for nine nights, wounded with the spear as a sacrifice to Odin, myself offered to Myself.' (Old Norse. Hávamál, I. 10 in Corpus Poeticum Boreale; stanza 139 in Hildebrand's Lieder der Älteren Edda. 1922)
'Verily, verily I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it.' (Christian. John 12:24,25)

by Dr. Jeff Voth
Lecture #3
...(1).... .........(2).........., .....(3)....... .....(4)....
...(5)..... ....(6)..... ....(7)..... ....(8)...

....(9)...... ....(10)......
be expressed as a story or in a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) that we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic constitution of reality and that provides the foundation on which we live and move and have our being.” (Sire, The Universe Next Door, loc 133)
Fill in the blanks
*skip to 49 seconds in
Most of Lewis' spoken words were lost due to tape being recycled in The Second World War. This radio address, given before the war, remains. In it Lewis discusses prayer and evolution. These radio talks would lead to his writing "Mere Christianity."
Full transcript