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C.S. Lewis on Morality


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The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.
Wherever any precept of traditional morality is simply challenged to produce its credentials, as though the burden of proof lay on it, we have taken the wrong position.

    Source: The Abolition of Man
The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Unless we return to the crude and nursery-like belief in objective values, we perish.
Morality or duty never yet made a man happy in himself or dear to others.

    Source: English Literature in the 16th Century
There is nothing indulgent about the Moral Law. It is as hard as nails. If God is like the Moral Law, then He is not soft.

    Source: Mere Christianity
Morality, like numinous awe, is a jump; in it, man goes beyond anything that can be 'given' in the facts of experience.

    Source: The Problem of Pain
All men alike stand condemned, not by alien codes of ethics, but by their own, and all men therefore are conscious of guilt.

    Source: The Problem of Pain
One can regard the moral law as an illusion, and so cut himself off from the common ground of humanity.

    Source: The Problem of Pain
The standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people's ideas get nearer to that real Right than others.
In reality, moral rules are directions for running the human machine. Every moral rule is there to prevent a breakdown, or a strain, or a friction, in the running of that machine. That is why these rules at first seem to be constantly interfering with our natural inclinations.
Really great moral teachers never do introduce new moralities: it is quacks and cranks who do that.

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