Monday, September 27, 2010

Mere Christianity: Book ; Chapter 4 (What Lies Behind the Law)

Against Materialism

In this chapter Lewis discusses the two prevailing theories of cosmology, the religious and the materialistic, and, of course, argues for the religious.  He states that the truest way we can come to recognize the existence of God is through ourselves, because it is about ourselves that we have the most knowledge.  He says, because natural law shows us what we ought to do, and not what we actually do, it must be separate from us.  Additionally, this Law cannot be something material, as material things cannot state anything other than what occurs, and thus this Law must be something of a conscious mind.  This is the primary way in which Lewis argues for religious cosmology.

I however, want to argue from a point he makes earlier in his chapter, via effect more Thomistic via the 5th way.  In reality the chance of a creative event like the big bang occurring is about a 1 in one googolplex chance.  That doesn't even take into account how the atoms got there in the first place... or the subsequent acts of "evolution" which have a near equivalent chance of occurring.  To think that the universe could be as it is today with out some conscientious, omnipotent influence seems slightly myopic to me.  The universe tends towards order, that fact is shown throughout all of history--opposing forces balance, justice is the basis of all law systems, matter is conserved, and supply and demand eventually balances the economy.  Though entropy exists, all things move towards balance and unity.

If you're still not buying my argument, I can argue from a teleological point of view. All things move toward some goal or purpose.  People may differ in their opinions about what that end may be, but I truly think any reasonable person should assume that every action and every living thing is motivated by some goal.  In many ways, all creations and all humans are ordered towards the same goals--self preservation, procreation, self-actualization, etc.  If all these goals are common, and not just biological (self-actualization), it is reasonable to assume they came from a common, non-biological creator.

I am sure I did not conclusively prove anything, I am not an expert in teleological philosophy.  Nor am I always extremely articulate.  Hopefully however, you have begun to see, in the opinions of both Lewis and myself, how both Law and Order point to some greater creator of the universe.

1 comment:

  1. I never realized that Lewis began almost with a Cartesian argument... interesting...