Mere Christianity 9

In the last post, we said that there are two views of the universe, the materialist and the religious (or spiritual) views. And we added that one of the great gifts to humankind, scientific study and knowledge is able to discover a staggering amount of knowledge about the universe itself, but is limited to the universe and therefore unable to speak to the existence of Something Behind the universe.

So if there is “Something Behind” the universe, we can’t discover it through science, therefore it would have to make itself known to us some other way.

Lewis claims that since we have “inside information” about one part of our universe that we don’t have about anything else, namely ourselves, human beings. “We do not merely observe [humans], we are [humans]” (emphasis his). This is the key. To put it a little differently, there is one case in which we have more than just the observable external/behavioral facts. Our case.

To quote Lewis:

Since that power, if it exists, would be not one of the observed facts but a reality which makes them, no mere observation of the facts can find it. There is only one case in which we can know whether there is anything more, namely our own case. And in that one case we find there is. Or put it the other way round. If there was a controlling power outside the universe, it could not show itself to us as one of the facts inside the universe—no more than the architect of a house could actually be a wall or staircase or fireplace in that house. The only way in which we could expect it to show itself would be inside ourselves as an influence or command trying to get us to behave in a certain way. And that is just what we do find inside ourselves. Surely this ought to arouse our suspicions?

Having presented this argument, Lewis reminds the reader:

Do not think I am going faster than I really am. I am not yet with a hundred miles of the God of Christian theology. All I have got to is a Something which is directing the universe, and which appears in me as a law urging me to do right and making me feel responsible and uncomfortable when I do wrong.

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