Monday, January 19, 2009

The Poison of Subjectivism

This piece was the hardest for me to read. It could be that I didn't get to fully digest it, since I was catching up on other readings, but I just didn't think it was as interesting as the others. I never got a clear definition of what subjectivism actually is, so I am not sure if I missed it or if it's just something we are expected to know. Anyway, I will try to point out some major quotes that illustrate his idea.

Lewis makes two points:
1. The human mind has no more power of intervening a new value than of planting a new sun in the sky or a new primary color in the spectrum.
2. Every attempt to do so consists in arbitrarily selecting some one maxim of traditional morality, isolating it from the rest, and erecting it into an unum necessarium.

All ideas of new or scientific or modern moralities must be dismissed as mere confusion, says Lewis.

"While we believe that good is something to be invented, we demand of our rulers such qualities as vision, dynamism, creativity, and the like. If we returned to the objective view we should demand qualities much rarer, and much more beneficial- virtue, knowledge, diligence, and skill."

As hard as I try to summarize this passage, I just cannot put a strong handle around it. Lewis is such a brilliant writer, and I often wish I could write such convincing arguments like he does. However, it is days like today that I cannot appreciate his logic like I should. Sometimes I need an easy read, an entertaining while still profound, read. I often feel like guilty for wanting to read Chronicles of Narnia when I have all these intellectual pieces of writing in front of me. However, I don't think that God wants us to always be so scholarly; I think He loves when we approach Him like a child.
"Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it." — Mark 10:14-15
However, going along with our past readings on learning, I know that God wants me to seek out understanding and truth. I cannot simply give up reading something the moment I feel confused or frustrated.
"Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day." — Ps 25:4-5
I pray for a teachable heart, but I pray for the mind of a child- curious, inquisitive, not tainted by cynicism. I pray for a heart of perseverance, to keep seeking knowledge even when it seems impossible to contain.

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