Morality and Psychoanalysis


As I arrive at this chapter in CS LewisMere Christianity, I find my self a bit perplexed. Lewis makes some great points about the relationship and similarities between psychoanalysis and Christianity. When he points out what happens with the raw material of a man when he makes decisions or thinks things I was totally on board.

But I am not certain I buy into Lewis’ explanations of sin and choice in this chapter. It seems to be that Lewis is stating that human beings are not to be held responsible for their thought life. One could also use portions of this chapter to argue that God grades sins on a sliding scale, in order to allow for how an individual was raised. While I agree that Christian morality is not about following rules so God will bless us, and that we ultimately do have responsibility for who we become as a direct result of the choices we make throughout our lives, I cannot buy that we start as neutral beings who wind up choosing to endear ourselves to God or to hate Him. It is almost as if Lewis is stating that we are born outside of sin, and ultimately choose whether to enter into it or to run from it.

Ultimately I can resonate with the overarching points of the chapter. I know that this is not enough space for Lewis to unpack everything he is presenting, but I feel that there are some areas that he and I differ on.

What do you think? Have you read this chapter? Did it spark something in you? Or was I merely too distracted as I read to understand what Lewis was actually trying to say?

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