C.S. Lewis & Ken Wilber on My Truth, Your Truth, and Morality


Your-truth-and-my-truth.

“The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better, you are in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other.  But 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.”

(C. S. Lewis, “Mere Christianity,” pg. 25)

The above excerpt from Lewis reminded me of the following passage from Ken Wilber—

“Every worldview has its pathological expressions. Even the postmodern, integral-aperspectival stance is not without its own major aberration, known generally as ‘aperspectival madness,’ the insane view that no view is better than another. Starting with the noble proposition that all of the multiple perspectives are to be treated fairly and impartially (‘pluralism and rich diversity’), postmodernism slides, in its extreme forms, into the insidious notion that no perspective whatsoever is better than another, a confusion that results in complete paralysis of will, thought, and action. Madness it is indeed: it claims no view is better than another, except its own view, which is superior in a world where nothing is supposed to be superior at all. And worse: if no view is better than another, then the Nazis and the KKK are on the same moral footing as, say, art critics.”

(“One Taste: Daily Reflections on Integral Spirituality,” pp. 246-7.)

Advertisements

About John

I am a married, 46-year old, Midwesterner, with four children. My primary interest is in leading a very examined and decent and Loving life; my interests that are related to this and that feed into this include (and are not limited to) -- psychology, philosophy, poetry, critical thinking, photography, soccer, tennis, chess, bridge.
This entry was posted in C.S. Lewis, Conscience, Critical Thinking, Ken Wilber, The Examined Life, Truth, Waking Up and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to C.S. Lewis & Ken Wilber on My Truth, Your Truth, and Morality

  1. Pingback: C.S. Lewis on Why to Be Moral | What Is Real True Love?

  2. Hi John,

    Morals are an invention of human consciousness. They are subjective value judgements, and relative to humanity alone. Ergo, outside of human consciousness morals do not exist. Ergo, there is no real Right. Ergo, all views are, indeed, equal. The madness lies not in the concept itself, but in not being able to accept it as a truism.

    It doesn’t mean, however, that all moral codes should be given equal regard for the purposes of conducting human society. We can decide that Nazism is unacceptable but that the opinions of an art critic are acceptable (though we would still impose limitations because we do not live in a culture of free speech because we are sensitive to ‘offensive’ language – also subjective and relative value judgements that have variable values outside their own language) but you cannot say that Nazism is a wrong outside of human consciousness because Nazism wouldn’t exist outside human consciousness.

    • John says:

      When we’re talking about Nazis and Nazism, we’re talking about not only about ideas, but also about behaviors. And so the question becomes, what is our basis for saying that Nazism is unacceptable? If everything is a subjective value judgment, and it’s a truism to say as much, then what makes one subjective value judgment better or worse (more or less acceptable) than another subjective value judgment?

Comments (feel free to speak your mind and even to disagree!)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s