Christian Relaunch

More, but not less

Man is more than a beast, but not less.

The beasts that most resemble us are apes, and this is where we must mainly look as we try to understand our instincts.

People's behaviour is not determined by irresistible instinct but by their responses to standards, but culture refines, rather than repressing, instinct. Every attempt at such repression eventually provokes an overwhelming backlash.

It is simply the movement after a long tension or standstill, like waters that break loose after long accumulation. This will happen in different periods of history when things have reached a certain one-sidedness. Then suddenly the whole thing will crash down, in a sort of revolutionary outburst of energy that has been too tightened up, put under too much pressure; the steam begins to sizzle out somewhere or the whole boiler explodes.

C. G. Jung, Lecture on Neitzsche's Zarathustra, 26-Feb-1936.

Nature, outraged by one extreme, avenges herself by flying to the other.

C. S. Lewis, Preface to Third Edition of The Pilgrim's Regress, c.1943. I learned the "more but not less" formula from Lewis, and much of what he meant by it is helpful to real Christianity. But if he was also implying the Thomistic (Catholic) belief that human nature would have needed grace to be "superadded" even if man had not defected (an Additionalist form of Otherworldalism) I part company from him at that point.

We can follow our conscience without denying our animal nature.

(Abstract Humanism or Cultural Marxism, Existentialism) "We must follow our ideals and reject instinct. Man has no fixed nature, we can be whatever we choose to be. Humanity is what matters; sex is irrelevant to all the important issues of life."

Whence comes that "must"? It seems to be plucked from the air. I see no basis for it. This approach logically drops us back into the abyss of moral relativism discussed earlier.

(various forms of Platonism) "We may be trapped in animal bodies, but reason guides us, and often contradicts instinct."

As explained elsewhere in this site, reason needs a starting point. In itself it cannot tell us what is right, it can only help us clarify and develop ideas based on something else.

Likewise, the life hereafter is understood as a continuation of the present life, but enhanced.

And God is a self, but also a society, a trinity.

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