PHILOSOPHICAL WRITINGS

MERE CHRISTIANITY
Book Three
Chapter 5

CHAPTER 5: Sexual Morality

Before reading the chapter and answering the following questions, number your paragraphs from 1-14.


Paragraph 1:
Lewis distinguishes between the social rule of modesty (propriety) from the Christian virtue of chastity. According to Lewis the social rule of propriety lays down what?

What is the major difference between the Christian virtue of chastity and the social rule of propriety?

What are some examples Lewis lists which demonstrate that propriety differs from culture to culture?


Your sisters in Paris during the 60's.

When would breaking the rule of propriety be an offense against chastity?

When would it NOT be an offense against chastity?

Instead of being unchaste, whenever a person breaks the social rule of propriety defiantly, people are being what?

Because many times confusion exists between chastity and propriety, what attitude should older people have towards younger people?

What attitude will solve most of the problems?


Paragraph 2:
Lewis claims that chastity is the most unpopular of all Christian virtues? What is the Christian rule concerning chastity?


Paragraph 3:
Because our instincts are so contrary to the Christian rule of chastity, Lewis says that either our instincts have gone wrong or else our Christian rule is wrong. How does Lewis use the example of eating to show us that our instincts have gone wrong and that the Christian rule of chastity is right?


Paragraph 4:
Next, he illustrates his point by comparing our obsession with sex with another imaginary country's obsession with food. In your own way explain what Lewis means.


Paragraph 5:
How does Lewis counter the argument made by a certain critic that our obsession with sex is a result of the "fact" that we are sexually starved?


Does any evidence exist that there is more sexual abstinence in our age than in those ages when things like strip-tease were unknown?

What are 2 pieces of evidence which show us that people are NOT sexually starved today?

What can actually make you hungrier sexually?


Paragraph 6:
What is one thing people will do with sex that they won't do with food?

What are some of the solid lies we have been told about sex?


Paragraph 7:
Some claim that sex is such a mess because it has been hushed up. What has happened in the last 20 years though which has shown that is NOT the case?

Why does Lewis think they hushed up sex originally?

When modern people say that sex is nothing to be ashamed of, what is the right thing they mean by that phrase?


Christianity is the only one of the great religions which approves of what?

The lie about about Muslim doctors.

What other religion has glorified marriage more than Christianity?

What is the second thing people may mean though whenever they say sex is nothing to be ashamed of?


Paragraph 8:
What 2 groups are responsible for the mess our society is in regarding sex?

Why do people want us to become obsessed with anything, including sex?

According to Lewis God will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What will matter when God judges us?


Paragraph 9:
Before we can be cured, what must happen first?


Paragraph 10:
There are 3 reasons it is difficult for us to desire to be chaste. What is that first reason?


Modern propaganda associates sexual indulgence with health, normality, youth, frankness, and good humor. Lewis says that this association is a lie based on an element of truth. What is the element of truth though in this situation?

What is the lie though in this association?

Why is this nonsense? In other words, what problems does surrendering to these sexual impulses lead to?

What must be true in order to find happiness in this world?

What is the real conflict in this issue?

What will happen if we do not control nature, that is, our sense of natural desire?

Will it be easier to be chaste for the reason of Christian principles or for other principles? Why or why not?


Confucius


Paragraph 11:
What is the second reason many people are deterred from seriously attenpting Christian chastity?

What must somebody never think whenever something must be attempted?

For example, what do you do whenever you are faced with a compulsory question on an exam?

What are some situations in which people quite often do what seemed impossible?

"It is wonderful what you can do when you __________ to."


Paragraph 12:
Can perfect chastity be achieved by human strength?

What must you do in order to be perfectly chaste?

Will this help necessarily come immediately?

What must you do in the meantime?

Many times what does God first help us towards?

What this process of trying train us in?

What does this teach us about ourselves in our best moments?

What does this teach us about ourselves in our worst moments? Why?


Paragraph 13:
What is the third reason people claim it is difficult to be sexually pure?

How do most people understand the word "repressed"? What does it actually mean though?


Why isn't abstinence the same thing as sexual repression?

Who knows more about their sexuality than anybody else?


"Virtue--even attempted virtue--brings light; ______________ brings fog."


Paragraph 14:
According to Lewis what is true about the Christian who thinks that unchastity is the supreme vice?

Lewis says that although sins of the flesh are bad, they are also what?

David criticized for abuse of power and not of sexuality.


What is the nature of the worst pleasures?

What are some examples of these worst pleasures?


What are the 2 things inside me competing with the human self and which is the worse of the two?

How does Lewis compare a cold, self-righteous prig with a prostitute?

Write down the last sentence of the chapter.