Singing Belleville Rendez-vouz

15 Nov

        A few days ago Greg and I went to a lecture about what Lord of the Rings (both the book and movie were talked about… in fact, the adaptation was a major component of the lecture) could teach us about America. Afterwards, someone asked the speaker something about our culture and morality, and he countered that we are not at all obsessed or even thinking about morality, as a culture. He brot up something that C.S. Lewis wrote.

        C.S. Lewis gives the metaphor of morality as being like a fleet of ships. In other words, we are each a ship in a fleet. Three factors must be considered, each more important than the last, which dictate the functionality of the fleet, of our culture. First, the ships must neither collide nor interfere with each other’s paths. We must know how to relate. Second, each ship must itself be in proper working order. It won’t matter whether or not the ships crash, if they sink first. The third consideration transcends the first two: where is the fleet of ships going?

        This third question, said said speaker, is almost entirely absent from our culture. Where are we going? Why are we at sea?


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