But if you bite and devour one another, take heed that you are not consumed by one another (Galatians 5:15; New Testament). The word devour comes from the Greek word katesthi??, which means: to eat up, or to consume by eating. In nature, very few species eat their own kind.
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This kind of behavior is looked at as an abnormality. In human nature, people who do this are considered cannibals. This action is an evil act, but there is another division of humans who tend to devour their own kind: Christians. Morality is regarded as being something innate; and Christianity in particular is accused often of having lost this trait. The line between spirituality and irreligious, morally wrong and right, and the validity of these themes have become blurred over time. The Screwtape Letters takes advantage of this tug-of-war between human nature and their beliefs and toys with the idea of religion and what it really means.
The most notable aspect of modern society, which would have astonished and equally shocked our ancestors, is the moral inversion which has redefined bad as good, sin as salvation. Indeed the safest route to Hell is the gradual one” the gentle slope, the soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts (Lewis 61). The definition of good .vs. evil does not exist in two distinct places. Every person has their own idea of what is bad and what isn’t. Human nature and its morality have become entangled with temptation and impulse. The gradual ascent into Hell that Screwtape talks about is the real position of the Patient and his inner struggle with his own morality and the outcome of this battle within. The Patient’s and Screwtape’s idea of sin and savior clash. The humility that arises within the Patient, the good in him, is morally inverted by Screwtape. Screwtape argues that humility, leads to self-contradiction.
By persuading the Patient to think of himself as humble, he will become proud and self-absorbed. A trait commonly looked upon as bad. But to Screwtape and Wormwood, this is good. It is taking the patient away from his morality and towards Hell. These minor persuasions are what create the gentle slope into Hell. Everyday things can push you slightly towards or away from Hell based on how they are approached morally. Screwtape takes advantage of the immodesty and pride in human beings and their nature to self-obsess over doing the right thing which can easily result into people spending too much time and energy on questions that have no real effect on the well-being of others.
God created humans to be deeply flawed. This imperfection, Screwtape argues is a consequence of freedom. While free will is difficult concept to define, it can be thought of simply as the act of choices.
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