175. Book Review | Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

This is the second book by C.S. Lewis that I’ve reviewed. The Abolition of Man is a work that I believe is prophetic, but not just because it described a problem we’d deal with decades later. Rather, the prophecy lies in the ability to predict the end result. It does so by following the logic to its conclusion with tremendous accuracy. Near the end, he says, “But you cannot go on ‘explaining away’ for ever; you will find that you have explained explanation itself away.” If that doesn’t call to mind our current Postmodern culture, I don’t know what does. So, if you’re interested in how Lewis check out this review.

CS Lewis, Author of Abolition of Man

Problems in Education

Lewis begins this book by calling out a couple of authors of a grammar book, but not for teaching grammar poorly. Instead, he points out that their grammar book was teaching a worldview. When they should have been explaining the rules of language, they were directing students’ word choice in a peculiar way. They do not point out an issue with the grammar, but the way language was used. In this passage, they assert that we merely explain how we feel about something, instead of being able to recognize a quality in an inanimate object. We can easily see how this method has grown and tainted our education system today. Here’s the passage.

“Until quite modern times all teachers and even all men believed the universe to be such that certain emotional reactions on our part could be either congruous or incongruous to it—believed, in fact, that objects did not merely receive, but could merit, our approval or disapproval, our reverence or our contempt.”

-C.S. Lewis

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What is the Abolition of Man?

Basically, the abolition of man that Lewis describes is a scientific religion based on “Man’s conquest of nature.” He doesn’t necessarily use those terms, but he shows that we often think of technology as progress. Offering the airplane, wireless, and contraceptive as examples, he shows that reliance on technology is not conquering in any way. “If I pay you to carry me, I am not therefore myself a strong man,” he says, demonstrating this point. Rather than liberating man from nature, we have a few who advance the technology that the masses rely on. Instead of mastering nature, we have reduced ourselves to the same level as the nature we wish to conquer. And, in doing so, we abolish man.

188. Finding Unity and Mending a Divided Nation Conversation of Our Generation

Our country is obviously divided, politically, culturally, and religiously. Despite living in the same country under the same laws, we have two separate nations in our country. In this episode, I'll discuss mending a divided nation and how we find unity amid all the chaos. How We're Divided We have divided ourselves in many ways across this country. We've separated ourselves into religious and secular, conservative and liberal, coastal and heartland, and in numerous other ways. With all of these differences, how can we even say we're one country? Discussions of secession come up on both sides of the political aisle, and many take it as an inevitability. What is dividing us? Mainstream Media, politicians, educational systems and numerous institutions seek to tear us apart instead of bringing us together. "Even if a unity of faith is not possible, a unity of love is." -Hans Urs von Balthasar Methods for Mending a Divided Nation I've spoken previously about what we need to come together, but I'm going to recap some of those thoughts. Basically, I think we need to first see each other as fellow human beings, fellow citizens. Rather than seeing political opponents as evil or vicious, we should see our friend or family member who holds those views in each person. We easily jump to conclusions about people instead of trying to understand them. So, if we are to have a healthy political and cultural life, we need to be able to discuss politics well. This means we have to know our own beliefs and biases, and discuss ideas with knowledge of our own potential pitfalls. We need to learn the lessons of the past and seek to mend and understand each other without wanting to dominate or control each other. — Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
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