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Book Review: The Abolition of Man – C.S. Lewis

June 17, 2019

The Abolition of ManThe Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very interesting read. There is a moral way of being. Lewis calls it the tao in this book, it could be claimed to be similar to natural law, that precedes are moral theorising, and that provides the only basis and context for it. We cannot rebuke this “way”, even with all of our progress in science. When we put our scientific insight and turn it on “the way”, when we try to dissect our moral insight, and conquer ourselves like we conquered nature, all we achieve is nature reconquering us. For when all values are gone, in our judgements of humanity, all that is left is raw impulse in the moment. This raw impulse insofar as it seeks power and control, can only mean power and control over other men ultimately.

And even with all the best technology available, in progressing down this road, the only real progress we are making is in control over our descendants, by forcing them to live in line with the technology and patterns of being that we have made them dependent on. Call this progress if you like, but it won’t be an unending progress, and as naturally as economic growth and the earths resources must reach their limit, so must this.

Our foolish drive to conquer nature can only end in its conquering of us, and the reduction of the powerful men amongst us to following the whim of the instincts of the moment and the powerless amongst us being subject to the games they play with us. Take a look at the media today, at the manipulation of values in people, that these leaders clearly do not possess. The goal and end result of their progress won’t be the super man, it won’t be a utopian society, it will the abolition of man…

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