To view this complete email in your browser, click here.
spacer
home
subscribe
logo
archives
contactus
spacer
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer header spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer subheader spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer

October 7, 2010

by Dr. Benjamin Wiker
spacer

side bar side bar side bar side bar Lewis understood, with prophetic lucidity, that our ills today are largely the result of our ongoing attempt to escape from our own nature.

Such is the theme of his first chapter, "Men without Chests." In it, Lewis pillories a lamentable book (typical of his time and ours) that attempts to indoctrinate  mere schoolchildren with moral and intellectual relativism. The authors, whom he calls Gaius and Titius (in reality, Alec King and Martin Ketley), declare matter-of-factly that words don't have any real connection to things, but are mere descriptions of our subjective feelings. "This confusion is continually present in language as we use it," they assert. "We appear to be saying something very important about something: and actually we are only saying something about our own feelings."

For Lewis, these were fighting words, because they were words designed to usher in peace at any cost, even at the cost of truth, words designed to make chestless men who believed in nothing and hence would fight over nothing.

Here Lewis brilliantly ties together two modern trends: the emasculation of society and widespread intellectual and moral relativism. Both of these trends have one aim: to make men peaceful by removing the great sources of war (at least as some see things), the belief that there is truth, and that the truth is worth fighting for. Chestless men, men whose fighting spirit has been entirely quashed by relativism and the belief that manliness itself is one of the great sources of the world's evil, are at least peaceful men. And for those who desire peace at any cost, the deformation of men and the destruction of the natural human desire for truth is a small price to pay. It is no accident that King and Ketley's book was written between the two hideously destructive World Wars.

According to this view, we must, for our own survival and peaceful co-existence, escape from our own nature. Maleness must be left behind; it must have no place in our brave new world. Passionate truth-seeking is likewise a thing of our bloody past; it must have no place in our schools, our public discourse, our media.

What such a view fails to understand, Lewis argues, is the greater cost of the deformation of our nature. Chestless men are stunted men, men whose desires never rise above the belly and the groin, men who are willing slaves to the soft despotism of the state that provides their ever more degraded pleasures. The defining political and social goal becomes the provision of bread and circus, food and mindless entertainment, so that the great masses will be quiet cattle.

Men who do not care about the truth may be peaceful men, but they are malleable clay in the hands of those in political control who—since they are moral and intellectual relativists too—don't mind remolding human beings in their own particular image to suit their own particular plans. The abolition of men and manhood leads, Lewis argues, to the abolition of man the species, to the remaking, remolding of human nature in whatever way pleases those in power, both through oppressive indoctrination/education and actual technological manipulation.

Bookmark and Share

spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
box4
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
box3
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer
Rate Itshare content
spacer spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer

Response to: Sustaining America

Sometimes some people might also add one of the more glaring attributes of Americans/ or America, is its (how shall I say it?) lack of humility. While I appreciate your biased nationalism, you might consider that your neighbour to the north lacks nothing in any of the areas you address. So while America may be ONE of the FEW countries in the world that measure up to the freedoms and glories you mention, it definitely is not the ONLY country. As someone has observed, who else besides the Americans would have a sports contest and call it the World Championships or the World's Series, or a "World League" when it is made up entirely of American teams? I suppose this thinking is behind the Americans who interpret what may have been a localised flood, a Universal flood. Had Noah been a Texan that would have been enough to declare it a World Wide flood if it only took in part of Texas. Perhaps the author has never experienced Canada first hand and our "gentle" spirit. We are most known for our inability to boast or blow our own horn. We even had to have an American write the book "Canada Firsts". (by Ralph Nader). - G.A. Canada

spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer
Send your letter to the editor to feedback@tothesource.org.
spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer printer friendly iconClick for a Printer Friendly Version spacer spacer
spacer spacer
top
left links right
The entire text for The Abolition of Man
Audio Reading of: The Abolition of Man (Part 1) [C.S. Lewis]
 
 
bottom
about tothesource
We live complex lives. We strive to sort out priorities that sometimes conflict or seem incompatible. A moral framework is needed to help us understand the reality around us. Our Judeo-Christian heritage provides a framework to help us comprehend the choices we make and the conflicts that arise over them. It is not only the main source of our spiritual values, but also many of the secular values we depend on.

tothesource is a forum for integrating thinking and action within a moral framework that takes into account our contemporary situation. We will report the insights of cultural experts to the specific issues we face believing these sources will embolden people to greater faith and action.
subscribe
We invite you to subscribe to our free email service
that features informed opinion on current cultural issues.
Ben Wiker Trans Benjamin Wiker
Author and speaker Benjamin Wiker holds a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University, and has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary's University (MN), Thomas Aquinas College (CA), and Franciscan University (OH). He is a Senior Fellow of the Envoy Institute of Belmont Abbey College, a Senior Fellow of Discovery Institute and a Senior Fellow at the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology.

Dr. Wiker has written eight books, including Ten Books that Screwed Up the World and his newest, Ten Books that Every Conservative Must Read. His website is benjaminwiker.com.
tothesource, P.O. Box 1292, Thousand Oaks, CA 91358
Phone: (805) 241-3138 | Fax: (805) 241-3158 | info@tothesource.org
spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer black line black line black line spacer