Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

A query not related to the election

I have been discussing C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man with my students. The context is a "Great Books"-oriented core class in which other authors are Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Hobbes, and Locke.

On one level, they seem to "get" Lewis’s argument concerning the conquest of nature, but they explain it to themselves in "ecological" terms. They seem to profess to respect nature when it comes to cutting down trees or drilling for oil.

Why can’t they extend this line of reasoning to themselves and the question of, say, abortion?

Discussions - 3 Comments

On one level, they seem to "get" Lewis’s argument concerning the conquest of nature, but they explain it to themselves in "ecological" terms. They seem to profess to respect nature when it comes to cutting down trees or drilling for oil.

Mr. Kippenberg, to "get" Lewis's argument in "ecological" terms is to not really get it. Lewis's argument is an ontological one about man's nature, and his relationship with "Nature" (and ultimately with natures God).

It sounds like they are simply translating (cramming it through their own naturalistic prism).

I was at St. John's (Annapolis/Sante Fe) a dozen years ago. 80-90% of the student would do this on each and every text. It is both amusing and sad to sit through a whole class turning Shakespeare into a modern progressive with a nihilistic bent...

It reminds me of the idiotic interview with the brilliant Liv Tyler, who played Arwen in LOTR, when the movies came out. She thought that Tolkien's epic was first and foremost a statement about environmentalism because of the Ents and the scouring of the Shire. I was thinking, here is an actor in the movie and she completely misunderstood Tolkien. Jonathan Rhys-Davis however had a much greater understanding, and discussed the epic struggle of good and evil and its importance particularly in a post-modern and relativist West.

"And they are sure to say we carry things too far, when we carry them home to themselves." - J.H. Card. Newman

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