Lucas “blind faith,” this is believing in values

Lucas MurphyMrs. Dodge AP English Language and Composition19 December 2018Book Report Applied science has been advancing ever since the industrial revolution at an exponential rate. People continue to pursue the conquest upon nature. Life has become easier for everyone. The potential for further expansion is limitless. However, C.S. Lewis argues “each new power won by man is a power over man as well”(Lewis 58). This can be seen throughout history with the minority receiving new technology, and instead of helping the general population they will use it for themselves. Whether it be power, wealth, or respect, the minority receiving technology will always use it for themselves. Lewis argues that without roots in the Tao people technology leads to corruption. Ayn Rand, a popular philosopher, and author, critiques this writing saying “The “rational” to him is blind faith!” She says this specifically about him saying “if you will not obey the Tao, … obedience to impulse … is the only course left open.” Her critique is that people do not need faith to be rational. This has some merit if only seen at surface level, however, as it is dug into more this is clearly untrue. Society must have morals to continue functioning. Morality is what stops people from doing whatever they want at any time. The only thing stopping someone from seeing something they like, and deciding to steal it from whoever owns it is morals. This is not “blind faith,” this is believing in values that have existed and served people for generations. This shows how surface level this critique truly is, and how many criticisms of this lecture are not born from the lecture lacking intelligence, but rather the failure to understand the true meanings. C.S. Lewis in his lecture “Abolition of Man” successfully argues that scientific progress, without roots in the Tao, will lead, inevitably, to a dystopian future. Lewis successfully uses the strategy parallelism connecting progress to corruption and juxtaposition contrasting moral value from science. Lewis argues successfully showing how scientific progress leads to corruption. He argues through philosophy and history. The most basic concept is that “What we call man’s power over nature turns out to be power exercised by some men over other men with nature as its instrument” (Lewis 55). This means the conquest of nature does not directly benefit mankind, rather it benefits the minority of the population who then have the choice of allowing the rest of the population to benefit as well. Lewis is demonstrating the necessity of the Tao by juxtaposing progress that has been made with how corruption follows. This is Lewis showing the direct connection between scientific progress and corruption. This can clearly be seen throughout history and Lewis shows how this clearly argues for the necessity of the Tao. Lewis shows countless times how advancements forward do not always positively impact the population as a whole. People have continued upon this path of conquering nature. To what end? Lewis argues “Human nature will be the last part of nature to surrender to man”(Lewis 59). Lewis argues that if mankind continues along the path of conquering nature at every turn, eventually people will conquer the last part of nature. Human nature. Lewis argues that when humans run out of nature to conquer, eventually humanity is what they will conquer. This will redefine humanity. Humanity, now, is the description of all that is good or at least thought to be good by the world. Kindness, empathy, benevolence, compassion, this is what is humane now, but this is not truly “humane”. All of these values come from the Tao and are prescribed as being good; however, if human nature is truly conquered what is considered “good” will be up to the humans who decide.Whenever power is discovered by the human race the rights to it are not given to everybody, when power is discovered it is instead used as a tool of the people who have it against the people who do not. Lewis uses parallelism successfully connecting scientific progress to corruption. Lewis furthers his point of the necessity of the Tao in society with his use of Juxtaposition between moral values and science. When scientific discovery continues indefinitely Lewis says there will be a point in which people have truly conquered nature and have conquered themselves. These people will have no link to the Tao. They will believe the Tao is subjective and living from the values professed by it has no true grasp in the universe. This generation, that which conquered nature, will have the power to shape all future generations to believe in the moral values they create. Lewis argues that without the Tao to guide the morals of humanity the only thing left will be impulse. He states “Either we are rational spirit obliged forever to obey the absolute values of the Tao or … have no motive but their own natural impulses” (Lewis 73). Lewis shows the contrasting nature of morality and science through this argument. He shows how it is the Tao that makes humans people, not science. This directly relates to how if the ties with the Tao are cut humanity will suffer the consequences. The future without the Tao would be built upon nothing more than the current impulse or feelings someone may have. Lewis further argues how science is a positive thing. Science without a doubt makes life better; however, science must still be rooted in the Tao. Lewis says “In defending value I defend … the value of knowledge, which must die like every other when its roots in the Tao are cut” (Lewis 75). Lewis continues to juxtapose the Tao and scientific progress. He blankets the whole argument he is making with this statement. That is that scientific progress has benefits, but when the basis for that progress is not rooted in the Tao it must be destroyed. This statement effectively shows his full argument of how science and humanity must have roots in the Tao. Lewis successfully juxtaposes moral value and scientific progress in order to argue the necessity of the Tao. Lewis successfully shows the true need humanity has for the Tao. It is what defines us. Lewis succeeds in his argument through the use of the rhetorical strategies parallelism and juxtaposition. Lewis parallels corruption and progress and contrasts science from moral value. This lecture was not designed to be looked over and understood. Rather to understand the full meaning one must look deeper into the meaning behind everything that is said. This lecture offers insight into the importance of moral beliefs, but also a firm explanation from where those beliefs originated. This lecture has the potential to change the lives of many, and change the ideals of so many more. Works CitedLewis, C. S. “The Abolition of Man.” The Abolition of Man, or, Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools, HarperOne, 2008.Rand, Ayn. “Ayn Rand’s Marginalia on C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man.” LEWISIANA: Ayn Rand’s Marginalia on C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, www.lewisiana.nl/aynrand/.