Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Abolition of Man

This book is only three chapters long. It is one of the best defenses of the natural law tradition in the 20th century. It has to do with the native understanding of right and wrong that is in every human being. Lewis also draws upon the wisdom of the East, and uses the Chinese term TAO as his symbol for the natural law tradition. For today, we focused our attention on Chapter 3, The Abolition of Man. Of all the writings of Lewis that I have read, this piece was the most difficult and confusing.

In chapter 3, Lewis talks about the natural law, which is sense of right and wrong that man has. There is a tremendous common ground between the principles of the natural law. A society would not exist if nobody accepted these moral laws. I agree with Lewis on this matter because he bases his philosophy on the Bible. In Romans 2:14-26, Paul explains how the Gentiles have the law written in their hearts.

Lewis discusses how man has power over nature, but really this power is just man over man. Lewis gives the three typical examples of this: the aeroplane, the wireless, and the contraceptive. I like the example of the contraceptive because it is easy to understand. For example, with abortion man is not only trying to control nature, but he is putting himself in God’s position by killing an innocent human. Man is taking to much power to himself, and this is the same error that Satan fell into. Satan wanted to be like God, and man is passively trying to be God when he takes another man’s life into his own hands.

What we must remember is that God is King over the earth. We must not try to put ourselves in front of the will of God. Christians may use all of the inventions and new technology in our culture, but we must be careful whether we are using these things to the glory of God. As soon as we use technology to put ourselves over God, we must stop using it because this is sin. As Christians, we must also remember the real reason why we obey the natural law, and that is because we love God and have a deep desire to please Him.

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