Conform to reality or subdue reality?

Justin Taylor quotes from C. S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man.  Peter Kreeft calls these lines “the single most illuminating three sentences I have ever read about our civilization.”

Read those three sentences after the jump.

Then consider what Kreeft says about them and my point about how one of these ways of thinking can now be found virtually everywhere in contemporary life.

From Justin Taylor, “The Single Most Illuminating Three Sentences I Have Ever Read about Our Civilization” | TGC:

C. S. Lewis:

There is something which unites magic and applied science [=technology] while separating both from the “wisdom” of earlier ages.

For the wise men of old

the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality, and

the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue.

For magic and applied science alike

the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men;

the solution is a technique.


Philosopher Peter Kreeft calls this “the single most illuminating three sentences I have ever read about our civilization.”

[Keep reading Kreeft’s discussion about these lines. . . .]

 

But today, it isn’t just magic and technology that seeks “to subdue reality to the wishes of men.”

This has become the conventional wisdom of everyday life–in morals, pop psychology, education, religion (think “the prosperity gospel”), and sexual identity.

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