Friday, May 27, 2011

Grumpless Friday

Today is Friday, but I am not grumpy. Sorry if you were expecting a rant. But I can't leave you with nothing to worry about, so have a read of this piece about C S Lewis (Did you see the movie Shadowlands, in which Anthony Hopkins played the great man? Do.) 

In 1947, C.S. Lewis addressed the decline of Britain in "The Abolition of Man: How Education Develops Man's Sense of Morality." He warned of the relativist trends in the British educational system and reasserted Christendom's timeless moral truths .Lewis called for a return to the classical vision of the human person and the cultivation of virtues as the path to true human flourishing and freedom. He defined what he called "the chest" in this work as the "higher emotions organized by trained habit into stable sentiments or character."  He wrote that without this "chest", men and women devolve into self-idolatry losing their human dignity and true freedom. They become slaves to disordered appetites.
"And all the time - such is the tragicomedy of our situation - we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible.You can hardly open a periodical without coming across the statement that what our civilization needs is more 'drive,' or dynamism, or self-sacrifice, or 'creativity.' In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."

"remove the organ and demand the function" - I wish I had come up with that pungent strophe.

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