Today’s quote (seen on social media) – Men Without Chests

“We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

C.S. Lewis.

“Men Without Chests” is the title of the first chapter of C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man. In the book, Lewis explains that the “The Chest” is one of the “indispensable liaison officers between cerebral man and visceral man. It may even be said that it is by this middle element that man is man: for by his intellect he is mere spirit and by his appetite mere animal.”

The result of such chest-less education, as Lewis warns, is a dystopian future.

His lament is that modern society makes men without heart.

Wikipedia’s description of Abolition of Man:

The Abolition of Man is a 1943 book by C. S. Lewis. Subtitled “Reflections on education with special reference to the teaching of English in the upper forms of schools,” it uses that as a starting point for a defense of objective value and natural law as well as a warning about the consequences of doing away with them. It defends “man’s power over nature” as something worth pursuing but criticizes the use of it to debunk values, the value of science itself being among them. The book was first delivered as a series of three evening lectures at King’s College, Newcastle, part of the University of Durham, as the Riddell Memorial Lectures on February 24 to 26, 1943.

From the Official Website of C.S. Lewis:

The Abolition of Man

In the first line of his noted book The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis wrote: “I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of elementary text-books.” Likewise, I doubt whether we are sufficiently attentive to the importance of the so-called “new science of the moral sense” that is flourishing in our midst today.

Lewis was concerned about his culture’s inattentiveness to primary school text-books because he believed they contained the seeds which, when implanted in young, impressionable minds, would eventually produce a rejection of the natural law tradition of objective right and wrong. Such a rejection, Lewis justly believed, would put the whole of ethics, theology, politics, and, indeed, the future of humanity, at stake.

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3 Responses to Today’s quote (seen on social media) – Men Without Chests

  1. weather257 says:

    Ghosts of the past and their warnings…reminds me of this man
    “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards.”
    Mark Twain

    Liked by 3 people

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