Objective Values in the Information Age: Preserving Humanity with C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man

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Taten C. Shirley


This essay examines C.S. Lewis’s call for objective values in The Abolition of Man. It also contextualizes Lewis’s argument with the technological advancements that were occurring in his time. Writing at the cusp of modern technology, Lewis was aware and concerned with the potential repercussions of where technological research was headed and what effect it was having on the world’s value system. Specifically, he was concerned with the move toward subjective values and feared it would lead to humanity’s ruin. If the world does not observe and agree upon objective values, then there is no standard that would prevent its dehumanization by technology. Lewis begins with the Christian premise that because humans are flawed, it cannot be left up to the individual to determine right and wrong. Instead, there must be objective values based on God’s nature that guide the morals of society, and it is these values that should help society navigate decisions concerning technology. This is all the more relevant today, as technology is advancing faster than people can anticipate, and it is affecting everyday life. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly common, as people try to right past injustices and respect varying cultural traditions, for people to end up standing for nothing, claiming that there is no absolute truth, and that morality is relative. This is the crux of the issue with which society should concern itself: protecting people from losing their humanity.

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Shirley, T. C. (2020). Objective Values in the Information Age: Preserving Humanity with C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man. Humanities Bulletin, 3(1), 209–215. Retrieved from https://www.journals.lapub.co.uk/index.php/HB/article/view/1534

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