Essentials of Political Thought - Research Paper Example

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Name Professor Module Date Essentials of Political Thought Part I: C.S. Lewis and John Dewey C.S. Lewis and John Dewey devote considerable attention to the ways science might be harnessed to change human life. Compare and contrast Lewis and Dewey’s understanding of the possibilities and perils of science in the modern world…
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Essentials of Political Thought
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Download file to see previous pages During Lewis lifetime, science was just beginning to emerge as the Western world's preferred principal system of thought. Essentially, modern life was beginning to be transformed by technological discoveries that resulted from the developing intellectual activity. Lewis felt that that some attitudes were absolutely fundamental to the existence of man while others were essentially false. He scoffed at the emerging popular belief that moral values could be said to be subjective; and that they could evoke different responses from different people- all of which were right in their own settings. Lewis also differed with schoolteachers who disregarded the function of emotional inclinations in favor of practical utilitarian thinking. He would assert that the purpose of education was to stimulate the development of values, “good” feelings, and thoughts in students while concurrently curbing the development of “bad” ones. John Dewey (1859-1952) held completely different thoughts from Lewis in the importance of moral absolutes. He stated that in life, real truth is not something that really exists and that any theory that will be referred to as truth has to be experimentally determined. Dewey claimed that in life, no theory or object can be said to be inherently evil or inherently good; it is merely a person's choice on how to view the theory or object that makes it seem either good or bad. Dewey also asserted that nothing can be said to be more valuable than another thing. He would claim that morality is mainly situational, and that even religious beliefs ought to be examined scientifically, and that change in belief is inevitable and desirable. He also rejected subjected to scientific evaluation before they can be verified as fact. Dewey, himself, believed in the truth of organic evolution. He held that man was essentially a sophisticated type of animal that could not be said to have any inner being or claim to immortality in the afterlife. For him, the non-physical aspects of man amounted to being little more than a sophisticated habit system. Dewey would further state that human beings are not naturally selfish or depraved, but are conditioned to behave as they do- whether badly or well, by their environment. Owing to the fact that C. S. Lewis felt that the Western world was engaged in rejecting the biblical statutes that determined the existence of objective wrong and right, and believed that once these principles were presented to school children as being real truths there would be a collapse of society, he defended the tradition of natural law in his famous text, 'The Abolition of Man'. His objective was the salvation of Western civilization (Lewis, 5). For Lewis, the beginning of false teachings was initiated by the 18th century Enlightenment when the West was transformed by the most disastrous cultural transition, which he would aptly name the “un-christening of Europe” or the “post-Christian” age (Lewis 6). Demoralized by the changes he saw, Lewis stated, "Until the modern era, no eminent thinker would ever presume to doubt that our value based judgments were logical and practical or that what they stated was objective. The modern perspective is quite different; and does not believe in the veracity of value judgments" (Lewis 7). In his arguments, Lewis categorically stated that there is an existing and unassailable universal moral order, and that every ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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