Monday, September 7, 2009

Into The Wardrobe

Tomorrow, we'll begin a new school year. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, we will take the next several months to focus on The Chronicles of Narnia and use these books as a jumping off point for other literature, history, theology and philosophy. We will begin with, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, while also focusing on Norse myths, The Gospel of Luke, the Blitz and Aesop's Fables. If you've read LWW, you'll see how these fit in.

I'll post more of what we're reading and of our discoveries as we progress.

Emma will continue to study Latin, math, Greek, writing, art, logic, classical astronomy, and ballet.

Olivia will study English, nature studies, math, Latin, basic astronomy, art, piano, and horseback riding.

In all of this, setting before us, the good, the true and the beautiful in order to cultivate wisdom and virtue.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Illusions Of Technology

In The Abolition of Man Lewis states,
There is something that unites magic and applied science (technology) while separating both from the "wisdom" of earlier ages. For the ancients, the cardinal problem of human life had been how to conform the human soul to objective reality; and the means were knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the cardinal problem is how to conform reality to the wishes of the soul; and the solution is a technique.

Peter Kreeft in his lecture, Lost in the Cosmos, points out that if we were to categorize these four things; technology, science, magic and religion, into two groups, that a quite proper grouping would be magic and technology in one group and religion and science in another. The reason being, as he gains from Lewis, is that science and religion are about conforming one's will to reality and technology and magic are about bending reality or nature to our will.

So, where does that leave our society, which Neil Postman branded a technopoly? We have become so enamored with technology that an optimistic pragmatism, where whatever "works" is what is deemed true, has become the spirit of the age. The appeal to reason, truth,natural law, religion or ethics seems passe, whether in matters of education, farming, family life, civic life, commerce, etc.. Instead what is appealed to is efficiency, convenience, entertainment and a sense of control. It is ironic that technologies which are often presented as increasing one's control, (not of ourselves of course, but of nature or other people), are most likely what one will forfeit one's control to. It is indeed a Faustian bargain.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Know Your Farmer

Continuing on the same theme of aschewing pragmatism, there's a new video out, taken undercover showing male chicks being ground alive. Apparently, male chickens aren't useful enough.
According to Mercy for Animals, male chicks are of no use to the industry because they can't lay eggs and don't grow large or quickly enough to be raised profitably for meat. That results in the killing of 200 million male chicks a year.

Now, that's pragmatism. Notice, it's not that they are of no use, it's just that they are of no use quickly enough. I guess another month or two of feed is simply out of the question.

So, what is the purpose of a chick? Is it only to meet our needs. Is there not something of intrinsic value in this life? If it's value does not supercede a human's life, and as a Christian I don't believe it does, for it is not made in the image of God, mustn't it have value beyond it's utility to us, because we are not it's creator? In Genesis, humans are given the mandate to be stewards of creation. Here's another case where we are falling short.

If this disturbs you at all, I suggest getting to know a local farmer and start buying eggs from him, or from your local coop. (No pun intended)