This is the second of 3 podcasts about The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. In the last podcast we covered the trend in education towards basing ethical values on reason and feeling, and the denial that external events have any real value aside from the feelings they cause in the observer.
In this podcast we cover the existence and applicability of an external universal moral law, as discussed in the second chapter in the Abolition of Man. Lewis names this moral code the Tao, using a concept from Chinese philosophy, partly because he wishes to emphasize that this moral code is recognized by most people in most cultures and ages. This idea that there is one rule of behavior for everyone is difficult for us to accept, having been educated to almost worship diversity as the highest good.
Jack sets himself two tasks in this chapter. First, to show that the Tao exists and is universal, and second, to show that you cannot develop any basis for ethics unless you accept the Tao. (He succeeds in accomplishing both tasks rather well). Jack does not identify the Tao only with Christian beliefs – he emphasizes the universal code that underlies all religions.