Over 60 years ago C.S. Lewis wrote a book about the importance of values in education. In The Abolition of Man Lewis began by exploring the importance of values in education, but by the end Lewis addressed how the relentless pursuit of the conquest of nature divorced from traditional values could result in the conquest of mankind by nature and the destruction of what it means to be human. However, what he imagined might happen by the hundredth century A.D. is beginning to be possible in the twenty-first. Preliminary successes in gene therapy suggest that germ line gene therapy capable of changing the future of the human genome may be possible in the near future. Gene therapy can be directed at the correction of errors that cause genetic disease, but also holds the potential for enhancing human abilities. Germ line gene therapy for the purpose of human enhancement opens up ethical concerns about the alteration of human nature. An analysis of the process described by Lewis can help us understand the destructive potential that exists in the pursuit of human enhancement and the alteration of human nature.
Phillips, Stephen A.
"Human Enhancement and The Abolition of Man,"
Inklings Forever: Published Colloquium Proceedings 1997-2016: Vol. 7, Article 16.
Available at: https://pillars.taylor.edu/inklings_forever/vol7/iss1/16