Analyze The Critique Of The Catholic Church Presented By Machiavelli In "The Prince" And Show How Machiavelli Reveals The True Nature Of The Church And Devises Ways To Counter Them.

2033 words - 8 pages

Machiavelli has long been "an object of hatred to moralists of all persuasions, conservatives and revolutionaries alike" for his "cunning, duplicity, and the exercise of bad faith in political affairs" . Yet, he remains one of the most important Philosophers of all time for his views on leadership and political power. Inadvertently, there lies something of value within his texts that is inherently constructive as opposed to his morally degraded thoughts. Within his book "The Prince", lie numerous complex issues which Machiavelli tries to address. One of these issues is his politically dangerous criticism of the Church and its fundamentals. However, this issue isn't explicitly laid out for his fear of persecution by the Church. With references to Chapter 10, Chapter 20 and the chapters around them, I shall attempt to put on Machiavelli's shoes and give reason to his actions.To get a fuller picture we must first consider whether Machiavelli was worthy of making such comments. He was born in Florence in 1469 and was first involved in administrative affairs in 1498 at the age of 29. Like his fellow Florentines, he was influenced in the concept of studia humanitatis , which encompassed the mastery of Latin, the practice of rhetoric, the imitation of the finest classical stylists and a deep knowledge of moral philosophy and ancient history. These disciplines, as Cicero stressed, "nurture the values we principally need to acquire in order to serve out country well: a willingness to subordinate our private interests to the public good; a desire to fight against corruption and tyranny; and an ambition to reach out for the noblest goals of all, those of honor and glory for our country as well as for ourselves." There is an apparent problem with the last value and Machiavelli exploits this to his advantage later on. By reaching out for honor and glory for ourselves, we would inadvertently become self-interested and would contradict the previous value of subordinating out private interests to the public good. With Machiavelli's comprehensive education in the studia humanitatis , it lay him in good stead for his appointment in the administration. Through his numerous diplomatic missions to France and Rome, he learned the intricacies of statecraft and fortune through the observances of Louis XII, Cesare Borgia, Julius II and Maximilian first hand. This would deem him qualified as an appropriate critic of the political situation during the early 16th Century.Machiavelli was not so much against the church as a Spiritual entity but rather, it failed as a temporal entity. Perhaps a good sentence to describe Machiavelli would be that he was "ruthlessly functional and practical". He wanted someone to be like Moses, Cyrus, Romulus and Theseus and reunite Italy. That person however, did not just have to rely on fortune alone, but rather, employ his prowess and use the opportunity in order to be successful. That was why he specifically addressed "The Prince" to Lorenzo...

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