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Utopia By Sir Thomas More This Is Sort Of A Comparison Essay On More And Machiavelli But It Is Moer About More And His Book, Utopia.

1061 words - 4 pages

Would you like to see a society in which police would be unnecessary, politicians would be honest, and money would cease to exist? Or would you like to see a society in which political conduct operates independent of ethics, thus disregarding moral authorities such as classical philosophy and Christian technology? In retrospect the choice then comes down to Sir Thomas More or Niccolò Machiavelli. During a time where classical Greek and Roman ideals were being resurrected, writers were composing works of literature about valued earthly life, nature, and individual achievement. More writes a novel based on those principles entitled, Utopia. He wants to see a society where the inhabitants live according to God and nature. He wants to get rid of the idea of greed which is portrayed by the princes, kings and leaders. Machiavelli thinks on the opposite side of the spectrum as More. He suggests that princes, kings and leaders are justified in doing anything to keep their powers, therefore preserving the state because the leader is the state. "L'e tast c'est moi." From this, the ideas of Utopianism and Machiavellianism emerge and contradict one another. Two of these contradictions are religion and marriage."He therefore left men wholly to their liberty, that they might be free to believe as they should see cause; only he made a solemn and severe law against such as should so far degenerate from the dignity of human nature as to think that our souls died with our bodies, or that the world was governed by chance, without a wise overruling." (pg 147) People who lived in Utopia were free to choose the religion that they wished to practice. The only stipulation was that everyone had to believe in something. Religion was very important to the Utopians because they believed it would keep people from being corrupt. "For who can doubt that someone who has nothing to fear but the authorities, and who has no hope of surviving after death, will not hesitate to break the communal laws of their own country for the sake of some private advantage, as long as they think they can avoid detection or can resist arrest." (pg 147-148) The Utopians believed that religion was a necessity because then everyone would have a soul and they would be in trepidation of damnation. Therefore, with religion being an obligation the people would be joyful and virtuous.In Europe, religion was not quite so open to individuals. There was no religious freedom in Europe during the time; everyone was Catholic. There was no choice in religion, as soon as one is born they become Catholic. The church and state were as one in Europe. This unification did not create a peaceful society. Many people resented their leaders. Machiavelli said that rulers did not need to be good; they just had to appear to be good. Citizens were not satisfied with the way the state was run, thus the state church was also considered corrupt. This is evident in the fact that there was the protestant reformation....

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