Thomas More's Utopian Society

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In Thomas More’s work, Utopia, negative implications of private property are presented, as it brings out humanities natural disposition to act upon greed to influence their actions on society. This influence will ultimately bring about the destruction of humanity, as seen in the way in which British society deals with thievery, as well as the manipulation of rule and religion to maintain property as well. This view of human nature, established in the first section of the text, however, seems incompatible with a Utopian society, later established in the second section of the text, where private property no longer exists. With such a contradiction presented, it can be assumed that such a society is improbable and unachievable. The way in which…show more content…
Laws and religion become corrupt in order to meet the needs and desires of those in power, rather than enforcing morality itself. Religion and law, two governing powers meant to create a better man and society, are often manipulated to agree with a single or a small group of people’s personal ambitions. Those that own large amounts of private property are often corrupt, and those in charge of lawmaking will often manipulate laws in order to meet their own individual needs regardless of how it will affect the rest of society. Hythloday describes how religious figures such as preachers manipulate the word of God to favor humanity’s desires, “every situation men will decide for themselves how far it suits to observe the laws of God.” (More 22) The death penalty for those that steal, for example, reflects how religion is manipulated to justify actions to protect private property as More states, “God’s commandment against killing does not apply where human law allows it.” (More 21) So long as humanity’s actions are permissible in their religion, then any means will be allowed no matter how immoral it may be in order to gain private…show more content…
However, with such arguments presented in the beginning of the text, More also presents a society that no longer applies to such a description of human nature. In this idealistic utopia, humanity abandons their nature of greed, when not associated with private property, in order to create a harmonious society. However, through More’s writing, it is questionable whether humanity is truly capable for such a transition. Though the stagnant state of human nature has been discussed, one cannot help but imagine- what if human nature has the ability to change? If human nature were malleable, then this would give way for societies to become a utopia. But is such a change truly probable for humanity or is it only an idealistic notion that cannot be achieved? British society had been driven by greed in order to attain more private property, despite the effects it had on the rest of the people. Thievery was created in order to satisfy the hunger for property, and government rule had even become susceptible to the influence of greed as well. This human nature cannot be easily eradicated to create a utopian society, nor can such a nature even be

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