Eliminating Evil in Thomas More's Utopia Essay

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Eliminating Evil in Thomas More's Utopia

Thomas More's Utopia is in many ways a very hopeful book; it implies that humans can be good if put in the right environment. Many people would argue that this could never happen; that the inequalities and injustices in our world are a product of human nature. Thomas More however would argue that rather than being a product of human nature, they are a product of the corruption within society. Thomas More believed that although humans may be inherently evil, if put in the right environment this tendency can be corrected. He develops the idea of the right environment; it is Utopia, a place where people are honest and equal because of the way that society is structured.

Utopia is as close to
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To do anything but what is right would not seem natural to them.

The major method Utopian society uses to coerce people into acting morally is by eliminating the private sphere. The first way is by making people owner of nothing and in this way everyone is effectively made equal. No one owns land, their houses are not even privately owned since they must give those up after ten years, and their belongings are reduced to bare essentials. Doing away with private property gets rid of envy, pride and greed, three of the seven deadly sins. The second way in which the private is taken away is through a specific manner of communal eating. Everyone eats and throws the scraps to their children who sit behind them under the watchful eyes of the rest of the group. Greed and gluttony, another of the seven deadly sins, are therefore eliminated because if they do not share their food, not only will their children starve, but also everyone will know about it.

Thomas More's motives behind promoting communal living and communal property are fundamentally religious. He is seeking to bring an end to exploitation because it in the end makes life unbearable for those at the bottom of society and causes those at the top to act immorally. Communal property is the way of life that was promoted by Jesus and from it comes a more virtuous way of being. The end of the private sphere leads to the decline of greed, pride, poverty, and the

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