Utopia And Leviathan

2186 Words Oct 24th, 2001 9 Pages
Thomas More'sUtopia and Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan each offer alternatives to the worlds in which they lived.. More's society, viewed through the character Hythloday, is seemingly based on man's nature in society being generally good, and the faults of man emanate from how society itself is set up. Hobbes takes the opposite view of human nature, where man's will to survive makes him unable to act out of goodness and it is man who is responsible for society's ills.

Both Leviathan and Utopia contain faults in logic that work to undermine the very possibility for these new social structures. In the following I will show how each of their views for a new society give insight into what their beliefs of human nature are, while showing some
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Close inspection of these rules give insight into how More may have really viewed human nature. In the following excerpts we find evidence that More may have found man untrustworthy and in need of social control, or at the very least spiritual control.

"The vast majority of Utopians "¦ believe in a single power, unknown, eternal, infinite, inexplicable, far beyond the grasp of the human mind, and diffused throughout the universe, not physically but in influence. Him they call father, and to him alone they attribute the origin, increase, progress, change, and end of all visible things; they do not offer divine honors to any other. "¦ (Utopus) left the whole matter (choosing a religion) open, allowing each person to choose what he would believe. The only exception was a positive and strict law against anyone who would sink so far below the dignity of human nature as to think that the soul perishes with the body, or that the universe is ruled by blind chance, not divine providence. "¦ Therefore a man who holds such views is offered no honors, entrusted with no offices, and given no public responsibility, he is universally regarded as a low and sordid fellow"� (pp.516-518 This excerpt shows the ambivalence that More has about human nature. He sees man as essentially good but whenever an individual has ideas of their own they are regarded as inferior. This creates another
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