Thomas More, Utopian Society

The utopia society of Thomas More summarized in his novel, Utopia. Compare/contrast his fictional society and modern culture.

Utopians are religiously tolerant, and there is a penalty of exile or slavery for being too aggressive in matters of religion. They accept all beliefs except those that deny the dignity of humanity, and those believers are scorned. Utopians celebrate death and cremate those who die in peace, confident that their soul will be free and act like a guardian angel. Those who die in fear are buried and prayed for. All Utopians believe in some sort of divine being. Superstition is not taken seriously, but Utopians do believe in miracles as signs of God's presence. Some focus on performing good deeds, rather than education, to earn eternal happiness.

Priests are elected and are considered the most respected members of society, both in Utopia and abroad. They're exempt from prosecution for crimes, reasoning that God will judge them later. Their wives are highly respected as well. Priests' duties include organizing religious services, overlooking the citizens' morals, and educating the youth. Priests actively pray on the battlefield for peace during wars and intercede on behalf of the enemy as well as the allies to save those who call for mercy.

Churches where the ceremonies are performed are uniformly dark and call for reverence. Services are not denomination-specific, so believers from different faiths can worship together. On scheduled days, wives privately confess their sins to their husbands and children to their parents to remove domestic hostility. Attending church while angered is forbidden, and Utopians must clear their personal disputes before coming.

More concludes by affirming the fairness and efficiency of the Utopian system, compared to the greed and wastefulness of other societies. He realizes the importance of laborers and criticizes those who legally and illegally take advantage of the lower, working class. The root of all evil is pride, but in Utopia, these problems are eliminated with the absence of money. Finally, More reemphasizes the power of the Utopian system while expressing his own personal doubts about its success in practice.

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