Machiavelli vs. Luther

965 Words4 Pages
Machiavelli vs. Luther Machiavelli and Luther have been well respected by historians from all walks of life for centuries now. They were both very outspoken in times when one's life might be the penalty for thoughts such as they expressed. However, neither seemed to be deterred by such penalties. This paper will discuss their religious views in relation to politics and western political thinking. Similarities and differences alike will be compared as well as contrasted. Niccolo Machiavelli was born in present day Italy in the city of Florence in 1469. This is important because of the political and social atmosphere on the Italian peninsula at the time. Florence was part of the Florentine Republic, which had power throughout a good deal of the Tucson region. The prospect for unity at the time was non- existent and Machiavelli was greatly disturbed by that. Machiavelli seemed to give a certain amount of respect to the religious rulers of the time and throughout history. He made a great number of comments about the way in which these rulers manipulated the people through religion. It's as if he was laughing at the people for being so ignorant as not to realize the way they'd been manipulated. Furthermore, it is as if he was congratulating the rulers for being smart enough to con the people with the fear of a higher being. "Numa, finding the people ferocious and desiring to reduce them to civic obedience by means of the arts of peace, turned to religion as the instrument necessary above all others for the maintenance of a civilized state, and so constituted it that there was never for so many centuries so great a fear of God as there was in this republic". (Mac. p 139) For lack of a better word, Machiavelli is basically calling Numa's intentions a 'crock'. Religion claims to be good in nature. However, in this situation it was used for population control. "…its citizens were more afraid of breaking an oath than breaking the law, since they held in higher esteem the power of God than the power of man". (Mac. p 139) This is a great quote because it illustrates Machiavelli's view on religion perfectly; he believed that it was a tool to control the masses from the beginning of religion. Why should anyone listen to an ordinary man?

More about Machiavelli vs. Luther

Open Document