Thomas More

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Thomas More Thomas More should not be on the pedestal that people tend to put him. His stance against the divorce that King Henry VIII wanted does not make him righteous or even close to it. More felt that divorce would go against the principles of the Bible, yet his work, Utopia, also goes against the teachings of the Bible. Just as Henry wanted to create his own church to satisfy his own needs, More's Utopia is a society created to fit his needs. To begin, we must look at the utterly blasphemous comment that More makes relating his Utopian society to Christ. "And I have no doubt that either self-interest, or the authority of our Saviour Christ …would have led the whole world to adopt the Utopian system long ago" (More 131). With this comment, More is saying that he knows what is best over Christ, his God. He is in the same boat with King Henry, who created his own church feeling that he knew better than God that divorce was correct. The only way More could prove his bold claim is to align his society with the teachings of the Bible. The only problem is that he fails to do this. More's first attempt to making his claim correct was close to the teachings of the Bible. When writing through the character Raphael, he claims that the Utopians view that, "happiness is the summum bonum towards which we're naturally impelled by virtue- which in their definition means following one's natural impulses, as God meant us to do" (More 91). This is true when you consider the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were given all of the needs and desires of their hearts, before they turned their backs on God and ate from the tree of knowledge. This introduced sin into the world, which made man's natural impulse to follow his own way and sin against God. The footnote given in the text says that the quote is an Epicurean view. Epicureans were pleasure seekers who were fully devoted to sensual pleasure. Christ would not have accepted this behavior. The Bible states in Col 2:23: "Such [basic principles of the world] indeed have an appearance of wisdom… but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence." It teaches that the senses, which are naturally in all humans, should be controlled.

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