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am 18. Mai 2011
"Utopia" The book by Sir Thomas More was written about five hundred years ago and criticises the societies of this time. But it is still a nice to read today, and let you think about the ideal world.

Probably everyone knows the meaning of Utopia. It is the ideal place of how a society should be. Sir Thomas More was the first one, who came up with this word, that has its roots in the Greek language and means "nowhere." The book was published in Latin in 1516 under the editorship of Erasmus in Belgium.
In the first part of the book, Sir Thomas More discusses with friends and the traveler Raphael Hythloday - which means `knowing in trifles' about the illness of European societies. Especially that the kings start wars so easily, they only care for themselves and waste money. They also talk about the harsh use of the death sentence, starvation and poverty of the common people. "...every man might be put in a method how to live, and so preserved from fatal necessity of stealing and of dying for it...but that you first make thieves and then punish them?"
It is clear that More especially criticises the English policy. That is why his book was not printed in England at this time. It is sometimes hard to follow the speaking in the first part of the book, as it is often not clear, who is speaking. But the first part of the known societies leads straight to the second part in the book. There Raphael talks about his journey with Amerigo Vespucci and his discovery of the unknown island Utopia somewhere in the new world. The exact position of Utopia is unknown. The name Utopia derives from the founder King Utopus.
Sir Thomas More' s work of the ideal society is inspired by the philosopher Plato. And as More was an orthodox catholic, the Utopians only believe in one supreme god, that is called Mithras, like the deity in Romanian mythology. But the Utopians are very tolerant with other religions, as they are tolerant in almost every aspect of the community. It is a socialist community with welfare and can be seen as the first communistic life style. All people are equal, and they especially care for the elder people. There is no idleness, they just do simple work, but they think that the highest goal of every man and woman should be knowledge. "...as much time as is necessary for the improvement of their minds..." This is also a great goal in our times. The Utopians never start wars easily or condemn other opinions. "...no force but that of persuasion..."
The book "Utopia" was written some five hundred years ago, and though it criticises the societies of this times, it is still a nice lecture to let you think about the world woes today and you can make your own ideas of the perfect world. How would it be?
"...there are many things in the Commonwealth of Utopia that I rather wish, than hope, to see followed in our goverments."
Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) was a lawyer, scholar, writer and statesman under the reign of Henry VIII. He was an orthodox catholic and opposed Henry VIII' s separation from the catholic church in 1534, and the forming of the Anglican Church. After More refused to accept the king as the supreme head of the church of England, he was beheaded.
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am 31. Juli 2000
I've only read 5 chapters in this book and I am not impressed. St. Thomas More is one of the greatest men in history. Not only is he one of the most intelligent men who ever lived but was willing to pay the ultimate price (death) for the truth. However, most people (including myself) are of average intelligence and Mr. Ackroyd does not seem to have written this book with us in mind. Mr. Ackroyd's use of the English language is polished but too intelligent for the average person to understand. He should have written at a more mainstream level. In addition, he insists on using 15th century Olde Englishe grammar and spelling when quoting sayings or writings of people who knew Thomas More. While this may make things more authentic and gives a flavor for the period, most of the time I do not understand what is being said or explained! And to think I have to read another 300-350 more pages. I hope I will still get a better understanding of St. Thomas More as a man, father, and a Saint.
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am 1. September 1999
Sir Thomas More tried to integrate his catholic narrowmindedness with a remarkably peculiar sense of humour to present an ideal world. Great ideas which have not lost their relevance in four centuries stand next to pervert dreams of a Orwell-like totarialism. The fact that apparantly nobody knows any longer how to read the book makes the interpretation a battlefield for romantic dreamer's and senile scholars. When the character More and the visitor of Utopia, Raphael Hythloedes get cracking with their philosophic scrutiny of an ideal state, the reader inevitably joins them and completes the discussion with his own views. A thoughtprovoking book, which has not lost its relevance.
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am 8. Juni 1999
That's right. This book was written as a rebuttal against those who actually DO believe that a "perfect" society can exsist. As you read further into the text, you'll realize that Moore's seemingly practical, nearly attainable ideals become increasingly distorted and far-fetched. Not unlike large chunks of our own worldview, no?
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am 4. August 1999
This book is interesting because it's so annoying -- the way More puts so much of his own opinions and ideals into this fictional society -- it's like he's designing the sort of society he himself would like to live in -- but my own society suddenly became like utopia I would be miserable and it wouldn't be long before they'd be dumping my body unceremoniously into a pond.
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