Ideas of Thomas More, by Theme

[English, 1478 - 1535, Born in London. Chancellor of England. Executed in London by Henry VIII.]

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24. Applied Ethics / C. Death Issues / 5. Euthanasia
In Utopia, legal euthanasia is considered honourable
     Full Idea: In Utopia, officially sanctioned euthanasia is regarded as an honourable death.
     From: Thomas More (Utopia [1516], Bk 2)
     A reaction: A bit surprising coming from a writer who is now a Catholic martyr and saint.
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 4. Conservatism
All modern social systems seem to be conspiracies of the rich
     Full Idea: When I consider any social system that prevails in the modern world, I can't see it as anything but a conspiracy of the rich to advance their own interests under the pretext of organizing society.
     From: Thomas More (Utopia [1516], Bk 2)
     A reaction: I'm afraid this is my own view of most conservative politics. I don't deny that there is a good case to be made for the conservative view (by Burke and Scruton, for example), but the rich will always latch onto its coat-tails. Cf. Idea 122.
25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / d. Representative democracy
If you try to get elected, you should be permanently barred from seeking office
     Full Idea: In Utopia, anyone who deliberately tries to get himself elected to a public office is permanently disqualified from holding one.
     From: Thomas More (Utopia [1516], Bk 2)
     A reaction: This echoes a thought found in Plato (Idea 2149). I've always liked this idea. Why can't we have elections were a group of the best people are invited to stand? Well, yes, it would lead to corruption... Still, the best should be pushed to the front.
25. Society / E. State Functions / 5. War
Only Utopians fail to see glory in warfare
     Full Idea: Utopians are practically the only people on earth who fail to see anything glorious in war.
     From: Thomas More (Utopia [1516], Bk 2)
     A reaction: A refreshing thought for such an early date. Whatever dubious behaviour is nowadays attributed to Thomas More, you have to admire someone who writes this during the reign of Henry VIII.
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 2. Pantheism
In Utopia, the Supreme Being is identical with Nature
     Full Idea: Everyone in Utopia agrees that the Supreme Being (which they call Mythras) is identical with Nature.
     From: Thomas More (Utopia [1516], Bk 2)
     A reaction: This sounds remarkably like full-blown Spinozean pantheism, though it should be interpreted with caution. It certainly seems to show that pantheism was a possibility in the minds of late medieval religious thinkers.