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Week 6 Utopia

Page history last edited by Andrea Brownstein 15 years, 8 months ago


These are the sections in Book II:

· Geography  Done in class by Mrs. B

· Their Cities





· Work Habits:






· Social & Business Relations:






· Travel and Trade:






· Gold and Silver:






· Moral Philosophy:






· Delight in Learning:






· Slaves:



· Care for Sick & Dying






· Marriage:






· Punishments and Legal System:






Foreign Relations



· Warfare






· Religions:




Comments (9)

Leslie Epstein said

at 2:01 pm on Sep 22, 2008

These are the notes I took while reading and the questions I asked in class.

Travel and Trade, page 64-87

Identify and consider the issues or problems in the section. What problem is being solved? What are the advantages and disadvantages of More's proposals?
Need to know: content of the section and the questions it raises. Discuss More's ideas. Prepare class questions.

* Traveling is very easy and easy to get the permission to do so

-you need a PASSPORT from the Prince

* When you leave, you're granted a wagon and a slave to drive the oxen.

-if you're traveling with a woman, the wagon gets sent back for you to make your trip easier

* When you travel, you don't need to bring anything with you because anywhere you go, you're treated as if you're at home.
* If you leave your city without the proper passport, you get sent back to your city as a fugitive. If you get caught a second time, you're condemned to slavery.
* If you travel among your city, you must have the consent of both mother and father.
* If you travel to any wide-ranging part of the city and you plan to stay overnight, you cannot be idle: you must work and labor with them, conform to their rules, and make use of yourself.
* There can be no idle people. No taverns, alehouses etc. to corrupt one another.
* pg. 61, "the whole island...is one family." Basically, each town makes sure that it has enough provisions etc. and then each town rep meets with all the other reps to make sure the entire island has enough. Then, when they know the is sufficient amounts of everything, they ship goods off to other nations in need. First they give goods for free, and then sell the rest at moderate prices.

What similarities do you see between More's ideas of traveling and rules surrounding it to ours?

What do you think of the punishments More suggests?

Do More's ideas sound practical? (ie. oxen, slave)

myount@... said

at 5:15 pm on Sep 22, 2008

Why the animals are cut up outside of town?
- We discussed how in this utopia people would be very sheltered and not exposed to certain realities of life. We compared those lives to ours, and realized how much violence and blood we are exposed to.

Hanule Seo said

at 8:09 pm on Sep 22, 2008

Identify and consider the issues or problems in the section. What problem is being solved? What are the advantages and disadvantages of More's proposals?
Need to know: content of the section and the questions it raises. Discuss More's ideas. Prepare class questions.

Work Habits
-Talked about the rotation of the farm
-> The society wants to tell the people that they are connected (since the rotation switches every year people should not be bored with the work they do)
-> To adjust the culture between country and city

-The Chickens
-> even back then, they found a way to breed vast numbers of chicken in a short period of time ( Instead of the hen to sit on the egg, people applied heat)

-Horse vs Ox
-> Horses are only used for riding practices
-> Oxes are used to rake the yard (all the hard work)

-> Corn is used to make bread, only (people did not drink beer because they dont use all the ingredients they need to make beer)

-> plenty of food is being made to spare for their neighbors
-> while working if something is needed, people simply go ask an official for what is being needed. Without any payment or exchanges the official will get the person whatever he/she needs.

We concluded that Sir Thomas More is looking at the continuity for the community.

lhollo@... said

at 4:42 pm on Sep 24, 2008

•Women must wait until they are 18 to get married
•Men must wait until they are 22 to get married
•Premarital Sex: Forbidden and cannot wed if caught having premarital sex to each other or anybody unless the prince pardons it
•The mother and father of the house where premarital sex occurred in must go through public disgrace because it happened on their watch
•Both the bride and groom are shown naked to each other before marriage in order to improve of one another. For example, you would not buy a horse without stripping it of its reins and saddle and you will just use that as a horse.
•No divorce except in the case of death though sometimes for adultery or other behavior
•A husband is forbidden to leave his wife against her will in the case that she has a bodily dysfunction because a person needs the most comfort during this time instead of abandonment
•Needs senate approval to divorce by mutual consent and then be able to get remarried
oSenators and their wives investigate
•If a party cheats on another that party must endure the strictest form of slavery and both innocent parties may remarry one another or someone else.
oIf the innocent person still wants to be with their adulterous partner they must endure the strictest form of slavery with them.
•If someone is convicted of adultery twice they are punished by death

We see in Marriage the first instance in which a person is put to death for a punsihment of a crime
Questions and Observations
If the people of Utopia value pleasure as long as it doesn't bring upon harm then why is premaritial sex such a concern?
Why do the parents of the house where the premaritial sex takes place in responsibile?
It was shocking to see that the bride and groom examine one another before marrying in order to rule out the potential of them ending up hating each other
Everything seemed harsh and extreme
Government and social issues overlap

Jeb Pierce said

at 8:03 pm on Sep 24, 2008

• Slaves are not bought
• Slaves are people that have been captured by utopians in battle, committed a horrible crime like adultery, or given a life of slavery in Utopia rather than death in another country
• Slaves cannot be born into slavery
• Slaves have to earn slavery
• Different from slaves in America in the past because the utopian slaves had reasons to be slaves, not just because of their skin color
• Ethnicity is overlooked
• Slaves are always chained
• Slavery is a question of moral behavior
• An ideal society with slaves shows the time periods effect on a person’s vision of ideal society

Care for Sick and elderly
• Sick are given extraordinary treatment
• Kept in very large hospitals to not infect other people
• People that are almost certain to die are asked to die sooner rather than later because they cannot fulfill the duties of life and are a burden to themselves and others
• Those who agree to this are let go from life without pain in sleep

Scott McLaughlin said

at 1:22 pm on Sep 25, 2008

Gold and Silver

- Contrary to our society, Utopia basically places no value on gold and material riches (only value is in warfare)
- While we praise those who are clad in fancy materials, the Utopians actually use jewelry made of gold and silver as a sign of being a prisoner or slave. They are forced to wear these during their servitude (even chains are made of gold)
- Because gold and silver provide no real practical use, they are of no use to the Utopians... Instead, iron is a more valuable metal because it is utilized for practical means...
- They even train their people to have little appreciation for jewelery by giving them to very young kids to play with... Thus, they quickly grow out of this and are programmed from the start to reject jewelery as having any value --> (C.f. Walden Two's behavioral engineering (in mother child exchange when ambassadors come dressed in gaudy clothing, the child says the ambassador looks like a big baby, and the mother replies, in all seriousness, that she believes they are the Ambassador's fools)

Questions that arise from the text
- Why do we as a society value metals that clearly have little use?
- Are we wrong in placing value on things that otherwise would have little value?
- What would the Utopians think about our society?
- What role does materialism play in our society vs. Utopia's society

Our Discussion
- Mostly over materialism
- Wondering if we could ever detach ourselves from treasuring jewelry so much

Shelley said

at 10:03 am on Sep 28, 2008

There are several sorts of religions
*the greater and wiser worship one eternal, invisible, infinite, incomprehensible Deity- him they call the Father of All
Utopus- made a law that every man might be of what religion he pleased, and might endeavor to draw others to it by force of argument, and by amicable and modest ways, but without bitterness against those of other opinions- he ought to use no other force but persuasion; no violence
- They think that the souls of the beasts are immortal, though far inferior to the human race and incapable of happiness
They lament no man’s death, except they see him loth to depart with life
- They burn the body- and put up a pilar with a inscription to the honor of the deceased
They laugh at vain superstitions; but see miracles as evidence of the presence of the Divine Being
Contemplating God and his works and adoring him for them- acceptable worship
- 2 types of people: some live unmarried and chaste- the others love being married and they think they owe nature the pleasure of children
- Priests are men of eminent piety- there are a few 13 in every town
They are committed to care for things like worship of God, and an inspection into the manneres of the people.
They believe that it is not lawful to lay hands on any man, how wicked soever he is, that has been in peculiar manner dedicated to God; worse thing a preist can do is deny service
Priests accompany army in war; dressed in their robes and pray
Magnificent temples; less light because priests believe that too mich light dissipates the thoughts
- No images of God; everyone may represent Him to his thoughts, according to the way of his religion; all call god by the common name Mithras- lets everyone use it without prejudice to his own opinion

Shelley said

at 10:03 am on Sep 28, 2008

All hatred and problems are solved in a church
- In church, the 2 sexes are separated; the women to the left and the males to the right; intermingle by age
- There are no sacrafices or offering of the blood
- All people appear in the temples in white garments, but the preists vestments are parti-colored ; they are made with no rich materials
- Music both of vocals and instruments is used to express the feelings of people

- Why do we follow different religions? What purpose do they lead?
- Are we wasting time focusing on other things in life other than religion?
- What role does religion play in our society? Is it as emphasized as it is Utopian society?

Rick said

at 8:55 pm on Sep 28, 2008

Punishments and the Legal System

-The most common crimes are punished by slavery. Stealing, murder, etc.
-only a few crimes are punishable by death: adultery (second offense), slaves who act up
-people conqured by Utopia through military force are put into slavery
-slaves with a very long and clean record of slavery may be offered the chance to be freed back into society.
-children of slaves are not born as slaves, everyone gets a fresh start regardless of who their parents are

Legal System
-houses are devided in thirty groups who choose a phylarch, the phylarchs elect the Senior Phylarchs, who attend committee meetings and decide on the laws
-the prince has the final say
-the laws of Utopia are short and simple, so that every man is an effective lawyer and can present their wn case when brought up in court. thus, lawyers do not exist in Utopia.
-all the simple laws are often open to interpretation by the judges, who are selected by the prince.
-utopian judges are immune to bribery as money doesn't exist

-campaigning for public office is strongly discouraged as it brings corruption.

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