Is Sir Thomas More describing a better society in Utopia? Does new technology help us create such a society, or prevent us from creating such a society today?

Sir Thomas More describes a very different society in Utopia, but it is not one which most readers have found attractive. Given that the differences between Utopia and real societies are primarily moral rather than systemic, technology would make little difference.

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In Utopia, Sir Thomas More describes a very different type of society from the one in which he lived, and the title of his book now provides the most popular term for an ideal society. However, the most straightforward translation of the Greek word "utopia" is "no place" rather...

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In Utopia, Sir Thomas More describes a very different type of society from the one in which he lived, and the title of his book now provides the most popular term for an ideal society. However, the most straightforward translation of the Greek word "utopia" is "no place" rather than "a good place," and readers have often found More's description of Utopia more unlikely than attractive. There are certain innovations which are clearly ahead of their time, such as free medical treatment, but there are also harsh and illiberal laws, some of which involve slavery as a punishment. The society in Utopia has often been described as resembling that in a monastery or convent, and though some people prefer such communal societies, they are a minority taste.

Technology would not be likely to have any significant effect on the society More describes, since the important differences between Utopia and other countries are moral rather than systemic. For instance, Hythlodaeus describes the common storehouses from which the Utopians take only as many material goods as they need. When Morus says that people afforded this opportunity are bound to take more than they really require, Hythlodaeus simply replies that Utopians are not so greedy, since they are bred and educated to despise material possessions. This issue of character is not a matter which would be affected by technology.

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