View Full Version : Machiavelli
10-15-2007, 05:25 PM
Was machiavelli evil? I read his book, the prince, and enjoyed it's realism about the human persona, hence my name (the prince), but I feel at times his book is misinterpreted for evil (hence hitler and stalin; ends justify the means and its better to be feared then loved etc). But would you say these comparisons are fair? interested to hear from ya!!
10-15-2007, 06:54 PM
but to be honest i found his view on man and his being was correct in terms of manipulation and general wants (power and women) basically.
10-16-2007, 05:21 PM
I haven't read the book yet, but I think labelling what's written therein as "evil" is an injustice to the dude personally.
He can't help what people take his writings and use them for you know?
10-16-2007, 06:07 PM
he was an extreme realist. probably what george bush would be if he could.
its a fine line. you can look at history's rulers and it has its fair share of harsh dicatator types. but i think those rulers can only stay in power for so long. a government that rules by the fist will eventually fall. people in any context hate being treated like shit. eventually a revolution will take place, people get to the point they would rather fight and die for a better life than just living a shitty life.
10-17-2007, 04:20 PM
very realist, i liked reading it. Its a shame hes so often misrepresented by the mainstream (but that happens with everything)
When we studied this in class, my teacher said that theres a school of thought that machiavelli only wrote the prince to appease the medici who had just retaken control of florence and he may not have really believed borgia was doing things the right way. Either way, its an interesting read.
it's not evil it's not good it's real
10-18-2007, 02:01 PM
that was the point of the question? i was sayin people misinterpreted it as being evil, i wasn't saying it was evil myself....did u only read the first line of the Q or summit?
10-18-2007, 02:11 PM
and plus, "good" and "evil" are more concepts of morality than they are of politics...
10-18-2007, 03:55 PM
evil is definitely a concept for morality. politics utilize morality, but politics are not morality. morality is not politics, morality is philosophy.
the reason hitler is evil is because he caused great detriment to a massive amount of people, this accepts the following premisses:
A) detriment exists in the form of loss
B) all people are equal
these people mainly lost lives and a good sense of being. many people are accustomed to the belief that if someone wishes to take away a life or a good sense of being then they are wishing to cause detriment. most human beings find detriment falling into the negative side of ethics. negativity is a bad thing. bad things are not good. people generally wish to exist in good, as opposed to evil. evil is the opposite of whatever is considered good.
hitler is considered evil because what most people consider to be good actions were not conducted by him very regularly, as most of his actions were in opposition to a widely accepted concept of good.
the means do not always justify the ends (in some minds)
the matter of ethics is definitely a subjective matter, so we cannot truly attribute evil with existence. we can only attach its name to actions.
10-18-2007, 09:52 PM
morality is neither politics nor philosophy... it's its own distinct concept. but morality is often used as a political tool, as in my bush example.
and there's only one reason why hitler is considered evil and that's because he lost. if the nazi's had prevailed, hitler would not be "in opposition to a widely accepted concept of good," and thus we would think he was no more "evil" than people today think bush is evil (a minority of the population).
i think the "minority" would consist of the rebellious, i don't think because a dictator is in charge everyone thinks he's good. they just might not want to start any trouble.
a lot of iraqi people were happy saddam hussein was taken away.
and i would contest that "morality" is it's own thing apart from politics or philosophy. university courses address morality only as a part of philosophy, university textbooks only address morality in philosophy textbooks. if morality is to be defined, it can only be done so in a philosophical manner. if you deny this, despite your opinion your discussion of morality will be philosophical.
10-19-2007, 09:49 AM
doesnt matter that we have strayed from the initial convo......lol! if there is such thing as 'evil' then it will be with the person from birth, thus according to machiavelli 'men are born wicked', again its linking morality and (rennaisence but still relevent) politics, they are not seperate issues because politics often plays on every aspect of morality.
10-19-2007, 01:22 PM
after a bit of research yeah, political issues and moral issues are very similar.
that "all men are born evil" looks nothing like a political statement to me though. i'd say it's a purely ethical statement because you can say it without referencing a government/authority and still be correct to use it.
10-20-2007, 03:58 PM
no doubt about it, politics is basically orcheastrated on people's morality. i agree that people aren't nessesarily born wicked but every1 is definately born with the cpacity to develop that nature, same goes with love.
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