Machiavelli Part 2
a revolutionary in many ways and a reformer of the moral vocabulary
about virtue and vice, good and evil.
Machiavelli seeks to replace, to transpose an older vocabulary associated
both with Plato and certainly, biblical sources Platonic or Christian
is related with manliness, force, power.
He tells us, in chapter 25 of
the ethic of the prince must be
one of audacity:
is a woman and the prince must know how to conquer the
policies of force, brutality, audacity:
the language of Machiavelli.
Virtue is associated with the quest for worldly glory, with ambition, with
the desire to achieve success
in the political and philosophical literature about this is called the
problem of "dirty hands."
if you want to join the political game, you must be prepared to get your
Religion and the reason of state
If European morality is to be transformed, somehow, the source of
morality must be addressed. That source is religion and its moral
chapter 18, Machiavelli advises the prince always to cultivate the
appearance of religion. The prince, he writes, should appear all mercy,
all faith, all honesty, all humanity and all religion, he writes, adding
nothing is more necessary to appear to have this last quality.
Christianity is good, but the practice of it is harmful for the prince.
Instead of Socrates’ insistence in answer to Thrasymachus, that it is
better to be than to appear good, It is much better to have the appearance
than the reality of religion.
Dr. Chris West
March 4, 2009