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Wednesday, September 1, 2010 it possible?

Many people believe that Thomas More's "Utopian" society would be one in which there are no problems at all. A place where there are no worries, and everything is perfectly wonderful. A place where there are no giant oil spills, but where the environment and technology are perfectly aligned. A place where everyone has a perfect life made for them, as if you were given a perfect life in "The Sims". A sort of "heaven" if you will. But is this ever really possible? And would we want it to be?

Problems and challenges are a way of learning. Even in More's society, he stated that they were "thus filled with a love of learning." Questioning the world around us, and solving problems, is what helps us to grow. It gives us purpose. It gives us a reason to live. Progression. It is the goal of every human being. It is the reason the Renaissance happened. It is the reason that the ideas of planetary motion changed multiple times. Trying to understand how the universe works and gaining a knowledge of truth is something that we, as humans, will constantly have a drive to do. Leonardo da Vinci even spoke of true learning, and how it comes through experience in "The Painter".

If there are no challenges and problems, how could we progress? Many views of heaven look at it as a place where there are no troubles or complications, and everything is just perfect. But that is not my view of heaven. Even God has had worries, problems, and concerns. In my view, heaven is a place that I can learn and grow, and be with my family (especially my wonderful wife) forever. I want a place where progression does not end; a view which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has of "Heaven".


  1. Well, besides the city of Enoch, no-it probably isn't possible in the traditional sense. However, when reading Utopia you realize that it isn't that the community doesn't have challenges-they didn't have many texts and couldn't speak Greek in the beginning. Rather More calls it a utopia because of the way they handle those challenges they face, I think at least. Similarly today, it is not our circumstances, but how we handle them that both refines and defines us. Good post Kevin!

  2. I was given an assignment my freshman year of high school to create a Utopian society, and even though I'm pretty sure I got an A on that project, I felt like it was an epic fail. Why? Because I felt that I was far too limited in my understanding; I, as an imperfect person, lacked the ability to orchestrate all circumstances to create a perfect society. But I have come to realize that a more realistic Utopia, rather than trying to control our circumstances, is responding to challenges in accordance with principles such as determination, courage, integrity, and industry. In acting for ourselves and refusing to be acted upon we become more complete, fully developed, perfect people.

  3. Thanks so much for your thoughts! I completely agree that a realistic Utopia is one where we can grow, develop, and progress, but we still have challenges. It is how we meet those challenges that creates the Utopian society.

  4. I love this post. It is interesting to think about a perfect society, or a Utopia. What is most interesting is the fact that on a regular basis we tend to wish our lives were perfect or in perfect harmony with one another's. This is a good reminder of how our imperfect lives help to eventually mold us into perfect beings.