Comparison of Boethius and Thoreau

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Mike Whiteside
PHI 105
2/23/13
Professor Chackal

One Goal, Two Different Approaches

Boethius: a man of of the Great Loving God, a positive friend, a benevolent senator, and a realistic soul. Thoreau: a man of minimalism, a rebel against corrupt establishments, a guru of nature, a non-violent protester, and a simple thinker. Both these men are common in goal but the way they went about that goal was different. They both sought to bring peace to others through philosophy, the study of realistic living. Both felt the vengeful wrath of powerfully corrupt and were punished for it. Both never gave into the demands of their governments despite the tortures that would’ve broken most people. It was philosophy that won their battles and shaped countless minds throughout man’s history.

Lets begin with Thoreau, his way of life had the same theme as Boethius’s. However Thoreau was more of a naturalist then a spiritualist like Boethius. Simplicity was his goal in every aspect of life. His enlightenment at Walden shows how happy one is when they don’t strive for everything that they can get their hands on. He believed that the general society was corrupt due to government laws and the code of democracy. Capitalism in a blunt sense means that any citizen can hoard as much possessions or power as one chooses. Not to mention it was okay for people in the Southern half of the country to own humans and treat them as they desire even against the slave’s will. That and the imperialistic Mexican War just set Thoreau off. He refused to pay taxes one day and that put him in a government cell, even though he was bailed out a day later. What’s remarkable is that Thoreau didn’t even put up any aggression against his charges like most people would. Examples like that show that Thoreau was a benevolent soul that sought to bring about change through peaceful means. He recognizes the use of negativity against negative actions, which only produces… well more negativity. When it came...
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