aristotle on the phony religiocity of tyrants

Published November 24th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson


A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider God-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, wrongly believing that he has the Gods on his side.

–Aristotle, Politica bk v (ca. 340 BCE)

86 Responses to “aristotle on the phony religiocity of tyrants”

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  1. Jean Bart says:

    Gold? Our Aristotle should have won that…

  2. Jean Bart says:

    Well, no wonder people like the classic Aristotle are… classics. Not sure they’ve always been appreciated though. Any classical scholars amongst the Pastafarians?

  3. Reasonable Avatar says:

    I remember Niccolo Machiavelli saying something similar in The Prince. If I recall correctly, he wrote that leaders should act religious but not be religious, just to be liked by their subjects.
    Sounds like he and Aristotle were thinking along the same lines.
    -Avatar of Reason

  4. Jean Bart says:

    @Reasonable Avatar Nov 24th, 2007 at 3:18 am: “Sounds like he and Aristotle were thinking along the same lines.”
    Sounds even more like copying the ideas coming from a highly reputed brain…

  5. Darwinfish says:

    Ramen, Aristotle. Somehow these tactics remind me of George Bush.

  6. Ayumi-chan says:

    So true, Aristotle. So true.

  7. Wench Sophie says:

    Darwinfish, you stole my thoughts! Thought-thief. But, yeah. BUSH!

    RAmen to all!

  8. L says:

    Right from this moment, I believe in God.

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