To Be Loved or To Be Feared

In College, I came across a book I had to buy. It is called Constructing a Life Philosophy by Opposing Viewpoints. It is divided in sections and those sections are: “The Importance of Choosing a Life Philosophy”, “What Reveals Life’s Ultimate Meaning?” ,”How do Religions Give Life Meaning? ”, What Motivates Moral Behavior? And “What Principles Should Guide Our Lives?”

My favorite section is “What Principal Should Guide Our Lives?”. In this section there are articles for instance from Thomas Jefferson and his “Develop an Honest Heart” or Nicolo Machiavelli’s “Develop a Devious Mind” and a few more. What caught my eye the most was Machiavelli’s “Develop a Devious Mind” because I have heard of his work The Prince from which this perspective is excerpted from.

In Constructing a Life Philosophy, to summarize what The Prince conveys, it says that “A powerful leader should seem good and honorable if it serves his purposes; he should also appear cruel and be willing to commit evil acts when the need arises”(203). The book also has some questions to reflect : do you think it is more important to be feared or loved as a leader? While the book says one should attempt at both, it is “safer” to be feared.Why ? “For love is held by a chain of obligation which ,men being selfish,is broken whenever it serves their purpose; but fear is maintained by a dread of punishment which never fails”(204).

Highly recommend this book for philosophical discussions as the book does not have its own point of view, but shares many types of points of view.



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