In "Utopia" a traveller, Raphael Hythlodeaus describes the political arrangements of the imaginary island country of Utopia. "Utopia" contrasts the contentious social life of European states with the perfectly orderly, reasonable social arrangements of Utopia and its environs.
In Utopia, with communal ownership of land, private property does not exist, men and women are educated alike, and there is almost complete religious toleration. Some take the novel's principal message to be the social need for order and discipline rather than liberty. The country of Utopia tolerates different religious practices but does not tolerate atheists. Hythlodeaus theorises that if a man did not believe in a god or in an afterlife he could never be trusted, because he would not acknowledge any authority or principle outside himself.