Benjamin Franklin came up with the idea to make his life better by trying to be perfect in every way. This can otherwise be known as trying to reach a state of moral perfection, in which one could find themselves being happy with the life they live, and also living a pure, sinless life. It has come to be questioned if attempting to achieve moral perfection is a worthwhile goal. In the end of his experiment he ended up not being able to reach or achieve his goal but learned a very crucial, very valuable lesson. He discovered throughout the recesses of his journey that achieving his goal would be found to be impossible, but in turn he learned that many of the virtues are good to try and maintain during everyday activities and through life
Benjamin Franklin is revered by Americans as one of its most revered and adored founding fathers. For foreigners, Benjamin Franklin became the very icon of America, not only because he was accomplished, but because he was a new man, a man that could only have been made in America. Franklin came to be seen as the embodiment of American values.
He affirmed that people could be ethical without having a religion or believing in God. Franklin’s philosophies general followed the principles of what became known as “The Age of Enlightenment. He based his philosophy on the belief that man had the ability to think for themselves and the power to do good for mankind and use their talents for the betterment of all.He concluded that people could build their societies without being told how and what to do by one government that ruled all. While Franklin was certain that there was a higher power, he also accredited man, with the capabilities of securing his own happiness through self discipline and hard work. Franklin defended freedom of religion and that the basics of most religions were to do good to others. Therefore, at some point on earth or in the hereafter, those who sought the route of crime would be punished. Thus, he respected all religions as he concludes,” These I esteemed the essentials of every religion; and, being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them
In his autobiography, Benjamin Franklin discusses the importance of thirteen virtues that can make a man as close to perfect as possible. He explains the value of each virtue and keeps a detailed and organized chart of how he practices those virtues. Personally, I understand his methodology in his autobiography and have actually done the same when I was younger. Although I relate to the majority of his listed characteristics, I’ve found that I struggle the most with resolution.
This selection gives interesting insight into the world of Franklin, relating both to his everyday habits, and his reactions to the Enlightenment. There was one very interesting, but small segment, towards the end of the selection. It read, ‘It was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection; I wished to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into .. . . But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined.’ This particular section of the source was very revealing of Franklin’s character. Throughout the entire paper, Franklin had discussed different aspects of his upbringing, and current lifestyle, however this quote reveals more about the man behind the paper than anything else. Yet, he spent most of the text comparing his life to religious teachings, and the paths that the Enlightenment opened.
Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Waldo Emerson propose certain principles for the conduct of life. Franklin is very clear in his proposed principles for life, as he clearly states them in his “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin”. One of his main principles is the concept of hard work. Franklin believes that the best way to succeed in life is to work hard. Hard work is a key element in how to conduct one’s life. Franklin also touches on the idea that religion allows people to live in good conduct in their lives, as it gives people good values they must uphold. This also contributes to the principle that he believes in, which
Benjamin Franklin wrote his autobiography to help citizens of America, and inform them on his life accomplishments. Franklin wanted to help citizens prosper in their lives just like he did. Franklin gives tips and lays out ways to be a better person throughout his autobiography. The main example of his exigence is the virtues he explains. A few of the virtues Franklin explains are, “ Order- Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time. Industry- Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions. Tranquility- Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.” Franklin includes these virtues in his autobiography to provide the reader with ways to become a more successful person in life. Franklin wanted to give readers of his autobiography an outline of how to become successful in life through a few quick and easy steps. Olaudah Equiano’s main exigence or purpose for writing his autobiography is to provide the reader with knowledge of slavery. Equiano wanted everyone to know how cruel slavery was, and how unfair and poorly slaves were treated. He did this through telling his story as a slave during late 1700s. Equiano supports his purpose with
In Part 2, Franklin tells his son of his Quaker friend who questioned the author’s humility and suggests an addition to his list of virtues. Franklin, then a quasi-scientist of virtue, made a point of illustrating charts that mapped his progress in “acquir[ing] the Habitude of all these Virtues” (81). This Quaker insinuates that Franklin is too proud, which shakes the author’s hubris enough to inspire him to prove the Quaker wrong. After a mediocre effort to achieve Humility, which he could not “boast of much Success” (89), Franklin concludes that there is no harder human trait to suppress than Pride and it will inevitably show itself. Even though Benjamin’s willpower is portrayed with great
The visionary outlined his plans for the institution in a reading titled, Proposals relating to the Education of Youth in Pennsylvania. As a means of resolving public health issues and providing care for the physically or mentally ill., Franklin constructed the idea for the first map for a public hospital in Pennsylvania. The final bit of philanthropic advice given from Franklin outlines a list of the 13 virtues necessary to live a virtuous life. Franklin mastered all of the virtues on his list and felt that others could benefit from his system “not [by] attempting the whole at once, but [by fixing] one of them at a time” (Franklin, 96). As a philanthropist, Franklin continuously sought after ways to improve his community. With the help of his Junto, Franklin succeeded in leading new undertakings of social advancement. “He expressed his hope to produce something for the common Benefit of Mankind” (Franklin, 6).
Furthermore, the idea of the American Dream is seen throughout the pages written by Franklin. He is one of the original theorists for a virtuousness life and what that entails, ultimately depicting how principles are the guiding force in one's life. For him, principles are more important than organized religion in terms of living one's life honorably and well, or of doing good. In his opinion, religion is important because we find his mentioning of God numerous times yet, to Franklin principles help you work on doing good things for the sake of it and not a higher being. In The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, the hardest virtue to work on is humility, that is because even if you manage to be humble, that's something to be proud of. Thrift and frugality are easier to manage, but just as important: practicing them gives you time to concentrate on the things that matter, like improving your mind or working for the common good. To hold these virtues one will be able to gain affluence and reputation which ultimately equates to gaining the American Dream. In his step-by-step guide to engaging the renowned life, Franklin suggests that your personal success adds to societal success, in turn placing cooperation of all
In spite of the fact that Franklin was hardly a puritan, he was nevertheless very much a child of the Puritans. This is not displayed merely in his promotion of the virtues, but in his abstaining from excessiveness in eating, drinking, conversation, or whatever. Franklin is strongly influenced with self-governance In numerous ways, this is, to someone coming to it for the first time, a very amazing book. Franklin is, of course, one of the most celebrated Americans who ever lived, and his credentials in a wide arrangement of endeavors are a part of American knowledge and popular history. A great deal of this knowledge and numerous of his accomplishments are missing from this account of his life. He never finished the autobiography, earlier in his life on account of the fact that he was too engaged with what he terms public employment’s, and later in life by virtue of the opium he was taking for kidney stones left him incapable to concentrate adequately. Had Franklin been able to write about every period of his life and all of his achievements, his autobiography would have been one of the most exceptional and outstanding documents every produced. It is astonishingly imperious. However, his record as an office-holder is stained by the use he made of his position to advance his relatives. He was one of the most important statesmen in the new America and was a historical figure who shaped our nations history. He was a very
The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement; without change, there is no innovation or incentive to change. In light of this statement, virtue—or the pursuit of it—can be seen as the quality of moral goodness or excellence and the gateway to an endless amount of opportunities. It is something sought after by many individuals during the development of the United States and is still sought after to this day. Be that as it may, one can see these perspectives of moral development fluctuate and contrast among the general population of the eighteenth century given its religion and methods of living. This contrast can clearly be seen within the values of the Puritans and those of founding father and political theorist, Benjamin
Franklin also gave many examples to the reader of his autobiography to practice diligence in minding the company they keep and gave much advice about keeping away from questionable establishments and having nothing to do with scoundrels. He made points to make friendships with people that were of good reputation, men who as himself had interest in education and industry and in his youth many older men whose advice he regarded before many life altering
The affliction of vanity appears regularly throughout both pieces of work by Franklin and Woolman. The two men seem to be hampered by this vice of pride and wishing to possess humility. Benjamin Franklin addresses this burden of appearing vain as an issue and aims to improve himself with his constituted principles. He lists “Humility” as his last virtue he aspires to develop so as to “Imitate Jesus and Socrates” (Franklin, 79). How ironic of Franklin to want to be humble, yet strive for moral perfection! Franklin so much as prides himself on this list of virtues that heavily influences his life. However, he accordingly considers pride to be one of the most difficult to overcome considering one can “disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself...” (Franklin,
In addition, Benjamin was a hardworking man. There were thirteen names of virtues that he considered. These virtues show how Benjamin Franklin was a hardworking man. Some of them are temperance, frugality, and industry. “Temperance means eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation” (pg.95). This quote shows that Benjamin Franklin was a hardworking man because he never got drunk