7 Great Virtues

Topics: Virtue, Benjamin Franklin, Prudence Pages: 5 (2043 words) Published: September 28, 2009
Summer Peterson
12-13-06
Hour 3

7 Great Virtues

- Ben Franklin -

The first virtue Ben Franklin wanted was “An Aversion to Tyranny”. The main idea of this to Ben is that he doesn’t like tyranny, which is power or control of one person. He didn’t like to be told what to do to and he also liked some control and therefore, have a limited government. Ben didn’t want any dictatorship either, which meant no kings or queens. Franklin realized that he didn’t like the idea of tyranny when he was 12 years old. He became an apprentice at the print shop of his older brother, James, who tended to be a tougher boss.

I think that Aversion to Tyranny definitely still exists in America today. We still do not have any dictatorship in today’s America. We vote as a democracy for our presidents, congress, etc. We do have a president, to represent America and to help make final decisions, but we get to choose who we want to elect. Basically, it’s power to the people, even though we have a presidential leader to help guide us.

The second virtue Ben Franklin wanted America to have was “Free Press”. Basically, what this meant was that you can write or print whatever you’d like and not get in trouble for it. Although there were some limits to this, there was little to no government control of the press. This let people say what they wanted and free mindedly write in the press. Franklin said, “There would be very little printed, if publishers produced only things that offended nobody.” I, myself have to agree to this, because if you think about it, it’s true. Franklin also believed that the surest guard against tyranny and arbitrary power was free expression, the free flow of ideas and a free press. He felt no tyrannical society could long exist, if it cannot control the flow of information and ideas.

Like the first virtue, free press still exists today. You are able to freely write what you’d like in the press. For example, it is okay to write to the newspapers and write a “letter to the editor” and express your feelings and preferences. That is legal, and no one can tell you that you aren’t allowed to do that.

The third virtue Ben Franklin wanted America to have was “Humor”. Franklin liked the idea of using playful and safe humor in life. He believed that if there wasn’t much humor, life would be boring and serious, and not as much fun. Franklin used humor even against himself. He created a character in Poor Richard Saunders, the pseudonym he used when he began to publish an annual almanac. The beauty of inventing a fictional author was that he could poke fun at himself by admitting half seriously that money was his main motivation.

Humor is exists in America today, as well. People use it everyday, and, to say the least, it spruces life up, and adds a little fun. Even if a person is mad, if someone uses humor, it could make them laugh, no matter how upset they were. Who knows what life would be without any humor. All I know is that it would be quite dull, and this country would not be as good of a place to live in, without it.

The fourth virtue Ben Franklin added to the list was “Humility”. When Franklin made a list of personal virtues for himself that he was intent on acquiring, he very proudly showed it around to his friends, one of whom, a Quaker, pointed out that he had left one off. The friend said that Franklin was often guilty of pride, so Ben added “humility” to his list. To say the least, he never quite perfected the virtue. Humility means that someone is not prideful in themselves, and not “full of themselves” or self-absorbed. It means that you are more modest, and don’t brag. You will listen to others, and give credit; instead of listening and then start talking about yourself.

Humility exists, and doesn’t exist today in different ways. Sometimes, we have humility, and other times we don’t. Not everyone’s perfect, at times we may brag or boast about ourselves a little or a lot;...
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