Franklin: Virtue and Moral Perfection

Topics: Virtue, Benjamin Franklin, Virtue ethics Pages: 4 (1469 words) Published: May 3, 2005
Can some man arrive at moral perfection in this life, or is it impossible? Benjamin Franklin was an extremely brilliant and talented individual. He constantly sought ways to improve himself. After he read "The Spectator" he put in a very dedicated effort to imitate their style of writing because he loved how precise the authors wrote out their thoughts. Franklin was also a relatively religious man or at least believed enough to try to be a morally righteous man so that he would avoid his way into hell. Through these beliefs and virtues Franklin created a plan to achieve moral perfection. Although finding the task somewhat more difficult than he first imagined he stayed with his convictions and deduced thirteen virtues to improve upon and follow. These virtues were: order, silence, temperance, resolution, frugality, industry, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity and humility. Now how did he come up with the virtues and what did the virtues consist of? After concocting this ingenious plan towards moral perfection did Franklin ever see it through and reach moral perfection?

Benjamin Franklin was raised as a Presbyterian by his parents. Although not completely religious some of the teachings stayed on with him. "I never was without some religious principles; I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the deity, that he made the world, and govern'd it by his providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished and Virtue reworded either here or hereafter; these I esteem'd the essentials of every religion, and being to be found in all the religions we had in out country I respected them all" (BF, p65). Franklin later also goes on to say that he did not go to sermons on Sunday that often because that day was his day to study and relax, but when he did go he noticed that all sermons that he was listening to were rather "dry" as he put it and seemed to focus more...
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