Monday, October 22, 2007

Franklin Virtues

Everyone must answer ALL the following questions:
  • What is your favorite Franklin quotation from his "Autobiography"? (Please cite the quotation in the text and comment on it).
  • What character traits did Franklin possess that made him a successful man? Make sure to elaborate. What makes others (maybe you, perhaps) admire him?
  • Why do we work to better ourselves? Is moral perfection attainable?
  • Which virtue on Franklin's list do you think is most important? Why?
  • Which virtue do you think we need more of? Explain.


Parker C said...

“10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.” Page 93. Although this is not a particularly insightful quote, it is humorous that Ben Franklin felt obligated to specifically include this in his list of virtues. The unsanitary living conditions of Ben Franklin’s time may yield an explanation for his emphasis on cleanliness.
Franklin’s uncanny talent in innovation was made possible because of uncompromising integrity and perseverance. It is evident through his listed virtues that even if Franklin did not achieve his idea of moral perfection, he attained a level of integrity that few can compare to. Ben Franklin’s dedication to his experimental work made him extremely successful.
If people did not work for the betterment of themselves, society would be doomed. Without an inner drive for achievement, there would be no motivation for advancement or success. Furthermore, it comes down to Ben Franklin’s most important virtue which is actually the bigger picture of his list; personal integrity. (Although this is combining two of Mrs. Comp’s questions, it is nearly impossible to separately discuss the two.) When a person is willing to compromise their integrity in a situation, one’s inner initiative is placed on the back burner. Understanding the moral perfection is rather unattainable does no provide a probable excuse for poor decision making. Thus integrity is the utmost essential characteristic in a person if they are to hold any accountability for themselves and their actions.

kelseyh said...

1. My favorite Franklin quote would have to be "8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty." page 93. I believe that all should follow this and believe in it. People these days are all about fighting and not about peace and understanding.
2. Franklin became a successful man because he possessed the ability to think beyond the obvious and look for ways to live easier. He didn't just see what’s on the outside; he looked at the deeper meaning. Also, his amazing ability as a diplomat and negotiator helped him succeed with others and to become a powerful man through others eyes.
3. People work to better themselves so that they can achieve all that they can. If no one worked or wanted to become good at something, no one would and society would lack a lot of what it has gained. The world needs people to have the determination to better them so that they can achieve greatness. Moral perfection is not attainable because no one is perfect. People always think they could do better.
4. The virtue that I think is most important would have to be Resolution. This also is the virtue that I believe we need more of. It says “Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.” If people would just put their mind to what they want, they can succeed anything. People spend too much time focusing on what others are doing wrong, and less time focusing on what they, themselves, can do right.

Hailey M said...

"...but I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was employed in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was not sufficient to prevent our slipping..." -pg 92
I chose this quote as my favorite because it displays the difficulty in our human tendency to attempt perfection. Often people (including me) assume an action they wish to pursue is easier than it actually is. For example, when someone starts smoking many say, “I could quit any time; I’m not addicted!” Later, however, they discover how false this statement is when their attempts to quit fail time and time again. While this description may seem depressing to some, it is refreshing for me to see such truth, honesty, and humility.
I think that Ben Franklin must have been a very organized person to write out a list like the 7 virtues. Also, he probably persevered through a lot of challenge and disappointment while attempting perfection. Not many are capable of such perseverance, therefore creating a quality worthy of anyone’s admiration, especially those who have tried and quit after failing.
I don’t believe moral perfection is attainable, because, as the quote says, when you focus on one fault, another emerges. If you focus on too many, you may become “better” morally for a time, but such an undertaking will eventually result in a mental and physical breakdown.
From his 13 virtues, I like the humility virtue and the frugality virtue. It is hard to dislike anyone who is truly humble. America’s consumer mentality is wasteful and it irritates me, especially with the immense poverty in other parts of the world. If no one wasted and everyone shared with others, misfortune around the world would be much less. Unfortunately, not being wasteful and sharing are two principle we all learned in kindergarten, but few understand these standards.

LouiseT said...

“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.” (page 92) This quote to me seems quite impossible or at least extremely ambitious. With all of the temptations in each and every society, to live by this goal seems almost “out of reach”. Yet, on the other hand if someone repeated these words, I would have the utmost respect for them. This quote also shows the strong, respectable and passionate character Benjamin Franklin withheld.
Benjamin Franklin possessed an infinite amount of drive and perseverance. He would not stop working towards moral perfection, even if he did encounter the sinful world at points. His dedication drove him towards success and never did he give up upon reaching what he considered to be “morally perfect”. To me, this internal drive and motivation is tremendously admirable. I also agree with Parker in her comments about his level of integrity; Benjamin Franklin reached a level of integrity that few can compare to, yet all can respect.
If we didn’t work to better ourselves, there would be no success or advancements in the world. Everyone would be content with becoming an average citizen and no one would step out of bounds creating new inventions or exhibiting new ideas. The feeling of success would not be achieved, thus destroying one’s society and ones society’s morals. I do not think anyone can reach moral perfection because no one in this world is perfect.
Just as Benjamin Franklin explained, I believe that temperance is the most important value on the list. I think this because without a clear head, set in the right spot and ready to go, none of the following virtues could be achieved. Your head is a tool for not only knowledge but also good judgment, which leads into all of the rest of the values on the list.
I believe we need more frugality. Life is too fast for us to waste any time on earth. Also, as human beings, we tend to be way too hard on others and ourselves due to the set high expectations in societies. So, by having more frugality would allow people to enjoy life to the fullest and lift people and themselves up rather than bringing them down.

Maryanne E. said...
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Maryanne E. said...

“…and, being filled with one of my rolls, gave the other two to a woman and her child…” Page 91. This was my favorite quote in Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography because not only does it portray Franklin’s generosity but, in my opinion, clearly defined his character. Cold, fatigued and hungry with nothing more then a Dutch dollar and a shilling’s worth of copper in his pocket, Franklin filled his stomach and without hesitation used the little food he had left to benefit others. I found this surprising. He had no knowledge of the future. What if he was to never be employed? Where would his next meal come from? Benjamin Franklin had a remarkable sense of self (the fact he knew his future was in his own hands)and clearly held others in his highest regards.

I perceived Ben Franklin as a success because he never settled. For example, although rocking chairs served their purpose, a place to sit and rock, Franklin insisted to look past the obvious and instead enhance the comfortable environment the chairs were striving to achieve by adding a fly swatting feature. Simple but, perhaps at the time, ingenious. That’s an attribute I strongly admire. It takes little to demand results from life, however, it takes determination and affirmative action to make those demands become a reality.

Why wouldn’t you work to better yourself? I believe that striving for virtuous perfection teaches more than moral conduct, it teaches one discipline and structure. Plus, eventually benefits not before perceived, will be a reward for genuinely hard work. I don’t believe moral perfection is attainable, there has always been, and will always be faults. Franklin himself stated, “…different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name.” Page 93. Perhaps perfection is considered differently by one person then another and if that the case, would it still be “perfection”?

Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. I though silence was one of the most important virtues because it gives people the ability to listen to others and learn. In my opinion, I believed that silence could contribute to many other virtues, such as, justice and sincerity. For example, because silence enables someone to listen and possibly view things differently, it teaches to carefully chose how to approach an issue and become aware of an individuals feelings. It teaches sincerity because it enhances understanding, therefore when speaking, one speaks accordingly.

Coming from a junior in high school, I can easily admit we need more tranquility. Many of my friends become stressed or "disturbed" about work loads. Everything from sports to school work. Life can be a rough ride! Sometimes I feel people miss the important, little moments of everyday simplicity because there is always something plaguing the back of their minds. It’s important to confront tasks, like a due date, but it’s also important to have fun and not worry to much! Be happy to be alive!

NickyM said...

1) My favorite quote from Franklin's "Autobiography would have to be "6. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions." page 93, because I feel people should always be involved in something. This does not always have to be a club/sport or a job, but just hanging out with friends or getting out and doing something. If someone just sits and doses nothing I feel it is just a waste of time and life. I liked how he added the end part about taking out the unnecessary because it is important to get out and do things but doing something productive and good that will be worth the time.
2) I feel a few things contributed to Franklin's success. His positive outlook on things even when all hope seems lost helped him become who he is today. He really shows how someone can go from almost nothing but hope and become someone great. I also believe the persistence to make his dreams happen played a big part in his success. He looked at things outside the box.
3) I believe people work to better themselves to get future in life or have a better life so to speak. These days the high education and more work experience you have the better you will do in life. Yes one can argue if those people are happier or not but this is what most people believe. The more experience you have the more you will be prepared in life. I don't believe perfection is attainable because what is perfect? How can one know exactly what it takes to be perfect? Yes I believe someone could be very good at what they do or have things under control, or close to perfect. But I think there are always little glitches.
4) The virtue that i think is most important on Franklin's list is order because I feel that there is a time and place for everything and if you do not plan things correctly nothing will go right. There is always the fork in the road where you either act or don't act in life and there are right and wrong places and times to do either.
5) I feel we need more frugality in our lives. This is basically another version of the golden rule in a way. We have so much hate towards others in this world, but there is also people that do nothing for themselves.

Kyle M. said...

" 7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly." Page 93. I think that this quote should really be applied more often. Fewer and fewer people, especially teens, are badmouthing and degrading their peers. Everyone's done it; they have made fun of the fat kid or picked on the kid with glasses. I think that this virtue is the most important and the most needed. So many people are playing with other's emotions.

Ben Franklin's unusual perseverance can be credited to his incredible success. Through all the horrible disappointments and people trying to shut him down in his life, he had the courage and determination to push through. Without this trait all his genius and incredible scientific skill would have washed away in societies pool of normality.

I think that we better ourselves because as human being we strive to be the best we can be. It’s ingrained into our DNA that we need to be the best. Once you have the feeling of winning, of being somebody even for a moment it makes all your hard work and trouble pay off.

Stacey B. said...

"While my care was employed in guarding against fault, zi was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention;inclination was sometimes too stronng for reason" page 92 This was my favorite quotation becasue Franklin spent a lot of time and effort trying to reach perfection. He realized that it was harder than it sounds. He realized that an old habit would come about. Then he would have to work harder to perfect his life. It's hard to stop human nature.

Franklin was very ambitious. He wanted to obtain the most out of his life. He didn't want to waste it doing useless things. He also tried to find the deeper meaning of ideas and objects. Last, he just carried himself well and got along with many people.

We work to better ourselves so we can get the most out of life. I don't think moral perfection is attainable but that doesn't mean we should not try. We should work hard to better ourselves.

The most important virtue on Franklin's list I think is number 6 industry. It states that people should lose no time;always be employed in something. i believe that we shouldn't waste any time. Life goes by super fast. Like we are Juniors in high school. We are driving and getting ready go off to college. Where did the time go?

I think we need more Frugality. We need to stop wasting our time on pointless things. We need to live our lives to the fullest.

KyleL said...

"Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly." Page 93. I choose this quote because I feel like it applies personally to me and is something I could work on to be a better person. Although all of his ten virtues were good and in some way could apply to me I find this one more personal because I constantly find myself using hurtful deceit. Even though my intention is never to hurt someone I often times find myself making someone feel bad because I didn’t think before a said something. Also I know if everyone took this quote to heart and would think about what they say before they say it would make the world a much better and friendlier place.

I think that the greatest personality trait in Ben Franklin was his fearlessness. I think that this trait is what got him so far in his inventions, his part of creating the constitution, and many other things I’m sure he accomplished. Although in order to have this fearlessness it took a great deal of self control (I’m sure he thoroughly thought about everything he said and did before he did it) it definitely took him a long ways because , I think this quote best describes what I’m getting at, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

It’s hard for me to say that everyone tries to better themselves. I know that I, along with many others do, but it’s hard for me to understand how Adolf Hitler, for example, always tried to better himself. I guess if it is based on perspective then one could argue that everyone does try to better themselves because, why would someone do something they thought was bad? Moral perfection goes along the same lines, if we assume that everyone thinks what they are doing is good then yes maybe, but no because we are human and whether we want to or not we make mistakes and do things we would rather not do.

Finally I feel like the last two questions a need to combine into one because the virtue I find most important is also the one I think we need more of. I feel integrity is the most important virtue. I think this because it is what drives people to do well at what they do and good things in general. Also you can’t have good and bad integrity, you have it or you don’t. This is good because for something like hard work one could say o well I’m a kind of hard worker. However with integrity if some one has it, you know it! Because you can almost feel the drive and the need to do well and it leaves an impression on people making them want to be that way. This is also what I feel we need more of because in this day in age people give up to easy and don’t care about self accomplishment or what people think about them (in subjects such as honesty, work ethic, etc… not style or materialistic things) leading to a lazy world of people who have no drive.

JakeF said...

There’s a lot of good material in this autobiography but it’s interesting when he writes “I had mad many a meal on bread…” pg. 90. This jumped out at me because this showed where Benjamin Franklin started out. He wasn’t spoiled and yet he was so successful. Its kind of like a Cinderella story were someone started out with nothing and ended up with everything the deserve because of the work they put into it.
The quote I used above was a trait that I really admired of Benjamin Franklin. Also something that struck me was his generosity and will power. There’s one part in his story where he gives his two loafs of bread to a woman and her child. Even after that was his only meal. Then with his virtues he went as far to make a chart that he checks everyday to make sure he followed them. For me that is kind of inspiring because I am such a procrastinator.
I think we work to better ourselves to get as close as we can get to perfect. To know that we are trying our hardest and doing are best. Because if you’re always striving to be perfect then you’re always getting better and that makes you successful. My opinion on perfection in anything is that it is just that, and opinion. One can reach their view of perfection but I don’t think that perfection, perfection is attainable at all.
I would have to say that fragility is the most important virtue. Fragility states “make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing” pg. 93. I like this virtue especially because of the waste nothing part. This makes yourself more efficient and when you apply it to others it does the same to them. When this is accomplished it is contagious. Making a society better.
As a species I would say that we need more Silence. There will always be conflict between peoples but keeping some of our unneeded opinions and thoughts to our selves could do a lot of good.

AmyL said...

"I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous was not sufficient to prevent our slipping; and that the contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct."P92. Although this quotation is rather lengthy I thought it was all important. I don't know if I completely understand what Ben Franklin was getting at but this quote seemed to have a good point. I took it as in our lives we need to get rid of bad habits that bring us down and establish good ones that will help us to be better people. This seemed to be the reason he wrote his virtues, therefore the quote is rather important.
He posses’ traits in which he had such a drive to be successful that he didn't give up. He knew he had a purpose on this earth he was just on a journey to find it. I really admire the fact that he wasn't well known and was trying to make a living and now he is one of the most well accomplished men in our history. He had perseverance.
I don't think there is an exact reason why we work to better ourselves. It seems to be a trait we were all born with and some just work harder to attain it. It is a sense of selfishness we have beneath us in which we only think of ourselves and try to better our lives. I just don't think there is a distinct reason. I don't believe in moral perfection, it can't be reached and never will be reached. If we were all perfect and led perfect lives what would our world be like? Every good quality we have and imperfection we have we use together to make the world work properly.
Sincerity is an important virtue on his list because it is just a good guideline for living. People just aren't sincere and therefore it is hard to trust people when you don't know if they are being sincere or not.
Silence is the most important virtue to me because the world is to fast pace we just need more silence. There is just too much talking and conflict arises because of this. Every person tries to have a say in every thing there needs to be more silence.

katie s. said...
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katie s. said...

"10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation" Page 93. I also thought that this was a funny quote because most people have a hard time with keeping things clean like a room or a car. Franklin wanted this to be one of his virtues which to me means that cleanliness was very important to him.
I think that the one thing that made Franklin a successful man was that he perused his goals and worked to try and achieve the goals that he set for himself. He came up with thirteen virtues that he wanted to complete so that he would become a better person. I think others would admire him for the way that he perused his goals and the way that he set up goals to pursue.
If there was no one trying to better themselves the world would stop moving forward. The world needs people to keep trying to better themselves individually so that they can better the environment around them. I don't think that moral perfection is attainable because it is human nature to make mistakes. If humans didn't make mistakes they might be able to attain moral perfection.
The most important virtue to me is Silence. When most people talk they don't talk to benefit others they just talk to talk.
I think that we need more justice, because our society is one that is violent. Most movies that we see have some sort of violence in them. If people would just talk to solve their problems that would make the world a more peaceful place.

Patrick.R. said...

"7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak speak accordingly." Page 93. This quote is something that everyone needs to read and understand. Even though we all have made fun of people, or talked poorly about them, people shouldn't do that to friends or even other people. This does not accomplish anything but putting the other person down and lowering their self confidence. We need to all look past these rumors and some truths, and just see who the real person inside this rumor is.

Success is not very easy to obtain. You must work hard and persevere through the rough times. Ben Franklin understood this and used it. He saw what was infront of him, but then elaborated on it and thought outside of the box which, at this time, was unheard of. He looked and a rocking chair, for example, and innovated his idea of a fly swatter. This ability led to his success. He also seemed to be a very personable person and this is a good traite in a person to help with everyday life.

We work to better ourselves to evolve into a better us. As Charles Darwin proposed, we take our stronger traits and build on our weaker ones. Society would never advance without the sense to strive for a greater us. As for moral perfection, i do not believe it is attainable. People are people and will always have some faults. Also if we were perfect, there would be nothing to strive for which would eventually colapse society entirely.

Silence, "speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.", to me is the most important virtue on Franlin's list. It allows us to stop and listen to others. Listening is a very important skill because we can learn about others this way and can help better ourselves or society. This will help us find ways to resolve and end many disputes. I think this virtue is also the one that we need more of. Everyone talks and can talk about themselves, but it takes true skill to just sit back and listen to someone else. I think that if we all learned to listen to what people have to say and be understanding to this, and not stubborn, the world would be much more peaceful. Life is full of experiences. Franklin learned to use these experiences to better himself and the world around him. He was innovative and thought outside of the box, which that box we try to think out, of sits in. He had a briliant mind and used it to its full potential

Rachel_F said...
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Devin E. said...

My favorite Benjamin Franklin quote was, “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.” (pg 89) I like it because it emphasizes the importance of speaking in sense rather than saying stupid things that don’t mean anything. One could argue that everything anyone says is important, but is it really? I do not think so; true words of wisdom are what benefit others and yourself.

Some character traits that Benjamin Franklin possessed were being very imaginative, knowledgeable, and diplomatic. Franklin was an inventor; there fore his imagination helped him invent bifocals, the lightning rod, the stove, and the odometer. All of the careers that Benjamin took on involved him being knowledgeable. He was a printer, moralist, essayist, civic leader, scientist, inventor, statesman, philosopher, and a diplomat (which leads me to my next point). He was a very diplomatic guy. He was involved with politics and looked to make our country more successful and he did a great job doing it.

We work to better ourselves because that is what humans do. Otherwise, there would be no point in working really. Yes we try to better other people, but while we are doing that, we are attempting to better ourselves. Perfection of anything is not attainable. Moral perfection would be the hardest kind of perfection to attain anyway. Benjamin Franklin was not morally perfect. No one has been, and no one will be.

In my personal opinion, I think that industry is the most important of Ben Franklin’s virtues. You are helping the world out by being employed. Whether you own a business, or are in manual labor. You are helping a cause to make the world a better more useful place.

We definitely need more frugality. If you’re doing something that is not doing well to you or someone else, what would even be the point of doing it? We could live with less of pointless decision making, or bad decision making.

Rachel_F said...

"...,my indiscreet disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror by good people...(86)" I thought this quote was interesting because even when people were pointing at him and attempting to make a "normal" person feel bad for what they were doing, he, did not. That is a strong willed man.

I think Franklin was a successful man because of his determination. I think that if you set your mind to something and really truly want it it can be achieved. I think that the determination and his success that followed is what has made him such a hero almost in the eyes of many. He was determined to get to Philadelphia. He got there after getting on a boat that had to withstand a storm, walking 50 miles , rowing through a night, all to arrive at one place. He also was determined to achieve moral perfection. And thus, created the 13 virtues.

I think we work to better ourselves because we want something. So we are all greedy in a way. People force success for themselves and in a way push others away from their goal. Moral perfection I don't think is really truly obtainable. I think that people will always have greed and therefore not be able to ever obtain the moral perfection. And, I think it is perfection is different for each person.

I think that sincerity is the most important virtue. If you are truly sincere in what you say and how you act, then, no one really has a reason to have a dislike for you. I think that honesty and sincerity are very similar, and honesty is the basis for everything.

I think we need more of the silence virtue. Especially in high school. I think that rumors and things like that are not part of this virtue. Although I think it is craved for there to be bad in someone's life so that we don't feel that our lives are really that bad. I agree with Ben Franklin in that it isn't needed in a conversation.

Anna P. said...

"6. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions." page 93. This quote from Franklin's autobiography really stuck out to me, especially the end of it where he says to, "cut out all unnecessary actions." This states that you should live simply. I find that simplicity helps to make life easier. It also states that you should always be busy with something useful, not just employed with anything. What you spend your time on must have meaning to you.
To have so many achievements Franklin had to have been organized. You can really see that since he had a list of virtues so that he could chart that he did them everyday. With the determination he had and the organizational skills I am not surprised that he was so succesful.
We always want the possibilty of being the best person we can be. Even when we reach that perfection we strive for we just increase our expectations. For some, moral perfection is attainable and they need this thought to better themselves to reach their goal even though others will say it is impossible. Some are just happy with who they are so that moral perfection seems so close.
For the last two questions I agree with Kyle L. The most important and most needed virute is integrity. Integrity is what drives us to be honest, to be sincere, and loyal. It combines all of those and the world needs loyal, honest, and sincere cause it makes life so much easier and simpler. And Simplicity is the key to happiness.

Amy B. said...

1.)“A man being sometimes a little more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little.” (90). This quote really caught my eye in the book. The thought that the poor are more generous has never really crossed my mind, but now that it has, it makes perfect sense. This quote introduced me to a perspective that I have never seen or felt before. The last part of the quote confused me though when it said “perhaps through fear of being though to have but little.” What does he mean when he says that?
2.)The one trait that makes Benjamin Franklin a successful man is his fear of nothing. He goes off on this adventure to Philadelphia not knowing anything about what he is getting himself into. While there, he buys bread, yet knows nothing and has heard nothing about the type of bread he is eating. Also, another trait that is incredibly admirable is his high expectations of himself and others. Displayed in his virtues, he sets incredibly high standards of living for people. When goals are high, it makes someone strive for it even more.
3.)We work to better ourselves because being satisfied with oneself will result in failure. If one becomes content with themselves then there is never going to be a next step and therefore, they will never be the best person they could be. In my opinion, that is failure. Also, moral perfection is attainable. If someone consistently has integrity and stands up for what THEY think is right then they have achieved moral perfection.
4.)I think sincerity is the most important virtue. I am a strong believer in saying things that I mean. If I don’t mean it and believe it one hundred percent then I am not going to say it.
5.)The virtue that we need more of in the world is silence. It is taken for granted. Most people in the world are stressed out due to various reasons and rarely just sit down and think in silence. To me, silence can be the best medicine to cure stress and problems.

Anonymous said...

My favorite quote is "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself;avoid frifling conversation" pg 89. I like this quote because it really means that you have to think before you speak so people won't say anything stupid. Franklin was successful because once he set a goal he would stick with it and try to accomplis it. He was also an inventor which tells you how intelligent he was. I do admire him because he was successful and accomplished many things. We work to better ourself to get to the point where we want to be perfect. The harder and more you try to more successful you will be in life. I dont think moral perfection is attainable because we are human beings and were always making mistakes. The world would be very different if no one in here made any mistakes and were perfect at everything they did attempted. I think the most important virtue on here is industry because it says "lose no time" which is important because people cant be losing time because you will accoplish very little and life is too short to be losing time. The virtue we need more of is Frugality because i think the world be a better place if everyone helped out each oher and we would also get lots of things done.

N-Earley said...

My favorite quote from the autobiography was "As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do one and avoid the other." Page 92. I like this quote because it showed Franklin as a modest man who although searching for perfection, is not perfect. Franklin was inteligant beyond his years but instead of throwing it in people's faces and telling them what was right and wrong, he listened. Franklin let others have their opinions and didn't make others feel small compared to his great mind. Franklin also was generous to anyone and everyone no matter how in debt he himself was, he was more interested in helping others.

i believe that people are constantly working to better themselves in order to be the best person they can be. Whether that means volunteering or just being kind to others, everyone works to get a better moral perception. On the other hand i don't think that it's possible to actually reach moral "perfection", but I do think that it is a good goal to shoot for. I believe that sincerity is the most important virtue and I believe that there must be more of this virtue in todays world. I think that if people were more sincere there would be much less conflict and a much better general attitude around you.

Sophie M said...

My favorite quotation from Ben Franklin's "Autobiography" is "...and that the contrary habits must be broken, and good ones acquired and established, before we can have any dependence on a steady, uniform rectitude of conduct." I like this quotation because he is saying that in order to really have the correct conduct we must first stop our old ways and figure out new and better habits. This allows change, which in my eyes is the only way as humans we grow. Without change and evolution our lives would be at a stand still.
The character traits that Franklin possessed that made him successful were his gallantry, kind-heartedness and his perseverance/willingness to try to better himself every day. People, including me, admire him for those qualities most, I think, not for his accomplishments because there are many grate inventors but it takes true soul to be a good person.
I believe we strive to better our selves for not only person accomplishment but also for the social aspect. For example if you’re a drunk, and you smell most likely people will not want to be around you. So you try to better yourself by bathing and laying off the sauce, which in turn will cause more people to be inclined to talk to you and be near you because you have bettered yourself. I don't believe moral PERFECTION is attainable because no one, (not even Ben Franklin) is perfect.
I think the virtue that is most important is Sincerity, because when you are sincere you create trust, which I believe prevents jealously. Being honest with another person is one of the most important things in any relationship.
The virtue I think we need more of is Tranquility, because our everyday lives are so crazy and consumed with work and stress that we have no time for rest and relation.

kirstie a. said...

My favorite quote from the passage was, “A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money then when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but a little” page 90. I chose this quote because I find it very relevant to days society. I think the more money a person has then the more that person will wish to hold on to it. People, sometimes referred to as “new money”, are very egger to show off their new wealth and are therefore more generous in giving it away.

Ben Franklin became a successful man because of his great ability to look beyond the surface of modern society and look for a deeper meaning. He also strived for perfection and never settled for anything less. This showed he had great pride in all the things he did. He was a great mind and his list of virtues gives us guidelines to line by. Therefore, admired by many.

Why do we work to better ourselves? Well if there is no individual growth there can’t be any collective growth. I cannot answer this question for anyone but myself because there are many different possible answers. Religious people, like myself, may better themselves to live as if they were living for god. Many say they better themselves to contribute to the growth of society. For whatever reason, people better them self to obtain some kind of goal, whether it is moral or social is personal. This raises the question, is moral perfection attainable? The answer is no, but if everyone strives for perfection society and the world as a whole will only improve.

The most important virtue is tranquility. “Be not disturbed”. Life always has its trails and distractions but if you ignore the small things it forces people to focus on the important things in life, the big issues. A virtue that we need more of is sincerity, in today’s society there is too much that is false, take the image of perfection, it is purely superficial. Sincerity teaches to use no harmful deceit and society tricks or deceives us to think that outer perfection is all that’s important, the most harmful deception of all.

Rick M. said...

(gave you a late pass wednesday at the beginning of class)
What is your favorite Franklin quotation from his "Autobiography"?

" 7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly." Page 93.
This was my favorite quote for a number of reasons. Sincerity is something absent from most actions in our lives, even though it is so easy to demonstrate, and has a ginormous impact on those around us. Using no hurtful deceit is something that makes a gigantic impact on those around us, and improves bother their lives as well as your own. Keeping your thoughts innocent and just will translate to your actions being innocent and just, and you will develop better relationships with others. This will lead to you "speaking accordingly".

What character traits did Franklin possess that made him a successful man? Make sure to elaborate.

By reading the novel, I found Ben had many consistent character traits, rather than just a few he only occassionaly practiced. This is what led to his success. For one, he was generous and grateful. One instance that demonstrates this is him giving money to the people on the boat he helped row to Philidelphia. He didn't have to, and even gave it to them after their refusal. He didn't have much money left, but he was made a better person by being able to give some of that money up.

What makes others (maybe you, perhaps) admire him?

I admire Ben because of his accomplishments. He apprenticed as a printer and was passionately devoted to it. He traveled over a hundred miles pursuing his passion, and that shows real dedication. Afterwards, he went on to be the one of the founding fathers of our country, which is no small feat.

Why do we work to better ourselves?

There are lots of reasons we should work to better ourselves. Firs off, we need to improve our character to become unique in the world. People who are regarded as outcasts generally don't make it too far. Next, it should be a personal goal for us to improve ourselves so we live healthier and wealthier. Finally, I would like to note that we work to better ourselves for the progression of humanity as a whole

Is moral perfection attainable?

Absolutely not. We can work to better ourselves, but become perfect, there's no way. It has been attempted, but besides deities, nobody has ever done it or ever will.

Which virtue on Franklin's list do you think is most important? Why?

Sincereity by far. Even if you don't have anything to posess in this world, you always have people. Developing good relationships will give you more satisfaction than any amount of stuff you could ever own.

Which virtue do you think we need more of? Explain.

As a society, I think we need more of the qualities described in the industry virtue. Hard work is something we see less and less of because most people are putting their efforts into figuring out how to work less rather than just getting the job done.