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The 13 Virtues of Benjamin Franklin

Blade-of-Truth
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7/25/2016 6:36:00 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
You probably know him as one of the Fathers of the United States, a great leader and diplomat. He signed the major documents of the founding of the U.S. including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Maybe you know him as an inventor, or as a scientist who flew kites in lightning storms, or as a writer and printing press operator.

But did you know that in 1726, at the age of 20, while on an 80-day ocean voyage from London back to Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin developed a "Plan" for regulating his future conduct?

His "Plan" was made up of 13 virtues, each with short descriptions and building upon the former (meaning that these are listed by importance):

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.

11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues are unique and obviously served him well since he is one of the most respected and most accomplished men in the history of the United States. As for me, I find that I agree with a majority of these virtues.

I think the most important ones for our current times would be Silence, Sincerity, and Moderation. Or at-least, I feel these are the ones most lacking in our modern society.

I additionally find #11 to be somewhat hypocritical, as he was a true ladies man. He had plenty of lovers in both England and France, and partook in these pleasures all while happily married back in America. So, idk about that one, although I do agree that all things should be done in moderation.

So do you agree with these virtues, or do you have your own set of virtues you try to follow on a daily basis?
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Hayd
Posts: 4,022
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7/26/2016 1:44:59 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/25/2016 6:36:00 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
You probably know him as one of the Fathers of the United States, a great leader and diplomat. He signed the major documents of the founding of the U.S. including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Maybe you know him as an inventor, or as a scientist who flew kites in lightning storms, or as a writer and printing press operator.

But did you know that in 1726, at the age of 20, while on an 80-day ocean voyage from London back to Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin developed a "Plan" for regulating his future conduct?

His "Plan" was made up of 13 virtues, each with short descriptions and building upon the former (meaning that these are listed by importance):

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.

11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues are unique and obviously served him well since he is one of the most respected and most accomplished men in the history of the United States. As for me, I find that I agree with a majority of these virtues.

I think the most important ones for our current times would be Silence, Sincerity, and Moderation. Or at-least, I feel these are the ones most lacking in our modern society.

I additionally find #11 to be somewhat hypocritical, as he was a true ladies man. He had plenty of lovers in both England and France, and partook in these pleasures all while happily married back in America. So, idk about that one, although I do agree that all things should be done in moderation.

So do you agree with these virtues, or do you have your own set of virtues you try to follow on a daily basis?

Good post. I mean, virtues are objectively *good* things, so you can't really disagree with any of them. But I guess the frugality one I disagree with since spending little hurts the economy. Obviously that doesn't mean you spend money on *useless* stuff like pet rocks or something, but you should probably still spend a lot, and not be frugal. For the benefit of the economy.

But I try to understand where someone is coming from, live in their shoes before you do anything to the person. I feel that that is a very important thing to do, and resolves many conflicts. Very good strategy for living
Blade-of-Truth
Posts: 5,035
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7/26/2016 8:20:56 PM
Posted: 4 months ago
At 7/26/2016 1:44:59 AM, Hayd wrote:
At 7/25/2016 6:36:00 PM, Blade-of-Truth wrote:
You probably know him as one of the Fathers of the United States, a great leader and diplomat. He signed the major documents of the founding of the U.S. including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Maybe you know him as an inventor, or as a scientist who flew kites in lightning storms, or as a writer and printing press operator.

But did you know that in 1726, at the age of 20, while on an 80-day ocean voyage from London back to Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin developed a "Plan" for regulating his future conduct?

His "Plan" was made up of 13 virtues, each with short descriptions and building upon the former (meaning that these are listed by importance):

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.

7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.

11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

12. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues are unique and obviously served him well since he is one of the most respected and most accomplished men in the history of the United States. As for me, I find that I agree with a majority of these virtues.

I think the most important ones for our current times would be Silence, Sincerity, and Moderation. Or at-least, I feel these are the ones most lacking in our modern society.

I additionally find #11 to be somewhat hypocritical, as he was a true ladies man. He had plenty of lovers in both England and France, and partook in these pleasures all while happily married back in America. So, idk about that one, although I do agree that all things should be done in moderation.

So do you agree with these virtues, or do you have your own set of virtues you try to follow on a daily basis?

Good post. I mean, virtues are objectively *good* things, so you can't really disagree with any of them.

I respectfully disagree, we can certainly see cases where poor virtues are practiced by individuals. It depends solely on our interpretation of the virtues and how they are applied to our daily lives. With that said, Benjamin Franklin managed to formulate a great set of virtues that I only slightly disagree with myself.

But I guess the frugality one I disagree with since spending little hurts the economy. Obviously that doesn't mean you spend money on *useless* stuff like pet rocks or something, but you should probably still spend a lot, and not be frugal. For the benefit of the economy.

That's a good point, I'd agree that certain spending is good for the economy. I think the driving point is finding a balance between spending enough to benefit the economy while not jeopardizing our own financial security. That's a tricky thing to do for alot of people unfortunately.

But I try to understand where someone is coming from, live in their shoes before you do anything to the person. I feel that that is a very important thing to do, and resolves many conflicts. Very good strategy for living

That is a good virtue! I like it :)
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