Thursday, September 8, 2011

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography was not only useful in learning about one of the founding fathers of this country but also in learning about the growth of young America. As a young boy, Franklin ran away from this brother to which he was an indentured servant-which he did not admit to in his narrative. Although he encountered a struggle in this country, Franklin did not express himself in such a manner. He seemed to breeze right through with the help of many and nothing would stop him. In his autobiography I could sense the air he had of thinking very highly of himself and did not do any wrong.  Franklin even included letters from other people almost venerating him and asking him to write about himself because his life was so great. Later on, he was even trying to perfect his personality and work on some virtues but it was obviously not an easy task.
Even though at the time education was not thought highly of, Franklin vouched for it. He did not like the educational system but what he was in favor of was self education. This concept was not popular since many were too busy working as much as they could and did not spare time for the furthering of their knowledge. Nevertheless, he started a public library in Pennsylvania to promote self education among other citizens.
Another aspect that stood out to me was the way Franklin thought of religion. He was very well versed man but was not content with the way the churches gave their instruction. In chapter 6 he wrote that "not a single moral principle was inculcated or enforc'd, their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens." This reminded me of how most religions really don't try to teach what the bible says but would rather teach doctrine. If people sat down and dedicated time to read the bible then they would find out that what most religions are doing is not what should be done. But this idea of self education really ties in with learning not about religion but what God approves. And of course it follows that if people learn how to become better and act in consequence, they will contribute to the betterment of society.

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