Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Virtue of Virtues

Everyone must answer ALL the following questions: When you are done, I expect one critical level question that propels the discussion forward--remember, this is a live blog Socratic. I want you to be discerning and thoughtful in your responses.

What is your favorite Franklin quotation from his "Autobiography"? (Please cite the quotation in the text and comment on it).
Since Franklin was trying to achieve an ethical, disciplined life, what today constitutes living morally or "right"?
Which virtue on Franklin's list do you think is most important? Why?
Which virtue do you think we need more of? Explain
What virtues does one need to be successful? Happy?


  1. "speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation." pg 93

    I think it hasn't changed much. Live a productive, organized, and proportional life.

    Of Mr.Franklin's virtues, I think that temperance is the most important, due to the fact that it is self control.It is because of this that all other virtues are possible.

    I think that moderation is this most needed, because this is avoiding extremes. This would make people more agreeable, less aggressive/passive, and just more balanced.

    I think that industry, resolution, and tranquility are the most important to a successful and happy life because of how they make a person productive and hard working, which can make them successful, they don't talk without meaning something, and they don't pick worthless battles.

  2. Could any of these virtues be removed without damaging the goal of moral and ethical perfection?

  3. My favorite quote from the autobiography is "A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little."

    I dont think there are set standards to morally living right. There are universal understandings and agreences to what being moral are but no one is ever going to completely agree.

    I think the most important value that franklin lists is Temperance. If we as humans have no self control then we are going to become too extreme.

    I think we need more Tranquility. Today people are always worried about something or stressing out. If we were all alittle more realxed then maybe it would carry into more everyday things in our lifes.

    To be successful we need to fallow all of these vitues, you cant be all tranquility and no justice, you need a balance and organazation.

    To be morally "right" do we need to follow all of the virtues?

  4. 1) Order. "Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time." I think this is my favorite quotation because it applys to my life. Usually I get stressed over small things, so I believe I should keep order but also let all of the other things fall into place.
    2) Constituting living morally or "right" really depends on your own life and your own morals. The way you can create your own way of living and believing what is right for YOU, relates to only YOU.
    3) I honestly don't think any virtue is more important than the next. They all have a place and they all relate to the real world. Each one can relate to somebody and also can have an effect on people.
    4) I think Silence "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation" is very needed because little conversations are sometimes not needed and can cause unnecessary dilemas.
    5) To be successful and happy, I believe all would fit into both categories because they all mean something and they all contribute to ones life. Each one of these virtues matters.

    Do you believe those are the only virtues we need for life? Could we add more? If so, what would you add and why?

  5. Parker, I do think some virtues could be removed. I belive that chasity could be removed. Maybe it is just the time and generation I have grown up in but I think that these days if we dont follow chasity we can still be considered "morally right"

  6. Jamie, to be morally right, I think we need to follow our own virtues and create our own path. If we set our own standards we might all agree with them a bit more. In my opinon, you grow up in an atmosphere that creates it all for you. You can tell where you want to be in the future, and set goals for your own self.

  7. My favourite quotation from Franklin's autobiography is: "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." (Franklin 92). This quote is intriguing to me because I think it shows a lot about what happens in our lives subconsciously. We may try to change ourselves in some direction, and as we are working on one thing another creeps up on us- as if by habit- and throws away our work towards change.

    Today, living morally or "right" consists of doing what YOU believe is "right". Living right has two different meanings: living by the way that you have no regrets in yourself, and living by the way books, religions, or others tell you you should live. Doing what is "right" can be either of these scenarios, even though people may think that the only way to live "right" is by the books.

    I think that there is two most important virtues on the list. Number four being one of them: "Resolution- Resolve to preform what you ought; preform without fail what you resolve." (93). I think that this is important because it is a virtue that pushes you to be true to who you are, and put your money where your mouth is. Another important segment is within number six; I agree with Mrs.Comp that the first part of it is not very understandable, and I would not follow it. But the last line: "...cut off all necessary actions." (93). I think that this is important because you should not keep things in your life that simply hurt you, and do nothing to help. Cutting off the things that hurt you, or make things in your life difficult is a very bold decision; it is a simple solution, in some ways, to large problems.

    I think in society we need more humility. People are not modest regarding almost anything in their lives and just shove good things about themselves in others faces just to be recognized. People should let themselves be recognized and awarded for things without having to prompt people to do it for them. I think that people would find it would mean a lot more to them if it unfolded on its own rather than impressing it upon others.

    The virtue that people need to be successful are all or most of the virtues. I think a lot of them go hand in hand, and one cannot stand alone from the others. You need all of the virtues to be happy and successful in some area or another in your life.

  8. Robert Fulgam's book, "Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten" proposes that life is often complex and changeable; basic values don't have to be complicated-they are simple and relatively lasting. Do we make life too difficult? Are we focused on the things that are trifling?

  9. My favorite quotation is..."Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifing conversation." This was my favorite one because i think it is something that is majorly overlooked in society and so many conversations are just gossip and the only thing they acommplish is starting even more gossip.

    Today, living morally means that you do your absolute best everyday to live honestly, sincerly, and not backing down on what you belive. You have have to not lie or cheat and live selfishlessly by putting others first.
    The virtue on Franklins list that is most important is...number 11...Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. This one is the most important because if you get super worked up about little things in your life your gonna miss out on the parts of live that actually matter. I think that you should decide if something is actually worth making a big deal about and if its not over something truley important then just move on to more important things because you will look back on it later in life and be like wow that was stupid to make a big deal out of petty little things.

    I think we need more of Humility because i feel like a lot of people only care about themselves and if they are impressing people or if people are noticing and recognizing them for what they do. It shouldnt be like that. You should do things because you feel like it is the right thing to do and you truly care about it and it shouldnt matter who notices. Its kinda like that thing, do good even when no one is watching.

    To be succesful in you need to have passion, determination, trust, faith, and honesty. To be happy you need to have most of the same virtues plus tranquility, order, temperance, and moderation. You just need to do what makes you happy and not worry about the things that dont matter...what ever virtue that would be

  10. Jamie, I don't think that Chasity necessarily means lack of or too little sex, I think Benjamin means not to have meaningless or spiteful sex.

  11. 1. "I wished to live without comitting any fault at anytime." (pg. 86) I think this is a good way to try to live but I do not think it is possible.

    2. I think living right today consists of mostly following laws because if comeone is in jail, you usually think its becuse they were not livivn their lives in the correct way.

    3.Five:justice, because if everyone in the world hurt the people who have hurt them we would not have a civil world and I think i more would be even more filled with violence and rage than it already is. Justice also means freedom. and in this virtue he states that freedom should not be taken for granted which i heavily aree with.

    4.I thiknk we need more silence. If people would just stop and listen for a change instead of only believing in their own opinions then maybe they could open their eyes to others and realize that theit ideas may not be rational.

    5. Temperance because if you have things in your life planned out and organized it is a direct road to success. Sincerity because I have noticed that being un-sincere does not make one happy. Cleanliness because being dirty sucks!!! and traquitily because being peacful is a way to not be stressed resulting in happiness.

  12. My favorite quotation from Benjamin Franklin's autobiography was his ninth quotation and it says "Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve."(Page 93)This is a good quotation because it is something that I follow. Epicurus's used to beleive that if you ignore pain and ignore joy then you will be a happy medium. People take their feelings into consideration too much, they do not think with their head as much as they think with their heart. People need to not take everything so seriously and they need to not take everything offensively.

    Today what makes a "right" life is a life that is lived for others. If you are selfless or just spend time helping other people out that is a good life. You have to be happy helping other people out though other whise you shouldnt do it. What makes a right life is not always following the rules or guidelines that people beleive we should follow but it is about following what we think is right.

    The most important virtue that Franklin had was his fifth one about frugality. To have a fufilling life you need to live to help out other people but also live for your hapiness. Making other people happy and making their life better should increase your self esteem.

    The world needs more temperance and self control. People act on their first thought and feelings instead of thinking it through and controlling yourself to do what is the right thingto do. People need to know when they are taking something too far and when they need self restraint.

    To be happy people need to find the virtues that make them feel good. Those virtues could be different for everyone. Somepeople may think that you need justice to be happy or yoou need frugality, it all depends on the type of person that they are. Most people would probably need order and tranquility because you cant live your life always crazy and busy, you need time to just relax and be at peace.

  13. "I wished to live without committing any fault at any time." (Pg 92 Beginnings)This quote absolutly astonishes me, he thinks that he can live his whole life without commiting a single fault. I mean a have just learned that I will always commite faults. I am also sure that most people know too that they can not live their life without making one mistake.
    There are many things that constitute living morally in todays society, I think that some of Ben Franklins virtues are still very important today. Although I think that self control of your life is another important value. Work ethic always will lead to bigger and better things in today's society. When a pearson a strong work ethic they almost always succeed.
    I think that Ben Franklins most important virtue was the industry this virtue tells us to use our time on things that are important or useful. When we waste time it never seems to pay off in the long run but if we always use our time wisely we will be able to get things done much more praficintly.
    I think we need more of the virtue silence. Every single day I hear a knew roomer that is spreading around the school about somebody. Sometimes it is necessary just to keep your mouth closed. If you speak only when it will benefit you I think that it will pay off for everyone.
    To be succesful we need a strong work ethic, order and frugality. These three virtues in my opinion will lead to a very succesful life. To be happy we need cleanliness,sincerity, and a good outlook on life. If you have a good outlook on life how can you not be happy?

  14. 1) My favorite quote from Franklin's Autobiography is "A man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little money than when he has plenty, perhaps through fear of being thought to have but little." (Pg.90 second column)This is my favorite quote because I think this is true of today's society. Those who have tons of money can easily give, but they arn't always sincere about it. Those who have little money may give with more of a passion because it's all they have. I just think it's something good that we all can think about.

    2) I think in today's society living morally or "right" consists of how hard one works as well as how they treat those around them. We live in a very judgemental society where someone is always watching. I think that being the best person you can be is considered right in this world. Treat those how you would want to be treated.

    3) The virtue that I find to be most important is Humility. I believe that someone who is humble knows how to relate to everyone. They are an excellent example for how to live. Being humble means you put others before yourself and your own desires. I think this is so important when it comes to living out one's daily life.

    4) I think the virtue that this world needs more of is temperance. There are very few times that this world and it's society encourage complete self-control. People live for the moment (often when partying or doing similar things) and they don't think about anything past the moment. Also, we are a society that always wants more. I think the world and its people need to learn to spend their earnings in moderation. I believe that it's important to save money for something more beneficial later on.

    5) In order to be successful, I think one needs to have the virtues of silence, order, resolution, and also humility. Often times, when working along side other people, we are tempted to voice our own personal opinions and beliefs. We don't let other people say anything assuming that we are right. I think in order to be successful at anything, it starts with being able to listen to others and silence yourself. With that,one needs to have order and a willingness for resolution. These will help you work out day to day problems as well as unexpected tragedies. Finally, I think that being able to be humble is a very important virtue that will make one successful. Being able to put others before yourself will always get you far in life.

    What is the motivation for one to live?

  15. My favorite quotation from the "Autobiography" was "So I sold some of my books to raise a little money, was taken on board privately, and as we had a fair wind, in three days I found myself in New York, near 300 miles from home, a boy of but 17, without the least recommendation to, or knowing of any person in the place, and with very little money in my pocket." (Benjamin Franklin pg. 86) I like this quote because it is an example of doing something that you don't know what the outcome will be. In life you have to be able to take chances and while some are bigger then others, they can all change the outcome of your life.

    I think that as today to live morally or 'right' you have to be able to be a good person. I think that many people would agree that when I person is able to help out another they seem to be living morally. I think that you also have to be happy and when a person is happy and is able to also help others then they are living morally.

    I think that the most important virture is Sincerity because ever since we were little we have been taught to be nice to each other. Also known as treating someone like you would want to be treated.

    I think that today we need to have more resolution. Even as teenagers, we have a tendency of not finishing what we have been asked. It doesn't metter if that is what we ask of ourselves or if thats what is asked of other people. I think that as a people we have to have more personal integrity and finish what we have started.

    I think that to be successful you have to have tranquility. I think that it is one of the hardest things to achieve, but it is also important. I think that you might not have peace with everything in your life, but overall you have to be happy with what you have accomplished and have peace within yourself.

    My question: Are you able to achieve all of the virtues? Should you only focus on a few?

  16. Is one set of virtues that is correct for one person, necessarily correct for everyone?

  17. With regards to virtue number eleven: "Tranquility- be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable."

    The contemporary 'translation' of this virtue seems to be saying that the little things do not matter, and you should not let them get in the way of your everyday, your happiness, your relationships etc.

    But do you think that "The Little Things" really don't matter at all and should be thrown aside such that the are seen as trivial?

  18. Mrs. Comp, I think we do make life too complicated sometimes. We blow things out of proportion when we don't really need to.
    We definitely are focused on things that are trifling.

    How can we fix that?

  19. I found the quote on page 92, when Franklin states, "I wished to live without committing any fault at any time..." as a visionaries view, for it is impractical to wish to live without fault. Life without fault would be far t boring and dull; people’s faults are what make life fun.
    To live morally in today’s society is to try and look clean in front of pigs. No matter how horrible you are, you can always find someone more disgusting and describe them. After awhile, you don’t look so bad compared to them.
    Of all the virtues on Franklin’s list, I find that silence is by far the most important of the thirteen. Without the virtue of silence, the world becomes too messy and loud, prohibiting even the most simple thought process. I find the most bothersome activity on this planet is talking without a purpose. If you have nothing intelligent to say, don't waste mine trying to be important.
    Again, this world needs more of that golden silence. I walk down the halls of this school and I can hardly here my own thoughts turning inside my head. If everyone would just take time to be silent, less time would be wasted on pointless conversations.
    In order to be successful, a person needs to be stronger in the virtue of Resolution. If a person cannot finish something they have started, they have little hope of making good impressions and going anywhere with their life. If they cannot finish a job, no one will even spare them a glance as they live their life in the gutter.

  20. My favorite quote was one of the virtues I liked: “Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation” (p.93). I liked this one the most because I want to become a listener instead of a talker and I want to hear about other and listen to their stories instead of telling mine. I talk too much and don’t want to.

    Today to live right is to do good, go to school, do your homework, go to college, get married, have kids, get a job, keep your job, do what is asked of you and don’t ask questions, and don’t cheat.

    I think silence is the most important because if no one was silent then who would be listening. I also think being humble is a very important virtue too. If we were more humble then there would be less violence and others would be looking out for each other and not for themselves.

    I think we need more Frugality. We have too much stuff in America. People always want the “new thing” and we can’t just live with what we have. We would be less selfish and think more of others.

    To be happy and successful we need tranquility. With tranquility you have less stress and you’re not so angry and your happy and won’t be mad with others around you.

  21. Remember, Franklin attempted to control behavior with reason-do we always do this? or...
    Do we live more by impulse, on a whim, instinct, etc. to satisfy our own needs, pleasures, desires?
    Do we miss out on the great or simple things if we use more disciplined behavior?

  22. Jamie, I agree with you on your idea about chastity, although some do follow this rule, many today choose not to and they are still considered socially acceptable.

  23. 1) My favorite Frankin quotation from his "Autobiography" is, "As I knew, or thought I knew, what was right and wrong, I did not see why I might not always do the one and avoid the other." (pg. 92) This quote, to me, means that everyone thinks they know right from wrong. But who dictates what IS right and what IS wrong? Who says that something is 'wrong'? The only person who can decide right from wrong is yourself. I believe that as human beings we are always taking the easy way out, regardless of if the decision is right or wrong. I think that Franklin is implying that we don't always think about what is right from wrong before we make decisions.

    2)Everyone's idea of living morally is different. I believe that no one can tell another person what the "right" way to live is. Everyone can dictate that for themselves. In my opinion, living "right" means finding faith in something. Everyone should believe in something. Whether it be God, or their family, or themselves, everyone should have something that keeps them going. Also, living "right" is taking care of yourself, staying clean, and living in a safe environment. I also believe that people should surround themselves with positive people, so they can become positive people too.

    3) Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. This is Franklin's most important virtue. This virtue creates peace. Don't fight with fire with fire, because it only creates a bigger fire. If there isnt peace among people, then things get out of control. This is important in society.

    4) I think that we need more of the virtue about justice. There is not enough peace in this world. People constantly fight and create bigger problems. If there was less fighting then we wouldnt have nearly as many problems as the world is facing today.

    5) I think that the cleanliness virtue is not needed to be happy. Yeah, it's good to be clean and smell good, but just because you stink doesnt mean you cant be happy. Some people dont have showers, or don't have a way to clean themselves. But I still see these people making it through the day. Majority of these people are the ones that don't care what other people think, because they are used to being made fun of.

  24. Mrs Comp, I think that we do make life to complicated. i believe that we as people worry mostly on the trublesome things in our lifes. We make life more complicated because we preoccupy ourselves with the bad.

    But is that a choice we as humans make or is that a automatic mindset?

  25. How can someone who is completely selfless be industrious? Is selflessness an extreme that should be avoided?

  26. Julia and Carina....i agree with both of you when you say that living morally right is living how YOU think is right. Everybody grows up learning that differnt things are "right" as you get older you add on to that or your beliefs on what is moral changes from maybe what your parents told you but i think that is where a lot of people learn what is "right" since everybody has differnt opinions, beliefs, and religions who are we to set exact rules on what is "right" i think a lot of it is the same because we have that feeling of what is right and wrong. conscience?

  27. 1) "Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve" (Page 93)
    --This means that when you start something, you need to finish it. When you leave things half done, you are never complete. In another sense, when something is already finished, but there was an error, you need to fix it. If the world never solved their mistakes, we would still be in the dark ages.

    2) In today’s world, to live "right" means to follow your dreams. Dream as if you'll live forever; live as if you'll die tomorrow. Our society is so diverse now days that it is all but impossible to conform to one specific thing. Everyone thinks in their own way, and there is nobody to tell them that their opinion is wrong. In a sense, as long as you do no harm to others, it is impossible to live "wrong" in today’s world.

    3) I believe that sincerity is the most important virtue on Ben Franklin's list. If people would just set aside their difference and look into what is really important, then there would be nothing wrong in this world. No wars would ever be started, no mobs would ever break out, and no one would get hurt. Of course, the other side to sincerity is being able to forgive those who have hurt you/others. Just because someone has made a mistake, does not make them a bad person. In fact, it makes them a real human; not some copy of what others want them to think.

    4) I think that in today’s world we need more moderation. There are a few people that have a ton of power, and then there are others that have little or even no power. In order to survive, there is no reason to have all of the power in the world. If power was shared, then people could be happier. Those on top need to learn to decipher between what is needed, and what is simply wanted. A lot of people want a really nice and fast car, but in retrospect, all you need is something with four wheels that will get you from point A to point B (safely, of course). Instead of buying the biggest house that they can afford, why don't those with power buy a moderate house for themselves, and a small house for someone that can't afford it?

    5) In order to be successful, one needs to have knowledge in the virtue of industry. If you use all of your time wisely, then you will get done everything that needs to get done, and possibly even more. When everything that needs to get done is done, then you can feel free to do what you want.

  28. -My favorite quotation from Franklin's "Autobiography" is p.86 "I wish to live without committing any fault at anytime." I like this quote because it really relates to my life. In my life, I have learned that making "any fault" does not result in any good outcome. I have learned that trying to do good and trying to help people is the better way to go; it gives me more opportunities.
    -Today, I believe that being humble and living with humility is what constitutes "living right." I believe this because when you are humble, you are selfless, you put other people before yourself, and you live without regret. To me, all of these things matter when I think about living morally.
    -Franklin's virtue of Sincerity is most important to me. Sincerity is something that doesn't just mean being sincere when you say something. It’s a way of being. I believe that sincerity consists of not judging someone because he/she is different. Saying something just for your own satisfaction would be an example of NOT being sincere. I think this is the most important virtue because it explains kindness and selflessness.
    -I really think that Sincerity is lacking entirely in today's society. I think that if we as humans were more sincere with our actions, thoughts, and words; truly most of the hurt in the world would diminish. We would be able to trust one another more. There wouldn’t be so much hate between countries. Not to sound cliché, but there would be peace on earth.
    -The virtues of, Humility, Resolution, Justice, and Tranquility are the ones that a person needs to be happy. Humility, because you can live independently from others and not have to feed off of others' approvals. Resolution, because you can stay true to your word and not worry about being judged because of your actions. Justice, because you are not judging others. Tranquility, because you are living peacefully with the infractions of life; you are not letting anything get in your path.

  29. "Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; Avoid trifiling conversation."- Ben Franklin
    This is my favorite quotation because I believe so much time is wasted thinking and acting on unimportant or unnessecary subjects. I believe people should try to make what they say during conversation valuable and genuine. We need to relax and not focus so much on talking. Before we just start rambling, we should listen to others, anylize the situation, and think.

    2) I truly believe that sincerity is the most important virtue to maintain. I have learned that people take things in different ways than other people. That being said, we need to watch what we say, and how we think. Before judging anything, we must look at the situation from both perspectives so that a bias opinion does not get initiated.

    3) CHASTITY!!!! actually I believe we need more sincerity in the world. People seem to be getting sidetracked by unimportant, ingenuine aspects of daily chit-chat. I think people should focus more on being true to themselves and others. CUT THE BS!!!!

    4)I believe people need to live in moderation to truly be sucessful. If people live excessively, they will start to realize that all of the things that they once enjoyed...are difficult to constantly achieve or obtain. Be happy with what you have, instead of expecting too much out of everything. I've found that living simply, and in moderation, it will make you respect and love things more when they do come in excess.

  30. Why do we work to better ourselves? I notice people want to please others, but do we forget the expectations we should set for ourselves? Shouldn't that matter more-what we as individuals think?

  31. "I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, we 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."
    Benjamin Franklin (pg 92)

    I can not decided between Tranquility and Humility, which of Benjamin Franklin's, virtues I like best. I believe that it is extremely important to be a humble person. I believe that expecting rewards for doing the right thing, takes away the purpose for doing good in the first place, and that you shouldn't always put your self first. But, I also thing that tranquility is very important. If we were to forcus on small (or large) things we can't change, then we would be wasting our time. Life is full of problems, so I don't think much time should be spent on the problems that can't be changed. Not getting caught up in things, that just staying level headed is a key in progressing.

    As far as what virtue I wish there could be more of the the world, I would say, Frugality. So many of the possessions we have, we do not need. We spend our money on useless things when it could go to good causes. Instead of spending our money on going out to get food every day at a restaurant we could, easily make our self the food, and use the money we would have spent for a good cause. I personally have experience with this. Before I would spend my money on what ever I wanted, but now I limit my spending, so that I can afford to sponsor a little girl in Ethiopia, and I can help out other people in impoverished areas. Every Christmas, my family takes money we would have spent on each other, and we by mosquito nets, vaccines, cattle, chickens.... and we give all of these things to areas that are in need of the particular object. When Benjamin Franklin came up with this virtue, I believe that he was on the right path. I have found that it is so much better doing what I am now then spending money on anything.

    I think that in order to succeed a person needs to have almost all of these virtues from, silence, and industry. I don't see anything wrong with taking part in meaningless conversation, or having times where you are not very efficient. But, I think that people should show self control, order (somewhat), resolution, frugality, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity (for some people depending on religion or other personal beliefs), and humility.

  32. Audrey, I think that it is possible to achieve all of the virtues in some way. All of the virtues can be seen in many different lights, and perceived differently by everyone. In short, I think that the completing of, or following of, all the virtues can be achieved; but to each their own, and all their own ways.

  33. I agree with Erik and Jamie. Chastity does not make someone socially unacceptable. I believe that chastity is becoming more and more popular in recent generations. I think that it is something that has come with this generation.

  34. Mrs. Comp, I do believe that we do make life to difficult. There are things in life that i dont think we need to trouble ourselves with. Though i think school is important i dont think we should be required to take classes on subjects that we are not planning to pursue.I think this ties in with the ninth virtue of moderation, stating we should not do too much.

  35. “My intention being to acquire the habitude of all of these virtues, I judged it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be mater of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone through the thirteen; and as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arranged them with that view, as they stand above”(93). This is my favorite quote because it shows Franklin’s determination and dedication in becoming the best person he can. This mission he set out to accomplish is a job that will never end for him because in his eyes, he will never be as good as his potential. Someone today who lives morally or “right” is a honest, dedicated, aware, and determined individual. In my opinion, the most important virtue on Franklin’s list is silence. It gets boring listening to people ramble on and on and on because they want all of the attention. More knowledge is gained by listening, rather than talking. Also, gossip comes from the desire to spread bad information and know other people’s personal business. We need more temperance, or self control. The world we live in would be much different if people learned to control themselves, their mouth, and their behavior. Much too often to people say what they don’t mean because they were upset or on a tangent.In order to be successful, one could use one or all of these virtues. For example, one could be frugal and sincere and still life a successful life. Or, someone could be clean, tranquil, and humble and be successful. To be happy, one could also have one or all of these characteristics. Depending on the individual, if they are happy with their life and who they are, it does not matter what characteristics they possess. (FYI- Chastity may be based off of personal religious opinions.)My question: Has anyone, since Franklin, taken his challenge seriously and lived their life solely based off of mastering the thirteen virtues? If so, did they document their journey?

  36. My favorite quotation would have to be "speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation." To me, living right today is accepting others for who they are. Another thing would be doing something right and good because you know it is right rather than being told or made to do it. Living right to me also means being able to put others before yourself; being a giver rather than a taker is a saying I have been raised up with. The virtue I believe is the most important would have to be number seven, sincerity. I believe this to be the case because each of us has the ability to speak and speak freely, but with doing so it can get out of hand by the tone and use of wording we say it. Speaking accordingly is harder to do in some situations but is most important. The virtue we need more of would be number five. This is because sometimes we take life and the people around us for granted until they are gone and it is too late. To be successful one must need the virtue number three. Order I believe is what people need to be successful because we need to try with everything we do, but also let things in your life fall into place without being to controlling and hard on yourself.

  37. Carina- I agree that people should be more modest abotu the things that they have accomplished. People should do things because they know it is right and because it makes them feel good about them selves if oter people know it or not. I do not agree that you sould have all of the virtues to be happy though, i beleive that the virtues change with every person. People do not always have to order and organization to be happy and they do not have to have cleanliness to be happy. It would be disgusting if they did not clean themselves but that does not always make people happy.

  38. Mrs. Comp I think that most people live on a whim to satisfy personal wants or needs. I don't neccisarly agree with this, however, I think it's how most people live.

    Why does the world focus on the "me" mantality? Will that get you anywhere in life?

  39. My favorite quote from the text was when Franklin stated, "I wished to live without committing any fault at any time." (pg. 86) In this quote, Franklin is saying that it would be the perfect life to live without making mistakes. I think that living life is when you mistakes. You need to mess up every once in awhile in order to live a 'perfect' life.
    Living morally today involves a person who follows the rules. Franklin, on the other hand, wrote his own rules to follow and live by. He lived a very disciplined life an never broke any of his rules.
    Franklin's most important virtues is the one on resolution. In order to live you need to be able to stand by your own opinions and stand for what you believe. Resolution describes how people must live their lives and how they need to do what they think necessary.
    We need more Justice because there are more wrongdoings than you could imagine. Justice would help bring order and sincerity to society as well.
    In order to be successful and happy you need to possess a little bit of all of these virtues. Every single one of these virtues is a key aspect to how one lives their life.

  40. 1) My favorite quote from Benjamin Franklins autobiography is "I wished to live without committing any fault at any time"(p. 86)I like this quote because it gives us an idea of what kind of person Benjamin Franklin was. It shows that he was a mature enough person to want to live a meaningful life and to achieve something few people have ever attempted.

    2)Since we live in a world of hardship, violence, and turmoil,I think these things constitute us to live a morally clean life so we can try to make the world a better place.

    3)I think tranquility is the most important of Franklins virtues because if people can have tranquility and a calmness about themselves, then a lot or confrontation and pointless arguments can be avoided.

    4)I think more people should have the virtue of moderation because if they can focus on many different things rather then one, their time could be used more efficiently.

    5)I think people need to be more successful in the virtue of sincerity and learn to be happy with helping others and putting people before yourself.

  41. I feel that I don't need to be think of others all the time to arrive at moral perfection. If a person does not think about others (as in other peoples troubles), can they not be moral?

  42. 1. My favorite quote was the one about silence because I believe that is true. It is a virtue that I think that many do not possess, and a lot of people just talk to be heard. Im not saying that I don’t do that, Im just saying that it sounds like a good idea if maybe we would all try it sometime and just take a second and listen to what everybody else is saying, because the brightest thinkers may not be the best speakers, so we have to give them a chance.
    2. Today I think all of his values might still apply because we all still talk nonsense and buy things we don’t need. Today though, I think that the world might be lacking a sense of honesty. For some reason or another, people are finding it harder and harder to tell the truth and/or take responsibility for their actions. I think that is another value, personal responsibility, that we could all take part in. To take personal responsibility is a freeing feeling because you then have nothing to hide, and with nothing hidden and unknown there is nothing we have to question or fear.
    3. Like I said before, I like the virtue of silence because people that need to speak are not heard, and people that want to speak are useless. Things that are essential should be said, and I will admit that I could maybe benefit a little more from this virtue.
    4. Industry is the virtue that I think everybody needs more of in life because I know and watch everybody waste valuable time doing things that don’t matter! Time should not be traded or lost. Never regret how you spend your time! I think that’s what Bennifer was trying to say.
    5. Everything that I just said for the previous question would apply for this one because you will not be unhappy with anything you don’t regret. Be happy doing what you love!

  43. There are several different things that constitutes the living morally today. I think that there are still some of Ben Franklin's virtues that we seek today. One of his virtues that i think is very important is resolution or sincerity because these two virtues really stood out to me and really mean something to me i think that resolution is the most important becuase we really don't see enough of it in today's society and we just really need to hold to our word and stick to what we say and not just forget about it and move on. Sincerity was another important virtue that was important to me because people should really just think before they speak and if they want to say something say it justly and accordingly. The virtues one needs to be sucessful and happy is cleanliness, order, and silence. I chose these three virtues because when one has cleanliness you wouldn't be uncleanliness by your clothing body, or habitation. If one has order you let each of your things have a place and have its time. If one has silence you speak not but but what may benefit you or others and aviod trifling conversations. Those are the 3 most important virtues we need to be sucessful and happy. The one quote that was my favorite was "i wished to live without commiting any fault at any time"... this quote is under arriving at Moral Perfection towards the begininning of pg 92.

  44. Parker, I think some of these virtues could be removed without damaging moral or ethical perfection. Not everyone believes in the virtues anyways, and those people have still reached moral and ethical perfection. Everyone's virtues are different. It depends on the way you live your life and what you believe is right.

  45. My favorite quote is, “A man being sometimes 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 struck me because most people right off the bat would think that you would worry about money if you had little but if you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.

    Today I think being, “morally” right is more open than ever. In the United States, we have freedom of speech, religion, press ect. and anyone can live anyway they want to. I, however, believe that if you are morally right you are a good person who honors themselves and is kind to all people.

    I believe humility is most important because that looks like it is basically religion. If you imitate Jesus you are most likely a Christian (religion). The most important aspect of my life is my relationship with God so I automatically viewed humility as the main virtue.

    Silence because during these times in high school there is a lot of judgment of ourselves and others. Imagine this world when we are not afraid of others judging us. Also sometimes it is good to shut up and pay attention to knowledge given to us from a different angle than what we see each day.

    To be successful I think frugality is important because you have control over yourself and you are able to make your own decisions. If you are truly frugal you know what you need and what you want. To be happy I believe tranquility is key because peace is essential and to me is under-rater.

    What is the least important virtue?

  46. 1. At the beginning of Franklin's autobiography(pg.86 second column, second line down), he mentions his brother and how he, too, could bring himself into a slump. Farther down the page(pg.86, second column, last sentence), he says " three days I found myself in New York, near 300 miles from home, a boy of but 17, without the least recommendation to, or knowledge of any person in the place, and with very little money in my pocket". I love how Franklin recognizes his weakness(s); that he'll become lifeless and boring if he doesn't take a risk and do something with himself.

    2. A life lived "right" nowadays is up to the person. We all have differently set morals in mind and how we aim to achieve that is up to us as individuals. I think there's certain expectations, like going to college or getting married. But the definition of "right" is more according to what you believe.

    3. Tranquility is the most important virtue on Franklin's list. It incorporates self-control, moderation, humility and silence all in one. Having the ability to be pacient, compromise and understanding is a rare virtue that should be valued.

    4. Silence is a virute society needs more of. Useless and uneccessary conversation or conflict is a cause of drama that makes life complicated when it doesn't need to be.

    5. A person needs to have the virtues of Tranquility, Silence, Industry, Sincerity, and Humility in order to be happy.

    Are some virtues temporary? What is it that motivates us to keep at them?

  47. Rachel- People focus on the "me mentality" because it will often get them somewhere but not everywhere. For example, in school, if you focus on yourself and not anyone else academically, you will go far. The whole journey of school is (basically) for preparing yourself for the future. However, if you are on a sports team and are only trying for your personal benefit, this will probably not help the team to succeed. It goes both ways!

    Nate- I agree that we need more moderation in life. If people would slow down, take one thing at a time, and do things well instead of haphazardly, the world would be happier and healthier.

    Mrs. Comp- I think that sometimes we make life too complicated, while other times we don't take life seriously enough. It all depends on the person and the situation.

  48. Carina- I do agree with you about how you can achieve all of the virtues in different ways, but a question that I just thought of would be: Do you think that as teenagers that we only focus on a select for? Or do we focus on any?

    Nate: I think that one set of virtues isn't right for everyone because of the different beliefs that everyone has. But I do think that if you got a list of everyones virtues then you would see many of the virtues overlapping.

    Zach- I think that if someone wanted to answer waht is the least important virtue the answer would depend on the person that you asked. Everyone has different views and I think that how people live their lives also changes their perpective on the virtues.

    Would someone that has all the momey in the world have the same virtues as someone that lives on the streets?

  49. Parker-I do not think that people need to have every single one of these virtues to be perfect. Everyone is different and believes in different things so not everyone can agree with every virtue. The "perfect person" does not need to have all those virtues all the time either, people make mistakes and do not always act how they should so it would be very difficult to always be perfect. There are also things that are not on this list that are characteristics people should have. I do not believe the goal of these virtues is to be that perfect person but to be the best person you can be.

  50. -My favorite quote from the article was actually from his list of virtues, “7. Sincerity, Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.” In my opinion this quote/virtue is giving the message that you shouldn’t use harmful language and don’t tell lies, but instead tell it how it is, and be nice about it. I think that this is important no matter what day it is. People sometimes get the wrong message out of something you might say, even if your intentions were good. I think that you should always watch what you say and it will save you from a lot of useless “drama”, I guess is what we call it, and it will save you in the long run.

    -I think today living right means giving things to others such as old clothes for the homeless or donating for cancer research, and not being judgmental, or not being discriminatory against another race.

    -I liked the Cleanliness one because there’s nothing worse than walking down the hallway and smelling that greasy kid who hasn’t bothered to take a shower in a couple weeks or is lacking deodorant.

    -I feel like we need more of his Frugality virtue. I don’t know why, the waste nothing part just caught my eye. I feel like society is too wasteful these days. There are so many people in this world who don’t have anything and here we are being wasteful with our money and everything else.

    -The cleanliness one. This will make you happy and everyone else that’s around you happy.

  51. Audrey- I believe that as teenagers we only focus on virtues in ways that we interpret them but for some people nothing else. I think that some people may not have any virtues to focus on, because they do not let themselves have any. They want to live any way that they please and not have any regret for it based on any virtues that they may have.

  52. Why do we work to better ourselves? I notice people want to please others, but do we forget the expectations we should set for ourselves? Shouldn't that matter more-what we as individuals think?

    Mrs. Comp- I believe that people work to better themselves because they want to feel good about themselves, and or in the light of the world they want to look good. I think that it is very easy to forget the expectations that we set for ourselves with regards to only wanting to please others around us. Being a people pleaser is very hard because all you want is for the people in your life to be in harmony with you and everyone else around you; It is tough- I am a people pleaser in the worst. It's hard to remember that you are number one, and no one else should matter. It is always important to remember what we as individuals think, but at the same time sometimes things are better sacrificed for the better of those around us.

  53. Julia-To fix the problem of things being blown out of proportion and people making things to complicated, we need to take a look at Franklin's eleventh virtue about tranquility. We should not let the little things grow to be bigger than they should be.

    Zach-There is no 'least important' virtue in someone's life because everyone has their owns set to live by and someone may have, for example, resolution at the top and another may have it near the bottom. So there is no least important virtue because everyone has different views.

    Do you believe that there is at least one single virtue in the world that will remain true for everyone?

  54. What is your favorite Franklin quotation from his "Autobiography"? (Please cite the quotation in the text and comment on it).
    “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.” It looks like a scary quote.. But I like this one a lot. The reason this is my favorite because it makes perfect sense, Benjamin Franklin makes it seem so easy to be perfect all the time. He is saying that habit took control over having to pay attention to not screwing up. Being different and committing to not making mistakes just took control in his life. This is a perfect example of how you can put faith into yourself and accomplish whatever you want to do. Which is pretty exciting in my opinion.

    Since Franklin was trying to achieve an ethical, disciplined life, what today constitutes living morally or "right"?
    In order to live an ethical, disciplined life in today’s society requires you to be balanced, honest,

    Which virtue on Franklin's list do you think is most important? Why?
    I think number 13 is the best quote in there. “Humility, imitate Jesus and Socrates.” I don’t know a whole lot about Socrates, but I would say I know a ton about Jesus and trying to imitate is probably the greatest challenge of them all. Now if Franklin was only talking about being humble I guess that’s a little bit more probable but between Jesus and Socrates, they possess all the virtues on the list.

    Which virtue do you think we need more of? Explain
    “Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.” That was probably my favorite quote from the entire autobiography because of how much it pertains to my own life. I believe that people waste too much of their life on things that are not important. In all the time we have in one day, how much of it are we spending it on gossiping with our friends, or fighting with our parents? An even more prevalent example, how much of our time do we spend on hanging out with our friends rather then spending it on our future. I know that there has to be a balance in everyone’s life, but when you think about it, we have a big problem with this in our society. I believe that teenagers have this problem more then anyone.

    What virtues do one need to be successful? Happy?
    Since Franklin was such a successful person, naturally some of the virtues would pertain to being successful. The order one pertains to business because if you are not organized then you cannot be successful. To be happy I think self control (number one) and justice (number eight) are most important for being happy because having self control pretty much can be applied no matter what perspective your looking at. Justice is more like not fighting fire with fire, which is just a waste of time.

  55. My biggest question going through this whole packet was:
    If Franklin was so good at doing everything right, how could he be happy if he hadn't suffered from making mistakes? Does being perfect lead to true happiness?

  56. Alissa, I agree with you. How can you know what happiness is if you've never gone though the pain of making mistakes?

  57. I know of all the mistakes I have made in my life, that's been what teaches me how to live correctly. Learning from the mistakes that I have made. If I hadn't made them then I wouldn't have the values that I do today.

  58. I feel the same way... I know that struggles make you stronger and wiser. You never know whats right or wrong until you make the mistakes you need to make.

  59. My favorite quote from Ben Franklins Autobiography is "I wish to live without committing any fault at any time." I think is something that everyone tries to live by but the problem is we're human; we make mistakes so this idea is almost impossible to try and live by.

    I think we aspire to live morally right but the problem again is that were human we can't be perfect. Franklin says that his goal was to follow the thirteen values to achieve moral perfection but I believe that it is impossible to live by any one of the values because we are bound to break them.

    I think the most important view is order because we live in an orderly society. That is how we were brought up as human beings, to be orderly.

    I think we need more moderation. As a technological society it is almost imposable to moderate our lives. We are moving faster and faster, never stopping to enjoy the little things. If we include moderation in our lives things may slow down a bit but we also may find ourselves healthier because we would not rely on fast food to feed us instead we would have more "family meals". People might be generally happier.

    Theoretically we need all the virtues to be successful but we are only human, we make mistakes. I think that people need to try to live by the virtues in order to lead a happy life.

  60. Parker- I think removing one of the virtues would affect a small portion of the goal to be morally good, I don’t however think it would have an effect on you in a whole.

  61. @Parker: I think that removing morals in a way makes you less moraly right. In the same way though, morals are different in every persons eyes. So to one person what seams like something is being removed, to another could seam like nothing is missing.

  62. @Mrs. Comp: I think that in today’s world, we do seem to focus on things that are not that important. This is because of how much more information is available to people now. With the internet, and cell phones, and laptops, and hand held wireless devices like iPod's, it's almost hard not to pick up on insignificant things. Someday, things like this may be important, but because there is still the older generation that is not used to having these types of resources at hand, they still seem insignificant.

  63. @Audrey, I don't see how anyone could actually do all of them. No matter how hard you try you will mess up, even if it is a little mistake. And then if you mess up there is a fault.

    @Mrs. Comp, I completely think that we waste so much unneeded time on small things that don't matter. If we didn't I don't think people would be wearing the clothes they do, or that girls (who do) would be spending their time on hair and makeup. These exterior things, just don't matter. Same goes for many other small things that everyone stresses about. Most likely what ever small thing you are freaking out about, everyone else has too, and it just doesn't matter. People need to stay focused on whats important.

  64. Kirby-in answer to your question, I don't think that there is one true virtue for everyone to live by. People have their own opinions and beliefs therefore, not everyone could agree on one true virtue. I think people base a virtue on how it matches up with their personal beliefs.

  65. Audrey,
    You asked the question, "Are you able to achieve all of the virtues? Should you only focus on a few? " This really made me think about that because i do not believe it is possible to be perfect (I have tried). It is impossible to achieve everything but it is very important to focus on a few very important qualities.

    I really agree with your answer to question number 3. This world would be so much better if people put their differences aside.

    I liked your attention grabber! I do however agree with what you said that sincerity and acceptance would make the earth so much better.

  66. Renee- I completely agree with you on the subject of people thinking too much with their emtions. I believe that in this day and age it is completely impossible NOT to make a decision without checking with your emotions first. I like your approach at the idea of people being happy.
    Teddi-I really agree with you when you say Tranquility is the most important virtue. From what you said about it,i have a new perspective on that idea.
    Mrs. Comp- I believe that we work to better ourselves because we get too bored with our own lives. We see other people getting ahead in life, therefore we want to do the same thing. Somehow we have become so accustomed to doing this, that is it routine.

  67. 1) My favorite quote from the autobiography is "I wished to live without committing any fault at anytime." This was interesting to me, for how could anyone possibly life their life not being at fault for absolutely anything. Its kind of a hard to achieve goal. Wouldn't being at fault for something beneficial be a good thing?
    2)Today religion constitutes/ plays a big role on what is right/morally. People base that off of their religion and what they feel is right and wrong.
    3)Tranquility to me would be the most important of Franklin's virtues. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. I like this idea of being calm and not involved in chaos, and free from disturbances.
    4) Honestly I think we need more of each virtue, but if there was more resolution to our lives things would have better outcomes.
    5) If someone was to be successful and happy they again would somewhat need all of these virtues. Humility, tranquility, and resolution to be peaceful and happy with themselves. Order, industry and resolution as well for success in what they do to stay focused and set on being a success.

  68. Ashleigh/Alissa- I agree with the whole, how would we learn from mistakes without making them? How would Franklin stay so perfect and know all of the mistakes there are to be made before he made them. And I agree with you Ashleigh "you never know what is right or wrong until you make the mistakes you need to make".

  69. Julia, I like your idea of how we need to follow our own virtues and follow our own path. If someone has their own virtues and idea of how they want to be, then they will truly never be happy unless they fulfill there own perspective, and not just the morals other people have set for you. You will never be happy, until your happy with yourself.

  70. 1. My favorite quotation from Franklin's autobiography was " Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly." I enjoyed this quote the most because I believe it is very important to choose your words wisely and think before you speak. I do not think you should say something unless it is sincere and you mean it.
    2. I believe today living a moral life is living not merely by the law, but by your own morals and possibly the morals and virtues of your religion.
    3. In my opinion, Humility is the most important of Franklin's virtues. I have the highest respect for people are are talented, gifted, and privileged, and still lead a completly humble life. There is something very special and unique about a person with this character quality.
    4. I think we all need more Moderation. We always want the biggest and the best. We look right past the small things in life. The small things in life usually brings us the most happiness.
    5. I believe in order to be happy we need a little of all of these virtues. Not exactly at the same time but I know that all of them individually can bring us happiness. They are all equally important and all have completly different meanings. I think it is impossible for one to have all these virues all the time but as long as you try your best happiness can still be attained.

    Why does our world and the people in it strive for happiness and perfection?