To me, Benjamin Franklin was a man of endless achievements. As I was reading through his biography in our literature book, his achievements never seem to have an end. After the talk we had about Benjamin Franklin in class, about how he pushed himself to learn and develop his thinking, the fact that he set an example for his fellow countrymen by promoting hard work, professionalism and thrift, made me realize that hard work and dedication really pays off in life. I think the main reason Franklin was as successful as he was, was due to his consistency with education. He was always a step ahead of others and this enabled him to establish his own views and opinions about the way of the world.
What I think is most fascinating about his writings are his views on religion, especially when he writes that Jesus Christ is not the son of God but merely a man with the greatest morals the world ever saw or has seen. I admire his courage of not even having such strong opinions, but stating them in his writings. Talking about Jesus not being the son of God, which is one of the most essential and central ideas of Christianity, would not be very appreciated by most Christians. But Franklin was not an oppressor and recognized and respected people that viewed Jesus as the son of God. He stated that he saw no harm in people believing that Jesus is the son of God, only if it had good consequences. I think his multi-dimensional ways of thinking has its ground in the fact that he was forced by his father during an early age to study to become a minister.
He resented any kind of oppression, especially religious oppression that was common during his time, and promoted religious freedom. But even though Franklin had views that would sound more familiar to us living in the modern world, and revolutionary and odd to people during his time, he always recognized God as the heavenly father and the creator of all things. What makes his views so astonishing to me is the fact that I can see myself in Benjamin Franklin in so many different ways. I too believe in God as our heavenly father and the creator of all things, but just like Ben Franklin, I like to go beyond the usual religious and political views of the world. Sometime we think that we are the most modern thinkers of all time, but as we can see through history, time has little to do with how people act and think, as in the views of Benjamin Franklin which were far too modern for his time. Religion has been a part of human culture for a very extensive time, and surely it will be a part of us for times to come.
Franklin was against the multitude of rules set by the church and followed his own doctrine which relied on the common sense of man. He said that if you want to serve God, you need to do good to man. He was also against visiting church and listening to long sermons and prayers which in his opinion did nothing to benefit anyone and was a big waste of time. He instead encouraged followers of God to stand up and act instead of just sitting down and listening. I agree with Franklin, but only to a certain point. I don’t think that going to church is an absolute waste of time; it can encourage people and give hope to those in need of it. Sometimes Franklin is very brutal and inconsiderate of the consequences of his words, but it all goes back to his childhood days and his resent of becoming a minister just like his father.
One of his more positive characteristics was his style of writing, which also represented what kind of person he was. He would continuously remind his readers about his flaws and mistakes, making him a more honest and reliable writer. I think he wanted to display to his readers that even a man with great success and intelligence does commit flaws and mistakes. But his most important message was to show his readers how to overcome these shortcomings and to always strive to do their best at whatever they were doing. Ben Franklin was without a doubt a perfectionist. But there is no doubt that Benjamin Franklin was a great writer, inventor and politician. I can imagine why Americans view him as an American hero. I see Benjamin Franklin as one of the most important figures that helped build the American dream and without him the dream may have been lost.