Benjamin Franklin vs. Jonathan Edwards
If you have ever read Jonathan Edward’s “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and Benjamin Franklin’s “The Autobiography” you will clearly see a difference in their ideas concerning moral perfection. You will notice one of them has a very pushy, forceful way of presenting their views, Jonathan Edward, and one has a more laid back, easy going way of presenting their views, Benjamin Franklin. Just in the way in which they present their views tells a great deal about their actual views. Jonathan Edward’s has a very religious, traditional view of moral perfection while Benjamin Franklin has a more ideological and simple way of viewing moral perfection.
It is extremely evident from “Sinners in the Hands of and Angry God” that Jonathan Edwards has a very traditional and religious view of moral perfection. Part of this most likely is due to the fact that he is a preacher. “There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there in hell’s wide gapping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of; there is nothing between you and hell but the ai
"I included under thirteen names of virtues all at that time occurred to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully expressed the extent I gave to its meaning. Later in the text he also states, "If God should withdraw His hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling, than the thin air to hold up a person that is suspended in it. Franklin believes in "fixing" your attention on one virtue at a time. " This statement supports the previous statement that God is the one keeping you from going to hell. This really says something about Benjamin"tms view. The names of the virtues that comprise the list include temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility in that order. r; it is the only power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up. " Franklin puts a lot more thought and time into his ideas of moral perfection. " As you can see from this quote of Jonathan Edward"tms, he feels that God is the only power that is holding you from you going to hell. He also has a much different way to achieve moral perfection as compared to Edward. Edward had a much more traditional and religious idea of it as compared to Franklin. Benjamin in my opinion has a much more laid back and ideological view of moral perfection. He thinks that people should evaluate their daily ways of life until they have perfected it through a record system.