Showing posts with label Morality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Morality. Show all posts

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thoughts of Benjamin Franklin, Religious Doctrines

By;  Benjamin Franklin

I had been religiously educated as a Presbyterian; and though some of the dogmas of that persuasion, such as the eternal decrees of Godelectionreprobationetc., appeared to me unintelligible, others doubtful, and I early absented myself from the public assemblies of the sect, Sunday being my studying day, I never was without some religious principles. I never doubted, for instance, the existence of the Deity; that he made the world, and govern'd it by his Providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crime will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter. These I esteem'd the essentials of every religion; and, being to be found in all the religions we had in our country, I respected them all, tho' with different degrees of respect, as I found them more or less mix'd with other articles, which, without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serv'd principally to divide us, and make us unfriendly to one another. This respect to all, with an opinion that the worst had some good effects, induc'd me to avoid all discourse that might tend to lessen the good opinion another might have of his own religion; and as our province increas'd in people, and new places of worship were continually wanted, and generally erected by voluntary contribution, my mite for such purpose, whatever might be the sect, was never refused.

Tho' I seldom attended any public worship, I had still an opinion of its propriety, and of its utility when rightly conducted, and I regularly paid my annual subscription for the support of the only Presbyterian minister or meeting we had in Philadelphia. He us'd to visit me sometimes as a friend, and admonished me to attend his administrations, and I was now and then prevail'd on to do so, once for five Sundays successively. Had he been in my opinion a good preacher, perhaps I might have continued, notwithstanding the occasion I had for the Sunday's leisure in my course of study; but his discourses were chiefly either polemic arguments, or explications of the peculiar doctrines of our sect, and were all to me very dry, uninteresting, and unedifying, since not a single moral principle was inculcated or enforc'd, their aim seeming to be rather to make us Presbyterians than good citizens.

At length he took for his text that verse of the fourth chapter of Philippians, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, or of good report, if there be any virtue, or any praise, think on these things." And I imagin'd, in a sermon on such a text, we could not miss of having some morality. But he confin'd himself to five points only, as meant by the apostle, viz.: 1. Keeping holy the Sabbath day. 2. Being diligent in reading the holy Scriptures. 3. Attending duly the publick worship. 4. Partaking of the Sacrament. 5. Paying a due respect to God's ministers. These might be all good things; but, as they were not the kind of good things that I expected from that text, I despaired of ever meeting with them from any other, was disgusted, and attended his preaching no more. I had some years before compos'd a little Liturgy, or form of prayer, for my own private use (viz., in 1728), entitled, Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion. I return'd to the use of this, and went no more to the public assemblies. My conduct might be blameable, but I leave it, without attempting further to excuse it; my present purpose being to relate facts, and not to make apologies for them.


T was about this time I conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection. I wish'd to live without committing any fault at any time; I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company might lead me into. 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. But I soon found I had undertaken a task of more difficulty than I had imagined. While my care was employ'd in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason. I concluded, at length, that the mere speculative conviction that it was our interest to be completely virtuous, was 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. For this purpose I therefore contrived the following method.
In the various enumerations of the moral virtues I had met with in my reading, I found the catalogue more or less numerous, as different writers included more or fewer ideas under the same name. Temperance, for example, was by some confined to eating and drinking, while by others it was extended to mean the moderating every other pleasure, appetite, inclination, or passion, bodily or mental, even to our avarice and ambition. I propos'd to myself, for the sake of clearness, to use rather more names, with fewer ideas annex'd to each, than a few names with more ideas; and I included under thirteen names of virtues all that at that time occurr'd to me as necessary or desirable, and annexed to each a short precept, which fully express'd the extent I gave to its meaning.
These names of virtues, with their precepts, were:
1. Temperance
Eat not to dullness; 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 employ'd 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 extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness.
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11. Tranquillity.
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. Chastity.
13. Humility.
Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judg'd 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 master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone thro' the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arrang'd them with that view, as they stand above. Temperance first, as it tends to procure that coolness and clearness of head, which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to be kept up, and guard maintained against the unremitting attraction of ancient habits, and the force of perpetual temptations. This being acquir'd and establish'd, Silence would be more easy; and my desire being to gain knowledge at the same time that I improv'd in virtue, and considering that in conversation it was obtain'd rather by the use of the ears than of the tongue, and therefore wishing to break a habit I was getting into of prattling, punning, and joking, which only made me acceptable to trifling company, I gave Silence the second place. This and the next, Order, I expected would allow me more time for attending to my project and my studies. Resolution, once become habitual, would keep me firm in my endeavours to obtain all the subsequent virtues; Frugality and Industry freeing me from my remaining debt, and producing affluence and independence, would make more easy the practice of Sincerity and Justice, etc., etc. Conceiving then, that, agreeably to the advice of Pythagoras in his Golden Verses, daily examination would be necessary, I contrived the following method for conducting that examination.
I made a little book, in which I allotted a page for each of the virtues. I rul'd each page with red ink, so as to have seven columns, one for each day of the week, marking each column with a letter for the day. I cross'd these columns with thirteen red lines, marking the beginning of each line with the first letter of one of the virtues, on which line, and in its proper column, I might mark, by a little black spot, every fault I found upon examination to have been committed respecting that virtue upon that day.

Conceiving God to be the fountain of wisdom, I thought it right and necessary to solicit his assistance for obtaining it; to this end I formed the following little prayer, which was prefix'd to my tables of examination, for daily use.
"O powerful Goodness! bountiful Father! merciful Guide! Increase in me that wisdom which discovers my truest interest. Strengthen my resolutions to perform what that wisdom dictates. Accept my kind offices to thy other children as the only return in my power for thy continual favours to me."
I used also sometimes a little prayer which I took from Thomson's Poems, viz.:
"Father of light and life, thou Good Supreme!
O teach me what is good; teach me Thyself!
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,
From every low pursuit; and fill my soul
With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure;
Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss!"

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Popular Rubbish - Harper's Magazine Why Vote?

Talk about a tough article to read.  Has this peron ever picked up a history book?  Or are we just seeing more history being revised?  As we read through the first article, Why Vote?,  we saw so many errors in the first two pages we had to walk away from reading the rest.  We have to explain what we mean here.  When you are seriously studying and researching history, history is not free from religion.  In fact, it is the basis and basics of history for the past 10 thousand years.

  When you try to remove the religious aspects of history, you end up with a very demonized view of events that can not logically be explained unless you are trying to show a demonized view of history and trying to demonize the past.  That is what we saw as the flaws in the above piece.  It is not our objective to shove any form of religious beliefs down anyone's throats.  Man or Woman for that matter have an individual relationship with one's God or higher power.  Your religious views or lack thereof are between you and your higher power.

  We are just pointing out what we see as common flaws that have penetrated the world over the past 100 plus years and gets more insidious with each new decade.  It has demonized the past in ways that have no logic left.  Instead the only conclusion one can have is that the world is evil and always has been so therefore must always be.  A study of the issues of slavery is a prime example.  We will be showing over the coming months that slavery was a religious moral.  It still is a religious moral in many parts of the world.  Failure to understand this is where so many people are lost as to what is really going on.

  The debates over the religious moral of slavery are centuries old.  Was the Civil War in the US over slavery?  You may be surprised that it was more of an issue of religious interpretations of Christianity on the morality of slavery than of slavery itself.  We have been compiling those documents for some time now and have already posted on this site one of the first digital publications of this issue.

  The issue is highly controversial and we are aware of that.  Again, it is not our intention to argue for or against the issues, just to show the true history of the events of the past, because they are no longer being discussed.  This is what happens when you try to remove religion from the world.  The world no longer makes any sense.  Stay tuned, this will get very interesting.
The battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d. 1863, d...
The battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d. 1863, depicting the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1—3, 1863. The battle was part of the American Civil War and was won by the North. Hand-colored lithograph by Currier and Ives. EspaƱol: Batalla de Gettysburg Magyar: A gettysburgi csata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

For The Common Good of Gloucester, Virginia Government

There may be some people that do not like this letter.

Open Letter to the Citizens of Gloucester County Virginia,

“For the Common Good. “

The Virginia Constitution was written by men from all walks of life that wanted us to not live under the rule of an unjust government.  Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States?  How about the Constitution of Virginia? The Virginia Constitution is similar.

Article 1 Section 3. Government instituted for common benefit. This sounds like the definition in Wikipedia for a commonwealth.  We have to work together for the common good or be torn apart by those that want to treat us unfairly.  One way we are treated unfairly is when government employees and elected officials use their position working on the clock for their own gain.  There have been reports on this blog about government employees conducting personal business in government vehicles (Animal Control going to Hardees in a government vehicle) and opening the county garage for who knows what on a Saturday evening and elected officials in private organizations then voting to approve that organizations proposal.  According to Mr. Thompson, several active and former government employees have provided this information in an attempt to stop the activities.  If government employees are working to try and clean up these inappropriate activities we as citizens of the county should do our part and report these activities also.

  I am not saying that all government employees are bad or do things inappropriately most are good and dedicated to performing their jobs; however, for whatever reason they are not able or willing to go through their chain of command to report inappropriate behavior; this is also seen at higher levels of government.  Email the information to Mr Thompson’s blog site, he is willing to publish the information and provide it to the county officials to get it stopped.

  He does have a history of getting information to the people who can make decisions.  He was successful with an issue with a homeland defense employee that thought he was above the law, and there have been no more reported inappropriate visits of Animal Control Vehicles to Hardees.

Homeland Security has been telling everyone if they see something report it.  This should apply to us when we see county employees doing things that are not right.  How do I know if it is something to report?  Is it something you would do? What should you report?  Is there a county vehicle parked at a business and the employee shopping or seem to be taking long breaks instead of working, are people going into county buildings at hours that are not appropriate.  Do not hesitate to call 911 if they are obviously breaking the law.  However, we know there are people in the county that hold grudges so this blog site allows you the opportunity to make an anonymous complaint.  Mr. Thompson needs to have enough information to ensure it is not a false complaint which is against the law and not protected speech, if you can safely take pictures do so if not provide all the details you can.  As a reporter, Mr Thompson would like to know who he is receiving information from and will keep it confidential.

For the common good of all of us and to keep our taxes low we owe it to ourselves and the good government employees to do our duty and report the wrong when we see it.  We owe it to ourselves to have the best government and employees in our county.  “For the Common Good. “


Alexander James Jay

P.S. I am not a lawyer so I am not giving you a legal definition but what these writings mean to me.

Free MP3 Music Download - Briareus - The Great Wheel - Jazz tune.  Very mellow and laid back cool tune.

(cc) Some Rights Reserved - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SAYou can copy, distribute, advertise and play this track as long as you:
  • Give credit to the artist
  • Don't use this album for commercial purposes
  • Distribute all derivative works under the same license

For all the latest news, please click on the Home button towards the top of this site.  
Have a news story? Submit it above.
Some of Gloucester's most incredible history is found on this site in detail.
Gloucester, VA Links and News – A GVLN Website.
We cover what no one else will.
Enhanced by Zemanta