Thursday, October 21, 2004

Defining the Virtues

Here are Franklin's 13 virtues as he presents them:

  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 other or yourself, i.e., waste nothing.
  6. Industry -- Lose no time; be always employed 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 extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. Cleanliness -- Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
  11. Tanquility -- Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. Chastity -- Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation. (Ed -- he really wasn't good at this one!)
  13. Humility -- Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Some of them are about right for me, but others not so much. Being agnostic, I don't think that defining Humility as imitating Jesus is entirely appropriate. Perhaps as I work on this, I'll come up with my own definitions, or even my own virtues. But this is as good a starting place as any.

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