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The Enlightenment

The Enlightenment describes the period in history when modern though and reason began to exert influence in the world. This period of time, in the 18th century, assumed that human reason and rational thought was the best way to solve the philosophical and social problems of the day. The embodiment of the Enlightenment can be summed up as the quest for knowledge, the activity of the mind which constantly is seeking for the cause behind the effect. The man who belongs to the Enlightenment is unable to witness a phenomenon without seeking to find an explanation, seeks to remedy evil in the world, to find errors and correct them, and overall to understand the nature of the universe through thought and reason. Benjamin Franklin lived and epitomized the qualities and spirit of the Enlightenment (Aldridge, 1967, p. 5). The Enlightenment. was a period of time when a rational and scientific approach to life, religious, political, and economic issues promoted a secular view of the world. The Enlightenment espoused a world view of natural law and universal order. The leading figures of the Enlightenment agreed on several principles: the supreme faith in rational man, the need to discover and act upon the universal principles of governing humanity, nature, and society. These men attacked economic and social restraints, intolerance, censorship, and spiritual and dogmatic authority. Benjamin Franklin lived these principles and was a true man of his times. This paper will examine the life of Benjamin Franklin in several areas to show how he lived out these ideals.

Benjamin Franklin was an acknowledged deist. Deism is a belief system which advocates a natural religion emphasizing the morality of man, and denying the interference of the creator of the universe in mankind's affairs or the laws of the universe. Benjamin Franklin's indoctrination into deism began at an early age. His parents had emigrated because of the laws forbidding a...

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The Enlightenment. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:05, June 19, 2019, from