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A Closer Examination of Benjamin Franklin's Hierarchy of Divine Beings as Well as the Supreme Creator and the Justification of Their Continued Worship

Essay by review  •  December 22, 2010  •  Essay  •  887 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,060 Views

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One of the more interesting comments or assertions that Benjamin Franklin makes in some of his writings is his stance on religion and his own personal beliefs. These religious views that he holds are quite unique and maybe even controversial when you consider the strong position of the Christian church in his day and the way these ideals were sort of looked over by his fellow Americans. This is important to consider because contrary religious ideals held by some of his fellow philosophers ruined their careers and reputations while his own religious ideals were sort of tolerated without much comment. His assertion that there was what could be called a hierarchy of divine beings below that of the Supreme Creator that we should pray and worship too was very unique when the classic Christian values were being taught and put forth as the proper religion of the majority of the American people. His justification for this claim is well thought out and reasoned when you consider the influence that the natural world had on him and his desire to see parallels in nature and his fellow citizen's lives.

In the "First Principles" he states that he believes that Man is not the most perfect Being and that since there are many Degrees of Beings his Inferiors, there must naturally be many Degrees of Being superior to him. Since Man must be very far from the Supreme Creator these Beings between Man and the Supreme Creator must be beings that he, the Infinite refers to as divine beings or Gods. It's these Gods that we should worship and pray to because the Supreme Creator isn't interested in our prayers because we are so below his notice. It would be better in his opinion to leave the prayers to these lower beings or Gods because they are better able to understand his Perfections than mortal man. The reason that Franklin is lead to make this conclusion is because he feels that there are so many suns and worlds out there in space that are like our own solar system it's safe to say that the Earth is nothing and by extension Man too is an inconsiderable Nothing that is beneath the Supreme Creators notice.

He feels that even though this Ð''Supreme Creator' doesn't want our praise or possibly even expects or requires our worship we should still pay divine regards to the God that created our particular Solar System. He feels that we should pay our divine regards to this god because Men are unlike all other animals in that we are endued with Reason and it's our duty to and required of us to pay our regards to something so what could be more worthy than the one that created our own System. He also believes that we are similar to our Ð''God' because we possibly have some of the same Passions that he has inside himself and that this coupled with the Reason that he gave us means that he wants us to be able to see the wisdom in his Creation. This is

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