Benjamin Franklin & Henry David Thoreau Essay

Benjamin Franklin & Henry David Thoreau Essay

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Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau have been thought of as two powerful philosophers in history. Both men were alive centuries ago, but their unique ways of life and ideas still exist in some of history’s most admirable figures. Each man had a judgment that went beyond the era they existed in, but is still obvious in today’s culture. Even though both men are credited for their wise principles, their beliefs do not always coincide with one another. However, one thing they do have in common is that they both revolutionized America through their thoughts, actions, and distinctive opinions on how to improve the world around them.
Henry David Thoreau and Benjamin Franklin had a lot of similar ways of life. The men didn’t believe in the Christian religious conviction of the time. Franklin supported Deism, in which people think that God shaped human beings and the soil, but would not get in the way of human development in it. Thoreau supported Transcendentalism, which is the faith that human beings are independent, unique people, who are one with the natural world. The beliefs of both these philosophers were very different than what the rest of society deemed socially acceptable, but this did not affect them in the least bit. In fact, their religious beliefs are part of what made these men such influential figures in American history. Franklin’s beliefs in Deism reflect his outlook on life. He was a very driven, hard-working person who, if he discovered a problem with society, he would do everything in his power to fix it. The fact that Deists believe that God will not get in the way of human development suggests that He will not fix one’s problems for them. They are expected to fix it themselves, which is exactly what Franklin ...


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...d his book to query, watch, and be grateful for nature.
Since the human race began, the goal of becoming the best person one can possibly be has been a common one amongst society. The definition of a meaningful life, or a good person varies an infinite amount based on one’s opinion. However, regardless of the definition, one thing is for certain. Both Benjamin Franklin and Henry David Thoreau without a doubt achieved this goal. Although they had different ideas and beliefs, they got to the same result, which was to experience a full and significant life. Not only did they both achieve this, but they also made the world a better place in their own unique ways. By improving the world around them, both Franklin and Thoreau will be in our history books forever as incredibly influential people, whose ideas and narrative works are still admired and studied to this day.

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