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Benjamin Franklin’s ideology, manipulation of language, and illustration assert that the
ability to reason enables individuals to justify their comportment.
“I consulted with my Master Tyron the taking of every fish as a kind of
unprovoked murder…………But I had formerly been a great lover of fish, and when it came
hot out of the frying pan it smelled admirably well.” In this extract Mr. Franklin expresses
the fact that he disapproves the consumption of cod, since the fish have not, nor are they
able to attack. However, in the quotation that follows, he seems uneasy since he is a fish
lover, hence, his temptation serves as a foreshadow of the proceeding events: his
consumption of fish and its aftermath’s which in this case are his justifications.
Mr. Franklin’s ability to reason enabled him to justify his incentive to eat fish. “I
recollected, that when the fish were opened, I saw smaller fish taken out of their stomachs:
Then taught I, if you eat one another, I don’t see why I mayn’t eat you.” In this portion of
his excerpt Mr. Franklin concluded there was no apparent reason to feel guilt upon his
ingestion of fish, given the fact that fish eat one another. Therefore, he reasoned, that his
consumption of fish was equally justified.
The principle of reasoning in order to justify one’s actions proves to be efficient if
properly applied. For example, I recently made a commitment to improve my ability to
remain calm, even when under a considerable amount of pressure. However, yesterday
when my brother decided to engage in one of his everlasting tantrums, I lost my patience
and proceeded to castigate him (in a non-violent manner of course) for his actions.
After much deliberation, I realized that my reaction was for my brother’s best
interest. Had I not reprehended his actions, he would have continued to disperse of his
anger in very violent manners. Therefore, my ability to reason allowed me to justify my
actions. The capability to remain calm under pressure is essential, however the ability to
recognize when certain boundaries have been crossed proves to be most efficient.
In his last sentence, “So convenient a thing is it to be a reasonable creature, since
it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has mind to do.” Mr. Franklin
concludes that individuals endowed with the capacity to reason, are empowered to create
valuable justifications for all of their actions. Mr. Franklin’s assertions demonstrate to be
valid since he provides ample proof, which affirm the credibility of his assertions.
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