As perhaps one of the most celebrated intellectuals since the begin of America, Benjamin Franklin’s moral orientation was not based in a single set of religious beliefs, but in the fallible nature of the human soul. In his autobiography, Franklin details his pursuit of virtuous perfection by deriving 13 fundamental virtues which characterize a “good” person. His experiment, to attempt becoming a virtuously incorruptible person, called for him to designate a week to focus on each individual virtue, then compound each virtue on the other until he concluded his virtuous experiment with the virtue Humility.
Benjamin Franklin sought perfection. As humans, perfection is impossible, a fact which Franklin was confronted with face to face when he attempted to overcome his pride. While through his autobiography we can see that his heart rightly sought for a perfectly virtuous moral character, Franklin made a basic error in assuming that man, as a being separate from any moral boundary or virtuous higher authority, could in any circumstance be completely infallible at any given moment. Instead, virtuous and moral standard of perfection is not something to be attained, but something to be gained on the search and constant endeavor to become that truly virtuous and moral soul.