Benjamin Franklin Rights Over Religion

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Rights Over Religion: Human Rights in “Advise on the Choice of a Mistress” For some people, commitments are difficult to sustain in a marriage. In this generation, it is not abnormal to find families where the parents are divorced, detaching themselves from the vows they once made to their significant other. Many people find it difficult to commit themselves to one person over a long amount of time, possibly being unable to avoid affairs with other people along the way. During the literary era of Puritanism, it was disgraceful to take advantage of a partner in marriage or in any form of a relationship. However, the beginning of the Enlightenment creates the new concept that a person’s self values can be acceptable before their religious values. …show more content…
Benjamin Franklin notices that the natural inclinations that men have are similar to the ideas of the Enlightenment principles. The Enlightenment goes against religious values, similarly to how men go against the religious values of marriage in order to take part in affairs with other woman. This idea represents that although Benjamin Franklin is against the immoral views of men, he is not afraid to notice how men put themselves before others, just as how people put their own natural rights before God during the Enlightenment. Before Franklin helps men with their affairs, he gives a warning, saying that the men will “persist in thinking a commerce with the Sex inevitable [...]” (1). With the values of the Enlightenment, people have to be sure that they are happy with thinking against the moral values of their religion. Human values are placed second under the religious values perceived with God. However, Franklin notices that because others are willing to act out against their religion for the good of themselves, he may as well teach them how to act for themselves. Therefore, he recommends entering into an affair with an older woman. Franklin knows that people who wish to be in an affair may be confused by his sudden change of mind. He switches from a man who values religious ceremonies, …show more content…
Men would use Enlightenment principles to justify their unreligious acts. Benjamin Franklin states how there is “hardly such a Thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman” (1). When Benjamin Franklin is discussing how choosing an older woman for an affair is the best decision, it places the rights of men not only above their religion, but over other women. The Enlightenment principles support humanitarianism, which is when people who are more fortunate help the less fortunate. Older women, in this case, are seen as the ones who are less fortunate in the situation of affairs. Benjamin Franklin refers to the older women as being people who “would kindly take Care of a young Man” (1). Older women are being degraded because of the choice that a man makes to support the Enlightenment. It puts a man’s own rights before others, which shows how religion can also be downgraded by the beliefs of the Enlightenment. Interestingly, Benjamin Franklin states that men are “incomplete Animal[s]” (1). When men following their own morals in comparison to the morals of religious values, it illustrates how selfish it seems to revoke their religious morals due to the Enlightenment principles. It deepens the connection to how Benjamin Franklin supports the Enlightenment because he is the one who writes much of the selfish advice to

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