Ben Franklin on Ethics
Earn Up to 4.0 Ethics credits!
Ben Franklin was the only “Founding Father” that signed all four of our founding documents - the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, the Treaty of Paris and the U.S. Constitution. His pervasive influence over the early history of the nation has led to his being jocularly called "the only President of the United States who was never President of the United States." Henry Steele Commager once said of Franklin: "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." Walter Isaacson, called Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.”
Franklin was a writer, printer inventor, and founding statesman, but in all things, he emphasized a life based on virtue and an ethical structure —indeed, he believed that individuals and our new nation could not thrive without it. His writings promoted the virtues of temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity and humility, although he would be first to admit that he often fell short of them. His organizational skills were also legendary and made him the most influential force in making volunteerism a major force in American life.
Franklin’s ideas about ethics and virtue hold many lessons for New Jersey attorneys. At this unique and entertaining CLE event, historical re-enactor Christopher Lowell brings Franklin to life for a lively discussion about what it means to have a virtuous and ethical life and practice, and how to bring these traits to the forefront of everything that you do.