His morality was built on a sincere belief in leading a virtuous life, serving the country he loved, and hoping to achieve salvation through good works.
Instead, after stumbling across some rhetoric books that extolled Socrates’ method of building an argument through gentle queries, he “dropped my abrupt contradiction” style of argument and “put on the humbler enquirer” of the Socratic method. By asking what seemed to be innocent questions, Franklin would draw people into making concessions that would gradually prove whatever point he was trying to assert. “I found this method the safest for myself and very embarrassing to those against whom I used it; therefore, I took a delight in it.”
“So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”
To determine whether I should publish it or not, I went home in the evening, purchased a twopenny loaf at the baker’s, and with the water from the pump made my supper; I then wrapped myself up in my great-coat, and laid down on the floor and slept till morning, when, on another loaf and a mug of water, I made my breakfast. From this regimen I feel no inconvenience whatever. Finding I can live in this manner, I have formed a determination never to prostitute my press to the purposes of corruption and abuse of this kind for the sake of gaining a more comfortable subsistence.
Note: stoic