Franklin was born at a time when witches were tought to be real and he died at the dawn of the modern age. It is an age that to a surprising degree he himself helped shape. He came from a society where class determined ones station in life and he helped create a country where merit and ability could flourish. In a rigid world of orthodoxy and dogma he believed to the core of his soul in the virtues of tolerance and compromise. The quintessential optimist he never doubted, even for a moment, that the future of humanity lay in the infinite power of human reason.
“The rapid progess of the sciences makes me, at times, sorry that I was born so soon. Imagine the power that man will have over matter a few hundred years from now. We may learn how to remove gravity from large masses and float them over great distances, agriculture will double its produce with less labor, all diseases will surely be cured, even old age. If only the moral sciences could be improved as well. Perhaps men would cease to be wolves to one another and human beings could learn to be…human.” - Benjamin Franklin