solved: A. Dr. Frankl writes: “The one thing you can’t take away from me is…


A. Dr. Frankl writes: “The one thing you can’t take away from me is…A. Dr. Frankl writes: “The one thing you can’t take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one’s freedoms is to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstance.””To draw an analogy: a man’s suffering is similar to the behavior of a gas. If a certain quantity of gas is pumped into an empty chamber, it will fill the chamber completely and evenly, no matter how big the chamber. Thus suffering completely fills the human soul and conscious mind, no matter whether the suffering is great or little. Therefore the “size” of human suffering is absolutely relative.”B. In response, someone could reply to Dr. Frankl’s argument this way:”Dr. Frankl, let’s look again at your gas analogy.  You argue that human suffering is ABSOLUTELY relative, and this seems true in some ways. A rich, ‘successful’ person may (Heaven forbid) commit suicide over a trivial matter while you can find meaning in life starving in a death camp for three years. This makes sense. But I’m not sure you are entirely correct. If we go with your analogy, what happens when more and more gas is pumped into an air-tight chamber? Eventually as the hours go by, the gas keeps coming in but there is limited space for all the gas to go. At some point, days or weeks of this will result in a CRITICAL THRESHOLD being met – at this point, the windows, doors, and ceiling will blow open with the additional pressure added by the continual flood of gas. In a similar way, human beings have the capacity to endure great suffering — but, due to  our genetics and environment, each have DIFFERENT THRESHOLDS for enduring suffering. You – quite amazingly, in fact – can withstand very, very high amounts of suffering yet remain sane and purposeful. But why assume EVERYONE is like you? You could find meaning as a paralyzed person, or as an advanced Alheimer’s patient, or a tortured concentration camp slave, but people are different. But, more to the point, surely EVEN YOU, Dr. Frankl, have SOME breaking point that would make living totally without meaning if you were honest with yourself.”After considering A. and B. (above) carefully, which do you think is more compelling, and why?    BiologySciencePhysiology BIO BSC2005

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