For the first half of this page, after reading A . and B . (below),…

Question Answered step-by-step For the first half of this page, after reading A . and B . (below),… For the first half of this page, after reading A. and B. (below), please WRITE HALF A PAGE answering the question that follows (under B.). Please read C., and for the second half of this page, WRITE HALF A PAGE explaining if you agree or disagree, and why.   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 truein some ways. A rich, ‘successful’ personmay (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 anair-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 withthe 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 highamounts 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.” 1. After considering A. and B. (above) carefully, WRITE HALF A PAGE OF A WORD DOCUMENT on which do you think is more compelling, and why?  ————————————————————————————————————CONTINUED: 2. For the second half of page 6 (below), WRITE HALF A PAGE OF A WORD DOCUMENT explaining if you believe this is a strong or weak argument, and please explain why:C. “Frankl is clearly a believer in the Divine, even though it doesn ‘t show on the surface. How else can he have such undeniable FAITH in the meaning of life, regardless of the circumstances? Please allow me to explain.  Science says we are but mere ‘water bags ‘ who simply find ourselves existing (the result of being at the ‘right place and the right time ‘ where microscopic life could eventually evolve to complex, conscious human life) – with no higher purpose than to reproduce our genes – all taking place on a tiny speck of dirt in the middle of nowhere. That scientific picture is our reality, unless we accept what Frankl intuitively knows, deep down, at the core of his being. Science cannot teach us the value of life (it can only describe life, not say it is worth anything). And our unshakeable sense of meaning in life cannot come from logic, but even if it did, can ‘t we ask the question, ‘Why be logical? ‘ If we give a logical answer to that question, we are already assuming it is good to be logical, which commits the logical fallacy of ‘begging the question. ‘ Logic, then, cannot tell us whether anything has intrinsic value in and of itself. In fact, if all we have are science and logic to help us figure out reality, then there is nothing to stop us from drawing nihilistic conclusions (i.e. nothing has meaning).  This is because logic and science, in and of themselves, have no inherent value – if you (or yoursociety) see them as ‘tools,’ then go ahead and use them, but you have to ALREADY ASSUME ON FAITHmany questionable, culturally-specific beliefs, such as ‘Being rational brings clarity,’ ‘Making conclusions based upon physical evidence is good,’ ‘It is better to live than to die,’ ‘Waking life is more real than dreaminglife,’ ‘Trust your head over your heart,’ ‘Pharmaceuticalsare preferable to prayer when one is ill,’ etc. All these background assumptions are NOT ‘self-evidently true’ (to believe otherwise reflects an ethnocentric bias), but instead reflect our culture’s (unprovable) faith-based ideas about the world. After all, there have been, and still are, individuals and even whole societies who rejected these basic assumptions.  An additional point: if all you have are science and logic to guide you, how can you avoid utter despairat life ‘s fleeting nature – since all living things will one day die (including their immediate descendants, and the descendants of their descendants, and their descendants of their descendants of their descendants, and so on …)?  Indeed, the scientific evidence shows that everything in existence, including human beings, will be eventually obliterated and forgotten with enough time. For example, scientists are using their research to show how the universe will culminate in a ‘Big Rip, ‘ when the universe continues to expand and stretch, eventuallytearing every single atom in existence apart into sub-atomic ‘dust’; or, alternatively, our universe will experience a ‘Big Crunch, ‘ when all physical matter will collapse back upon itself, into one, unfathomably dense, microscopic point (wow – I thought I was claustrophobic now!).  However, look at Dr. Frankl ‘s philosophy and actions throughout his life – everything inside him TOTALLY REJECTS these bleak, but scientifically supported, conclusions. Regardless of what science says, he cannot accept that everything, including his life, will eventually amount to complete nothingness.  The question now becomes: Why, then, does he reject science and logic so blatantly?  One possibility is that he “knows ” (quotes are usedhere because this cannot be an ordinary kind of “knowing “), on a profound and immediate personallevel that Something Greater exists, which transcends the limits of science and rationality altogether.  Dr. Frankl – or any of us, for that matter – may not even be aware of this on a conscious level, but it takes only a little reflection to realize human life is intrinsically and already (from the ‘outside, ‘ as it were) bestowed with so much more than nothingness. If this is true, then isn ‘t it reasonableto infer that Someone or Something Much Higher and Greater is at work here? (Words, with their finite limits, inevitably fail us on a conceptual level here, being unable to capture That-Which-Is-Without-Limit.)  We can conclude two things from all this: · Despite whatever intellectual/philosophical reservations you may have against his views, you KNOW on an undeniable, gut-level that Dr. Frankl ‘s message IS inspiring. Why? Because you ALSO believe that human life DOES have inherent value and meaning. Why, then, don ‘t we all just agree with 1)? Perhaps it is because we have many, many layers of rationalizations and defenses that try to stop us from consciously agreeing with 1). But, really, what is so scary about accepting 1)? Let ‘s be honest – because the stakes arevery high. Accepting 1) leads any thinking person inevitably to accepting 2), below.  · If you believe in 1), then you also believe that the basic moral truths that ordinary, civilized people take for granted – such as human rights apply to everyone, it is good to care about others, the vulnerable and weak should be protected, etc. – are not the clever inventions of our society.  Yes, there are areas of ethical controversy that we may debate and discuss, but these basic moral truths are NOT someone ‘s (or a society ‘s) mere opinion, like a favorite flavor of ice cream. ‘Rocky road is better than bubble gum ice cream ‘ is not right or wrong – it’s a personal preference. ‘Kindness is superior to senseless cruelty, ‘ is, however, objectively true; your preferences for or against senseless cruelty are beside the point. ‘I prefer the Earth is round, ‘ has nothing to do with whether the Earth is really round. It IS round, so you might as well like it not being flat! Similarly, someone is simplyincorrect to claim ‘Senseless cruelty is morally better than kindness. ‘ Therefore, once you have admitted that 1) is true, then you must also agree that youbelieve in Something very, very Mysterious.This Something is so exceptional that science and logic cannot express or even fully comprehend it. And this realization alone does not necessarily mean any particular theistic religion, or any religion for that matter, is true.  It does, however, demonstrate that YOU andDr. Frankl both hold beliefs that are contrary to: *ethical and cultural relativism (you already believe Basic Moral Truths have authority over individual opinions and cultural norms) and  *materialism/physicalism (the Golden Rule, for example, is NOT a physical thing, so it will NEVER be discovered by science; yet a multitude of ‘non-physical entities ‘ – such as theories, numbers, yesterday (and the thought of yesterday), a perfect circle, G-d, Moral Truths, etc. – can nevertheless EXIST,  (but on Another Level). The same point can be put this way:How can one, at the same time, believe both of these? It is objectively true (my opinion is totally IRRELEVANT here) that human beings have certain Moral Rights. The only way we can know anything exists is through the scientific method. Ifscience does not show strong evidence in favor of a belief, you should remain agnostic ( ‘I don’t know ‘) about that belief.Now you can understand the real reason whypeople oppose Dr. Frankl ‘s arguments – he has reminded all of us what we already know(if we are honest with ourselves), namely, that we cannot make all the rules, that some things are off-limits morally speaking, that there are ethical boundaries that we did not make and no human being can alter. As a consequence, the ethical truths found inDr. Frankl ‘s ideas challenge our unrestrained egoism, hedonism, and self-serving relativistic notions. In short, the true brilliance of Dr. Frankl ‘s work has yet to be fully appreciated – so much more than a popular “self help ” psychiatrist, Dr. Frankl is a moral philosopher who makes a strong case that humanity is not the measure of all things.  Now if only we would have the courage, integrity, and humility to find ways to integrate these partially-submerged Truths into our conscious beliefs, using these insights to enlighten and improve ourselves and the world. Arts & Humanities Philosophy PHI 2600 Share QuestionEmailCopy link Comments (0)

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