Monday, April 9, 2007

Is the Will to Live losing out?

My daughter was watching a show last night (on Discovery Channel I think) about 3 British climbers who were trying to scale Mt McKinley and got caught in a storm (I think the show was called "I shouldn't be alive" or something similar). It was incredible to watch the degree of suffering these climbers were willing to endure to reach the summit. In the end they could not and tried to descend the mountain to save the life of one of the 3. When the incapacitated climber couldn't go on, one of the 3 tried to descend by himself. He fell over 2000 feet and broke both legs in multiple places, and cut some blood vessels which caused lots of blood loss.

Cold, in intense pain, suffering from blood loss and disoriented, the fallen climber willed himself to go on. It is incredible to realize that the will to live is so strong that most people will endure anything to live. This seems to me to be an evolutionary attribute that all humans should possess.

This is what puzzles me most about the Pacifists movement and Gandhi's letter urging the Jews to commit mass suicide in WWII. The will to live seems pretty innate in human beings. It is only when people have completely given up hope. So I wonder, have people in the pacifist movement given up hope? I would believe that this group is the same one that is committing slow suicide by not reproducing.

So is a large part of the West losing the will to live? Have we as a society given up hope?

1 comment:

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