A Non Religious Search For Meaning Essay

912 words - 4 pages

Viktor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is a powerful and insightful book, however, does the center message intertwine with his religious beliefs? Frankl’s book shares the same concerns as religion such as: First, his beliefs of having nothing will give one a Higher Purpose; second, his belief that we must change to become worthy; and third, that we need fill an “empty soul” with God to find meaning.
First of Frankl’s beliefs include one must have nothing to have a Higher Purpose, and his view of determinism. I for one share similar views in Buddhism, and I agree and disagree with some of his views. I strongly disagree with this statement simply because it states that I cannot find meaning nor advance to a high state of mentality because I have not endured suffering and “being naked” as great as Frankl suffered. A Christian and Catholic writer, Peter Kreeft, share the same ideas with Frankl. Kreeft wrote in Three Philosophies of Life; “Not all of us lose our children, our health, our possessions, and our confidence in one day. But all of us must learn to lose everything but God…” This is an example of why I disagree with Frankl and Kreeft because I do not believe in a Higher Power such as God. There is one example that I do believe in which is his rejection of determinism. Jeff McMahon, an English professor, writes the definition on his article Is Man’s Search for Meaning a Religion? “…we are the product of environmental and biological faces we cannot control...” However, people who do believe in determinism argue that every single thing that they do is predetermined. An example of this is if a person robs a store and is arrested that person claims that it was “God’s will.
Second of Frankl’s beliefs include that one must self-transform to deem worthiness. I agree with both Kreeft and Frankl that there is a “Before, selfish meaningless man, and an After, compassionate meaningful man,” as McMahon writes. An example of self-transformation that I disagree with is when Kreeft states that “this world is a vale of soul making.” McMahon defines Kreeft view as “once we lost our original innocence, the way back to God has to be painful.” Saying Kreeft believes we are all statues and we must be “chiseled into a more powerful image.” (McMahon) Also, this kind of transformation Kreeft and Frankl believe “That is the meaning of life: getting a face, becoming real, becoming yourself… but this is done by suffering, not by sinning.” (Kreeft) I disagree with this because I feel I do not have to change for a Higher Power. I am what I am and I cannot change that nor would I want too. I decide to change only if I want to and if it will benefit myself and others around me. I will never change myself out of fear of being...

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