Suffering is an inevitable yet poorly understood feature of human existence. This course examines how societies respond to the puzzling reality of human anguish. Among the questions it addresses are the following: What is suffering? Which types of human affliction are unique to the modern world? Have the meaning and portrayal of suffering changed over time? Do digital media sensitize or desensitize us to the anguish of distant others? In addition to introducing students to academic literature and debates on these topics, Suffering and the Human Condition will give them the opportunity to learn a method for studying human affliction that identifies the actors that perpetuate it.
What is suffering and should we study it?
In this module, you will learn why human suffering is such a difficult issue to study.
What are the different forms and causes of suffering?
In this module, you will learn about the types of suffering that are unique to modern society.
How much suffering is in the world today?
In this module, you will learn about how modern forms of suffering manifest themselves.
Has the meaning and portrayal of suffering changed over time?
In this module, you will learn how historically the phenomenon of human suffering has been conceived and framed.
Choose Your Controversy
In this module, you will learn about two highly contentious issues involving human suffering.