Summary of The Six Million Dollar Man and Questions/Answers

The Six Million Dollar Man Summary

In “The Six Million Dollar Man,” Harold J. Morowitz takes us on a quirky journey through the value of the human body. It all starts with a funny birthday card claiming the human body is worth a measly 97 cents.

Morowitz, a scientist, takes this claim to heart and dives into an exploration of what makes up our bodies.

Using a biochemical catalog, he crunches the numbers and discovers that the chemical components of his body add up to a staggering six million dollars! With humor and a touch of disbelief, Morowitz dubs himself the “Six Million Dollar Man.”

But there’s a twist. Morowitz realizes that this price tag only scratches the surface. While he can tally up the cost of the chemicals, the true worth of a human being goes beyond dollars and cents. It’s about life, consciousness, and the essence of what it means to be human.

As he delves deeper, Morowitz highlights the complexity of creating life from these chemical components.

Sure, you can buy all the ingredients, but assembling them into a living, breathing person? That’s a whole different ballgame. It’s a reminder that there’s more to us than meets the eye – or the price tag.

In the end, Morowitz leaves us with a profound realization. The human body may have a price, but the human being – with all its thoughts, feelings, and experiences – is truly priceless.

It’s a whimsical yet thought-provoking journey that challenges us to reconsider the value of life itself.

Through witty anecdotes and scientific insights, Morowitz crafts an essay that’s both entertaining and enlightening. He invites us to laugh, ponder, and ultimately appreciate the incredible miracle that is the human body and soul.

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Important Questions and Answers

What prompted Harold J. Morowitz to investigate the value of the human body?

Harold J. Morowitz was prompted by a humorous birthday card from his daughter and son-in-law, which claimed that the materials making up the human body were worth only 97 cents.

How did Morowitz calculate the value of his body to be six million dollars?

Morowitz used a biochemical catalog to list the prices of various chemicals that make up the human body. He calculated the average value per gram and then multiplied this by his dry body weight, arriving at a value of six million dollars.

Why did Morowitz conclude that the true worth of a human being is priceless?

Morowitz realized that while the chemicals themselves have a calculable value, the complexity of assembling these chemicals into a living, conscious being – with thoughts, emotions, and experiences – makes each human being priceless and infinitely precious.

What key point does Morowitz make about the difference between the human body and the human being?

Morowitz emphasizes that the human body is made up of chemical components that can be priced, but a human being’s true essence includes consciousness, rationality, and unique qualities that go beyond monetary value.

How does Morowitz use Alfred North Whitehead’s quote to conclude his essay?

Morowitz concludes with Alfred North Whitehead’s quote, “The human body is an instrument for the production of art in the life of the human soul,” to highlight that the human body serves a higher purpose in expressing the soul’s creative and profound capabilities, reinforcing the idea that human beings are priceless.

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