I am unable to multiply one man’s suffering by a hundred million

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "I am unable to multiply one man’s suffering by a hundred million" imply that I am not able to or cannot risk my life for the hundred million suffering?

Thanks in advance
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“I am deeply moved if I see one man suffering and would risk my life for him. Then I talk impersonally about the possible pulverization of our big cities, with a hundred million dead. I am unable to multiply one man’s suffering by a hundred million.” —Albert Szent-Györgyi

-Scientific American

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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    No.

    I am unable to multiply one man’s suffering by a hundred million.” -> "It is impossible for me to imagine the suffering of a hundred million people ."

    Albert Szent-Györgyi is accurately observing that although humans can understand, and maybe act, if one person (or a small number of people) is suffering, when the numbers of people become large, we tend to dismiss their suffering (because, perhaps, we know that we can do nothing that will make much difference.)
     

    Esca

    Senior Member
    ATX
    USA - English
    I agree with Paul.
    The writer is saying “I know how badly I feel when one person is suffering. Theoretically, I should be able to multiply that feeling by 100,000,000 to understand how terrible it is when millions are suffering... but I find it’s psychologically impossible.”
     
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