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Picasso’s White Wall

The human mind is very complex, exquisite, and proficient at unraveling most predicaments without strenuous contributions from the subject. For example, when confronting a broken elevator, we rapidly resolve to take the stairway without any cumbersome pondering. Such unpretentious problem solving skill portrays the human supremacy to other organisms. Conversely, when antagonized by a very difficult problem, our mind is momentarily inept at “instinctively” or immediately determine an action. In such instances, we ought to exploit our “imagination” to enlist few alternative perceptions to resolve the problem at hand.

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Picasso would notably gaze upon a white wall to cultivate an inspiration for his canvases. When queried about what it is that he was doing; he’d respond, “I’m painting.” Boundless innovators have a dexterity for distinguishing relationships, seeing connections, and making associations that others cannot perceive. What Picasso grasped in utilizing a “white wall” as a prop for his imagination is the the key to practicing this kind of innovative thinking. Thereby, nurturing the mental operation into a habit; furthering the powers of his mind.

Problems cannot be disentangled with the same mindset that fashioned them

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Embryo Vs Life

An embryonic stem cell line is obtained by harvesting stem cells from a fertilized egg at the (blastocyst stage). The stem cells are then placed on a petri dish in order to duplicate, grow, and later used for treatment.

The pressing question is, can we use stem cells from an early stage developing embryo in order to treat patients? The debate against stem cell harvest presents itself as follows: “When you harvest embryonic stem cell line, you are simultaneously destroying an embryo.”

But I yearn to reveal a facet that is never spoken of in the dispute against stem cell research.

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Embryos are presently being obliterated in other practices; namely, in-vitro fertilization. Here, they reap multiple eggs from the ovaries and begin to fertilize them with semen; consequently, all of the eggs become zygotes. Subsequently, they allow the zygotes to develop to the (blastocyst stage), and only the ones that are ‘deemed’ healthier are then embedded into the uterus in hopes that one of the blastomere will become an embryo. Nonetheless, the other blastocysts are subsequently terminated. Hence, for every one embryo that has the potential to develop into a full fleshed human being, tens are destroyed.

So if in-vitro fertilization is destroying tens of potential embryos for the sake of producing a potential viable human being, then why is it wrong to utilize stem cells from a ‘potential’ embryo to better the life of an already existing human being? (Keep in mind that it is possible in modern day technology to harvest few stem cells without negatively impacting the developing embryo).

Opponents of embryonic stem cells that grasp onto the premise – stem cells harvest destroy potential human embryos – must on a similar philosophical ground, oppose in-vitro fertilization given that both of these approaches involve the destruction of zygotes.

I am not against in-vitro fertilization; rather, I aim to unveil the gap in reasoning of those who cherry-pick what they want to support.

Rationalism entails the adoption of philosophical wholeness in logic 

 

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Is The Mind Physical? 

           The first law of thermodynamics professes: Energy cannot be created nor destroyed, but only converted from one form to another.

There exists a colossal debate pertaining to the exact entity of the mind; questioning whether mental phenomena are physical or non-physical. Mental states, such as thinking, is one pronounced facet of the mind. So is thinking a physical or a mental process? let us first direct our attention to the following question, is thinking a form of energy? Since energy exists as a physical matter, if the answer is ‘YES‘, then It appears that the first law of thermodynamics perfectly establishes the mind to be a physical entity.

If the ontological relation between the upper-level properties of the mind can be explained by their lower physical level properties, then the mind may be deemed to be a physical object.

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Let us take a closer look at the molecular level, the act of thinking requires communication between neurons. Neurons communicate via chemical messengers; namely, neurotransmitters. neuronal communication is mediated by the mechanism ‘action potential propagation’ which itself requires the utilization of a high energy molecule, i.e. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Energy molecules like ATP are merely chemical entities. Thus, mental processes hing on the utilization of energy within a physical molecule. If the presence of ATP in the body ceases, the act of thinking would evidently disappear!

HOWEVER, If brain surgeons would observe a human brain during an instance where the brain is consumed by multiple thoughts; they will remain naive as to what the individual is thinking about. Hence, could there be a third dimension in addition to the two dimensions we traditionally attribute as “physical” or “mental”?

There may be an answer to the above exclamation! A single heart cell (myocardium), or one atria, or one ventricle alone (group of myocardium) are incapable of functioning as a heart. By the same token, one brain cell, or one lobe of the brain is incapable of functioning as a brain. Hence, the new dimension may be elucidated as: The whole gives rise to an entity that is bigger than the sum of its parts. 


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Drugs and Human Dignity

            On morality, The German philosopher Immanuel Kant states that one ought treat others as ends in themselves and never merely as means. This, I believe, to be reflexive; namely, one can not treat themselves as a mean or merely a thing.

One’s obligation to oneself consists of a ban against designating their selfhood as a toy to sheer inclinations. This obligation has an exceptionally swaying logic that pertains to human dignity. Since the epitome of human dignity is to never deal with others or yourself merely as a thing, it appears that the manipulation of a human being via drug-induced pleasures should be regarded as an obvious infringement of human dignity. Drug-induced pleasures interfere with one’s selfhood, and they seem to degrade a being to a plaything of inclinations. Thus, human dignity is severed when the emotions are dominated by drug-induced sense of happiness.

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Let us go on further in the illustration of drug-induced happiness; here, the individual is dispossessed of the ‘freedom to experience unhappiness’. Submitting the mind to the control of a drug debilitates ‘free will’ and sabotages any neutral inclinations. Dignity fundamentally entails that one’s ‘freedom to feel unhappiness’ is wholly assured, as this is a vital component to the conception of an authentic life. Consequently, individuals under the influence of drugs are conquered by complete undivided plaything of inclinations, and appear be devoid of dignity. 

Extrinsic control of the mind obliterates its intrinsic functional value 

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Objectivity is Subjective

           Life is a subjective experience that cannot be fled. All my experiences emanate within my own, personal, and particular perspective. There exists no peer-reviews of my instantaneous perceptions of the world, nor are there any real corroborations of my immediate interactions. This transcends into notable repercussions for the way I live. The first and most pressing realization is that I ought to have faith in my individual experience since no one but me has this angle or point of view. Second, I am in awe as I realize that any ‘objective’ identification I avowal is constructed merely from scratch, by me.

What I construct hinges on the things I’ve read, the events I’ve had, and the folks I’ve encountered. Subjectivity is the fundamental experience; for me, it is life itself. This suggests that no one perceives the world entirely like anybody else; and each of us will ‘live’ in their own individually curated world.

But surely we have one objective reality that is perceived similarly among humans, right? To answer this question we need to define the term “similar”. This terminology obligates a comparison of multiple perspectives; hence, to compare is to reflect upon two subjective perceptions.

Objectivity is nothing more than a collection of interacting atoms and molecules juxtaposed to form clumps of matter, cells, or particles. Henceforth, objectivity can be taken to mean ‘to exist’. Based on one’s experience, culture, expectations, and wishes, it appears that objectivity is merely utilized as the infrastructure to build upon inside the mind, in order to elucidate it all.

The eyes only sense, but the mind perceives 

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Life is Mostly Imagined

           Most of the time we are so fanatical with our thinking (in such a ubiquitous manner) that we fail to realize our relentless thinking. Nearly all of our perceptions are contaminated by our beliefs, expectations, inclinations, and biases. At times, this perceptual contamination prevents us from interacting with the world as it is in itself. More often than not, we struggle to perceive our environment without infecting the objective reality with our naive attributions. 

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Evolutionary theories suggest that we rely on inherent biases and stereotypes to interact more efficiently with our daily encounters. Piaget’s assimilation model as well as Le Châtelier’s principle in chemistry may be stretched to encompass this philosophical dimension: When met by a novel experience, our mind will endeavor to alleviate the stress via ‘experience-integration’ under pre-existing categories. In addition, Piaget suggests that when impressions do not fit into an ideological meadow, we begin to accommodate the data by fostering a new cognitive faction. However, note that accommodation will evidently stem from our concealed prejudice, beliefs, upbringing, desire, and inclinations of the world.

exorbitant over-analysis of the world causes objectivity to suffocate in a sea of biased subjectivity; successively, tainting the authenticity of the world as it presents itself to us. Furthermore, overlaying the manifestations of the world with ‘biased’ attributions contributes to an aberrant imagination.

We ought to change the ideas in our mind to unveil the true realities of the world

 

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I Am Not My Mind

           Euphoric as I am contemplating the sanity of the thought: I Am Not My Mind. What a strange meditation? All along, I had deemed the cerebral oration inside my cranium to be the fundamental “me” upon which all of life’s phenomenons transpire.

For a moment I appreciated that life is a hoard of elapsing experiences, and my ‘thoughts’ merely reside as an additional ‘experience’ to that pile. First, it appears to me that my thoughts are analogous to my senses. Similar to sensation, the thoughts ascend in my conscious; possessing a particular aura, and subsequently vanish as they are substituted by an alternative thought or perception. Second, when I am sensing, ‘I’ know that I am sensing; when I am thinking, ‘I’ know that I am thinking. Hence, if I am gifted at discerning my thoughts just like I discern my environment, then “who” is carrying out the discerning?

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My eyebrows lifted and my eyes twitched as they both knelt down to the inauguration of the sympathetic nervous system to govern the body I resided in. 

I begun to appreciate that the answer to the previous question required yet another thought, a thought that had not yet existed; a thought that wasn’t there a little while ago, but one that would eventually instill itself inside my mind and self-proclaim cleverness. So does the present ‘me’ differ from the future ‘me’?

Am I my mind? I shut down.

I have for now decided to leave the answer to you. Remember, the answer may perhaps be the core of countless faiths and spiritual mores.

The mind may be larger than the sum of its parts