The Bomb and Other Creations

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Creativity & The Divine

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could [recreate dinosaurs], they didn’t stop to think if they should.
-Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park

We, as humans, have an astounding ability to create. This, however, doesn’t mean that we should create everything we are able to.

Prime examples of highly creative inventions that hardly inspire the betterment of the human race are the Algerian hook (a large hook used to impale a person) and the Iron Maiden (a tight enclosure full of sharp objects designed to skewer a person). It certainly took wicked imagination to come up with these.

When the first successful nuclear explosion was detonated in July of 1945, J. Robert Oppenheimer reportedly quoted, “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one…” A few weeks later, the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

We may well agree that the creation of torture devices and atomic bombs do nothing to make us better humans or bring us closer to the Mighty One, but where do we draw the line?

In 2006, worldwide controversy broke out over the publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad. Many Muslim groups were offended- many Westerners cited freedom of speech. The controversy echoed themes from the PMRC trials of the mid-80s when rock ‘n roll was on trial for negatively influencing American youth.

And so, when do we consider ‘should’ over ‘can’ in our creative endeavours? In which direction and how far do we tip the scales and by whose values do we determine the answer?

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer      

Eggshells

I open the door so slowly that I can barely see it move. No way I’m risking the slightest creak. Feels like forever, but I can’t take the risk.

I hold my breath as I slide inside and guide the door back in place.

I turn around and tiptoe through the dark hallway, my bedroom a stadium length away. I pass their bedroom on the left, the inside of my cheek gripped firmly in my teeth. I’m almost there.

It’s dark, but I’m sure I’m at my room. I go to walk in. Suddenly- BANG! I thought the door was open. It wasn’t.

A stir from behind their door. It swings open, shooting out a blinding ray of light. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!”

And so the berating begins.

Use the comment field to suggest a topic, submit your writing on today’s 4 Minute Writer topic (Eggshells) or to comment.

 
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4 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Writing

4 responses to “The Bomb and Other Creations

  1. Oh, this really made me think, Zoe. We are sitting in bed first thing in the morning and now, because of your post, Phil, Maddie and I are in deep discussion about nuclear weapons. I teach social skills and one of the core concepts is that of rights and responsibilities. We show the kids a scale of justice. On one side, a right: on the other side, to balance it, there is a responsibility. It’s part of being human.
    We have a right to create to the very borders of out ability: but I feel we have a responsibility to create for the good of mankind. A kind of hippocratic oath.

    SO thought-provoking today. I’m posting this and rejoining the discussion!

    • First of all, congratulations on post #101!!
      What a great way to put it, the scale of rights and responsibilities. So many adults could benefit from this lesson too…
      Interesting, isn’t it, this idea of creating to the borders of our ability and keeping the good of mankind as a factor in that. Is this how the various media of our day think?

  2. Thanks for the congrats. It’s good to have that one out of the way…and when we begin to talk about the media, that’s a whole new can of worms:-) News sells papers, so I’m assuming financial incentives must sway the judgement of even the most illustrious media. But Woodward and Bernstein show how media, like any form of creativity, can be used for the greater good. I guess these are just tools. Its the hands who wield them that are motivated to use or misuse them. Our press here are notorious for the latter.

    Oh, I could write an essay…..thank you for a thought provoking Saturday morning….

    • I had a friend who used to say, “Vote wih your dollar”- if we don’t like something we shouldn’t buy it. If nobody buys it, it won’t be there. And back we are at individual responsibility.
      You’re right- there are things in the media that are for the greater good. I was happy to see that our local paper recently added a “Good News” section. That paper can have my dollar now!

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