THINKIES & THOUGHTIES: Question 5

thinkiesandthoughtiesQuestion 5: About 10,000 visitors frequent the Louvre in Paris every Sunday. If an evil wizard threatened to destroy all 10,000 visitors or every piece of art, which would you spare? If you don’t choose, both will be obliterated.

Due Date: Friday, February 7.

I’ve hypothetically asked myself a similar question before: If I had the choice between sacrificing someone’s life and sacrificing my novel, which would I choose?

I’m positive we ask silly, secret questions like this all the time, but what’s more disturbing is my past self’s hesitant answer.

I found myself pouring the best and worst parts of me into my novel; the compilation of who I am as a person. If someone asked me to describe love, fear, temptation, or betrayal, I told them I couldn’t possibly give an answer half as meaningful as the answers found within the pages of my work.

And then I moved on. I grew, and became a different shade of that girl. Sometimes – actually, most of the time – I feel like a completely different person.

Art is an expression of the soul, but only a sliver of the depth of a person. This doesn’t mean art isn’t valuable – the tiniest pieces of life produce immeasurable inspiration. This also means one form of expression cannot outdo another, for it is within the human mind to decide the object’s worth for himself. Art is but another material object human consciousness gives purpose to.

The soul (whether metaphysical or an aspect of our consciousness) creates the greatest and most meaningful works of art.

 
View Jennifer’s answer to Question 4

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Thinkies & Thoughties is inspired by The Book of Questions by Doctor Gregory Stock. Grab a cup of coffee — or something a little stronger — and sit down, open up, and share yourself every Friday.

You are welcome to share your answer in a comment here, or grab a button for your own blog post. Don’t forget to comment with a link to your answer.

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8 thoughts on “THINKIES & THOUGHTIES: Question 5

  1. This one is short and sweet. The art work would have to go on the hope that one of those 10,000 people would have the cure for cancer, or the way to bring peace to all nations, or a way to reverse global warming, or have a cure for ALS, Alzheimer, Polio or any other myriad of diseases.

  2. More people are made every day but that art is one of a kind. You wouldn’t just lose the art, you’d lose the history and culture. One of those people could be the next Miley Cyrus … or Justin Bieber … or author of the next “Twilight”-esque series. I’d rather preserve what is, than what might be.

    • This is the hard part: not every piece of art means something to everyone, and not everyone means anything to everyone. I still think, although people are created everyday, we are the most complex and creative forms of art — and because we can create long-lasting art, it might be good to take that into account.

  3. Not fair! This is one of those morality questions where you have to remember that ALL life is sacred, and even a single life is invaluable. Art can be recreated. Us, as unique human beings, cannot.

    But still my mind screams at the thought of such beauty being destroyed. Sure, it can be duplicated, but not by the original artist with all the history behind it.

    So no, taking 10,000 lives is wrong, but if they were to ask for volunteers to take the place of the artwork, I would be first in line. I still grieve for the loss of the Library of Alexandria and for every work of art destroyed by a conquering army all through history, things that we can never have back.

    • I don’t think self-sacrifice is an option in this case, but I appreciate your answer nonetheless! I don’t think I could do it, myself. I value life more than I value things. However, as you said, the loss of the Library of Alexandria is devastating.

  4. I’d save the people, hands down. I’m idealistic and, in this regard, uncomprimising. It seems callous to consider any object more valuable than a human life. I understand the value of culture and history, but even so, these hold a feather’s weight when pitted against 10,000 lives.

    There are records, photos, and analyses readily available for every piece of art in that place. Only memories of those close and the occasional journal entry might tell us about the people you sacrificed for trinkets. Nothing could tell us of their futures.

    No matter how far or how long you travel, it’s the people that make it worthwhile. Your fondest memories will be shared. Your most treasured photos will be of your nearest and dearest. Art is only as valuable as the communication it creates, which is quite the thing, but one person touching the life of one other reaches a depth a relic can only emulate.

    • Justin, here is yet another reason you are one of my closest friends: you are passionate and noble. I think the inspiration books and art create cannot amount to the bond people create. Although music and other art-forms have saved people’s lives, this art needs a creator. This art needs the right set of tools. Maybe that’s why art is so meaningful: we realize someone quite like ourselves could envision it.

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