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At what point does the artist's work become a painting?
How many notes must a musician play before it's music?
How many letters or words must be written to be considered a story or a poem?
When does it all begin?
Before a painter can open her paints, she must first select and build her medium. She must collect and assemble her materials. She must seek some inspiration, envision some picture, at what stage does the art begin to exist?
Before a musician plays a song he must prepare his instrument. He must clear his throat, tune his guitar, or wet his reed. When all is prepared and ready to go, at what point does the song begin?
To write even these lines, though they may hardly be considered art, a concept had to be considered. A mysterious collection of impulses or simply a thought plucked from the constant babble and confusion within my mind reaches to the surface; demanding consideration.
When does the artist's work exist?
A romantic might say that the moment of inspiration, the very nanosecond of insight is the moment of conception. A more pragmatic person might say that the art exists once the brush hits the canvas or the first notes reach our ears. A more extreme, perhaps critical person may even say that the work does not exist as art until the last word is written or the final note becomes inaudible.
What do you consider to be the truth? When does the art begin? At what point do you recognize it for what it is? Where, throughout the process, do we begin to find its meaning?
Now imagine the greatest art on earth. I do not mean the Mona Lisa, a great concerto or the words of Shakespeare. I'm not talking about the pyramids or the leaning tower of Pisa. I'm talking about the art of humanity, of our very existence. At what point in our lives do we exist?
In parallel, some cultures believe that a person begins at the moment the mother first forms the egg or the father produces the sperm that will succeed in fertilizing the egg. Some believe the moment to be when the sperm and the egg meet and cell division occurs (the formation of the zygote). Still, others believe that a person does not come to be until the moment they leave their mother's womb.
What about invitro fertilization?
Invitro fertilization usually involves collecting eggs from the mother or egg donor, collecting sperm from the father or sperm donor and fertilization many of the eggs in a petri dish. A laboratory technician watches the newly formed zygotes and selects the a number of the "best" ones to transfer into the woman's womb. The remaining zygotes are destroyed or frozen for use in future pregnancies.
Inside the womb, any number of these embryos can implant and become an established pregnancy. After a couple of weeks, the womb is checked an in the cases where multiple pregnancies are detected, some may be terminated to match the number the mother desires to carry and some may be terminated to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.
If you or I discovered we were what is known as a "test tube baby", how would this affect us?
Would we wonder why we were allowed to develop into people while our developing and possibly viable brothers and sisters were destroyed around us?
What would it feel like knowing that someone decided our fate long before we had our first conscious thought? Would it be worse knowing that our very own parents may have taken part in selecting us our chance to live and the others to not live?
How would we feel knowing that other potential brothers and sisters might still be alive, frozen in stasis, waiting for the chance that our mother might want another pregnancy?
How thankful I am not to have to face these questions. It's hard enough to wonder, if at some time in my life, my own mother may have aborted some brother or sister I never knew existed and never got the chance to know. Do we really have the right to create these emotional and spiritual questions in the cold confines of a laboratory? How far can we separate ourselves from our nature to facilitate our own selfish hopes and dreams?
What happens to the art of humanity?
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