What you have to do is work with the raw material you have- namely you- and never let up.
Helen Gurley Brown

There is a question floating around on the social media, Facebook, e.g., that asks, “If you had a superpower, what would it be? Usually, there is a list of things the original poster thought could be classified as a superpower, but I don’t remember ever seeing the power to heal on any of the lists. That is the power I would like to have.

As with every ability, there is a question of ethics attached to the use of it. Do you heal only the worthy? Say someone from this age is transferred back in time, with a full knowledge of what is to be, say back to the time and place of Adolph Hitler’s birth. This baby, who is going to grow up to be one of the greatest, and most heinous murderers of all time, is dying. Only you can save this baby. Do you save this baby?

If you choose to save it, what responsibility is upon you, for the evil it commits? If you choose not to save it, using your knowledge of the future, as a rationale, have you violated the purpose of the gift, which did not come with restrictions? Through either choice, you are effecting history. If by healing baby Hitler, you allow an evil you know will happen, and thus assume responsibility for, at least, some of the evil committed, would you be responsible for every evil (and good) in an alternate history, of which you would have no knowledge? What if, though it might be impossible to imagine, in Hitler’s case, that the alternate evil is worse than the evil you know? Do you have the right to make a judgement of to heal, or not to heal, a baby Hitler, unaware of the consequences of a choice not to heal?

How, supposing that “the common good” is the rationale you use to heal or not to heal, do you decide what the common good is? It is quite possible that choosing to heal, with the knowledge of what that healing will allow, is eventually more a common good than the results that would ensue from not healing.

To heal, or not to heal, that is the question.

Maybe the answer is answered in an alternate Universe.


About elrondsilvermaul

I never know what to say about myself. I let what I write try to speak as to who I am. I can only add, here, that I am 72, live in a nursing home, am twenty years a cancer survivor, and identify as a gay male. I intend to use this blog as storage for poems? written over the long years (and still being written). This does not preclude other uses.
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One Response to Musing

  1. PennyD says:

    Not being on Facebook I’ve never come across this question. My answer would be the same as yours. The power to heal. And I don’t mean just humans, but animals and other life forms like an aged oak tree that has been girdled. But it would only be useful if it did no harm to my life force to do the healing.

    As for the going back in time bit, that is sort of a moot point similar to cloning. You can’t or shouldn’t go back in time for the simple reason you would be changing the future no matter how careful you thought you were. Bumping into someone, opening a door, stepping on a bug, opening a book. Picking up that book changes history, because someone else should have or could have picked up that book. Everything happens for a reason and to change it changes the future.

    I’ve heard all the cloning arguments. Someone just recently had their dog cloned because they loved their dog so much. It might look like their dog, but it won’t be their dog, because the dog will not have the memories of the other dog. The argument about cloning a Hitler or an Einstein is kind of stupid. We are what we have learned not just in school, but in how were brought up, what was happening at that specific time, through the people we met, the good times and bad times we had. Every thing we met, saw, felt, touched, smelled, tasted, etc, made us who we are. You could never make that clone into its fathered likeness, because you can’t pour all the history gained from that person into the clone. Your Einstein might be fairly intelligent, but it would not have the intelligence of the master Einstein. Your Hitler clone could also be very smart/intelligent and not necessarily a tyrant. Both original men were genius’ but that does not mean the clones would be also.

    Ack! must get off my soapbox now.


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