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A parallel universe in "On Beauty"

Howard Belsey began preparing the projector for his daily lecture and putting his History of Art slides in order. This routine had become almost as tedious as the students that partook in his classes and he executed his preparation without enthusiasm. The time had come for the lecture to begin and the students began to fill the empty seats in front of him. Some faces he recognized and others he did not; he presumed they were only shopping the class. The last student to arrive rushed in, closed the door behind her and walked over to the nearest available seat. Her name was Alyssa and she was one of the students who had decided to shop the class and was using this single lecture as the deciding point to whether she would take Howard’s class. The lecture began and Howard projected his first image on to the screen: "Rembrandt's Dr. Nicolaes Tulp Demonstrating the Anatomy of the Arm” (1632). He had offered them a Rembrandt who was neither a rule breaker nor an original but rather a conformist; he had asked them to ask themselves what they meant by 'genius' and, in the perplexed silence, replaced the familiar rebel master of historical fame with Howard's own vision of a merely competent artisan who painted whatever his wealthy patrons requested.

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Suffering and passion are both catalysts for the process of evolution.


“The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.” These are the words of the neurologist and psychiatrist Sigmund Freud. The multicultural aspect of the world we live in is what makes the world remarkable and diverse. Through our differences the process of evolution is able to continue and through this progression humans adapt to the culture. Freud argued that our civilization is controlled by Eros, a force that combines “human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind.” Inevitably, there are many disputes based on issues such as race, sex and religion. However, what we must appreciate is how far the western world has come in the past two centuries. In short, the evolution of culture has arisen from a process of struggles.

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In a world of so many interpretations of fundamental human conduct, can there be a universal morality?

Conscience is generally thought of as a sense that allows us to experience feelings of guilt when we act in ways that contradict our innate moral values. We are able to experience moral judgment prior to acting in a certain way because of this conscience. There are many answers as to where this conscience comes from. Some believe in is innate and others believe it is a product of our cultural environment. Our cultural environment includes elements such as parents, friends and religion. A moral code based on religious belief incorporates the suggestion of a divine command and verdict that tends to create an authoritarian type of moral convention.

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Is man tampering with evolution?

The scientific study of what evolution is does not seem to have produced a unified response as to what this developmental course of life actually means. Charles Darwin claimed that his theory of natural and sexual selection was central to the understanding of evolution as a science. Darwin stated that variation was central to the idea of evolution, claiming that diversification in nature was what caused it to flow.

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