Thought Puzzles

Thought Puzzles

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At times, life does not offer us easy or straightforward solutions. We are not always left with concrete answers. 

Life experiences, individual personalities, and family upbringing influence our opinions. For some, they can be presented with a problem and firmly believe they know the answer. Someone else addressing the same question will have a distinct perspective. These differences can present fun and sometimes frustrating debates. 

This leads us to the discussion of thought experiments, or as we refer to them in our book as thought puzzles.

The concept of thought puzzles dates back a long time.

Most likely, as soon as humans were able to communicate with one another, some form of it existed. The term thought experiment is credited to Hans Christian Orsted. He was a 19th Century Physicist and Chemist.

Albert Einstein referred to thought experiments as Gedanken-Experiment or Gedankenerfahrung.

In some thought experiments, meaningful and ethical debates can surface. For instance. baby Hitler is a lively debate. The question is posed, if you had a chance to go back in time would you kill a baby Hitler? This has moral and scientific implications. 

The point is that there are no easy answers. 

One potential solution can open the door for other issues. For example, if you kill Hitler how would you know that it would not create other problems? Could you guarantee he would not be replaced by someone equally as evil (if possible)? Would that person be a better military strategist who would have come up with a different plan that won the war for Germany? 

Is committing the murder of a baby justifiable without pursuing other avenues to hopefully prevent the horrors of World War II?

The question arises: how does all this pertain to Substance Misuse? In our book, we discuss this concept. There are numerous and unique perspectives of how a person could see substance use. 

How could a person who drinks four to six drinks daily not be seen as having a substance use problem while someone who has four drinks one time a month is viewed as a problem drinker?

The answer is how the use impacts that person’s life. If the one-time-a-month drinker has a job, family, and health problems related are related to his drinking, then his drinking is a problem. If the daily drinker is unemployed and engages in a solitary life, who will determine or know he has a problem drinking? 

If no one is around to see it, does a problem exist?

This question led us to write this book and talk about how we see the issue of substance use. Answers to this question ultimately will be addressed by the user and family.

We hope to offer guidance in arriving at the decision and help for those wanting to do something about their problem.

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