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Friday, July 04, 2014

The rape of beauty

John C. Wright explains the reason behind the Left's determined destruction of beauty of every kind:
The most precious, profound and important of the great ideas which the Left has raped from us is beauty. I need spend no time on the proposition that life without beauty is a nightmare: those who have seen true beauty – sublime beauty, if even for a moment – have nothing to which they can liken it except the ecstasies of mystics and the transports of saints. Beauty consoles the sorrowing; beauty brings joy and deepens understanding; beauty is like food and wine, and men who live surrounded by ugliness become shriveled and starved in their souls.

Why, if beauty is so important, is there no discussion of it? The victory of the Left in this area has been so sudden, so remarkable, and so complete, that the discussion of beauty has lapsed into an utter and a desolate silence. Have you, dear reader, read anything discussing beauty, putting forth a coherent theory of beauty, or even extolling beauty’s central importance of the human soul in a year? In 10 years? Ever? This may be the only essay you will read on the topic this decade, and yet the topic is one of paramount importance. It is a matter of life and death not for the body but for the spirit.

There is no discussion of it because by convincing the public that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the Left has placed it beyond the realm of discussion. According to the Left, beauty is a matter of taste, and arbitrary taste at that. There is no discussion of taste because to give reasons to prefer tasteful to tasteless things is elitist, nasty, uncouth and inappropriate. To have taste implies that some cultures produce more works of art and better than others, and this raises the uncomfortable possibility that love of beauty is Eurocentric, or even racist. To admire beauty has become a hate crime.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there is no difference between fine art as opposed to mere decoration, no difference between Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and wallpaper. Obviously there is a difference: we decorate an otherwise useful tool to make it more pleasing to look at or handle, like painting details on a car or putting embroidered images on fabric. Popular art is meant for entertainment; it is meant to please the eye and wile away the time. But an episode of I Love Lucy is not made for the same purpose as Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Art is not meant to be useful. When you hold a baby in your arms and look at him, merely look at the wonder and miracle of new life, you don’t do that because the baby is useful.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then there is no such thing as training the taste. One can sit down and watch well done popular entertainment – for example, a Mickey Mouse cartoon – with pleasure and enjoyment, and no study is needed to prepare you to appreciate and understand it. But to sit down and read Milton’s Paradise Lost for pleasure, one needs a passing familiarity with classical and Biblical figures to which he alludes, and one’s pleasure is increased if one is familiar with the epic models, the Virgil and Homer, on whose themes Milton plays out so creative and striking a variation.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then anything, anything at all, can be declared to be beautiful merely by the artist. Like God creating light from nothing by the power of His word, the artist creates beauty not by any genius nor craftsmanship, but by his naked fiat. It is beautiful not because he actually created anything, but only because he says so....

The strongest argument against the atheism so beloved of the Left is not an argument that can be put in words, for it is the argument of beauty. If you see a sunset clothed in scarlet like a king descending to his empurpled pyre, or wonder at the gleaming thunder of a waterfall, if you find yourself fascinated by the soft intricacy of a crimson rose or behold the cold virgin majesty of the morning star, much less see and enter a cathedral or a walled garden, or you hear Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven or see the David of Michelangelo, or become immersed into the song and splendor and Northern sorrow of Wagner’s “Ring” or Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, if indeed you see real beauty and for a moment you forget yourself, then you are drawn out of yourself into something larger.

In that timeless moment of sublime rapture, the heart knows even if the head cannot put it into words that the dull and quotidian world of betrayal, pain, disappointment and sorrow is not the only world there is. Beauty points to a world beyond this world, a higher realm, a country of joy where there is no death. Beauty points to the divine.
The creative instinct is the urge to celebrate the divine. Which is why most forms of modern art, from performance narcissism to Pink SF/F is a perversion of the creative instinct, because they exist to celebrate ugliness and evil while attempting to degrade the very concepts of the Good, the Beautiful, and the True.

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162 Comments:

Anonymous jack July 04, 2014 11:10 AM  

" because they exist to celebrate ugliness and evil while attempting to degrade the very concepts of the Good, the Beautiful, and the True."

Is it possible that they [the progs, the left] really want Beauty and deep Truth to become untrue? Because the fallen ones?

How sad we even have to ask this question....

Anonymous Lulabelle July 04, 2014 11:11 AM  

"To have taste implies that some cultures produce more works of art and better than others, and this raises the uncomfortable possibility that love of beauty is Eurocentric, or even racist. To admire beauty has become a hate crime."

I think he is really on to something here. I will be thinking about this quite a bit today.

Anonymous Doubter July 04, 2014 11:19 AM  

As a Liberal, I also hate ice cream, puppies, and sunshine.

Anonymous kh July 04, 2014 11:32 AM  

I am reminded of Ransom's foe in Perelandra who mutilated the frogs for no other reason than evil cannot abide beauty.

Blogger IM2L844 July 04, 2014 11:33 AM  

As a Liberal, I also hate ice cream, puppies, and sunshine.

You forgot laughing babys.

Anonymous Regressivus Maximus July 04, 2014 11:35 AM  

And this is why Terrence Malick is such an important, and astounding, presence in Hollywood. He's an Episcopalian Christian, doesn't care for fame and its trappings, and he crafts works of pure beauty and philosophical truth that stand out starkly from the sewer fare of mainstream Hollywood. He might not be to everyone's taste, but virtually every picture he's ever shot is just an attempt to get people to see the beauty.

Blogger IM2L844 July 04, 2014 11:37 AM  

a better laughing babys link

Anonymous fish July 04, 2014 11:38 AM  

As a Liberal, I also hate ice cream, puppies, and sunshine.

As a liberal you pay cheap lip device to these things.....deep down you probably do hate them. Just embrace it!

Blogger Outlaw X July 04, 2014 11:38 AM  

" Beauty points to a world beyond this world, a higher realm, a country of joy where there is no death. Beauty points to the divine."

- John C Wright

Interesting, and the opposite is also true.

"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

Anonymous Scintan July 04, 2014 11:38 AM  

The problem with Wright's piece is that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.

Anonymous Doubter July 04, 2014 11:41 AM  

@IM2L844 True! The joyous laughter of infants also fills my black, bitter atheist heart with loathing. I'm glad (insofar as I am capable of gladness) you pointed that one out.

Blogger John Cunningham July 04, 2014 11:41 AM  

I had a similar reaction, though far less articulate, upon reading of the Christmas 1913 X-rated Nutcracker staged in New York.
http://www.nerve.com/entertainment/new-york%E2%80%99s-naughtiest-xmas-show-is-basically-foreplay

I puzzled over why they felt compelled to trash Tchaikovsky, as opposed to just creating a new X-rated ballet, but Wright explain it far better than I ever could.

Anonymous castricv July 04, 2014 11:44 AM  

I love John C. That's basically it. And Germany and Brazil will win today. Germany 2-1 and Brazil in a surprisingly easy 3-1.

Anonymous Doubter July 04, 2014 11:47 AM  

As a liberal you pay cheap lip device (I'm guessing you meant 'service' here) to these things.....deep down you probably do hate them. Just embrace it!

Got me again! the last time the police hauled me in for questioning, I faked a smile and said, "Why...yes! Puppies and sunshine are - fine, just fine. Perfectly acceptable! May I go now?"

Once home, I prostrated myself before an idol of Baphomet and apologized profusely.

Blogger Bogey July 04, 2014 11:48 AM  

The creative instinct is the urge to celebrate the divine.

Peter Hitchens could probably attest to the fact that when all the conversations fail, all the great arguments fail to move, one can only be reached by the divine in a work of art. His transformation began with a work of art.

Is it any wonder than that our one true enemy would do his best to disrupt beauty.

Anonymous jayb July 04, 2014 11:58 AM  

I'm thinking that JCW might have watched Roger Scruton's 'Why Beauty Matters' recently. Scruton spends nearly an hour developing this same argument with the same examples of 'art'. It is worth finding and watching.

Blogger Outlaw X July 04, 2014 12:00 PM  

The problem with Wright's piece is that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.

I think you may be hung up on the definition of beauty (maybe not). Preference is in the eye of the beholder, Beauty is to itself a thing, not just something you like. I am trying to think of some examples that are not commonly misrepresented as beauty when its preference. I am a little slow this morning. That cog will come around in a minute.

Anonymous zen0 July 04, 2014 12:03 PM  

And Germany and Brazil will win today. I heard a report half-an hour ago that seven German players have the flu.

Anonymous wEz July 04, 2014 12:14 PM  

No france-germany thread today vox? Come on Man.

Anonymous Veritas July 04, 2014 12:16 PM  

The second half of the first chapter of Romans is very relevant here. I will post it so that the wandering atheist, who won't go to look it up for himself, might read some of it here.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Anonymous Porphyry July 04, 2014 12:17 PM  

"To have taste implies that some cultures produce more works of art and better than others, and this raises the uncomfortable possibility that love of beauty is Eurocentric, or even racist. To admire beauty has become a hate crime." Had to ruin a post by suggesting that european culture is somehow better. Anyone who thinks this:: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9d/Saint_george_raphael.jpg/640px-Saint_george_raphael.jpg ::
is better than this:: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a6/Ogata_Gekko_-_Ryu_sho_ten_edit.jpg :: is just ignorant or dishonest

Anonymous wEz July 04, 2014 12:17 PM  

Fantastic placement header by Hummels. Good timing too, Germany has looked shaky in the back so far.

Anonymous paleopaleo July 04, 2014 12:18 PM  

I know Wright argues with materialists all of the time so I wonder how he'd respond to the standard secular humanist response/argument that beauty is simply a function of evolution. i.e. beautiful women are just hormonally healthy and fertile, a beautiful landscape is one that is healthy and life-sustaining, a beautiful piece of music or poetry is simply stoking our brain chemistry with life-affirming feelings, wit is a mating strategy showcasing intelligence/problem solving, etc. etc.

Blogger IM2L844 July 04, 2014 12:21 PM  

The problem with Wright's piece is that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.

I don't think we're talking about the subjectivity of beauty, but a sort of sociopathic lack of a deeper appreciation for it. They recognize beauty and their hearts say, "meh". That they recognize it and understand its importance is evidenced by the fact that they will often employ it as an agenda furthering lever.

Blogger Thomas Howard July 04, 2014 12:23 PM  

Beauty will save the world. --Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Anonymous Susan July 04, 2014 12:27 PM  

@veritas

Thank you. You said it better than I could have. Liberals just can't experience joy so they have to kill it for others. And these passages pretty much say it all regarding current society right now.

I hope everyone has a great 4th!!

Anonymous Jack Amok July 04, 2014 12:37 PM  

...the standard secular humanist response/argument that beauty is simply a function of evolution. i.e. beautiful women are just hormonally healthy and fertile, a beautiful landscape is one that is healthy and life-sustaining....

My response would be that doesn't contradict anything Wright wrote about Beauty. Claiming it does is like claiming gravity proves God doesn't exist.

OpenID simplytimothy July 04, 2014 12:40 PM  

@jayb.

I posted a link to Scrotun's documentary on JCW's comment section : http://www.scifiwright.com/2014/07/the-wright-perspective-on-beauty/#comment-99923

@IM28L44

I don't think we're talking about the subjectivity of beauty, but a sort of sociopathic lack of a deeper appreciation for it. They recognize beauty and their hearts say, "meh". It is much worse than that. They must actively destroy it.

In a quote from the documentary link I provided, a sculptor for the crown in England is interviewed by Scruton and says, "In destroying beauty, they destroy thought".


OpenID cailcorishev July 04, 2014 12:42 PM  

He's been doing a great job of explaining why leftists actively, purposely, seek to destroy the good. It's not an accident; as Evan Sayet pointed out, if it were an accident, they wouldn't choose evil over good, ugliness over beauty, falsehood over truth, every single time. Even a broken clock, you know. There's a purpose to it: all objective good, even the idea of objective good, must be denigrated and torn down so they can rebuild the world in their own image.

OpenID cailcorishev July 04, 2014 12:46 PM  

As a Liberal, I also hate ice cream, puppies, and sunshine.

We know that. The topic here is why you hate them.

Blogger Bogey July 04, 2014 12:49 PM  

I am trying to think of some examples that are not commonly misrepresented as beauty when its preference.

I might be able to help.
http://pastexhibitions.guggenheim.org/brancusi/highlights.html

Compared to Rodin's ham-fisted attempt this is by far more the most cerebral and beautiful, in my opinion.

http://chgs.umn.edu/museum/memorials/miami/m2a.jpg
Emaciated contorted bodies reaching for the divine.

Blogger Bogey July 04, 2014 12:53 PM  

One of my favorites
http://goo.gl/iJuXRs

OpenID cailcorishev July 04, 2014 1:04 PM  

They recognize beauty and their hearts say, "meh". It is much worse than that. They must actively destroy it.

Right. Leftists make the most sense if you imagine them as a 4-year-old child, stomping his foot and shouting, "That's not fair!" So they see a beautiful woman and think, "That's not fair, because not everyone is beautiful," so fat acceptance. Beauty offends their 4-year-old's desire for fairness so much that, instead of pleasing them, it offends and repels them. The more beautiful something is, the more it offends them, and the more they feel like they must destroy it so that those incapable of such beauty (especially themselves) won't have to look at it and suffer.

Blogger Bogey July 04, 2014 1:07 PM  

The painting that converted Peter Hitchens.
http://goo.gl/57lklX

His epiphany? He didn't want to be judged.

OpenID simplytimothy July 04, 2014 1:11 PM  

For all the talk of Art, I believe--but cannot prove--that the bigger force is the everyday ugliness that is growing by the day. A couple of examples.

I do not own a television, when I walk into a place where one is on, I have to leave because the noise is too jarring for my sensibilities.
Driving up the east coast of Florida, I was pained when the wide open sky was broken by electric wires over-head.
Just look at a cell-tower on a green mountain.
American mail boxes.
Highway/roadside signs.

None of them are art, but all of them are ugly--and built by men who do not think of beauty when building things.

To my mind this genre of ugly has the biggest impact on our psyches.



Anonymous Jack Amok July 04, 2014 1:16 PM  

more beautiful something is, the more it offends them, and the more they feel like they must destroy it so that those incapable of such beauty (especially themselves) won't have to look at it and suffer.

Very true. And the same could be said of accomplishment, strength, honor and, well, normalcy.

Greed may be a sin, but envy is a worse one. Greed is the desire to have things you don't have. Envy is the desire for other people not to have things you don't have. If a man sees that his neighbor has a bigger house, greed may cause him to build a foolish house of his own, but envy will cause him to burn his neighbor's house down.

Blogger IM2L844 July 04, 2014 1:16 PM  

They must actively destroy it.

Yes. As a means to an end, its a tool.

Blogger Bogey July 04, 2014 1:16 PM  

For all the talk of Art, I believe--but cannot prove--that the bigger force is the everyday ugliness that is growing by the day. A couple of examples.

I get the sense you're right.

...and keep praying, we need it.

Anonymous Daniel July 04, 2014 1:20 PM  

"It is a matter of life and death not for the body but for the spirit."

Didn't Tom Kratman basically note the exact same effect yesterday, and get accused of genocide?

Blogger napari July 04, 2014 1:49 PM  

I believe Glenn Becks "Man in the Moon" was a beautiful, entertaining production done in a family format. No tasteless or otherwise undesirable stuff. Good all around family entertainment from the kids on up.
The fact that Glenn Beck is a right winger falls in line with the wholesome goodness that I think JCW points out is lacking in todays lefty dominated culture.
So if one looks around... good arts & humanity can still be found for those who seek it.

sry if this posts twice...

Anonymous Mike M. July 04, 2014 2:07 PM  

@paleopaleo:


"I know Wright argues with materialists all of the time so I wonder how he'd respond to the standard secular humanist response/argument that beauty is simply a function of evolution. i.e. beautiful women are just hormonally healthy and fertile, a beautiful landscape is one that is healthy and life-sustaining, a beautiful piece of music or poetry is simply stoking our brain chemistry with life-affirming feelings, wit is a mating strategy showcasing intelligence/problem solving, etc. etc."

Simple. Some of the most beautiful things are of no practical use. There is no profit in the breaking of sunlight through a cloud. High mountains are famously infertile. And the majesty of a cloud seen from above has no utility.

But they are beautiful all the same.

Anonymous Jill July 04, 2014 2:08 PM  

What was that one about random acts of violence and senseless beauty? Oh, I guess that was popular 20 yrs ago. And I'm not exactly sure how beauty as described above is senseless, although one could argue for a beauty that is perceived through the spirit. There is only a very limited sense in which beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think there is something spiritual about it--to why some people are drawn to Mozart and others to Vivaldi; some to living in the desert and others to living in the mountains. There is something beyond sense that occurs in the soul. A longing. What Burke might have called "sublimity".

Anonymous Anonymous July 04, 2014 2:13 PM  

Unattractive Jews...

- Schlomo

Blogger Huggums July 04, 2014 2:18 PM  

"The problem with Wright's piece is that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.

I think you may be hung up on the definition of beauty (maybe not). Preference is in the eye of the beholder, Beauty is to itself a thing, not just something you like. I am trying to think of some examples that are not commonly misrepresented as beauty when its preference. I am a little slow this morning. That cog will come around in a minute."

The definition of beauty is definitely something I'm hung up on. Idk exactly what you mean. I think at this site and a lot of red pill sites actually you take it for granted that we know what you're talking about, but if this knowledge has been lost to the general culture, you can't assume that.

The beauty definition is something I STILL don't get. What is it? If I think Ode to Joy is boring, am I wrong or what? If I'm wrong why? If I find black women more attractive am I wrong? Why?

I feel like I have an idea of what you're talking about, especially with regard to the Left's tendency to pervert things. I'd like to see your definition or philosophy of beauty and some proof of its objectivity so I can fully grasp what you're getting at.

Anonymous Anti-Democracy Activist July 04, 2014 2:18 PM  

This touches on one of the worst positions of the left (and one connected to its scientism) is that "subjective" is the same as "unknowable". Yes, all art criticism is subjective in that it is not provable mathematically or by the scientific method. The left, by asserting that this means that the relative value of works of art is unknowable, has managed to put forward this "eye of the beholder" idea that asserts that obviously ugly or artless works (often, not-so-coincidentally, also ones that serve as polemics for their pet ideologies) have just as much value as obviously beautiful or skillful ones.

This is the heart of Modernism.

But, sorry, no. Yes, there is a way to know whether The Godfather is a better movie than Birdemic. There is a way to know whether Charles Dickens is a better novelist than Toni Morrison. There is a way to know whether Bourges is a more beautiful building than Frank Ghery's latest bit of stunt starchitecture. There is a way to know whether Mahler made better music than Lady Gaga. Not a mathematically-provable one, but a reliably true one all the same.

This will not convince those who insist on autistic-level literalness or on scientism's approved methods being the only valid way to prove the truth of anything. But screw those guys - I don't care what they think. Truth is still truth.

Anonymous Salt July 04, 2014 2:22 PM  

An off-beat form of beauty -

Yesterday we had a hurricane. Lost power, everywhere. After it passed people went about, in their cars even. No traffic lights anywhere. It was amazingly civil. People were courteous and got about as easily can be imagined. Amazingly enough even the cops were respectful, helping out at the few needed intersections. Prior to Arthur's arrival cops were not pulling people. Some might say the hand of tyranny disappeared for a time.

Then the power came back on.

Blogger John Wright July 04, 2014 2:27 PM  

"I'm thinking that JCW might have watched Roger Scruton's 'Why Beauty Matters' recently. "

You are thinking correctly.

"As a Liberal, I also hate ice cream, puppies, and sunshine."

As a cheap tactic in a debate, making a joke and changing the subject will always distract the unwary. Such distractions become more and more needed the closer one comes to the truth of things.

It also tempts your opposition to waste time clarifying what he said, almost as if you are anyone misunderstood his point. But since you did not misunderstand, my dear most dishonest reader, I for one will resist the temptation.

You can read the essay if you wish to know the various qualifications and definitions applied to the general principle.

Then you can explain why, even if you have no taste for modern art, why modern art exists, who promotes it, what it is for, and what it means. No? You will merely dismiss the question unanswered, and counter with a personal attack? We all knew this.

Anonymous paleopaleo July 04, 2014 2:28 PM  

@ Mike M.
But they are beautiful all the same.

Yes, but "they" would argue that this is still a closed function in a brain - not *transcendence*. We subconsciously prefer visuals that follow the Golden Mean, we enjoy sunsets that stimulate a full-complement of the rods in our eyes, we marvel at clouds because, well i dunno - but I'm sure they'd come up with a physicalist explanation.

I agree whole-heartedly with Wright. I'm an artist and teacher (and paleo Christian conservative) and argue with these folks all - of - the - time. I'm trying to hone my responses. Thanks for the help.

Anonymous Scintan July 04, 2014 2:29 PM  

I think you may be hung up on the definition of beauty (maybe not). Preference is in the eye of the beholder, Beauty is to itself a thing, not just something you like. I am trying to think of some examples that are not commonly misrepresented as beauty when its preference. I am a little slow this morning. That cog will come around in a minute.

No, I'm not hung up. Mr. Wright is simply wrong.

I don't think we're talking about the subjectivity of beauty, but a sort of sociopathic lack of a deeper appreciation for it. They recognize beauty and their hearts say, "meh". That they recognize it and understand its importance is evidenced by the fact that they will often employ it as an agenda furthering lever.

I'd say that you're closer to the truth, but still wildly off the mark.

One need look no further than a color palette. Some will love the color red and detest blue, and vice versa. In neither instance is there a right or wrong, because the color just is. It's not beautiful. It's not ugly. It just is.

Nobody goes to the store to buy a cup of beauty, or a box of ugly.

Blogger Frank Brady July 04, 2014 2:37 PM  

The attack on the idea of beauty is simply a continuation of the attack on the importance of discriminating in any area of life. There is no greater sin in the popular culture than to be "judgmental". A refusal to apply one's standards amounts to moral cowardice. It is forbidden to suggest (or even to think) that one culture might be superior to another. Everything is a matter of personal preference. There are no objective standards against which anything can be measured. All beliefs and all behaviors must be accepted and treated as though they are of "equal" merit--so long as they help advance the interests of the collective Hive. Once this fundamental value was inculcated into the culture, the West was doomed.

Anonymous Jay July 04, 2014 2:44 PM  

No, the left despises beauty because leftists were abused as children, and can't bear to be reminded of what they were unlawfully robbed of when they were young.

And in a sense I don't blame them. Any god, no matter how beautiful, if he allows child rape to happen, especially in light of our knowledge of how such acts demolish human brain development, that god must have an evil side as well.

Leftists are sick no doubt. But "God" is the ultimate causer of that sickness. If I was raped as a child, I would tend to want to tell God to go fuck himself as well, no matter how beautiful he may be. Like Carl Jung suspected, God indeed does have a dark side.

Anonymous The Grey Slayer July 04, 2014 2:45 PM  

Leftists make the most sense if you imagine them as a 4-year-old child, stomping his foot and shouting, "That's not fair!" So they see a beautiful woman and think, "That's not fair, because not everyone is beautiful," so fat acceptance

I'm thinking you are the four year old, who hasn't figured out that potatoes are good in other forms besides French Fries.

OpenID cailcorishev July 04, 2014 2:46 PM  

I'd like to see your definition or philosophy of beauty and some proof of its objectivity so I can fully grasp what you're getting at.

St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa: "For beauty includes three conditions, 'integrity' or 'perfection,' since those things which are impaired are by the very fact ugly; due 'proportion' or 'harmony'; and lastly, 'brightness' or 'clarity,' whence things are called beautiful which have a bright color."

Now, I'm no philosopher, so I hope others will riff on that. But my understanding is that by things like "integrity" and "harmony" he means that for a thing to be beautiful it has to be true to its essence, that its form, function, and essence are all in harmony. So a woman is more beautiful when she looks and acts feminine than when she looks and acts masculine, because the former is in harmony with her essence. A pregnant woman can be beautiful in a way that a merely fat woman is not, because the distortion to her figure is in harmony with her purpose. A building is beautiful when its design is in harmony with both its surroundings and its purpose -- a church is more beautiful when it reflects the purpose of worship to God, for instance.

That's my rough understanding of the objective component of beauty, anyway. There's obviously some subjective component of taste that allows me to prefer one beautiful church over another while other people disagree. But that doesn't mean there isn't an objective bottom-line of beauty.

Anonymous Vidad July 04, 2014 2:50 PM  

@Scintan

So a pile of spilled pig guts is potentially as beautiful as the Venus de Milo?

Postmodernism is no way to go through life.

Anonymous Scintan July 04, 2014 2:50 PM  

Simple. Some of the most beautiful things are of no practical use. There is no profit in the breaking of sunlight through a cloud. High mountains are famously infertile. And the majesty of a cloud seen from above has no utility.

But they are beautiful all the same.


High mountains are high mountains. A ray of light is a ray of light. A cloud is a cloud. That's it. Whether they are beautiful or not is a variable.

Frankly, Wright's article was terrible, and the fact that some people are buying into it is a bit worrisome to me, as I think on what it means.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia July 04, 2014 2:54 PM  

Scintan my balls need licking. Between you and me, we will make beautiful poetry.

Anonymous Scintan July 04, 2014 2:55 PM  

So a pile of spilled pig guts is potentially as beautiful as the Venus de Milo?

Postmodernism is no way to go through life.


The Venus is a statue with missing pieces. Pig guts are a sign of life (hell, put them down right there with the ("soft intricacy of a crimson rose") and a way to take nourishment, and it's quite possible that a farmer, for example, will find them far more beautiful and uplifting than a broken piece of stone. Both have their own beauty, depending upon how one views them, and both have their problems when looked at in another light.

Anonymous Scintan July 04, 2014 2:58 PM  

Scintan my balls need licking. Between you and me, we will make beautiful poetry.

I'm quite sure that I would not find your balls to be things of beauty, thanks. Feel free to lick your own balls.

Blogger Conan the Cimmerian, King of Aquilonia July 04, 2014 3:00 PM  

"I'm quite sure that I would not find your balls to be things of beauty, thanks. Feel free to lick your own balls."

Stop touching yourself when you type that.

Blogger Huggums July 04, 2014 3:12 PM  

@cailcorishev

Thanks. That helps somewhat, but I still think there are problems with it.

Anonymous Jack Amok July 04, 2014 3:19 PM  

I agree whole-heartedly with Wright. I'm an artist and teacher (and paleo Christian conservative) and argue with these folks all - of - the - time. I'm trying to hone my responses.

Ask them why they assume function and beauty would be separate in a universe run by God. Are they neo-puritans who think God wants us to be unhappy in this life so we'll be grateful for the next? Do they view God as a miser who would horde all the beauty for himself in heaven? Or do they think God is a lie told by power-mad control freaks who have no artistic sense?

Or not, you probably won't change their minds. But in their hearts you will probably find it's contempt for religion and tradition that drives them if they reject the notion God could create functional beauty. OTOH, you will find simple envy if they reject the notion of beauty itself because it's functional.

Anonymous VD July 04, 2014 3:32 PM  

Frankly, Wright's article was terrible, and the fact that some people are buying into it is a bit worrisome to me, as I think on what it means.

No, Scintan, it was merely over your head. Here is some advice. Any time your position is contrary to some of the greatest thinkers in Man's history, you're probably not correct.

Anonymous Scintan July 04, 2014 3:39 PM  

No, Scintan, it was merely over your head. Here is some advice. Any time your position is contrary to some of the greatest thinkers in Man's history, you're probably not correct.

No, Vox, it's not over my head. Rejecting the point, regardless of who's attempting to make it, is not the same as failing to grasp it. You, of all people, should know that.

Blogger rycamor July 04, 2014 3:39 PM  

paleopaleo July 04, 2014 2:28 PM

@ Mike M.
But they are beautiful all the same.

Yes, but "they" would argue that this is still a closed function in a brain - not *transcendence*. We subconsciously prefer visuals that follow the Golden Mean, we enjoy sunsets that stimulate a full-complement of the rods in our eyes, we marvel at clouds because, well i dunno - but I'm sure they'd come up with a physicalist explanation.

I agree whole-heartedly with Wright. I'm an artist and teacher (and paleo Christian conservative) and argue with these folks all - of - the - time. I'm trying to hone my responses. Thanks for the help.


I would present it more as "X AND Y" rather than "X OR Y". We are always discovering more practical value to things that were previously considered simply aesthetically pleasing. Thus to say a certain beautiful thing has no practical value puts us on a defensive stance. It is NOT LIMITED to temporal practical value is a better way to put it. Or rather, its practicality is not necessarily just a crude gratification of superficial needs, but addresses the totality of life. We need beauty every bit as much as we need air to breathe, for it is the air our souls breathe.

Those who argue for some sort of scientific-deterministic inclusive rationale for beauty will eventually find themselves in the position of having to defend the existence of the soul.

Anonymous Jay July 04, 2014 3:58 PM  

Once again, for those willful idiots who want to ignore the real issue... Leftists are fucked no doubt. But they were abused as children, and that is WHY they hate beauty, because it understandably reminds them of what was stolen from them.

And ultimately, "God" is the one who allows children's brain development to be demolished by terrible things like child rape. Your god is the one who allows it.

Yes, god may be beautiful, but "he" or "it" or whatever must also have a dark side, because he allows children's brains to be destroyed (and yes, science now CLEARLY demonstrates the developmental damage to children, and then subsequently, adults).

God himself is now the one who must repent. The madness of the leftists (and the rest of the world) is his fault.

Until he repents of allowing babies to be raped, us humans will understandably destroy his world, and give him the middle finger all the way down.

Eden was a set-up. God fucked up, and owes us an apology. He is the one who has driven us mad.

OpenID simplytimothy July 04, 2014 4:13 PM  

Nobody goes to the store to buy a cup of beauty, or a box of ugly.

I disagree.

I will walk the 2 miles to Publix rather than the two blocks to Winn-Dixie because of Beauty. At Publix, the atmosphere, quality of food, colors, lighting (God! the light! ) and attention to detail in presentation are evidences of a finer soul than what drives the work at Winn-Dixie.

I pay more for what I get, but the sense of ease and rightness is worth the extra few dollars.

The atmosphere--the beauty--effects the employees too. The ones working at Publix are happier.

I was an acquaintance of a very hard working, ambitious young man who started at Winn-Dixie--wearing the black and orange of the company. He took a job at the Publix and the change in the man was remarkable. When shopping one day, I chatted with him about it and he agreed.

Atmosphere matters. Beauty matters. We shape it; it shapes us.

To paraphrase Mr. Sam Gamgee, if there is no Good in this world, Mr. Frodo, then there is nothing worth fighting for. If there is some Good in this world, Mr. Frodo, then it is worth fighting for.

We--the free people of the West--must pay attention to beauty, nurture it and love it. In doing so, we are fighting our enemies and enjoying ourselves at the same time.


We start, with getting our kids out of the ugly monstrosities called 'public schools'. The next time you pass one, ask yourself if you would enjoy going to work in that building day after day. If you are honest, then I suspect that you will feel a sense of dread--similar to a sentence in jail--at the prospect. To think that what we can plainly see and feel has no bearing on our children is willful blindness and a crime against what is good and beautiful.



bah. I am rambling.

Anonymous CjKeller July 04, 2014 4:22 PM  

"Beauty points to a world beyond this world, a higher realm, a country of joy where there is no death. Beauty points to the divine."

It just goes to show, everyone's got an opinion.

Jesus....talk about quotidian! Get back to us when you've got something original to offer.

Anonymous CLK July 04, 2014 4:22 PM  

"No, Vox, it's not over my head. Rejecting the point, regardless of who's attempting to make it, is not the same as failing to grasp it. You, of all people, should know that."

I have to say I find myself agreeing with Scintan --- make no mistake about it, John C turns a wonderful phrase as a writer and it is true as evidenced here that a poor idea written well can be persuasive...for a while atleast .. but the whole discussion is argument against a straw figure and problem that doesn't exist -- or if it does exist (and not being in the arts I can accept the possibility that it does) is much more likely a problem of the making of the "right" than the "left"

There are without doubt more art majors, artists, musicians (pick your category) that would self identify with the left and leftist positions than would with the right. The right regularly cuts funding to programs that would support art and artists...

"Any time your position is contrary to some of the greatest thinkers in Man's history, you're probably not correct."....

I am surprised to here VD say this ... I can only say that he must be focused on something else (football) and didn't realize how contrary this statement to his own actions ... just Imagine if we were talking about the greats of economics ... .. so VD we will give you a pass on this because its a slow rainy 4th of July here in the States ... but you might want to think this one thru a bit more.. or be prepared to have it thrown back at you every time you argue a minority position against what the majority says (which is what you love to do the most)....





Blogger John Cunningham July 04, 2014 4:24 PM  

Wow, Jay, you must be the greatest mind in human history! you have discovered the problem of evil, and made a stern demand on God to repent, to eliminate free will, and to create a Jay-friendly world where all is perfect. you must be 10 times smarter than those dopes like Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Kant, etc.

OpenID simplytimothy July 04, 2014 4:29 PM  

@Jay,

I used to yell at God, cuss Him out, hate Him, curse Him, damn Him, resent Him, despise Him, detest Him and rage against Him with much more vigour than you are mustering here. You are not the first man to feel or think this way and this problem is so well known and common that it has its own name: "The Problem of Evil"

There is a perfect answer to it in Holy Scripture.

To wit. It pleased God, for His purposes for His reasons and greater Glory to put you here in this state. He offers you a way out--it is free for you to choose to accept or not. The acceptance of His salvation from this state makes things better over time.

The key to resolving this personally is to realize the relative positions of the parties involved. God vs me. Or, in your case, God vs you. One of the two will win the argument. Its up to you to figure out which one of the two it will be and to take the appropriate action. In scriptural terms, that appropriate action is called repentance. Now, repentance is not the same thing as being beaten into submission and mouthing platitudes to avoid pain.

It is an honest realization of the facts of the matter and a turning from one thing to another; from where you are now, to where God wants you to be. I hope you continue with your struggle--and it is a struggle--and get to the heart of the matter.




Blogger IM2L844 July 04, 2014 4:37 PM  

God fucked up, and owes us an apology.

Well, you, with your big 'ol balls, can tell Him so when you see Him and you will see Him at sentencing.

This is what we can expect from those poor, poor innocent children flooding across our borders: Coming soon to a neighborhood near you!

OpenID simplytimothy July 04, 2014 4:38 PM  

There are without doubt more art majors, artists, musicians (pick your category) that would self identify with the left and leftist positions than would with the right. The right regularly cuts funding to programs that would support art and artists...

hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!

I wonder If when you get the chance to watch the Roger Scruton documentary, if you will mistake it for your biography and if you will recognize your role as the nemesis in the Scruton's (and Wright's) theme.

It is just short of 2 hours long. You can view it here: http://documentaryaddict.com/Why+Beauty+Matters-542-doc.html





Anonymous Jay July 04, 2014 4:38 PM  

"Wow Jay, you discovered the problem of evil!"

No, if you read what I wrote, you would realize it's more nuanced than that. It's the problem of scientifically proven effects of trauma to HUMAN BRAIN DEVELOPMENT.

The "evil" you rail against needs more UNDERSTANDING, not condemnation.

Of course the "problem of evil" is old news. What's NEW is what we know about brain development. And believe me, we know now, for certain. I'll produce the links if you want them.

What this knowledge does now is show us that humans need further compassionate understanding of our tendencies, not just condemnation.

Humans are complex, full of conflicting desires, and their sources must be found. And the "dogma" of a literal Eden just doesn't cut it anymore. These are pictures, metaphors. Our job is to understand, and through understanding solve the problems. Not just condemn them.

Anonymous P.T. Satan July 04, 2014 4:48 PM  

"Once again, for those willful idiots who want to ignore the real issue... "

One born every minute. Thanks again for pulling the line, Ann.

Anonymous VD July 04, 2014 4:57 PM  

Vox, it's not over my head.

It manifestly is. You don't believe in objective beauty. That's not unusual these days, just observably stupid and philosophically ignorant. And no amount of baseless grunting on your part can illustrate otherwise.

the whole discussion is argument against a straw figure and problem that doesn't exist -- or if it does exist (and not being in the arts I can accept the possibility that it does) is much more likely a problem of the making of the "right" than the "left"

And this makes Scintan's grunting look intelligent by comparison.

Anonymous Salt July 04, 2014 4:58 PM  

Beauty points to the divine.

Wow, JCW points right to it and quite a few still call it only art.

Anonymous Jay July 04, 2014 5:02 PM  

@simplytimothy, even though you didn't address the point of the complication of the problem of evil with the issue of brain development, I do appreciate your sympathetic response. These issues get me riled up, as you can see. :)

Anonymous Godfrey July 04, 2014 5:11 PM  

For the Leftist there is nothing beautiful, there is only the political.

Blogger JACIII July 04, 2014 5:15 PM  

The "evil" you rail against needs more UNDERSTANDING, not condemnation.

Wrong. It needs eradication.

Anonymous kh123 July 04, 2014 5:17 PM  

"...Perhaps then the old trinity of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty is not simply the dressed-up, worn-out formula we thought it in our presumptuous, materialistic youth? If the crowns of these three trees meet, as scholars have asserted, and if the too obvious, too straight sprouts of Truth and Goodness have been knocked down, cut off, not let grow, perhaps the whimsical, unpredictable, unexpected branches of Beauty will work their way through, rise up TO THAT VERY PLACE, and thus complete the work of all three?

...Not everything has a name. Some things lead us into a realm beyond words. Art warms even an icy and depressed heart, opening it to lofty spiritual experience. By means of art we are sometimes sent - dimly, briefly - revelations unattainable by reason.

Like that little mirror in the fairy tales - look into it, and you will see not yourself but, for a moment, that which passeth understanding, a realm to which no man can ride or fly. And for which the soul begins to ache..."


-Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture.

Blogger Fnord Prefect July 04, 2014 5:26 PM  

Modern art was CIA 'weapon'
Psychedlic sixties was a covert op

Seems to me there's a deliberate attempt to subvert 'culture' and reduce people's expectations of what's 'good'. I can't help but think that all of these The Voice-like programs are bringing popular music down to another even lower level (and lets not mention 'rap').

Anonymous kh123 July 04, 2014 5:28 PM  

...Another translation (different from the published version), but the entire thing apparently:

Solzhenitsyn's Nobel Lecture.

Ch. 5 has the practical application of art and literature that recognizes truth.

OpenID simplytimothy July 04, 2014 5:30 PM  

These issues get me riled up, as you can see. :)

It shows you are human. Good luck figuring this stuff out.


...(Leftists)...they were abused as children, and that is WHY they hate beauty, because it understandably reminds them of what was stolen from them.

What of those who where not abused ?

Your statement could be true as far as it goes, but it is not a statement of the general principle that Wright lays out in his essay (correctly, in my view).

Now, when in the midst of suffering and pain, considerations of general principle tend to go out the window early and are only slowly reconsidered (ask Job). Not considering them does not mean they are not there*.


cheers.

*a triple negative! yes! errr, no!

Anonymous Jay July 04, 2014 5:31 PM  

"Wrong. It needs eradication"

Right. Eradication through understanding.

Anonymous Godfrey July 04, 2014 5:48 PM  

At heart the Leftist is miserable and he seeks to avenge himself upon the world for his misery.

Blogger Sojourner July 04, 2014 5:57 PM  

IMG: Could have went with a link that didn't have autoplay. Even the two seconds I got before anything disgusting happened was too much.

Blogger Bard July 04, 2014 6:10 PM  


Jay,
Evil exists in this dimension because everything has an opposite. God designed it that way. Get over it. I doubt evil exists in all of them. It certainly does not in the holiness which the father dwells.
Why don't you design a better world? In fact, I nominate you as new world builder design czar. Please enlighten us how it should have been done. "No child rape". Well guess what, that already happens in this world most of the time. Hold the rapist accountable.
I am much more concerned with the death facing us all and Jesus conquered it. Just think if he had only come to conquer child rape. You could be his greatest disciple.

Blogger Bard July 04, 2014 6:11 PM  

Death facing us all for the evil we commit. That includes yours.

OpenID thenoisyrogue July 04, 2014 6:14 PM  

My favorite film of the last ten years is la Grande Bellezza. I have lost count how many times my wife and I have watched it. We constantly have the soundtrack on our stereo. And now I know why. It is because the entire film is a monument to beauty. From the imagery to the startling camerawork to the music and the very clothes the actors wear, it is a visual feast for the senses and so unlike anything else being produced at this time. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Blogger Bard July 04, 2014 6:15 PM  

You may not be a child rapist, but your are a "something". You may be an "unforgiving" child rape victim and incapable of forgiveness yourself because you don't forgive others. Doesn't matter what you consider yourself, you are an ugly sinner and this thread is about the appreciation of divine beauty.

Anonymous kh123 July 04, 2014 6:33 PM  

"IMG: Could have went with a link that didn't have autoplay."

Second that. Not as if one is trying to convince a horde of feminists on the evils of abortion.

Anonymous kh123 July 04, 2014 6:46 PM  

...Scratch that. You were apparently trying to convince a fem equivalent.

Though, given the kids in that video, this could for some be turned around as a point for abortion.

Blogger F. Lionheart July 04, 2014 7:54 PM  

Wow. John Wright, nail on the head, once again. For how long did I think just that? For a long time, I just couldn't have put it quite into those words. Thank you John.

Anonymous maniacprovost July 04, 2014 8:10 PM  

"Any time your position is contrary to some of the greatest thinkers in Man's history, you're probably not correct."....

I am surprised to here VD say this ... I can only say that he must be focused on something else (football) and didn't realize how contrary this statement to his own actions ... just Imagine if we were talking about the greats of economics ...


Wow. This person doesn't understand that "pundits on MSNBC" are not "the greatest thinkers in Man's history?" Anyway...

The definition of objective beauty. I don't have it, but it involves complexity and the harmony of elements. These things can be measured by objective metrics, and they correlate to our perception of beauty. Beautiful machines work better, which is measurable. We did not evolve to appreciate the beauty of machinery. It is, like JCW says, something that can only be appreciated with knowledge and experience.

Anonymous Jack Amok July 04, 2014 8:11 PM  

The right regularly cuts funding to programs that would support art and artists...

And "public art" is the height of beauty.... Perhaps you haven't noticed, but credentialed 'artists' and their hangers-on have been leading the attack against beauty.

Anonymous kfg July 04, 2014 8:14 PM  

The Winchester 70 is beautiful. The AR-15 is butt fugly.

Anonymous Anonymous July 04, 2014 8:21 PM  

thank you . .

Blogger James Dixon July 04, 2014 8:25 PM  

> No, Vox, it's not over my head.

Probably not, but it may be outside your perception. We are limited beings, and none of us can perceive all of the beauty around us. However, each of us drawn to that which we can perceive. Thus, there is no intrinsic contradiction between your position and Wright's. The perception of beauty is indeed somewhat in the eye of the beholder, but the beauty exists whether he perceives it or not.

Anonymous GreyS July 04, 2014 8:27 PM  

...ecstasies of mystics and the transports of saints
[...]if indeed you see real beauty and for a moment you forget yourself, then you are drawn out of yourself into something larger


Wright's word choices tell the story. Look at the difference in how man formerly used the word ecstasy compared to how most people use it now. From the greek ékstasis --

"completely remove" – properly, take out of regular position (standing) and bring into a state of ecstasy (rapture) – like a person "carried out" in trance-like amazement. This state of mind reaches far beyond the powers of ordinary perception.


Essentially "out of oneself" in a mystical way. The definition of "extreme delight" etc is a 17th century addition. We hear 'ecstasy' today mostly as a reference to an intense sexual experience. So we see the move from
out of oneself toward's God
to
extreme personal delight
to
very enjoyable personal sexual experience.

In other words, from out towards God to in towards personal preference and now heading further towards focus completely on self.

It's the same thing with the attitude of "all beauty is subjective" and the denial of beauty. Beauty draws the humble toward God. Beauty draws the self-obsessed inward towards self. Beauty has become merely a way to delight oneself and to delight IN oneself.

Start to feel something deeper-- a drawing of oneself outward toward God? They have learned how to stop that in themselves before the senses get going too far and thus shake their personal worldview.

And they never stop to ask themselves the simple question-- not "what is beauty?" but "What is this inside me which RECOGNIZES beauty?"

Anonymous maniacprovost July 04, 2014 8:29 PM  

Let's see... The M-16 has a useless, redundant handle. It has an annoying ejection port cover. It shoots spent brass at you. It has a forward assist sticking out asymmetrically because it doesn't work right. Fix those features, and it would look better.

Anonymous kh123 July 04, 2014 8:56 PM  

"Ecstasy: From the greek ékstasis -- "

Just to carelessly play with the idea for a minute:

If you took stasis as how it's used in Thucydides - meaning usually violent revolution as per Corcyra - then it could fit on the one hand with how (IIRC) Aristophanes talks about taking one away from war, leaving one's shield to gather cobwebs, while being able to enjoy time with the missus. So there's a bit of the one definition without it being narcissistic.

On the other, it could fit with the theme from the Nobel Lecture cited earlier: The ecstatic that art or literature can bring out in a person, it can also open an individual or an entire nation to:

"the whole weight of an unfamiliar, lifelong experience with all its burdens, its colours, its sap of life; it recreates in the flesh an unknown experience and allows us to possess it as our own... Both countries and whole continents repeat each other's mistakes with time lapses which can amount to centuries. Then, one would think, it would all be so obvious! But no; that which some nations have already experienced, considered and rejected, is suddenly discovered by others to be the latest word. And here again, the only substitute for an experience we ourselves have never lived through is art, literature. [It] can convey the life experience of one whole nation to another. To an inexperienced nation they can convey a harsh national trial lasting many decades, at best sparing an entire nation from a superfluous, or mistaken, or even disastrous course, thereby curtailing the meanderings of human history."

Keep in mind, this coming from a former soviet officer.

Blogger Ken July 04, 2014 8:59 PM  

A.W. Tozer, in The Pursuit of God, wrote of genius, "It is my own belief (and here I shall not feel bad if no one follows me) that every good and beautiful thing which man has produced in the world has been the result of his faulty and sin-blocked response to the creative Voice [of God] sounding over the earth."

He postulates that every act of beauty and genius, when done by an atheist, was an attempt to reach out to that which he could not understand, whereas the same act, done by a believer, was an attempt to articulate that which - as sinful man - he could not fully understand, but still was the Divine Object of love.

Mr. Wright fleshes out this idea more fully, however, and his logic is made of sounder stuff.

Anonymous TJ July 04, 2014 9:11 PM  

Juxtaposition of a feminine, graceful, and beautiful woman next to one of today's miserable feminazi's .... does one need to say any words at how the left is ugly down to their souls?

the juxtaposition of the beautiful with the ugly is an argument that does not require words.

Anonymous Anon-M-US July 04, 2014 9:20 PM  

"Frankly, Wright's article was terrible, and the fact that some people are buying into it is a bit worrisome to me, as I think on what it means."

Not even. What Mr.Wright did is touch upon a topic that receives very little consideration. The contrasts between leftist versions of "beauty" and the right could easily be seen when comparing communist "art" and culture to nations that were relatively free, like East and West Germany when the wall was up. Wright's article exposed your dulled senses. But it doesn't mean you can't wake them up.

OpenID simplytimothy July 04, 2014 9:23 PM  

America the Beautiful.

Blogger John Wright July 04, 2014 9:26 PM  

"Wow. John Wright, nail on the head, once again. For how long did I think just that? For a long time, I just couldn't have put it quite into those words. Thank you John. "

Lionheart, although I did not know it, I slaved over that essay for you, just for you. It was so that you could hear the words you needed. I am honored to have been of service to you.

Blogger John Wright July 04, 2014 9:38 PM  

"No, I'm not hung up. Mr. Wright is simply wrong."

Scintan, offer us your proof. What is your evidence? You claim for example that someone somewhere might find pig guts more beautiful than the Venus di Milo, but you must know this is a false statement. There is no such person.

You are making a very simple error. You assume that because some elements of the appreciation of beauty depend on personal taste -- I prefer brunettes to blondes -- and some elements of the appreciate of beauty depend on the education of the palate to appreciate them -- I did not not appreciate Milton's PARADISE LOST back when I was in grammar school -- you conclude that all elements of the appreciation of beauty are personal or educational, but in either case are arbitrary.

But the evidence does not bear you out. After one hundred years of unrelenting and unremitting propaganda, no one actually can look at a can of shit and have the same admiration of beauty as looking at a pretty girl smiling, or hearing a harp song.

So how do you explain the facts on the ground? Don't just repeat your theory, tell me, a skeptic, why I am required to believe your theory is the best one to explain the facts?

And the fact is that Venus is prettier than pig guts.

Blogger John Wright July 04, 2014 9:48 PM  

"I know Wright argues with materialists all of the time so I wonder how he'd respond to the standard secular humanist response/argument that beauty is simply a function of evolution. i.e. beautiful women are just hormonally healthy and fertile, a beautiful landscape is one that is healthy and life-sustaining, a beautiful piece of music or poetry is simply stoking our brain chemistry with life-affirming feelings..."

First, I would try to argue not on a comments thread, so I could get the guy to answer real questions and ask question he actually meant.

Second, I could ask him to explain the connection between music and this alleged life-affirming feelings. There is no possible reason why music heard in the days of the primitive ancestors of the animal from which man evolved would have been able to bear more children and adapt to sudden changes in weather based on his ability to hear the beauty in a progression of chord, especially considering that no animal cry in nature follows chord progressions.

Third, I would ask him why icy mountains, wide oceans of saltwater, and vast lifeless deserts seen at sunset provoke the response of beauty, when these are clearly life threatening rather than useful to survival.

Also, stars are the first and foremost images of the sublime which strike man. They have no possible survival purpose. Stars neither heat foot nor provide light enough for hunting or gathering. They are remote and cold. On the other hand, many mushrooms are eatable. I know of no culture of earth which upholds the mushroom as the standard of diving beauty, and no culture which does not place the gods in the heavens among the stars, even cultures which use sacred mushrooms in rituals.

Finally, I would ask whether the theory is falsifiable? Any theory which cannot under any condition be found false is not a scientific theory. After allowing my correspondent enough time to flounder about and attempt to imagine an experiment which would disprove his theory, I would ask him whether the theory was a scientific theory or not? If it was not a scientific theory, what kind of theory is it? A theological theory? Or some other kind?

Blogger John Wright July 04, 2014 9:52 PM  

"Had to ruin a post by suggesting that european culture is somehow better."

The suggestion is in your mind, not in the post. All I said was that the Left would make the accusation, not that the accusation was true.

And, look, you made the accusation. You fell into their trap.

Anonymous Stilicho July 04, 2014 10:19 PM  

My path back to God began with simply looking at the night sky one summer night in t he mountains. The overwhelming beauty of a sight like that inevitably leads to contemplation of the divine and thence to the Creator.

Anonymous lurker July 04, 2014 11:15 PM  

"Third, I would ask him why icy mountains, wide oceans of saltwater, and vast lifeless deserts seen at sunset provoke the response of beauty, when these are clearly life threatening rather than useful to survival."

Excellent points Mr. Wright. The banal and facile arguments of the atheistic left that everything must conform to the construct of utility for survival doesn't pass closer scrutiny.

Anonymous Shut Up, Cail July 04, 2014 11:39 PM  

“So they see a beautiful woman and think, "That's not fair, because not everyone is beautiful," so fat acceptance.”

I see you are back to your tricks again with shaming behavior. Consult your Bible about beauty.


Psalm 139:14--I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

We are created in the image of God. He sees everyone--even fat people--as a masterpiece.


Samuel 16:7--But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

The world focuses on what people look like on the outside. God focuses on what people look like on the inside.

Blogger IM2L844 July 04, 2014 11:43 PM  

Also, stars are the first and foremost images of the sublime which strike man. They have no possible survival purpose. Stars neither heat foot nor provide light enough for hunting or gathering. They are remote and cold.

Good point. They are also routine, predictable and completely ordinary, but they nevertheless evoke a primal sense of awe, wonder, reverence and beauty for many of us when we look at them. I don't think my Shepard/Husky mix feels the same way.

Anonymous Jason Watts July 05, 2014 12:28 AM  

Well said John. Thank you. I found it apropos that I just highlighted this gem last night while reading Awake in the Night Land...

It is not enough that we die; that will not satisfy them. They must make the things we deem precious seem grotesque and ugly, even to us, so that there is nothing fair left in the world.

In addition to art and literature, this is how covenant marriage is now being treated by those who don't see the beauty in God's design for man and woman. They don't want what it should be so they have debased it.

Blogger Bogey July 05, 2014 12:50 AM  

We start, with getting our kids out of the ugly monstrosities called 'public schools'. The next time you pass one, ask yourself if you would enjoy going to work in that building day after day. If you are honest, then I suspect that you will feel a sense of dread--similar to a sentence in jail--at the prospect. To think that what we can plainly see and feel has no bearing on our children is willful blindness and a crime against what is good and beautiful.

Not too long ago some posted a picture of their child's homeroom class, the door literally looked like the door to a prison cell.

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 12:55 AM  

Which is worse? To destroy paintings because they are beautiful, or to destroy actual, real people, because they are ugly?

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 1:04 AM  

Oh, no wait. I forgot. The ugly people aren't to be destroyed. They are just to be 'locked away' or 'made to do menial labor for low wages'. Because, after all, they aren't real people, with real feelings like the beautiful, popular people. Because the 'inner beauty always shines through', according to Vox, so that is proof that they aren't real people.

Of course, the Christian philosopher, CS Lewis, had this to say about people who didn't look like supermodels:

**When he gets to his pew and looks round him he sees just that selection of his neighbours whom he has hitherto avoided. You want to lean pretty heavily on those neighbours. Make his mind flit to and fro between an expression like "the body of Christ" and the actual faces in the next pew. It matters very little, of course, what kind of people that next pew really contains. You may know one of them to be a great warrior on the Enemy's side. No matter. Your patient, thanks to Our Father below, is a fool. Provided that any of those neighbours sing out of tune, or have boots that squeak, or double chins, or odd clothes, the patient will quite easily believe that their religion must therefore be somehow ridiculous.**

So, who's right? Vox with his immature claim that the 'inner beauty always shines through' or CS Lewis pointing out that someone who looks odd or ugly may be a great warrior for God, but that thanks to the Devil, some people are great fools who are incapable of grasping that fact.

Anonymous Laz July 05, 2014 1:07 AM  

"The world focuses on what people look like on the outside. God focuses on what people look like on the inside."

What then, when the outside reflects the inside? i.e. shallow women with fake breasts and collagen lips- thugs with saggin pants, tats and dreds- fatties with little self control or little self esteem- etc.

Blogger John Wright July 05, 2014 1:22 AM  

"Excellent points Mr. Wright. The banal and facile arguments of the atheistic left that everything must conform to the construct of utility for survival doesn't pass closer scrutiny."

Thank you for the compliment but pray do not be hasty. The rational atheist (and they do exist, albeit often shouted down by their irrational brethren) could make some reasonable answer to this point which cannot be easily dismissed.

He could (just as an example) come back and say that our response of beauty was BOTH a sublimated yearning for life and a sublimated fear of death, so that wide and dangerous things had their own odd attraction, but provoked awe rather than sentimentality. You can call a storm of purple cloud and raging lightning 'beautiful' but it is not the beauty of a peony.

That is why comboxes is no place for a serious heart-to-heart debate.

In a real debate, you really try to get to know the opponent, so that he is no longer your opponent, but your fellow seeker after truth, and you become so enamored of the ideas being discussed, the beauty of the truth, you forget your own ego, you forget you and he started on opposite sides.

That is a real debate. That is what philosophy is for.

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 1:25 AM  

VD wrote: **You don't believe in objective beauty. That's not unusual these days, just observably stupid and philosophically ignorant.**

Umm, no, pretty much all 'beauty' is going to be subjective, in an extremely broad sense. Tell me something, do you find a female snapping turtle to be sexy? Or a scummy pond to be a pleasant place? To a male snapping turtle, both those things look pretty good, but he would probably find a human Miss Universe contestant to be not very sexy at best and terrifying if he wasn't tame, and a pleasant mountain meadow to be overly dry and not have very much to eat.

Feral children are sexually attracted to the species that cared for them.

If you want to argue that most people in a particular culture agree that certain things are beautiful, or that certain physical traits in human females are usually indicative of maximum fertility, or that certain paintings are far more technically proficient than others, than do so, but don't talk nonsense about 'objective beauty'.

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 1:36 AM  

Laz wrote: **What then, when the outside reflects the inside? i.e. shallow women with fake breasts and collagen lips- thugs with saggin pants, tats and dreds- fatties with little self control or little self esteem- etc.**

Laz, first of all, you are trying to handwave away what Vox said, which is that the inner beauty ALWAYS shines through. Most people realize this is nonsense by the age of 12 or so. Secondly, you are trying to conflate women who have what may be fairly minor flaws, such as vanity or gluttony with murderous gangbangers, in order to try to make them appear worse than they actually are. Thirdly, are the beautiful people perfect? It may be that the flatchested woman who gets breast implants is shallow and vain, but is the man who refuses to look at any woman with less than a D cup any less shallow or vain regardless of what he might look like himself?

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 1:39 AM  

John Wright wrote: **And the fact is that Venus is prettier than pig guts.**

Try not eating for about 2 months, and then tell me which looks better to you.

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 1:42 AM  

**Scintan, offer us your proof. What is your evidence? You claim for example that someone somewhere might find pig guts more beautiful than the Venus di Milo, but you must know this is a false statement. There is no such person.**

I'd say that there is a very good chance that a feral child raised by wolves, such as Amala or Kamala, would find the pig guts more beautiful, because they would regard it as a good meal, and having been raised by wolves, human standards of attractiveness would be meaningless to them.

Anonymous kfg July 05, 2014 2:25 AM  

I regard pig guts as a good meal and eat them frequently.
I do not take the daffodil down from the mantle in order to gaze at pig guts and eat the daffodil.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit July 05, 2014 3:45 AM  

So in a virtually unique situation, someone who has never been exposed to beauty will make the utilitarian choice of pig guts. Did you actually read Mr Wright's article?

Are you currently strutting 'round your basement bedroom saying 'winner' to yourself?

Vox, can't you put an age limit on the forums?

Anonymous Bz July 05, 2014 4:01 AM  

"Frankly, Wright's article was terrible, and the fact that some people are buying into it is a bit worrisome to me, as I think on what it means."

Ha ha, concern trolling aesthetics ... now I've seen it all.

"High mountains are high mountains. A ray of light is a ray of light. A cloud is a cloud. That's it. Whether they are beautiful or not is a variable."

Don't forget that what you term your worries are merely some electrical impulses causing an evolved animal to move about a bit, perhaps with an elevated heart rate. That's it.

Blogger Fnord Prefect July 05, 2014 4:11 AM  

Yeah man. I never got Charlton's problem with Soylent Green - we're all just meat man, just walking meat.

Blogger AdognamedOp July 05, 2014 5:26 AM  

Re: Venus' missing parts. There are numerous archaelogical examples showing Venus in her complete form available for viewing. Including intact statues and statuettes.
Those interested in archaelogical History might want to check out this link to back issues of Minerva Magazine in pdf form. Some great articles, pics, and just crazy goods for the armchair or serious Historians out there.

http://ancientworldonline.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/open-access-journal-minerva.html

Enjoy.

Anonymous Stilicho July 05, 2014 5:40 AM  

Oh, no wait. I forgot. The ugly people aren't to be destroyed. They are just to be 'locked away' or 'made to do menial labor for low wages'. Because, after all, they aren't real people, with real feelings like the beautiful, popular people. Because the 'inner beauty always shines through', according to Vox, so that is proof that they aren't real people.

Please provide links for your quoted attributions.

Anonymous Stilicho July 05, 2014 5:45 AM  

He could (just as an example) come back and say that our response of beauty was BOTH a sublimated yearning for life and a sublimated fear of death, so that wide and dangerous things had their own odd attraction, but provoked awe rather than sentimentality.

Then ask him to prove it.

Regardless, he would be wrong by his own materialistic standard: a sublimated fear of death does not explain the urge to climb the mountain, cross the sea, tame the tiger, explore the stars.

Anonymous Laz July 05, 2014 7:17 AM  

@ rabbit: So, you're saying a even the twisted soul of a gangbanger has an inner beauty? LMAO! Next you'll tell me Charles Manson has an inner beauty.

Anonymous hardscrabble farmer July 05, 2014 7:20 AM  

When I was a teenager I was a very serious and prolific painter of both landscapes and portraits, mostly in oil or pen and ink. I was fortunate to have met a former student of the New Hope School of landscape painters- she was in her eighties at the time, we made a very Harold and Maude image painting in plein air together- and to hone my skills. The thing that drove me was beauty. Not a lot of 17 year old boys get up before dawn to capture the emerging rose and tangerines of first light when its 10 degrees outside, but I did it whenever I had a moment not devoted to earning money for my family or studying for school.

I was accepted at and attended one of the best art schools in the country my freshman year, and went off to the big city to learn at the feet of the current masters.

They ridiculed me for my work because it was "pretty" and "trite" and had been done before. What I was supposed to paint was "ugly colors" and "jarring forms" intended to "outrage and anger" because art was "not about beauty" it was "an assault, a message".

I remember the words they used to get me to paint like their heroes at the time, Larry Rivers, Keith Haring, Ad Reinhardt, et al, because they stung. Everything that had driven me to paint was wrong, everything I loved, they despised, everything I found beautiful, they detested and reviled.

Needless to say I didn't last long. I hated the city, hated the work everyone was doing, and hated myself for having wasted my time and my resources chasing a dream.

These days I am still a landscape artist, in a much different form. I have a few of my old painting from my early years on our walls and people who visit will often compliment us on the oil and ask the name of the artist who painted them and I will show them the signature in the corner and smile.

Today one of the most oft repeated comments I hear about our farm is how beautiful it is. When we bought it it was overgrown, run down, near abandoned but today it is orderly, well kept, sculpted and trimmed and it is indeed beautiful.

I have tried to school each of our children in the truths of life- that equality is a fiction, that not all people are alike, that while a small number are truly good and do good even when it serves them no advantage, there are an equal number who are truly bad and who will create discord, break and ruin, harm and hurt everyone and everything around them even though it leads to their own ruin. And that the vast majority of people are neither. They do good when they can be seen to profit from it, they do wrong when no one is looking for the same reason.

Some people would argue that the inability to see beauty is akin to color blindness, but I think it is more than that.

I accept the fact that only a very small number of people can understand what Mr Wright has written and perceive beauty instantly when they encounter it and be drawn to it simply for its own sake and that an equal number will desperately try and distort that beauty by the use of rhetorical gimmicks and obfuscations. They are like those art professors I endured when I was younger and like the people at the helm of our ship of state. They are the proponents of all that is ugly and degenerate and their motives are- to me at least- incipherable.

Beauty exists.

Anonymous scoobius dubious July 05, 2014 7:36 AM  

In its essence, the quarrel about the nature of (artistic) beauty is historical, not philosophical. Those who understand the actual history of the tenets of beauty in a given tradition are qualified to discuss it at length and in its particular details; those who have only theory, but no history, deserve less respect in the debate.

Anonymous scoobius dubious July 05, 2014 7:39 AM  

A propos of this kerfuffle, a blog well worth following on a regular basis......

http://whiteinnovations.tumblr.com/

OpenID simplytimothy July 05, 2014 8:11 AM  

...and that an equal number will desperately try and distort that beauty by the use of rhetorical gimmicks and obfuscations.

which is very sad.


@ hardscrabble farmer at about 1:05 in the Scruton documentary linked above he is interviewing a 'classical' sculptor who told of students who would sneak away from their art 'schools' to converse with the master. The students would create sculptures and the 'teachers' would have them cut off an arm or head and defile the work. It pained the students who would seek out this artist for solace and thought.

Here, you relate to us the same thing going on in America.

You talk of your farm as a sign of something higher and true. It stands witness to your witness of this thing that they hate. I applaud you for your work.





Anonymous Michael July 05, 2014 9:43 AM  

Very interesting article, alarming in its truth. The overwhelming majority of modern "art" is pathetic, banal and downright ugly, fixated on perversion and vanity. One of the comments in said article was right on target, stating that the progressive movement isn't so much a political party as it is a philosophy (one born of Marxism no less), hellbent on the destruction of western culture, morality and traditional values. Stuff feces into a can, put it on display and they'll call it art. The mind boggles.

Speaking as a musician, I'm especially troubled by the severe degradation of (and appreciation for) musical quality, beauty and refinement. People have been conditioned to accept worthless junk, much of it laden with PC propaganda. On a positive note, music sales have plummeted by nearly 20% over the first half of 2014. Perhaps people are starting to wake up.

Anonymous Bob From Minn July 05, 2014 10:52 AM  

But I feel nothing for their game where beauty goes unrecognized,
All I feel is heat and flame and all I see are dark eyes.


Anonymous sawtooth July 05, 2014 5:50 PM  

Somewhat OT, but oh my God, that poor kitten in the video. Ironically, it was through this blog post concerning beauty that I saw something so ugly and sorrowful that I now feel like throwing up.

The depraved sadism of some people is truly boundless.

What a sick

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 7:26 PM  

Laz wrote: **@ rabbit: So, you're saying a even the twisted soul of a gangbanger has an inner beauty?**
No, that is not what I said. What I said was firstly, that outer appearance does NOT, as Vox claims, necessarily reflect inner moral character. Secondly, that you are conflating women who have what might be fairly minor character flaws of either vanity or gluttony but are still basically good people, with murderous gangbangers, in order to make the women seem worse than they necessarily are. If you don't know what the word 'conflating' means, then try using a dictionary before commenting. Mind you, I do acknowledge the possibility that in very extreme cases, it is possible for a woman to be so vain, that her vanity makes her not much better morally than a gangbanger. But that is not usually the case.

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 7:38 PM  

Laz, it may help to think of it this way. The appearance of the wrapping paper does not necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the present inside. You can have a turd wrapped up in expensive, holographic wrapping paper, or a diamond wrapped up in last Sunday's newspaper. On the other hand, the turd could be in last Sunday's paper and the diamond could be in the holographic paper. You can't really tell, whatever is inside does not necessarily change the appearance of the wrapping paper, regardless of what Vox claims.

I might also point out, that you are making a mistake by conflating the appearance of a woman's body, with the appearance of a gangbanger's clothes. A person has a large degree of choice regarding the clothes they wear, and can change their clothing fairly quickly. A person has far less choice about their genetic or injuries they might have suffered that affect the appearance of their body. They have SOME degree of choice about gluttony, but losing weight is a far more difficult and lengthy process than changing clothing. Even in the matter of clothing, you can't say 100% for sure why someone is dressed like a gangbanger. They could be a gangbanger, they could be a 'wannnabe', those might be the only clothes they have, or they could have a large degree of indifference to what they wear and that might just be what they grabbed out of their closet that day.

Anonymous Rabbit July 05, 2014 8:31 PM  

Shut up wrote: **So in a virtually unique situation, someone who has never been exposed to beauty will make the utilitarian choice of pig guts. Did you actually read Mr Wright's article?**

Wright's article is crap. There is no 'objective' standard of 'beauty'. Ask someone with severe vertigo if they find the sight of tall mountains to be beautiful, or someone with a severe phobia of water if they find the ocean to be beautiful. The fact that a majority people find certain things to be beautiful is certainly not proof of the existence of 'the divine'. It can be explained by a combination of human cultures having certain things in common, and/or the brain being hardwired in a particular way.

Anonymous kfg July 05, 2014 10:52 PM  

@Rabbit - "The fact that a majority people find certain things to be beautiful is certainly not proof of the existence of 'the divine'. "

Indeed. The rub is, that denying the divine in beauty does not support the arbitrary nature of beauty.

" . . .or the brain being hardwired in a particular way."

Q.E.D.

In fact, as has been mentioned already in this thread, many foundational aspects of beauty have been quantified.

Blogger James Dixon July 05, 2014 11:17 PM  

> So, you're saying a even the twisted soul of a gangbanger has an inner beauty? LMAO! Next you'll tell me Charles Manson has an inner beauty.

Yes, pure evil is beautiful. Lucifer was among the most beautiful of angels.

Anonymous takin' a look July 06, 2014 12:22 AM  

Well Dr. Lasha Darkmoon has an interesting take on it.

http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Darkmoon-ArtI.html

Anonymous Rabbit July 06, 2014 12:50 AM  

**" . . .or the brain being hardwired in a particular way."

Q.E.D.**

Sorry, no. The fact that most or all human brains may be hardwired to percieve certain things as beautiful doesn't make beauty 'objective'. It's still subjective, otherwise male snapping turtles would be chasing Miss USA, rather than female snapping turtles.

**In fact, as has been mentioned already in this thread, many foundational aspects of beauty have been quantified.**

Sorry, again, no. The fact that human beings might find certain mathematical relationships to be aesthetically pleasing doesn't prove that those mathematical relationships have an objective 'beauty' property.

Anonymous Rabbit July 06, 2014 12:57 AM  

kfg: beauty is a *subjective* property, much like 'redness' is a subjective property. There is no objective quality of 'redness' no matter how many people might agree that light with a wavelength of 650 nm is 'red'. 650 nm wavelength is an objective quality. For light of that wavelength to appear as the color red, is subjective. To someone colorblind, that wavelength is grey. To animals with eyes very different from our own, that wavelength could very well appear to be a different color entirely. I can imagine alien creature who might percieve light of that wavelength as a sound, or sensation of touch, or something else completely incomprehensible to us.

Anonymous kfg July 06, 2014 1:26 AM  

" It's still subjective, otherwise male snapping turtles would be chasing Miss USA, rather than female snapping turtles."

The foundational aspects of beauty that have been quantified apply to snapping turtles.

And neither humans nor snapping turtles are trying to fuck a sunset.

"The fact that human beings might find certain mathematical relationships . . ."

Which are the measurable structure of the universe. Is your position that the wiring of the human brain is not objective; i.e., you reject objective quantification in its entirety?

In that case there is no cave and only the idealized spirit of things, which would seem to be counter to your claim of beauty being purely subjective.

" I can imagine alien creature who might percieve light of that wavelength as a sound, or sensation of touch, or something else completely incomprehensible to us."

I can objectively argue, and even demonstrate, that that is the case for the majority of Earth creatures. No need to invoke aliens when bats and bacteria will do just fine.

Who are themselves hard wired by the same natural laws that hard wire us. That are, despite their different senses and manner of interpreting them, still bound by the mathematical equations that all that is is bound to.

Blogger John Wright July 06, 2014 5:20 AM  

"There is no 'objective' standard of 'beauty'. Ask someone with severe vertigo if they find the sight of tall mountains to be beautiful..."

You are merely misusing the word 'subjective' here. The fact that Terasias is a blind man does not make light subjective.

"It can be explained by a combination of human cultures having certain things in common, and/or the brain being hardwired in a particular way."

Explained? Or explained away?

The question is whether your rather airy theory of claiming beauty somehow arises from non-intelligent accidental causes is a more robust and complete theory, supported by more evidence, requiring fewer ad hoc explanations and shorter leaps of faith than the rather more sensible and ancient and popular theory that design implies a designer, and that the spirit of beauty is spiritual rather than chemical.

Your rapid dismissal of a more robust and parsimonious theory for a less betrays an odd unawareness of how theories are selected, debated, and decided.

You betray that this is not a theory for you, but an article of faith. Cultural decisions of beauty are an intermediate step, not an origin -- for we have yet to explain why any culture would decide to hold mountains to be sublime who did not already do so.

This leaves us with nothing but the weak metaphor of "hardwiring" which in effect says human judgements of beauty are caused by nonrational natural molecular or energetic processes in the brain, in turn caused by organized but nondeliberate nonrational processes in nature.

The absurdity of merely asserting that the brain is hardwired to create in us the illusion of making an aesthetic judgment and have aesthetic standards is clear enough on its face. One might as well say you are hardwired to believe a silly theory of hardwiring, and I am hardwired as a skeptic to such nonsense. But not content with that, with no sense of irony at all, you list two nonrational brain defects, vertigo and phobia, which would prevent the hardwired love of mountains and seas of which you speak. This means the alleged hardwiring explains nothing.

And, even more amusing by asserting that mountains and seas are not beautiful, you undermine the original argument my questions were asking about, the claim that all beauty was a epiphenomenon of survival statistics.

You listed two examples of DEFECTIVE organism, but whose aesthetic judgment that mountains were dangerous to climb and seas dangerous to sail is actually in keeping with the Darwinian common sense. But if Darwinism is true, it is the HEALTHY organisms who survive the winnowing process. You have it here exactly backward: the normal humans regard sea and mountain as sublime and are drawn to them, increasing their exposure to danger and decreasing their survival chances. The humans in your hypo with inner ear defects and psychological problems should long ago have outbred the bizarre mutants who regard dangerous scenes as beautiful: but clearly they are in a minority so small that they exist only in your imagination.

Have you actually ever met a man who regarded mountains as ugly due to his inner ear problems? A real person, not someone from your native country of makeshitupland?

Anonymous Rabbit July 06, 2014 5:34 AM  

**Have you actually ever met a man who regarded mountains as ugly due to his inner ear problems? A real person, not someone from your native country of makeshitupland?**

Have you ever actually met a God? A real God, not someone from your native country of biblewavingland?

Blogger Shimshon July 06, 2014 6:16 AM  

Once I started learning about Game and the Red Pill, I have wondered this about beauty. Can women appreciate beauty in the same way or to the same degree as men? If not, perhaps the destruction of beauty is a result of the increasing influence of the feminine imperative?

Anonymous Stilicho July 06, 2014 7:59 AM  

your native country of makeshitupland

A very useful phrase. With permission, I'm stealing that.

Anonymous maniacprovost July 06, 2014 2:51 PM  

Have you ever actually met a God? A real God, not someone from your native country of biblewavingland?

He spoke to me once. Just as he has to millions or billion of humans throughout history. But you won't believe that, so why did you ask?

Anonymous Codename:Duchess July 06, 2014 7:10 PM  

Once I started learning about Game and the Red Pill, I have wondered this about beauty. Can women appreciate beauty in the same way or to the same degree as men? If not, perhaps the destruction of beauty is a result of the increasing influence of the feminine imperative?

You, sir, are an idiot.

Blogger James Dixon July 06, 2014 7:51 PM  

> Have you ever actually met a God?

You have no idea who you're talking to, do you?

The answer to your question is yes, he has: http://www.strangenotions.com/wright-conversion/

Anonymous Eric Ashley July 06, 2014 7:56 PM  

If a beautiful lady pointed a revolver at me, at some level, I am aware of her beauty, but the overriding thought is how to survive. .

Blogger Zaklog the Great July 06, 2014 10:11 PM  

"Have you ever actually met a God? A real God, not someone from your native country of biblewavingland?"

Oh my, that was funny. Having heard a bit more of Mr. Wright's life story than you, I find the irony stunning. Now, to be strictly accurate, he would probably answer that no, he has not met a god, but he has met a glorified saint, which is more than enough to discount your angry absurdities. I'd post a link, but Mr. Dixon seems to have already done so.

Would you care to try again?

Anonymous Luke July 07, 2014 9:33 AM  

I am surprised on a quick scan of this thread not to see a mention of C.L. Moore's simple but at times elegantly written (as Charles Schulz illustrated, arguably) musing on the nature of beauty. "Black Thirst" takes it on directly, while "No Woman Born" and even "Shambleau" touch upon it.

This is of course in contrast to Ayn Rand's views on beauty. I understood those to be directly related to functionality in constructs, and to mental health in people, while others may have taken them differently.

Anonymous maniacprovost July 07, 2014 11:21 AM  

Codename: Duchess, you seem angry. Perhaps you should focus on trying to interpret things objectively rather than in the worst possible light. Of course, when you do that, you'll see that people* are still idiots, but you won't be as angry.

*This is a complete generalization and in no way amounts to a passive aggressive attack on any commenter or the Red Pill-osphere.

Anonymous Codename:Duchess July 07, 2014 3:36 PM  

Some people are idiots and most of those some people have taken the red pill.

Anonymous Olen July 07, 2014 5:28 PM  

It never gets old, watching people complain about those wretched stupid people while making typos. If you're going to puff yourself up, you have to make sure about that plank in your own eye, and so on.

Anonymous codename:duchess July 07, 2014 6:31 PM  

Typos are not on the same magnitude as "SAYING THAT WOMEN ARE UNABLE TO APPRECIATE BEAUTY" and you know it.

Anonymous Rabbit July 09, 2014 12:20 AM  

As for your sunsets and oceans having 'objective beauty', I take it you've never read the scene in the far future from HG Well's 'The Time Machine'.

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