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If God exists, are ethics and esthetics inherently linked?

#1anavriNPosted 8/11/2011 3:07:24 AM
Here's somethings that's been occupying me lately, and it concerns the relation between the big fields of philosophy: logics, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology and ontology.

Considering the existence of God (the capital 'G', Biblical one), does it follow that, say, ethics and aesthetics's are linked? That means, that there is objective aesthetics just like there is objective morality, and that what is good much be beautiful and what is evil must be abject.

I will provide further musings on this later, but first I would like to hear, from either religious or non-religious people, whether or not the existence of the Judeo-Christian god implies the inherent link of ethics and aesthetics.
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#2SuibomPosted 8/11/2011 3:24:55 AM
I wouldn't say this would work. Otherwise, animals and humans that are generally regarded as "not beautiful" would be considered evil, simply based on their aesthetics.
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If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.~ William Arnot
#3OrnitierIXPosted 8/11/2011 3:42:17 AM
Suibom posted...
I wouldn't say this would work. Otherwise, animals and humans that are generally regarded as "not beautiful" would be considered evil, simply based on their aesthetics.

Cockroach: Ugly.
Baby rabbit: Not ugly.

Which would the average person more likely stomp to death on site?

Not necessarily arguing for divine aesthetics, but I don't think it would be crazy to argue that we're generally more comfortable (and therefore tend to treat them as 'good') with things we find aesthetically pleasing.

Also, I'm not sure OP is proposing that aesthetics and ethics are linked in this way. I think he's just saying since God would suppose objective morality/ethics, he may also suppose objective aesthetics. I find the notion interesting, but I'm not sure where I stand yet.
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#4SuibomPosted 8/11/2011 4:16:44 AM
OrnitierIX posted...
Suibom posted...
I wouldn't say this would work. Otherwise, animals and humans that are generally regarded as "not beautiful" would be considered evil, simply based on their aesthetics.

Cockroach: Ugly.
Baby rabbit: Not ugly.

Which would the average person more likely stomp to death on site?

Not necessarily arguing for divine aesthetics, but I don't think it would be crazy to argue that we're generally more comfortable (and therefore tend to treat them as 'good') with things we find aesthetically pleasing.

Also, I'm not sure OP is proposing that aesthetics and ethics are linked in this way. I think he's just saying since God would suppose objective morality/ethics, he may also suppose objective aesthetics. I find the notion interesting, but I'm not sure where I stand yet.


Baby rabbits eat my plant stock at work. So do beavers, which one managed to chew down three of our willows and shredded the bark on ten more trees before we were able to attack trunk guards. So, shouldn't they be viewed as "evil", regardless of their looks? What did the cockroach do to me, outside of having the "yeeuch..." factor.

I get what you're saying... less likely to stomp a baby rabbit and all, but looks can't be an indicator of "evil" when that cute little baby rabbit is making my viburnum it's evening meal. I use insecticides for things like tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles for doing the same thing.
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If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.~ William Arnot
#5OrnitierIXPosted 8/11/2011 4:25:24 AM(edited)
Suibom posted...
OrnitierIX posted...
Suibom posted...
I wouldn't say this would work. Otherwise, animals and humans that are generally regarded as "not beautiful" would be considered evil, simply based on their aesthetics.

Cockroach: Ugly.
Baby rabbit: Not ugly.

Which would the average person more likely stomp to death on site?

Not necessarily arguing for divine aesthetics, but I don't think it would be crazy to argue that we're generally more comfortable (and therefore tend to treat them as 'good') with things we find aesthetically pleasing.

Also, I'm not sure OP is proposing that aesthetics and ethics are linked in this way. I think he's just saying since God would suppose objective morality/ethics, he may also suppose objective aesthetics. I find the notion interesting, but I'm not sure where I stand yet.

Baby rabbits eat my plant stock at work. So do beavers, which one managed to chew down three of our willows and shredded the bark on ten more trees before we were able to attack trunk guards. So, shouldn't they be viewed as "evil", regardless of their looks? What did the cockroach do to me, outside of having the "yeeuch..." factor.

I get what you're saying... less likely to stomp a baby rabbit and all, but looks can't be an indicator of "evil" when that cute little baby rabbit is making my viburnum it's evening meal. I use insecticides for things like tent caterpillars and Japanese beetles for doing the same thing.


Fair enough, yes. In a situation where that cute little herbivore destroys your livelihood, you're more likely to want to see it destroyed (to view it as evil). And I also suppose if you're some sort of entomologist doing cockroach research, you wouldn't really want to see those destroyed either.

It was just an example I thought up on the spot, it's rather easy to poke holes in it, I see. I was just having a go at arguing it.

EDIT: Wait, maybe it is.
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If only I could relieve my hunger by vigorously rubbing my belly...
#6X__JapanPosted 8/11/2011 5:23:18 AM
Even if God exists, I don't think there's objective aesthetics OR even objective morality.
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#7SuibomPosted 8/11/2011 5:39:27 AM
OrnitierIX posted...


Fair enough, yes. In a situation where that cute little herbivore destroys your livelihood, you're more likely to want to see it destroyed (to view it as evil). And I also suppose if you're some sort of entomologist doing cockroach research, you wouldn't really want to see those destroyed either.

It was just an example I thought up on the spot, it's rather easy to poke holes in it, I see. I was just having a go at arguing it.

EDIT: Wait, maybe it is.


No bigs. Those cute little bunny rabbits add up... quickly... but when we do manage to catch one, they get a nice drive out of town, where there's just woods to gnaw on. Bugs don't catch that break. They do get stomped and sprayed, simply because catching all of them would be a bigger cost in man hours than spraying for them, or just killing one when we see it on a plant.

That, and they're ugly.
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If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.~ William Arnot
#8kozlo100Posted 8/11/2011 8:34:38 AM
Let me just stream of consciousness my way through the argument.

If there is objective morality, then it follows there is objective aesthetics as well, for the same reasons.

Linking the two seems a bit harder. We're assuming God sets both morality and aesthetics. We know he values good things over evil. If he values beauty over wretchedness then it stands to reason that he might link beauty with good, but I don't see that it's necessary for him to have done so. It's also not entirely clear that he does value beauty over wretchedness.

Given that, I'm not sure where to go from here in finding a conclusion.
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The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication. -- Philip K. Dick
#9SuibomPosted 8/11/2011 9:38:34 AM
Kozlo, your post reminded me of a passage in 1 Corinthians 2

18 The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are being destroyed. But it is the power of God for those of us who are being saved. 19 It is written in scripture: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will reject the intelligence of the intelligent.20 Where are the wise? Where are the legal experts? Where are today’s debaters? Hasn’t God made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 In God’s wisdom, he determined that the world wouldn’t come to know him through its wisdom. Instead, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of preaching. 22 Jews ask for signs, and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, which is a scandal to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 24 But to those who are called—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s power and God’s wisdom. 25 This is because the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Look at your situation when you were called, brothers and sisters! By ordinary human standards not many were wise, not many were powerful, not many were from the upper class. 27 But God chose what the world considers foolish to shame the wise. God chose what the world considers weak to shame the strong. 28 And God chose what the world considers low-class and low-life—what is considered to be nothing—to reduce what is considered to be something to nothing. 29 So no human being can brag in God’s presence. 30 It is because of God that you are in Christ Jesus. He became wisdom from God for us. This means that he made us righteous and holy, and he delivered us. 31 This is consistent with what was written: The one who brags should brag in the Lord!
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If honor be your clothing, the suit will last a lifetime; but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.~ William Arnot
#10mercuryinkPosted 8/11/2011 10:14:08 AM
Well, in Judaism, there's a command to beautify the other mitzvot (for instance, while a plain earthenware menorah will suffice, a nice silver one is preferable, and one with engraving is even better). So G-d is clearly concerned with beauty, albeit through human eyes. He seems concerned that we find something beautiful, and human opinion of beauty is proven to be subjective.

That said, there are certain things shown in the Bible to be "pleasing" to G-d. The smell of burning fat comes to mind. Having grilled recently, I won't argue.
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