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Are there absolutes in art?


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#21 Hugues

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Posted 25 January 2011 - 03:55 PM

So do you describe yourself as an Agnostic then?


Rather a moderated Atheist.

#22 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:35 PM


So do you describe yourself as an Agnostic then?

Rather a moderated Atheist.

As I understand it, we all have 5 choices:

1) Pantheist - everything is God
2) Polytheist - there are many gods
3) Theist - there is one God
4) Atheist - there is no God
5) Agnostic - can't be sure whether there's a God or not

Looks like I'm advancing the idea that if you are a theist, then you ought to believe art can convey absolute truths. If you're an atheist, then I can see how it would logically follow that art can't convey absolute truths (because there is really no such thing).

#23 Hugues

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 03:47 AM

The moderated atheist: "I don't think/feel there is God, but can't be sure of that"

That sounds like agnostism, but the agnostic doesn't seem to put anything in question to me. To be agnostic sounds like having no feeling at all.

I never had any feeling of "God" or something "divine" in my life. I use theological words at times, but just as metaphors. I can speak of Heaven just to express a great feel of welfare. Now we could try to explain why we find things "high" positive, and "low" negative. Why we say "up-lifting" or I feel "down". Does this come from a feeling of something "above"? Hard to say. It may be just linguistic tradition.

Some musics "elevate" me. Is this feeling of elevation connected to God? I don't know. To me, it's a physical sensation, like flying or swimming are physical pleasures.

I think this post remains slightly on topic. ::mf_clown::

#24 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 28 January 2011 - 01:57 PM

Persiflage wrote:
: If you're an atheist, then I can see how it would logically follow that art can't convey absolute truths (because there is really no such thing).

Well, there would always be objective facts. But whether you have a proper GRASP of those facts would always be in some doubt, sure. (Even the belief that it is possible for us to have true beliefs about the world is, itself, a leap of faith -- and one that the theist has a more consistent basis for than the atheist, as Alvin Plantinga has pointed out.)

#25 Ambler

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 02:45 PM

Is artistic merit strictly a matter of opinion?



No, it isn’t. While I accept that everyone has the right to an opinion, it doesn’t follow that I believe everyone's opinion has the same worth. I tend to give weight to people who pay tax, are well informed and highly educated, whatever the subject.



Seems to me that the West’s defining cult of relativism, together with its all-consuming fear of offending anyone, is a far bigger threat to its continuing cultural and economic dominance than either al-Qaeda or an expansionist China.