U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-12-2014, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,087,623 times
Reputation: 6081

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Quote:
Religion hijacks human aesthetics like the ones under discussion here, societal morality, and a bunch of other things and claims credit for inventing and sustaining them. They are just expressions of the human condition, nothing more.
It's interesting to see that perhaps the atheistic and theistic approaches to life are sort of like viewing a piece of great art. Both look at a masterpiece. One negates the 'creator' immediately. The other doesn't. So aesthetically who is the hijacker in the approach in evaluating the masterpiece? I'd think contemplation on the 'creator' could elucidate a bit 'more' on the appreciation of the creation.
Aesthetic appreciation just is what it is. It doesn't "negate" any god, much less your particular one. It simply acknowledges subjective emotional responses and opinions for what they are, plays with and enjoys them for their inherent qualities.

If you prefer to think that is mysterious and that god is hiding in there somewhere, then that is just another subjective emotional response and another opinion. It is no more or less valid than one that doesn't see the ineffable (other than being intellectually less valid, but we are talking here about things like art appreciation, not philosophy or metaphysics). It is simply different.

This is exactly what I mean by religion "hijacking" the prosaic, it is reading stuff in that is not warranted and then making claims of superiority for that particular perception and explanation -- and often, at some point, claiming to even be its source.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-12-2014, 07:15 PM
Status: "Smacking fundies." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
25,840 posts, read 13,426,503 times
Reputation: 11680
Haven't read all the posts in this thread so forgive please if I bludgeon a previous poster's point.

Oprah didn't get to be a gazillionaire by not knowing her audience - and how to play to it.

Of course most objective observers would say she exhibited an ignorance of, and insulted, atheists. But most of her audience are Oprah fans - and no doubt largely Christian - so she was just keeping the bond strong with her core supporters.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2014, 05:43 AM
 
39,147 posts, read 10,857,554 times
Reputation: 5090
That is a good point, but frankly, if she could reason soundly, I would have expected to see a few clues slipping through that she could. So far I have seen none.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post

It's interesting to see that perhaps the atheistic and theistic approaches to life are sort of like viewing a piece of great art. Both look at a masterpiece. One negates the 'creator' immediately. The other doesn't. So aesthetically who is the hijacker in the approach in evaluating the masterpiece? I'd think contemplation on the 'creator' could elucidate a bit 'more' on the appreciation of the creation.
That is indeed a 'myth of (or about) atheism'. One owns a piece of great art. Mr Theist says 'That is an El greco.' The Mr. Atheist says it doesn't look quite right. The brushwork...the figures..

Mr Theist is quite put out and accuses Mr Atheist of having some hidden agenda.

'Just showing off your so-called art - knowledge or trying to persuade me it's valueless so as to get it cheap? Anyway, what have you got against El Greco that you don't want the painting to be by him?'

Well, in the end various analyses show the paint is modern, though the canvas is old and underneath is an 18thc painting of a Spanish woman. Which is actually more interesting and even more valuable than a faked old master.

Mr Theist rejects all the evidence 'That's just your opinion - and science has been wrong before - it once thought the planets went around the earth. I don't care what you say - if it looks like an El Greco and walks like and El Greco and quacks like an El greco, it probably is one.'

'But the paint, and the picture underneath?'

'Those with some sort of predudice against El Greco will see what they want to see. And as for spectroscopic analysis, they can't even decide whether a star is red or blue.'

Well, who is elucidating more and appreciating more and understanding more by asking questions rather than just taking at face value a claim about who painted it? Just as, since we can at least say that there is some explanation as to how the universe exists, we should ask questions to find out - not just swallow one rather too easy origin -claim when there are good reasons to consider others.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 03-13-2014 at 06:04 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2014, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,087,623 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
That is a good point, but frankly, if she could reason soundly, I would have expected to see a few clues slipping through that she could. So far I have seen none.
I have the same reaction to Bill O'Reilly, the Fox News commentator. By many accounts he's far too intelligent to believe much of his own BS, so he must then be rather cynically playing to his constituency in much of what he says. But it's hard to get one's arms around that kind of dishonesty unless you're some sort of sociopath, so I have great difficulty believing that he is really laughing all the way to the bank.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2014, 06:30 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,939,436 times
Reputation: 1804
Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Just like archaelogy and astronomy uncovers those hidden artifacts of our world/universe religion does it for our contemplation of the 'infinite' realms which have intrigued humans for eons.
Can you give an example of a fact or knowledge discovered by religion? I get that it provides a bunch of opinions, but does it have a track record any better than guessing?

Quote:
It's interesting to see that perhaps the atheistic and theistic approaches to life are sort of like viewing a piece of great art. Both look at a masterpiece. One negates the 'creator' immediately.
Please provide evidence that atheists reject the idea that humans create art. Thanks in advance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2014, 09:51 AM
 
4,456 posts, read 3,706,160 times
Reputation: 3109
Quote:
Aesthetic appreciation just is what it is. It doesn't "negate" any god, much less your particular one
hmmm..but doesn't belief color aesthetic appreciation? So in the case of an a-theist, you see I believe that cuts them off immediately from judging Christian art. Kind of hypocritical to judge something that the viewer in that case is completely 'against' since the concept of God flows through the paint.

Quote:
Can you give an example of a fact or knowledge discovered by religion? I get that it provides a bunch of opinions, but does it have a track record any better than guessing?
Well aren't we getting into that turned- over- so-many-times debate about the difference between science and religion?
'Olde tyme religion' doesn't get paid to worry about baryons...;-...
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2014, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Rivendell
1,387 posts, read 2,166,698 times
Reputation: 1650
Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
hmmm..but doesn't belief color aesthetic appreciation? So in the case of an a-theist, you see I believe that cuts them off immediately from judging Christian art. Kind of hypocritical to judge something that the viewer in that case is completely 'against' since the concept of God flows through the paint.



Well aren't we getting into that turned- over- so-many-times debate about the difference between science and religion?
'Olde tyme religion' doesn't get paid to worry about baryons...;-...
So I can't enjoy science fiction and fantasy? I can't appreciate a painting of a Unicorn because they don't exist? Do you see how little sense your statement makes?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2014, 10:13 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,357,130 times
Reputation: 4055
Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Just like archaelogy and astronomy uncovers those hidden artifacts of our world/universe religion does it for our contemplation of the 'infinite' realms which have intrigued humans for eons. It offers another value of study to contemplate our role and place in the universe and make us relate to the 'mystery' around us.
Actually, religion does just the opposite. For the average true believer, there are no real mysteries. Everything can be explained away with God. All of the meaningful answers are in the Bible. No matter how esoteric or how banal the question, true believers can link it to the existence of God without having answered anything. As I said elsewhere, explaining anything with God is simply explaining one unknown with another unknown.

Humans have been intrigued by the "infinite" realms for thousands of years, true, but for the vast majority of those years, humans lived in intellectual darkness. In this day and age, I see no benefit from marching along trying to maintain that intellectual darkness even in the face of knowledge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
It's interesting to see that perhaps the atheistic and theistic approaches to life are sort of like viewing a piece of great art. Both look at a masterpiece. One negates the 'creator' immediately. The other doesn't. So aesthetically who is the hijacker in the approach in evaluating the masterpiece? I'd think contemplation on the 'creator' could elucidate a bit 'more' on the appreciation of the creation.
If I observe the Mona Lisa, for example, I don't need a biography of Leonardo Da Vinci in order for me to appreciate its beauty and greatness as a work of art. I can still feel drawn to that mysterious little smile she wears in the painting and ponder over what she may have been thinking. Not knowing who Leonardo Da Vinci was in no way detracts from an appreciation of the painting since the painting's value is intrinsic.

Aesthetically, an atheist looking at the universe without including a god is no different than looking at the Mona Lisa without knowing who Leonardo Da Vinci was. It does not take away from the experience one iota since the majesty of the universe is intrinsic.

One of the issues I've always had with religion is this belief that all value in this world has to come from God; even individual humans are utterly valueless without God's grace. All the 'good' comes from an external source.

Personally, I find the universe far more aesthetically pleasing without god concepts mucking it up. There's nothing impressive about the works of an omnipotent god, after all - some all-powerful force. Something that is omnipotent can do anything with but a thought and requires no effort. That, to me, takes away from the beauty of it all, the majesty, and the mystery. Nor do I feel "mystery" has to be personified in the form of a supreme being of any kind in order for me to feel that sense of wonder one receives when looking up at a starry sky.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-13-2014, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,087,623 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
Quote:
Aesthetic appreciation just is what it is. It doesn't "negate" any god, much less your particular one
hmmm..but doesn't belief color aesthetic appreciation? So in the case of an a-theist, you see I believe that cuts them off immediately from judging Christian art. Kind of hypocritical to judge something that the viewer in that case is completely 'against' since the concept of God flows through the paint.
To the extent you argument holds, it cuts both ways.

My unbelief could have an impact on my reaction to a piece of overtly religious art, or even, I suppose, on my appreciation of the art of an artist of whom it is known to me that his belief significantly informs his art.

However, your belief could have a similar impact on your reaction to a piece of overtly irreligious art -- or to a piece of art that depicts something that conflicts with your particular beliefs. Or to the works of an artist you know to be atheist.

Your argument doesn't hold entirely though, because in practice I find that I have no bias against, say, the design, architecture, scale and ornamentation of a cathedral just because it is religiously inspired and has a religious purpose. It is still a marvel, even if I'm more apt to regard it as a marvel of the triumph of the human will and spirit than you are (perhaps it's even more amazing in that light, than as the inevitable outcome of divine inspiration).

I can appreciate most art on the same basis. I can appreciate Thomas Kinkade's ability to work with light and whether he's a Christian really has no bearing at all on that. I can appreciate his talent even while noting that his subject matter and the way he choses to present it is, IMO, schlocky. I would think it was schlocky and smarmy and ultimately boring even if he were an atheist [shrug].

I don't understand your claim that it is hypocritical to judge art for oneself unless one is in tune with the metaphysics of the artist. There's no accounting for taste; there is no "correct" or "incorrect" judgment of artistic merit, there is just more or less informed judgments, and more or less informed tastes. But it is all down to personal opinion in the end, and all "judgments" I make of art are for my purposes and benefit, not someone else's. I might share that opinion with others in conversation but I am not representing that it is "the" correct opinion for all comers.

I think in fact that it is hypocritical to disqualify me from having an opinion about and reaction to a painting simply because you make an entirely unsubstantiated (and unsubstantiatable) claim that "the concept of god flows through the paint". If you're going to do that, then I'm going to have to disqualify you from having an opinion about, say, the films of Stanley Kubrick simply because he was an atheist and "godlessness emanates from every frame".

You are really just making another version of the assertion that I "can't possibly understand" anything religious or spiritual or related to god because I lack the "holy spirit" or personal experience of god. This would not be true even if I had not in the past had the god-experience. Whoops, forgot, by definition I never could have had that because I never was one of you [sigh].

Last edited by mordant; 03-13-2014 at 11:12 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-16-2014, 01:32 AM
 
Location: OKC
5,426 posts, read 5,730,245 times
Reputation: 1770
Actually, I don't remember having any additional feelings of awe and/or wonder back when I was a theist. I felt pretty much the same way I do now.

But from the way they talk, you would think theist sit around all slack-jawed with a tear running down their cheek every time the sun sets.

I don't remember it being that way.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top