Thursday, August 21, 2014


What Place Art?

Greg Forester:
Bill Gates says  art is evil. Terry Teachout says Bill Gates is a barbarian. Jay Greene agrees , and he has the data to prove it.

In support of his view that art is evil, Gates cites the utilitarian philosophy of Peter Singer, who openly favors infanticide. I believe it was Hans Urs von Balthasar who said that those who refuse to give the beautiful independent value alongside the true and the good lose, in the end, not only their capacity to appreciate beauty but even their capacity for truth and goodness.
I agree with Forester, but would say it a bit differently. Trained as a scientist, I had virtually no appreciation for art until I met my lovely wife. Unfortunate, my science training was never able to knock from me the knowledge that there was a supernatural, but it was entirely a mystery.

I have found in art and access to that mysterious realm. I will also say it has come from to important lessons. One, not everything that claims to be art really is. Secondly, the mysterious is very different from the emotional. That is to say, there are many things that are emotionally evocative and it is easy to confuse that with access to the supernatural - but just because some created thing evokes emotion, it does not necessarily give me access to the supernatural.

To art types what I am saying is probably cliche, but to a scientist its a big deal. This should have enormous ramifications to how we do Sunday services. Does it?


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