The Arts have Value, in and of themselves
Debate Rounds (5)
My argument will center around that "the arts" are not a goal.
They may help certain people in their quest for a desired goal, but are not necessary. They are not a goal that would allow sacrifice of more desirable things in order to accomplish.
The Arts include:
Any type of "modern art"
We can debate whether these fall under this category as well (even though, I would not consider them "art")
No acceptence required... just get at it telling me why Art is important.
In order to win this debate, each of us will have to show the following
You must show that Art is an important goal that has value in itself. That simply creating Art is desirable. You can argue that Art is required for its effects on other fields, but you must show that it is, in fact, REQUIRED and not something that can be accomplished in another way.
I will be showing that Art is not important. There is no Value to Art itself, and that any effect that Art has on other fields of study that are important would be accomplished regardless of the effect of Art. Additionally, I will show that Art is unavoidable. Regardless of our societal desire for Art, there is a personal desire for Art and it will be created regardless of a societal effort to create it.
For the later rounds, we can get into that more. Given that society no longer supports the Arts (meaning, copyright law is abandoned... you can still buy a painting, but you're paying for the Paint and the Fabric, not the person who came up with the idea for it) the quality of Art will remain sufficient. It would be possible to start a "jump starter" type website to support the Arts in that manner, but we'll just be discussing that if copyright law no longer exists, what the effects will be.
I will be arguing that the Quality of Art would not diminish, and that it may even increase.
You will be arguing that without copyright law to support the Arts, Quality of the Arts will decrease and thus have an effect on society.
You can give any additional definitions or terms and we can debate them in and out, but I think we both know the general idea by now.
Assuming you agree to everything, go right ahead and tell me all about why the Arts are important.
A more complete list of the arts: painting, music, theater, movies, sculpture, modern art, TV, fashion *as well as* printmaking, photography, architecture, dance, culinary arts and literature.
Britannica says, "the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others."
According to Webster:
1. skill acquired by experience, study, or observation
2a. a branch of learning: i. one of the humanities, ii. (plural) liberal arts; b. (archaic) learning, scholarship
3. an occupation requiring knowledge or skill
4a. the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects; also : works so produced; b. i. fine arts, ii. one of the fine arts, iii. a graphic art
5a. (archaic) a skillful plan; b. the quality or state of being artful
6. decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter
This of course makes the spectrum of "the arts" enormous and really could encompass a cornucopia of objects, talents, activities, shows, etc.
You are arguing: the arts have no value; art is not a goal; the arts are not necessary
I will will show that art is innately important and has inherent value. Keep in mind, art is a creation of the civilized. It is obviously not "needed" like oxygen and food and water are. However, it is just as "needed" as math and science, for those too are disciplines of order and civilization.
We'll address copyright laws later and separately if thats ok? I think its slightly tangential but am willing to address it if you really want to.
Otherwise, lets go!
Art is a form of expression as well as a fine-tuned combination of practice and talent. Let's break it down though--
a) Expression. So what? We all express ourselves everyday, right? Sure, but some are better at it than others (like anything). Some people express themselves so well that others follow them, respect them, listen to them. Expression is communication of symbolism, mood, sentiment, etc. Not only is this important due to the ideas it examines and shares, but also because of the feelings, ideas and actions that occur as a result.
b) Practice & Talent. Regardless of talent, arts take practice to refine and perfect. Thus, arts teach and encourage the important of practice (a valuable lesson). In addition to the hours and hours that make for the perfect experience, raw talent founds and fosters these artistic skills. We are a culture that recognizes and embraces talent. We realize it is rare and appreciate the benefits it can bring us.
1. a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged
2. the monetary worth of something; market price
3. relative worth, utility, or importance
7. something (as a principle or quality) intrinsically valuable or desirable
Art certainly has monetary worth and demands high market prices at times. This alone reflects an amount of value. In fact, every "art" you listed, not even including my additions, represents an international industry that makes millions. Industry is good. It creates jobs, products, and services. Success is even better. Art thus has value in this way.
As for relative worth, utility and/or importance, art holds up. As I have already proven, its monetary worth is evident. Its cultural worth is also high. The arts are the backbone of culture. And like industry, I think we can agree culture is good. Culture defines peoples. It instills pride, encourages greatness. Art may function as a communication method or as entertainment, or both. The utility here is apparent. Communication (especially that of high quality) allows us to share ideas, express emotions, etc. And entertainment induces positive feelings, allows us to relax and enjoy something simply for fun. While you may argue entertainment is wasteful or distracting, I argue the exact opposite. Specifically, art offers an escape from the mundane. It allows people's imaginations to thrive. It captures rare and unusual beauty and shares it with the masses. That is the power of art.
So, while you may not choose to purchase art (though I'm quite sure you do), others do and thus, it has measurable value. Art also offers a medium of expression that is unparalleled. While it may not be the most efficient method to explain mathematical proofs or describe a scientific experiment, it portrays, represents and recreates many ideas that math and/or science fall far short of doing justice. Art in its various forms can offer a glimpse of the past-- visible only through paintings, heard only as music, felt solely through dance. In many ways, these experiences offer a uniquely pure taste of the enjoyment, awe, and excitement that hundreds and thousands of others have felt throughout time and space. Art can also capture fleeting, yet momentous occasions. Film and photography strive here, immortalizing memorable moments. Yet art is so much more than simple record-keeping. It is a means of passing down not only the cold, hard facts of where, when, who, how, but also the intricate details of spirit, emotion, and beauty.
And this brings me to my next point. Art is necessary. Why? Because it is the only way to capture and share beauty. Math and science simply CANNOT do this. There is no way. Art on the other hand offers a variety of modes with which to express and capture the beauty of a moment, an idea, an event. Well why is beauty so valuable then? Again, easy. First, it pleases us as humans. We enjoy it. Much like we enjoy a good meal or cherish a good night's rest. Second, it inspires us. Beauty is the muse of muse. And from beauty spawns creativity, imagination and innovation. As I said earlier, we obviously will not die without art. Nor will we die without mathematics, the sciences, etc. However, it, like math and science, serves to make our lives better. Math and science allow us to do things faster, more efficiently. Art in its creation allows us an outlet for the river of thoughts and feelings we must dam up every day. In appreciating art, we then allow others' thoughts and feelings entrance to our minds. While this is not always a life-changing experience, it can also be quite enlightening.
Moving on. My last point for this round (based on space) is that art forces us to analyze in a way that math and science cannot. This skill and the results thereof are innately valuable (like art). While math may beg the bottom line and science quests to uncover cause and effect, the arts require a different approach. It take interpretation, recognition of universalities, a focus on both the micro- and macrocosm. Art makes people consider another's point of view in relation to their own (whether making or appreciating art). This sort of awareness of the people with whom we share our universe is key. It helps shape our decision-making, alters how we evaluate a situation and may put into perspective our specific place in it all. There is no "right" and "wrong" answer when it comes to art, but rather a spectrum of stories and truths. In the end, we all share the human experience, regardless of the differences between us. Art finds the commonalities among us and highlights them. And there is nothing unnecessary or useless about the power to bring many together under common ideas.
In summary: Art is valuable. This is proven monetarily. It is also qualitatively valuable in that it offers a unique medium of expression. Art is communication, sharing and capturing moments. Art preserves that which is fleeting. Art embraces that which is beautiful. And art brings us, the human race, together under the common appreciation for it.
Good luck in Round 2!
In order to argue that as a value you have to go on a bit of tangent. Having super rich people pay money to other otherwise worthless people (besides their "art") can stimulate the economy and thus has value.
But that's not art having value by itself now is it?
That's art having value because it stimulates the economy, which can be done in much a similar fashion a dozen different ways.
So if you would please, do not mention Art's Monetary value again... as that clearly obfuscates the debate.
Additionally, to make sure our definitions are clear.
I will accept photography only insofar as you mean actually taking pictures for "artistic" value. This does not include scientific and history reasons for photography (Slow-mo shots of things to understand the science or the Zapruder film). Additionally, Architecture is only insofar as the beauty of the architecture is concerned and not the utility. There are breakthroughs in ergonomics of buildings that are from the field of architecture, but I would not call them Art. Feng Shui is on the fence. Same thing goes for culinary arts and literature. Literature only extends to Novels (as Non-Fiction isn't art, it's historical or scientific documentation). Culinary arts, when taken as "food science" can mean healthier meals, this does not count towards the "culinary arts".
"As I said earlier, we obviously will not die without art. Nor will we die without mathematics, the sciences, etc"
This is one of my main points of contention actually. YES, we would DIE without science. Not on a personal scale, as the individual doesn't even have to know how to breathe by him/herself anymore because of science of society (iron lung). But, if we as a society had no concept of science or math... we would ALL DIE. We worry that we'd have mass hysteria if even just the Internet collapsed, or god forbid the electric grid went down.... but if we lost all concept to do math and science? Our ability to perform math and science experiments are what excelled us above the animals. (Although, they obviously experiment too, we are MUCH BETTER at it). Math and Science are ESSENTIAL to a civilized society. It made us harness fire, create the wheel, pull the level, and swing the pulley. It made us float, it let us fly... science my dear lady is paramount, and there isn't much debate on that subject. We would die without it (as a society), and even if a few people managed to survive, they'd be living in near cavemanesque fashion as they hunt and gather and struggle to make fire and keep warm. Think I'm exaggerating? Explain to me a world that will function without Math and Science. If it's better than Hunter/Gatherer, you'll really have to give me the details.
Now, I don't have to argue that art is detrimental, but I can argue that it is possible that it is stifling to one's own imagination, and not an asset. In a world in which we all agree that Art has no Value, we will still create Art. It is innate in us. But what's more, art, as something that has no value, does not require (as my opponent suggested) a singular goal or direction. My art is just as good as your art, is just as good as any art depending on the eye of the audience. Therefore, when we see other's art, it can become incorporated into our art, but doesn't that still mean it's theirs? Its not new anymore. It's a new configuration... possibly... but by having this universal purpose of art, it goes against what Art is... useless from a societal standpoint. Basically, what I'm saying is that Art itself becomes more original the more separate it is, and thus we shouldn't put a societal value on it to bolster it towards uniformity. Through individual fulfillment will Art takes its place.
I'm sorry, I skipped ahead a bit.
Art has no value.
There is no part of Art that has ever kept someone warm, got them from place to place, or helped them live longer. That's inherent in the definition...if it was useful, it'd be called science! (As you can tell from how I clarified the definitions above) Now, I'm not going to take it as a tautology here... because we're arguing some other type of value than utility.
I may have to change the argument a bit here. As I must concede that Art does give the individual fulfillment. But that only lasts as far as he is fulfilled, then it is separate. Art fills a need we have to create. We wish to create things with utility, but we simply can't. So we substitute. We can (1) create Art and feel fulfilled because we have created something (regardless of what, at least it's original.. right?) or (2) merely peer into the eyes of those who have created, and feel their fulfillment through us. It truly is trite, is it not? Art not only has no value in itself, by the way I just explained it. It prevents us from our true aspirations. We want to explore the universe, we want to understand our being, we want to create utility among men, but all of these things can sabotaged when the desire to create anything supersedes the desire to create something useful. Sure, that need to create is fulfilled, but it isn't done in the way that it should be, that it was intended for. And what's worse with what's art's become, we can just watch other people do it and feel our need to create disappear.
"Fairy tales do not give a child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon."
G. K. Chesterton, Tremendous Trifles (1909), XVII: "The Red Angel"
Which is exactly my point, albeit, in the opposite direction I'm sure Chesterton imagined. We have monsters inside us... and there are monsters all around us... we can be told how to slay them, and thus discover nothing... or we can conquer them ourselves... we can make our own path. And while that path is covered in blood, tears and toil... we must carry on or perish. Let us not fall to temptation.... for it will never bring us true happiness.
So, after all that nonsense... I'm not sure if I arrived at Art is OK for the individual yet. I think, I'm conceding that it is unavoidable, but that it isn't productive. I could almost call it detrimental to the sciences. We can go from there later... but I think that's where I want to start.
Regardless, I have made it quite clear that societal Art is a terrible thing. That not only does it not have value, but it also wastes our minds. It's monetary value is absurd, and its cultural value.. well.... actually.. I haven't talked about it's cultural value... only on its effect on the individual... so yes.. can we go there next?
Let us talk then about the "cultural value" of art.
Lastly, I just noticed you were saying that math and science can't capture and share beauty... while this is true, because the second it is described as "beautiful", in that light... it is not scientific. That does not mean that science has not increased the beauty in the world. Look at any photo taken by Hubble of any Nebula or Planet or Galaxy.... there is certainly beauty there... but that is also a scientific endeavor. While it is beautiful... it's value isn't in that it is beautiful, but that it can give us insight to other galaxies and planets so that we can better understand our own (and maybe someday visit the places we now have images of because of science). Most art that exists today (save Cave Drawings and scribbles in the dirt with a stick) was assisted by science (paints,tools,any material really)... what in science today has been assisted by art? (and not kids learning math and geometry from paintings and music.. i'm talking real science breakthoughs assisted by art)
Dorie forfeited this round.
Not to dwell on the subject, but I don't make up these definitions out of thin air. Blame Webster. Value, in it's DEFINITION, is linked to monetary value. You may choose not to like that, but you cannot simply by will forcibly declare it untrue.
That being said, I will respect your request and not reference monetary value any more. However, this is not a point lost, but rather one suppressed.
As for definitions-- you have left photography rather open, but I am going to assume that most photography is art, save for a handful of instances. Perhaps architecture, literature and culinary arts are all truly BOTH. I am willing to proceed under that assumption, but I do not condone middle-school-gym-class-style picking and choosing of certain things from a single discipline, while crediting them to vastly different sources. These things are art, science, or both.
I concede society, over time may shrivel and die without science. I meant on a personal level. BUT I argue that society would likewise shrivel and die without art. No one has ever really performed either experiment, but I think the outcomes are equally unfavorable. A society without beauty, inspiration, emotion, color, music, etc. would surely cave to depression, apathy and melancholy. Not exactly a recipe for success.
How can you possibly argue that art stifles the imagination?! I am arguing the exact opposite-- art encourages and nurtures the imagination. To that point, you provided no real evidence or example to prove that art has ANY negative effect on imagination. All evidence points toward MY argument. Art IS inspiration. Art IS imagination. You have many a medium at your fingertips. All you need to do is choose your method of expression and externalize the wonder within. Also unsupported is your argument that value decreases originality. And again, I starkly disagree. Value encourages more uniqueness, more creation. Value increases sharing and circulation, increases the permutations of media, method and sentiment. Like information, the more art is shared, the better it becomes.
Art is a representation of sheer imagination. It allows our minds to go where science cannot. With art we may venture into the realm of the impossible, the improbable and the whimsical. IN FACT many of the things that science has recently made possible were FIRST imagined by artists, who were told they were crazy for acknowledging such possibilities. Take the moon landing (Jules Verne, author, artist); the internet (Mark Twain, author, artist); flying machines and armored tanks DaVinci (Renaissance man, artist). And don't tell me that science just happened to fulfill the visions of these people who just happened to come before and predict such things. No, science followed the path of imagination that was paved by ART and amazingly brought many grand ideas to fruition. And even today, many of our visions of the future of science are best illustrated by art. Ideas about traveling to other planets were common in literature, television and movies long before there were labs and scientists dedicated to that cause.
Art is the imagination engine of invention. Think of it that way. Because it's true.
Further, I feel you underestimate the value of fulfillment. We do not ALL need to be constantly creating things for utility. There are far more humans than there are necessary inventions. Additionally, you fail to acknowledge that not all inventions, experiments, etc. are useful and/or successful, never mind necessary. A useless invention, even if pioneered by science, is still useless. Science has its dead weight too.
Fact: different people have different aspirations. Thus, you cannot say that art bars us from them if you cannot speak to the true full range of aspiration.
Also, you argument proposing art allows the many to watch the few create, thus dispelling their desire to create a) has no factual or evidentiary basis and b) can (if true) apply just as much to science!!! If anything, the wonder of art inspires even more creativity. It could be called a positive feedback cycle.
Honestly, when you start to talk about falling to temptation, you begin to sound like Billy Graham. I see no place in this argument on either side for crazed Christian ramblings. Neither art nor science has anything to do with temptation. And even if they did, the point is irrelevant. Many things that tempt us are perfectly harmless. And true happiness, like aspiration, is different for everybody. Temptation DOES make some people happy. ART makes some people happy. And yes, science makes some people happy. Anywho, moot, moving on.
You speak of a mind as though there is a finite amount of thought any one person can expend in a given amount of time. The greatest minds have the power to think deeply about many things. The only waste is not using one's mind at all.
Cultural Value: Art practically defines culture. The songs we sing, the movies and television we love, the food we eat (not out of utility, but out of tradition, desire and in the name of flavor!), all of these and many more manifestations of the arts compile what we call culture. And the regional differences in these pursuits defines others' cultures. Our devotion to our own culture is a big part of why we continuously strive to create more. We want to optimize enjoyment. On the flip side, the arts by way of culture allows us to learn about others' cultures. This is all very positive and productive though. Culture helps define groups of people. It also helps instill traditions and in some ways serves as ambassador to other peoples. Every country needs to feed, shelter and clothe its people. Every country must sometimes fight to defend itself. Culture is the wonderful segment of society that simultaneously makes us different, but also brings us together. And without the arts, it would not exist. Now, I see an implicit value in culture for all of these reasons and more. I cannot imagine that you would argue against culture, but in the case you do, you will have to actually disprove a) that culture is a positive, constructive and unifying force and that b) the arts make the backbone of culture.
Learning: You bring up a good point-- kids DO learn math from music and geometry from paintings. Exactly. Or it can go the other way (learning music from math, etc.). This implies an academic value to the arts, on top of the other mounting values they have. Like math and science, the arts have to be learned, practiced. Even those who do not create novel arts, do well to know of them. Familiarity with the arts, in the simplest terms possible, increases one's ability to communicate with those around them in ways that are effective and thorough. Numbers and proofs cannot possibly convey every message a human would need to send. In fact, (and I talked about this a lot before so I will try not to rehash too heavily), the arts strive to encompass the full range of communication mediums. Learning them, especially in conjunction with math and science, makes for a truly FULL skills set. This fact is proven by the existence and SUCCESS of Renaissance men (and women). If this is not utility, I don't know what is. And here, I feel the value is again implicit.
In conclusion of this round: 1) art facilitates imagination, 2) imagination leads to invention, 3) art leads to more (NOT less) creation, 4) art often predicts science, 5) art yields genuine fulfillment, 6) art not only has but defines cultural value, 7) by extension, this is another facet of the value of art, 8) art facilitates learning in general, 9) art improves communication (good). Thus, art is useful, has value and provides something unique to the individual as well as society.
"I argue that society would likewise shrivel and die without art"A society without beauty, inspiration, emotion, color, music, etc. would surely cave to depression, apathy and melancholy." You can"t have beauty, inspiration, emotion, and color with only Science? I"ll accept "music" as being purely an artistic venture, but the rest of those is hogwash. There is still emotion in science. So" strip that, and you are saying that without music we would "surely cave to depression, apathy and melancholy"" so come a little harder next time
"To that point, you provided no real evidence or example to prove that art has ANY negative effect on imagination."
I guess you didn"t read my quote by Chesterton? You didn"t get what I was saying there?" you do this all the time and it"s quite agitating" YES, I"ve given as much support as is necessary to prove my point. "We have monsters inside us... and there are monsters all around us... we can be told how to slay them, and thus discover nothing... or we can conquer them ourselves... we can make our own path. And while that path is covered in blood, tears and toil... we must carry on or perish". What else do you want? I apologize that I read too much Nietzsche. The truth is, I can"t give you a real like example of when Art stifled someone"s otherwise great discoveries" why?" because they never happened! I can only speak in parables and hope you agree.
"Good artists copy, great artists steal." / "Art is theft" - Pablo Picasso. "Art IS inspiration. Art IS imagination."
"Also unsupported is your argument that value decreases originality." " I made what argument?
"IN FACT many of the things that science has recently made possible were FIRST imagined by artists," " So, their value comes in their assistance to the Sciences? And they have no value in and of themselves? Wasn"t this already addressed? "You must show that Art is an important goal that has value in itself. That simply creating Art is desirable. You can argue that Art is required for its effects on other fields, but you must show that it is, in fact, REQUIRED and not something that can be accomplished in another way."
"There are far more humans than there are necessary inventions." " But there are not more humans than there are creations, useful creations. We all have cars and clothes, houses and computers" all of these things people can CREATE instead of Art. I"m not saying we all have the desire to invent the Time Machine, I"m saying we have an ingrained desire to CREATE something.
"Science has its dead weight too." I never said that ALL science was useful, but thanks for pointing that out.
"Fact: different people have different aspirations. Thus, you cannot say that art bars us from them if you cannot speak to the true full range of aspiration." " No, we don"t... we all are the Will to Power" we"ve discussed this and if you ever want to convince me on these grounds, you"ll have to convince me on Will to Power first. Art is an attempt by the otherwise handicapped to obtain Power. This should be re-directed.
"a) has no factual or evidentiary basis and b) can (if true) apply just as much to science!!!" " You"re right.. it does apply to science too! So? Both things hurt us" Art hurts us more. Because not only are you not doing anything, you"re not learning anything either!
"Honestly, when you start to talk about falling to temptation, you begin to sound like Billy Graham. I see no place in this argument on either side for crazed Christian ramblings." " If you"re just going to insult me... I"m done... infact... I am" I tire of this" I forfeit... I wanted you to actually win me over in this because I know it"s important to you" but I wasn"t just going to concede, I wanted you to actually prove it to me" I"m done having this particular argument" you can think Art is important and I will think it"s not.
I forfeit this Round and Round 5
Anyways, I was never trying to upset you, but it seems I did regardless. Given your forfeit, rather than use this round for argument, I will use it for clarification only. And if you want to proceed, we can close in Round 5.
I'm sorry if asking you for evidence is agitating. I thought that was a normal component of a debate. I would certainly not object if you asked the same of me.
Yes, I read your quote. And I believe I see the point, but perhaps we have understood it differently, because I did not see the connection between the quote and your point. Again, not trying to be difficult.. just trying to get back on the same page.
I was never insulting you, though I'm sorry if you felt that way. Rather, I was pointing out the dogmatic philosophy it seemed you were referencing (it is a FACT that the Puritans, Amish, and others still use temptation as a reason not to partake in the arts-- singing, dancing, painting, etc. etc.). If this was not what you meant, I apologize for the misinterpretation, but it was certainly not a personal insult.
You say you want me to win you over but you refute rather than consider every argument I make. Yet at the same time, you expect me to buy into your philosophies unquestioningly. So I really do not see how I can possibly convince you. Though I was obviously trying.
If you are genuinely done, I am really sorry this ended on a sour note for you.
I was saying temptation as in 'we can become tempted to be lazy.. to not reach our full potential because it's easier'
That is a temptation.
It's something that is appealling, and we have the capability of succombing to it despite our better judgement.
Just using the word temptation shouldn't throw me in with religous zealots.
"You say you want me to win you over but you refute rather than consider every argument I make. Yet at the same time, you expect me to buy into your philosophies unquestioningly. So I really do not see how I can possibly convince you. Though I was obviously trying." - You can convince me by understanding me, then explaining to me. If you truly do have more knowledge on the subject, it would be wise to first show that you understand my viewpoint, how you've carefully considered it, then how you've grown and rejected these ideas. That's how you convince someone.
Unfortunately, you don't do this... you argue for things things that i've already ruled out as decided (in the construct... if you want to win me over, you'll have to work inside the construct or start an entirely separate debate on that fraction of the construct) or you argue against things that I've never said.
Both of these things leave me to beleive that you don't understand my viewpoint at all... how could I hope to be converted by someone who doesn't understand my point of view?
In this particular debate, I'm not trying to convince you, you're trying to convince me... that takes certain tact. That is why you should accept my constructs unquestionably... if you are trying to convince me... if we need to have a whole separate debate on "The Will to Power", we can... but it is something you should really just accept about me because I've put considerable thought into it and I don't really see how it's avoidable... unless you can suggest something to me that supercedes it (I know of none). So things like that.. if you're trying to convince me... you'll have to accept...
Otherwise, if you cannot... we'll just have to accept our differing opinions. Because I won't be convinced of what you're trying to convince me of, unless you can either (1) Prove my constructs wrong or (2) Prove the resolution inside of the construct
It is a shame we twist and turn like this... I fear that oh too many things get scrambled in the quest for truth... indeed.
I think it can say what's best from Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil.. Aphorism 39
"Nobody will very readily regard a doctrine as true merely because it makes people happy or virtuous"excepting, perhaps, the amiable "Idealists," who are enthusiastic about the good, true, and beautiful, and let all kinds of motley, coarse, and good-natured desirabilities swim about promiscuously in their pond. Happiness and virtue are no arguments. It is willingly forgotten, however, even on the part of thoughtful minds, that to make unhappy and to make bad are just as little counter- arguments. A thing could be TRUE, although it were in the highest degree injurious and dangerous; indeed, the fundamental constitution of existence might be such that one succumbed by a full knowledge of it"so that the strength of a mind might be measured by the amount of "truth" it could endure"or to speak more plainly, by the extent to which it REQUIRED truth attenuated, veiled, sweetened, damped, and falsified. But there is no doubt that for the discovery of certain PORTIONS of truth the wicked and unfortunate are more favourably situated and have a greater likelihood of success; not to speak of the wicked who are happy"a species about whom moralists are silent. Perhaps severity and craft are more favourable conditions for the development of strong, independent spirits and philosophers than the gentle, refined, yielding good-nature, and habit of taking things easily, which are prized, and rightly prized in a learned man. Presupposing always, to begin with, that the term "philosopher" be not confined to the philosopher who writes books, or even introduces HIS philosophy into books!"Stendhal furnishes a last feature of the portrait of the free-spirited philosopher, which for the sake of German taste I will not omit to underline"for it is OPPOSED to German taste. 'Pour etre bon philosophe,' says this last great psychologist, 'il faut etre sec, clair, sans illusion. Un banquier, qui a fait fortune, a une partie du caractere requis pour faire des decouvertes en philosophie, c"est-a-dire pour voir clair dans ce qui est.'"
"To be a good philosopher," says this last great psychologist, "must be dry, clear, without illusion. A banker, who made his fortune, a part of the character required to make discoveries in philosophy, that is to say, to see clearly what is."
I will say one additional thing. You know that I am not Christian... I'm not anything... I'm not Republican/Democract.. I'm not really any label.. but I have gotten much better at arguing inside of Constructs... I do this much better for religion than politics (as religion at least has a central text), but I'm getting better at politics as well... it is something you should maybe consider practicing more often... start trying to argue inside of constructs... because that's how you can learn to convince people... find their construct, and argue from inside of it... if you can't.. then you may resort to arguing the construct itself, or simply disagreeing.... but to argue outside of someone's construct while they're arguing from inside of it.. and just ignoring it exists.... that doesn't help anyone
Dorie forfeited this round.
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