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what is "artistic and literature value"?

darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/13/2011 12:46:45 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
According to the miller test on obscenity, part of the criteria for obscenity is:
"the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value"

However, what is artistic and literature value? Who is to say pornography doesn't have 'artistic value' or 'literature value'?
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What_Does_It_Do
Posts: 14
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2/13/2011 1:07:52 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Not much into art myself, but I think he was trying to say when the purpose and outcome of the work is only to mindlessly titillate rather than stimulate consideration of the subject, then it is obscene.

I've adopted a rather simplistic view towards judging what is good art - it's not hard at all to make 'art' which shocks, stirs up drama and emotion and keeps people interested. Any shock jock can do that. The way I judge art (whether a picture or a song or a music video or a movie) is whether it leaves the person who has just experienced it a better person or a worse person. Good art is the one that leaves people better. A sex scene can easily be good art if it's an act of pleasure shared by two people, porn just has a bad name because the industry doesn't do it right and it's almost always degrading.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/13/2011 1:15:31 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/13/2011 1:07:52 AM, What_Does_It_Do wrote:
Not much into art myself, but I think he was trying to say when the purpose and outcome of the work is only to mindlessly titillate rather than stimulate consideration of the subject, then it is obscene.

I've adopted a rather simplistic view towards judging what is good art - it's not hard at all to make 'art' which shocks, stirs up drama and emotion and keeps people interested. Any shock jock can do that. The way I judge art (whether a picture or a song or a music video or a movie) is whether it leaves the person who has just experienced it a better person or a worse person. Good art is the one that leaves people better. A sex scene can easily be good art if it's an act of pleasure shared by two people, porn just has a bad name because the industry doesn't do it right and it's almost always degrading.

In all forms of entertainment, people watch it to be 'better off'. Unless a person has buyer's remorse, a person receives utility from watching it. Pornography is no different.
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What_Does_It_Do
Posts: 14
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2/13/2011 1:30:20 AM
Posted: 5 years ago

In all forms of entertainment, people watch it to be 'better off'. Unless a person has buyer's remorse, a person receives utility from watching it. Pornography is no different.

No, they may be relieved, they may have found temporary escape, they may have found validation for unhealthy attitudes, but they are not better off. Any more than a person who buys and smokes a pack of cigarettes is better off.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/13/2011 1:36:37 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/13/2011 1:30:20 AM, What_Does_It_Do wrote:

In all forms of entertainment, people watch it to be 'better off'. Unless a person has buyer's remorse, a person receives utility from watching it. Pornography is no different.

No, they may be relieved, they may have found temporary escape, they may have found validation for unhealthy attitudes, but they are not better off. Any more than a person who buys and smokes a pack of cigarettes is better off.

A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes is better off if he/she enjoys cigarettes.
If we assume persons try to maximize their happiness, and are willing to spend time and/or money, there is no reason to suspect that a person is not better off from an action. After all, who is a better judge then oneself on what is 'best' for you?
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What_Does_It_Do
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2/13/2011 1:45:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes is better off if he/she enjoys cigarettes.
If we assume persons try to maximize their happiness, and are willing to spend time and/or money, there is no reason to suspect that a person is not better off from an action. After all, who is a better judge then oneself on what is 'best' for you?

Again, I would not agree that a destructive habit has value even if the indulger feels (temporarily) better. But as I said before, how I judge art is my own personal system. I could understand why other people would not see eye-to-eye. It goes beyond appreciating art to the personal choice of values and character. Whether you see life as a race for enjoyment or a chance to be all you can be. Who can judge what is best for you? At the end of the day, only your judgement should matter, though you can bet everyone else will judge you too.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/13/2011 1:57:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
not even people who dedicate their lives to the study of literature/art can define it precisely. so i doubt we'll make much headway in a thread on DDO. then again, art majors aren't really known for their logical prowess so who knows!
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/13/2011 2:05:06 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/13/2011 1:45:10 AM, What_Does_It_Do wrote:
A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes is better off if he/she enjoys cigarettes.
If we assume persons try to maximize their happiness, and are willing to spend time and/or money, there is no reason to suspect that a person is not better off from an action. After all, who is a better judge then oneself on what is 'best' for you?

Again, I would not agree that a destructive habit has value even if the indulger feels (temporarily) better. But as I said before, how I judge art is my own personal system. I could understand why other people would not see eye-to-eye. It goes beyond appreciating art to the personal choice of values and character. Whether you see life as a race for enjoyment or a chance to be all you can be. Who can judge what is best for you? At the end of the day, only your judgement should matter, though you can bet everyone else will judge you too.

The cigarette smoker might be better off even if the habit is risky (smoking can cause lung cancer) since the reward is better. It's all about risk vs. benefit. In any event, watching pornography does not cause health problems.

Your personal system is that one is better off. However, this definition encompasses all forms of entertainment people demand, so it's really not sufficient. It would render the definition of obscene moot, since everything can be considered having artistic value.
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What_Does_It_Do
Posts: 14
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2/13/2011 2:17:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The cigarette smoker might be better off even if the habit is risky (smoking can cause lung cancer) since the reward is better. It's all about risk vs. benefit. In any event, watching pornography does not cause health problems.

Your personal system is that one is better off. However, this definition encompasses all forms of entertainment people demand, so it's really not sufficient. It would render the definition of obscene moot, since everything can be considered having artistic value.

Being 'better off' vs merely 'feeling better' are two distinct and often opposite concepts. You have pointed out that people may feel better in the examples given, but they are not better off, in many cases, a smoker will admit they feel worse off even immediately after the cigarette. I might feel better eating two tubs of icecream and bags of chips, but I'm better off if I go for a run instead.

In the case of pornography, it does not cause health problems (actually it does if you engage in indiscriminate sex in the way often depicted in porn), but the way sex is depicted in pornography is often degrading to one or both genders, so it fosters unhealthy attitudes. I did point out that sex can quite easily be good art if it is a pleasure shared between two people, often bringing them closer together.

Some people take the view that anything that piques any sort of emotion has artistic value. Similar to your view that anything that carries enjoyment has value. My own opinion, which is down to personal choice, is that the only worthwhile art works are those that leave the people who have experience them better off, better individuals, better members of their community, worthier members of the human race.
Atheism
Posts: 2,033
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2/13/2011 4:47:11 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Art is defined as the product of human creativity.
Porn is a product of human creativity.
Ergo, porn is art.

/thread.
I miss the old members.
belle
Posts: 4,113
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2/13/2011 5:49:08 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/13/2011 4:47:11 AM, Atheism wrote:
Art is defined as the product of human creativity.
Porn is a product of human creativity.
Ergo, porn is art.

/thread.

lol the theory of relativity is art >.>

/thread
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/13/2011 3:16:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/13/2011 4:47:11 AM, Atheism wrote:
Art is defined as the product of human creativity.
Porn is a product of human creativity.
Ergo, porn is art.

/thread.

Since everything can be considered having artistic value, how can anything be considered obscene then?
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Sangers
Posts: 419
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2/13/2011 7:56:11 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/13/2011 3:16:37 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/13/2011 4:47:11 AM, Atheism wrote:
Art is defined as the product of human creativity.
Porn is a product of human creativity.
Ergo, porn is art.

/thread.

Since everything can be considered having artistic value, how can anything be considered obscene then?

That's relative
Puck
Posts: 6,457
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2/14/2011 4:08:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/13/2011 3:16:37 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/13/2011 4:47:11 AM, Atheism wrote:
Art is defined as the product of human creativity.
Porn is a product of human creativity.
Ergo, porn is art.

/thread.

Since everything can be considered having artistic value, how can anything be considered obscene then?

They are exclusive?
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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2/14/2011 12:19:37 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 2/14/2011 4:08:43 AM, Puck wrote:
At 2/13/2011 3:16:37 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 2/13/2011 4:47:11 AM, Atheism wrote:
Art is defined as the product of human creativity.
Porn is a product of human creativity.
Ergo, porn is art.

/thread.

Since everything can be considered having artistic value, how can anything be considered obscene then?

They are exclusive?

According to the legal definition of obscene, yes. If a work has serious artistic value, then it can not be considered obscene. See OP
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What_Does_It_Do
Posts: 14
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2/14/2011 2:21:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago

Since everything can be considered having artistic value, how can anything be considered obscene then?

Actually the Miller test mentioned in the OP has 3 parts, and the part refered to defines a work as obscenity if it lacks of "serious artistic value". Everything might be considered to have some artistic value if you really think that way, but much fewer can be claimed to have serious artistic value. The people who make that judgement have also been defined - "reasonable to a person of the United States as a whole. The national reasonable person standard of the third prong (the artistic value check) acts as a check on the community standard of the first two prongs, allowing protection for works that in a certain community might be considered obscene but on a national level might have redeeming value."

The definition from Wiki has the answers to the OP:

"The Miller test was developed in the 1973 case Miller v. California.[2] It has three parts:

Whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards", would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
Whether the work depicts/describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable state law,
Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.[3]
The work is considered obscene only if all three conditions are satisfied.

The first two prongs of the Miller test are held to the standards of the community, and the last prong is held to what is reasonable to a person of the United States as a whole. The national reasonable person standard of the third prong acts as a check on the community standard of the first two prongs, allowing protection for works that in a certain community might be considered obscene but on a national level might have redeeming value."