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Are the arts (including music, dance, drama, etc) pointless?

Asked by: SegBeg
  • Meaningless, no; pointless, very much so.

    As an artist myself (a writer), I recognize that most artistic endeavors, are, at best, futile, useless, and at time, inane. It seems a waste of resources, time, and effort to produce such things as plays or novels or pieces of art that, often times, have little hope of being observed by the general public. Art for art's sake is never a good argument, and while an artist may not specifically produce work for the public, but for themselves, it does not give it any more point. The Purpose of art, I would contend, was never to actually benefit society; it is simply something which developed as humans grew more bored with time. The arts distract from the analysis of certain issues, and while certainly art can at times shed light on these issues in ways that may not have previously be considered, it is not always often that an artistic work itself have the quality of transforming an entire society, rearranging it in a different direction. When Bret Easton Ellis wrote American Psycho, a social commentary on the materialism of our society, or Chuck Palahniuk in Fight Club, we did not suddenly see a major shift in the change in the way that people decided to spend their money and their lives; if at all, they have become more so with time. All this comes down to though is that, there is a distinction between purpose and meaning. Also as a nihilist, I believe that our lives are purposeless, but that does not then suggest that they are meaningless. Art has no purpose, but it's meaning is indispensable.

  • There is an objective cost to Art, and no objective gain - Art is simply the making of toys.

    Art - as well as Toys - share common space with intoxicants, dangerous diets and other "bad habits." Namely, that of being only able to serve one objective purpose - the bringing of joy - and then only serving that purpose in a piecemeal way, not capable of eliciting the desired experience in all recipients. Meanwhile, there is an objective cost to the creation of any Art, usually largely in the form of time, which is a distillation of one's temporary mortality, spent creating the Art. We treasure the belief that the feedback loop of dopamine response from the creation of an idea into a tangible thing and the knowledge that we, the Artists, were its creators, is divine and trumps all concern about the cost of its creation. But there's a clue that this might be self-delusion on our own part, in the fact that we jealously protect that feedback loop's superiority over the argument that the time and resources spent on the creation of the Art are greater than its benefit. And in another fact: It's not common, but indeed extremely rare, even among dedicated Artists, to create a piece of Art PURELY for one's own enjoyment - meaning for my purposes, something they have not shown to anyone else. Yes, this happens, but if the argument is straightforward that Art's purpose in bringing enjoyment is superior to its costs, then this practice should be common. I myself have produced and sold music for nineteen years, and while I've written thousands of songs, I can only recall three I've ever made, just for myself, without the desire to share them with others. This is a clue: no matter how much enjoyment I've received from being my Art's creator, it is clear that my intentions were tied up with my impression of myself/self-archetype and the social costs/benefits of the work I was doing. I argue that this is, whether they are self-aware of it or not, the true drive behind all Art, therefore: Art does not have a purpose but is rather tied up as a tool in the pre-existing purposes of human life and society. By itself Art must be a structureless and essentially deleterious compulsion.

  • Anything that brings enjoyment isn't pointless.

    If someone wanted to get down to the most binary understanding of this discussion, then yes, the arts are pointless. And so is any form of entertainment. Life devoid of the superfluous isn't exactly a very pleasant idea . We're going beyond the phlegmatic monotony of life, but into the completely apathetic abyss, devoid of sentient beings. If everything was done at optimal efficiency, there wouldn't be anything worth living for s far as my current intelligence can perceive. Banalities are enjoyable, therefore not pointless imo.

  • Art is far from pointless.

    Pointless – having little or no sense, use, or purpose: speculating like this is a pointless exercise. Although not having a traditional cognitive effect, it is far from having no purpose at all. One of its main purposes is to express the innermost beings of the human soul. When we experience art in many forms (paintings, literature, poetry, dance, songs, plays, films), we are touched immensely by the invisible forces of the arts. We understand life better (as life in itself is inarguably difficult to understand), seek a higher purpose in life as well as in relationships and discover ourselves as well. Although a man of practicality would argue that those neither have any purposes or benefits in the physical world, I argue that life is not just about its physical aspect.

  • The arts are not pointless for they provide quality entertainment to make life more enjoyable.

    Entertainment devoid of profound art is nonetheless still capable of satisfying the audiences. However, the beauty of art can enhance the experience by adding music, great literary works, enticing visual arts and design, thus ultimately providing a work that captures the attention of the audience, bring them away from their daily woes and travel to the dimension of the mind. Not only do good art make a good distraction, it can incite feelings sought by those who watch. If you want to be thrilled, watch a horror movie with its hair-raising music. If you feel aggressive, delve into a game with its environment designed artificially, with artistic talent, and fight mystical creatures drawn with such meticulous details that keeps the player engrossed. The arts has demonstrated its utility in our daily lives and especially so in the art of enjoyment; it is certainly not pointless in this aspect.

  • Many people use music, dance and drama as exhaust

    This makes people less frustrated/angry, and therefore makes the arts useful, because having frustrated and angry people on the streets creates a bad atmosphere, which is certainly not good for the people and the society.

    Art also makes people happy. Books are art, comedy is art, etc. It's ignorant to say it's pointless.

  • Those who are on the yes side are just ignorant!

    The arts are not pointless. It is okay to not be interested in them but to say they are pointless is ludicrous! Yes, the arts do not continue human life but they give it a purpose. Science helps preserve it. Both science and the arts are extremely important in life. Without science, most of us would be dead. Without the arts I think we'd be the same thing: dead in our minds. Imagine a world without any music, any dance, any theatre. Yeah it'd be pretty glum. Lots of people say that the arts are pointless because they do not help cure cancer or any other diseases. This is ridiculous! Of course they don't! That's not what it is for. That is for science. Arts have a different purpose in life so just because it does not help save a life, does not make it pointless. If a person is sick in hospital they will most likely turn on the TV (where actors- who are artists do their thing) than read a science textbook (some people might if they prefer science). Why is that? Because the arts are entertainment and without it we would be very depressed. I just wish those who think this way would stop being so ignorant and appreciate how much good the arts have done for the human race. I am not interested in science one bit but I know it is EXTREMELY vital to the survival of our species.


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