The Instigator
SMendel
Pro (for)
The Contender
Masdebating69
Con (against)

The Beatles Are Objectively Better Than Coldplay

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2018 Category: Arts
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 936 times Debate No: 116573
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

SMendel

Pro

Yes, this is a debate about aesthetic objectivism...

Look forward to a friendly debate!
Masdebating69

Con

I see you are trying to gain voting privileges. I'd be happy to oblige.
Debate Round No. 1
SMendel

Pro

No, just bored!

So imagine a scenario where you had to destroy either all of the works of Beethoven in existence or the recordings of me, aged 16, playing the guitar (and to be honest, I sucked). An aesthetic objectivist would choose Beethoven: an aesthetic subjectivist would have to flip a coin since they would have no good reason for choosing one or the other.

I believe that art relates to human experience. I believe that there are certain 'facts of the matter' about human experience: scientific factors that lie behind our sense of humour, rhythm, harmony, desire for novelty, what makes us cry. An electric drill that drives in screws faster is better than another drill, because that's what it is intended to do. Art that touches on human nature more is better than art that doesn't, because art is intended to appeal to human nature.

When I say 'better', I mean of course 'likely to be better', in the sense that we can never know 100% that anything is better than another thing. It isn't perfectly possible to know which art will survive our time, but given that the Beatles have massively affected human experience, making highly impactful art that continues to be enjoyed two generations later, we can say with near certainty that the Beatles will have more of a shelf-life than Coldplay.

The society around us is fleeting, but human nature has certain constants. There is something that enables me to relate to something in the Odyssey, even down the millennia. When we say that an artwork was 'of its time', we mean that it appealed to society rather than human nature. No bad art is still popular after 500 years.

Human experience is extremely varied, which tricks us into thinking that there is no objective merit to art. But how can we predict what people will enjoy? The vast majority of people will prefer looking at a Turner painting to some soiled underwear nailed to a wall. You yourself have a strong intuition that you'd prefer to listen to Beethoven to my guitar-playing, or at least that it's more valuable.

'Objective' merely means 'better reasons for thinking it', the same an objective fact can never be 100%, but we have excellent reasons for believing it. We have better reasons for thinking that the Beatles' music will appeal to human nature in a hundred years than Coldplay.
Masdebating69

Con

I'm honestly not sure why anyone liked Coldplay, I don't think there was ever anything good about them.
Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Masdebating69 5 months ago
Masdebating69
how do you mess that up?
Posted by SMendel 5 months ago
SMendel
Argh. Sorry, I meant, 'how come we can predict what people will enjoy'. Damn.
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