Do We Learn To Love Bad Art?


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I see the failure of any of his/its statements/pronouncements, as severely lacking in even a basic definitional foundation to build an argument upom.

A...

Oh, well, as to that problem, I think there's no hope, that he actually doesn't begin to comprehend what a foundation for an argument would be.

How does he run a business? I'm baffled as to how he could.

Ellen

I run more than one, and never have to worry about money for the rest of my life. They give me no end of freedom, the adventure of entrepreneurial risk, and the personal satisfaction of creating something from nothing, as well as being of useful service to others.

It's not necessary to argue with people in business, as I have the luxury of freely choosing to do business solely with other Capitalists who share my view. However... personal responsibility, honesty, and trustworthiness are absolute necessities.

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Evidence isn't always conclusive. That's why it is called evidence, rather than proof.

Then let me rephrase my question. Would you say that, since the overwhelming majority of people believe in God, it is strong, convincing evidence that belief in God is objective because such a high rate of belief is much greater than what one would expect if such judgments were completely subjective? Or would it be more accurate to call it weak, useless evidence?

In other words, do you think that the number of people who agree with a judgment or share an opinion is actually an indication that the judgment or opinion is objective?

If one wishes to support the claim that judgments of beauty are objective, or that they contain objective elements, then instead of citing the number or percentage of people who share a judgment or opinion, wouldn't it make sense to actually demonstrate how that judgment or opinion adheres to and was a result of the process of objectivity? (Objectivism sees the process of "objectivity" as the act of volitionally applying a clearly identified objective standard of judgment using logic and reason.)

Would you like the answer in millimeters or as a percentage? Seriously. Understanding shape is still somewhat of a black art.

It's not an issue of understanding shape, but of interpreting and judging proportion via taste.

Should we talk in terms of b-spline approximations, radial basis functions, or triangular mesh models?

Let's go with the triangle mesh. Create triangle meshes that you think represent the absolute limits of human proportion, beyond which beauty is not possible, export them (preferably as 3DStudio files (.3ds) or WaveFront OBJ files (.obj)), and send them to me, and then I will distort the meshes way outside of the limits that you've established, but the forms will still be beautiful to a greater number of people "than one would expect if such judgments were completely subjective."

The fact that you can state, "most people think that beauty includes some asymmetry," is evidence that there is some underlying, factual basis for their assessment.

It's also evidence to the contrary.

How do you know that such proportions have nothing to do with health and fitness? Isn't it possible that having eyes that are too big or too small or too close together or too far apart could have detrimental effects on survival? What about having a nose that is too small for a dry climate?

On the scale of proportion that we're talking about (and that Rand was talking about in her examples when defining beauty), no, it's not possible that such differences in proportion could be detrimental to survival. We're not talking about someone's having eyes the size of Volkswagens or popcorn seeds. We're talking about miniscule differences in measurement and proportion between one subject and another. Think of Brooke Shields versus Eleanor Roosevelt. People don't think that Shields is beautiful and that Roosevelt was ugly because Shields' features were within healthy parameters where Roosevelt's were such that she couldn't breathe, see or hear, etc.

Jonathan, on 17 Sept 2013 - 4:31 PM, said:

>It could also represent coldness, lack of privacy, too-big-to-fail arrogance, and a variety of other negative judgments.

>

If could, and in the experience of some people, it probably does, which is why there is a subjective component to beauty.

Jonathan, on 17 Sept 2013 - 4:31 PM, said:

Decay could also be interpreted as "life affirming" in that it represents the consumed fuel of freedom, and the recycled fertilizer of future productivity. It could be interpreted to represent the abundance and power of a free society.

>

But, wouldn't you agree that there are objective dangers in rubbish heaps? If not, feel free to wade right in.

Absolutely there can be dangers in rubbish heaps, just as there can be the danger of falling from glass-walled skyscrapers, or having them fall on you when they collapse. All interpretations that we make about what tall buildings and rubbish heaps "represent" are subjective, including yours. The point being that you haven't yet identified the "objective component" of aesthetic judgment that you apparently thought that you were delivering when stating what tall buildings and rubbish heaps represent to you.

Jonathan, on 17 Sept 2013 - 4:31 PM, said:

>And we could also come up with countless counter examples, in which health and fitness have nothing to do with beauty -- examples in which we find something beautiful despite its having physical features which are not good for its existence.>

Please provide some such examples.

Aimee Mullins is judged to be beautiful despite not having the lower parts of her legs.

Various dogs breeds are bred for beauty at the cost of severe health problems.

Foot binding was very bad for women's feet, but it was done for the sake of beauty, as was tightlacing, which is also bad for health and survival.

Large female breasts (both natural and artificial) can have negative health effects, yet they are judged to be beautiful.

Delicate breeds of flowers, which have a tough time surviving in even the most stable and controlled conditions, are judged to be beautiful, where weeds, which thrive in any and all conditions, are judged to be ugly.

The same is true of inanimate objects. Designs of vehicles, clothing, appliances and furniture, etc., which are the most durable are often judged to be the ugliest. For example, people don't wear coveralls when they want to be seen as beautiful at aesthetic/cultural events -- the reason being that despite (and, in fact, because) of the survival benefits of coveralls (both to the coveralls themselves and to the person wearing them), they are judged to be ugly.

Are you arguing that life affirming values are subjective?

No, I'm arguing that interpreting an object (like a skyscraper or a rubbish heap) to represent "life affirming values" or "life-negating values," is subjective. Any "metaphysical value" meaning or "sense of life" meaning that anyone infers in any object is subjective.

Or don't you believe in the connection between such values and the concept of beauty?

I wouldn't say that there's no "connection," but just that there is no causal connection. Beauty may coincide or coexist with such values, and such values may be subjectively projected onto beauty, but they are not the cause or basis of beauty.

J

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Why did you dishonestly edit my comment?

I only wanted to specifically respond only to your subjective judgment of Cyrus as being "beautiful".

I did not give a subjective judgment in that post. Rather, I reported that objective reality judges Cyrus to be objectively beautiful,

Ok. That is your subjective judgment.

My subjective judgment is she is incredibly ugly.

And one of us agrees with objective reality... and one of us does not.

Your position is irrational and incoherent. There is no right or wrong in matters of taste. There are no tastes out there in "objective reality" independent of humans, so there is nothing to agree with outside of human's subjective judgments. I prefer vanilla to chocolate, where my younger brother prefers chocolate to vanilla. It is nonsensical to say that one of us agrees with objective reality, and one of us does not.

J

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One of us is right, and one of us is wrong.

You have your view, and I have mine.

Actually, only one (1) of you could be right, and, both of you could be wrong.

A...

Actually, no. In matters of taste, both of us must be right. A is A. Each individual likes what he likes, independent of what anyone else likes. The pleasure that I get from an object's appearance isn't nullified or invalidated by anyone else's not getting pleasure from it.

J

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Bracketing this part to have it where I can quickly find and read it.

Ellen

Are you arguing that life affirming values are subjective?

No, I'm arguing that interpreting an object (like a skyscraper or a rubbish heap) to represent "life affirming values" or "life-negating values," is subjective. Any "metaphysical value" meaning or "sense of life" meaning that anyone infers in any object is subjective.

Or don't you believe in the connection between such values and the concept of beauty?

I wouldn't say that there's no "connection," but just that there is no causal connection. Beauty may coincide or coexist with such values, and such values may be subjectively projected onto beauty, but they are not the cause or basis of beauty.

J

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Jonathan conflates those two distinctly different things into one. There's a reason why he's so adamant in doing that, but it doesn't matter what it is.

Actually, the reason does matter. The reason is parody and reductio ad absurdum. Have you not understood that in this discussion there have been times when I've been parodying your method, or adopting it and taking it to its logical conclusions for the purpose of illustrating its absurdity?!

J

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Ok. That is your subjective judgment.

My subjective judgment is she is incredibly ugly.

And one of us agrees with objective reality... and one of us does not.

As I've already explained, it is I who agrees with objective reality, and it is you who does not. Objective reality says that Cyrus is beautiful, and that you have inner ugliness which makes you have the false subjective opinion that she is ugly.

J

You have your view, and I have mine.

One of us is right, and one of us is wrong.

Is your view that we are capable of discovering which of us is right and which is wrong when it comes to judgments of beauty?

If we are capable of it, by what method? If we are only capable of subjective judgments of beauty, as you say, how would we discover what is "objectively beautiful."

If we are not capable of discovering which of us is right, then by what means have you concluded that there must be a right or wrong in such matters of taste? If we can't be aware of what is "objectively beautiful," and we therefore can never resolve which of us is right in our tastes, then what proof is there that there is "objective beauty"? What reason is there to believe that there is "objective beauty" when, by your own theory, we can have no knowledge of it? Is there anything else that you think exists but which we can't possibly know?

J

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One of us is right, and one of us is wrong.

You have your view, and I have mine.

Actually, only one (1) of you could be right, and, both of you could be wrong.

A...

Actually, no. In matters of taste, both of us must be right. A is A. Each individual likes what he likes, independent of what anyone else likes. The pleasure that I get from an object's appearance isn't nullified or invalidated by anyone else's not getting pleasure from it.

J

I can see your argument.

My point was a structural argumentation application.

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Evidence isn't always conclusive. That's why it is called evidence, rather than proof.

Then let me rephrase my question. Would you say that, since the overwhelming majority of people believe in God, it is strong, convincing evidence that belief in God is objective because such a high rate of belief is much greater than what one would expect if such judgments were completely subjective? Or would it be more accurate to call it weak, useless evidence?

In other words, do you think that the number of people who agree with a judgment or share an opinion is actually an indication that the judgment or opinion is objective?

If one wishes to support the claim that judgments of beauty are objective, or that they contain objective elements, then instead of citing the number or percentage of people who share a judgment or opinion, wouldn't it make sense to actually demonstrate how that judgment or opinion adheres to and was a result of the process of objectivity? (Objectivism sees the process of "objectivity" as the act of volitionally applying a clearly identified objective standard of judgment using logic and reason.)

Correlation is not conclusive. I already stated that and already proposed that additional evidence should be used to show a connection. But, I wouldn't call it completely useless. Medical researchers often look for correlations between diseases and genes, for example. Do you think their efforts are completely useless?

How do you know that such proportions have nothing to do with health and fitness? Isn't it possible that having eyes that are too big or too small or too close together or too far apart could have detrimental effects on survival? What about having a nose that is too small for a dry climate?

On the scale of proportion that we're talking about (and that Rand was talking about in her examples when defining beauty), no, it's not possible that such differences in proportion could be detrimental to survival. We're not talking about someone's having eyes the size of Volkswagens or popcorn seeds. We're talking about miniscule differences in measurement and proportion between one subject and another. Think of Brooke Shields versus Eleanor Roosevelt. People don't think that Shields is beautiful and that Roosevelt was ugly because Shields' features were within healthy parameters where Roosevelt's were such that she couldn't breathe, see or hear, etc.

How do you think that interocular distances in birds and animals are determined? Such characteristics must have some effect on the animals' survival and the variability within a species does not appear to that great, at least to me. But, honestly, I don't know what size variations Rand was talking about. Perhaps you know more than I do about what she was thinking.

Jonathan, on 17 Sept 2013 - 4:31 PM, said:

>It could also represent coldness, lack of privacy, too-big-to-fail arrogance, and a variety of other negative judgments.

>

If could, and in the experience of some people, it probably does, which is why there is a subjective component to beauty.

Jonathan, on 17 Sept 2013 - 4:31 PM, said:

Decay could also be interpreted as "life affirming" in that it represents the consumed fuel of freedom, and the recycled fertilizer of future productivity. It could be interpreted to represent the abundance and power of a free society.

>

But, wouldn't you agree that there are objective dangers in rubbish heaps? If not, feel free to wade right in.

Absolutely there can be dangers in rubbish heaps, just as there can be the danger of falling from glass-walled skyscrapers, or having them fall on you when they collapse. All interpretations that we make about what tall buildings and rubbish heaps "represent" are subjective, including yours. The point being that you haven't yet identified the "objective component" of aesthetic judgment that you apparently thought that you were delivering when stating what tall buildings and rubbish heaps represent to you.

Which are generally more dangerous, rubbish heaps, or skyscrapers? Which are more likely to have rats and biting insects? Do people generally prefer rubbish heaps or skyscrapers as offices and why? Is it a purely subjective choice?

Jonathan, on 17 Sept 2013 - 4:31 PM, said:

>And we could also come up with countless counter examples, in which health and fitness have nothing to do with beauty -- examples in which we find something beautiful despite its having physical features which are not good for its existence.>

Please provide some such examples.

Aimee Mullins is judged to be beautiful despite not having the lower parts of her legs.

Various dogs breeds are bred for beauty at the cost of severe health problems.

Foot binding was very bad for women's feet, but it was done for the sake of beauty, as was tightlacing, which is also bad for health and survival.

Large female breasts (both natural and artificial) can have negative health effects, yet they are judged to be beautiful.

Delicate breeds of flowers, which have a tough time surviving in even the most stable and controlled conditions, are judged to be beautiful, where weeds, which thrive in any and all conditions, are judged to be ugly.

The same is true of inanimate objects. Designs of vehicles, clothing, appliances and furniture, etc., which are the most durable are often judged to be the ugliest. For example, people don't wear coveralls when they want to be seen as beautiful at aesthetic/cultural events -- the reason being that despite (and, in fact, because) of the survival benefits of coveralls (both to the coveralls themselves and to the person wearing them), they are judged to be ugly.

"Because"? I think it is curious that you finished your list of examples by giving a reason for preferring one kind of clothing over another. If such preferences are purely subjective --- purely based on whim --- then there can be no reason for preferring one to another --- at least no reason based on objectively observable facts.

Perhaps, at "aesthetic/cultural events" people wish to flaunt the fact that they are thriving, that they have no need for protection. They are purposefully making a negative reference to the needs of survival. The same could be true of delicate flowers, large breasts, and bound feet --- though large breasts could also be taken as a sign of female vitality --- a woman with large breasts would have more milk available to suckle her babies.

As for Aimee Mullins, I would say that her upper body and face are attractive, but her stumpy legs make me uncomfortable, perhaps, because I have it in the back of my mind that I'd be uncomfortable making her the mother of my children knowing that they might inherit her defect.

Are you arguing that life affirming values are subjective?

No, I'm arguing that interpreting an object (like a skyscraper or a rubbish heap) to represent "life affirming values" or "life-negating values," is subjective. Any "metaphysical value" meaning or "sense of life" meaning that anyone infers in any object is subjective.

Or don't you believe in the connection between such values and the concept of beauty?

I wouldn't say that there's no "connection," but just that there is no causal connection. Beauty may coincide or coexist with such values, and such values may be subjectively projected onto beauty, but they are not the cause or basis of beauty.

J

If having one's office in a rubbish heap would be objectively uncomfortable relative to having one's office in a towering office building, then interpreting one as representative of life affirming values and the other as life-negating is not purely subjective.

In my view, the objective value of something to us influences our view of it as beautiful or ugly. If you wish to argue that beauty is purely subjective, you must argue that the objective value of a thing has absolutely no influence on a person's judgment of its attractiveness.

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There is no right or wrong in matters of taste.

That is your amoral view. In the view which contrasts to yours, there is indeed morality in much of our tastes. For taste is one among many other expressions of our personal moral standards of behavior. Returning to the initial catalyst for this exchange:

In your view... Cyrus is beautiful.

In my view... she's an ugly c***.

And within each of our two irreconcilable views of "taste" is the expression of the moral standards to which we each hold ourselves accountable for our own personal behavior.

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If we are not capable of discovering which of us is right, then by what means have you concluded that there must be a right or wrong in such matters of taste? If we can't be aware of what is "objectively beautiful," and we therefore can never resolve which of us is right in our tastes, then what proof is there that there is "objective beauty"? What reason is there to believe that there is "objective beauty" when, by your own theory, we can have no knowledge of it? Is there anything else that you think exists but which we can't possibly know?

Reminiscent of a problem with Kant's noumenal world, which world was then discarded by the Logical Positivists.

Ellen

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In my view, the objective value of something to us influences our view of it as beautiful or ugly.

I share your view, Darrell.

What we subjectively perceive as beauty has a harmonious correlation to that is inside of us, just as what we subjectively perceive as ugly does not.

Now whether or not our subjective perception agrees or disagrees with what you describe as "objective value" is a completely separate issue, and is determined by what is inside of us. For, as I see it, we cannot be that objective value. Because as wholly subjective beings, we only have the power to subjectively affirm or deny the reality of "objective value". And neither our affirmations or denials have any effect on the reality of that "objective value"...

...only on ourselves.

Greg

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Medical researchers often look for correlations between diseases and genes, for example. Do you think their efforts are completely useless?

It's not a valid comparison. Looking for correlations between diseases and genes is not like trying to establish objectivity through majority opinion. There are reasons to believe that diseases can be genetically caused. There are no reasons to suspect that majority aesthetic opinions are indicators of objectivity -- no one has ever followed an objective process as a means of experiencing beauty. There's one way to establish objectivity: demonstrate that the judgment in question is the result of following the process of volitionally applying logic and reason using a clearly identified standard of judgment, and that's not the way that judgments of beauty work.

How do you think that interocular distances in birds and animals are determined? Such characteristics must have some effect on the animals' survival and the variability within a species does not appear to that great, at least to me. But, honestly, I don't know what size variations Rand was talking about. Perhaps you know more than I do about what she was thinking.

When people say that someone has beautiful eyes, they don't mean, "I have scientifically analyzed the person's intraocular dimensions and determined that they are optimal to human survival."

Which are generally more dangerous, rubbish heaps, or skyscrapers?

I've never experienced any danger at landfills or from other rubbish heaps. On the other hand, in skyscrapers I've been stranded in a malfunctioning elevator, and I've had to deal with lots of arrogant and aggressive Dilbert-like business twits who have had significantly more negative effects on my life than any rats or insects ever have.

Which are more likely to have rats and biting insects?

Which are more likely to have abusive lawyers, rights-violating bureaucrats and Dilbert-like management types? Which are more likely to have James Taggarts and Wesley Mouches? Which are more dangerous, rats and insects or James Taggarts and Wesley Mouches?

Do people generally prefer rubbish heaps or skyscrapers as offices and why? Is it a purely subjective choice?

People's preferences for where they'd like to have their offices is not the universal standard by which to judge the goodness or badness of everything, or by which to interpret what a location represents aesthetically. I wouldn't want to have my office beneath Niagara Falls, or on a space shuttle launch pad, but that doesn't mean that I must therefore judge Niagara Falls and space launches to represent death.

"Because"? I think it is curious that you finished your list of examples by giving a reason for preferring one kind of clothing over another. If such preferences are purely subjective --- purely based on whim --- then there can be no reason for preferring one to another --- at least no reason based on objectively observable facts.

There can be objective reasons for preferring one kind of clothing over another if one's goal is workplace safety or efficiency, etc. But there are no objective reasons for aesthetic preferences of one piece of clothing over another. Your confusion is that you're equating establishing objective utilitarian standards with establishing objective aesthetic standards. You've succeeded only in accomplishing the former.

Perhaps, at "aesthetic/cultural events" people wish to flaunt the fact that they are thriving, that they have no need for protection. They are purposefully making a negative reference to the needs of survival. The same could be true of delicate flowers, large breasts, and bound feet --- though large breasts could also be taken as a sign of female vitality --- a woman with large breasts would have more milk available to suckle her babies.

So what you're saying is that your theory is unfalsifiable: All possible conditions and outcomes confirm your theory.

As for Aimee Mullins, I would say that her upper body and face are attractive, but her stumpy legs make me uncomfortable, perhaps, because I have it in the back of my mind that I'd be uncomfortable making her the mother of my children knowing that they might inherit her defect.

Your opinion of Mullins is not relevant. Your subjective responses to her appearance are not the universal objective standard of aesthetic judgment. Others do not share your opinions.

If having one's office in a rubbish heap would be objectively uncomfortable relative to having one's office in a towering office building, then interpreting one as representative of life affirming values and the other as life-negating is not purely subjective.

In the above, you've determined an objective basis on which to decide where and where not to have an office, not on which to make aesthetic judgments. Choosing office comfort as a standard by which to make aesthetic judgments is subjective and arbitrary.

Landfills are necessary and good for human existence, but an office building is not a good location for a landfill. We can't therefore conclude that office buildings are life-negating because they don't serve the valuable purpose of landfills. Office buildings are also bad places to put steelmaking blast furnaces. But that doesn't mean that blast furnaces should be interpreted as life-negating. See, the idea isn't to arbitrarily select one type of location as the standard by which to judge all other types of locations. The fact that an office building isn't a good place to have a racetrack or skeet shooting range tells us nothing about what we should interpret racetracks or shooting ranges to represent aesthetically, but only that they are not good places to have an office, or that an office is not a good place to have them. You're talking utilitarian function, not aesthetics.

If you wish to argue that beauty is purely subjective, you must argue that the objective value of a thing has absolutely no influence on a person's judgment of its attractiveness.

That's exactly what the history of the philosophy of aesthetics argues and successfully demonstrates! People judge things to be beautiful despite the fact that those things offer no utilitarian value. People don't measure and test an object's functions and purposes, or its intraocular distances or fitness to survive, before judging it to be beautiful. They don't objectively identify goals and purposes and analyze the most rational means of achieving them as a standard by which to judge beauty. They simply look at the object and instantly experience the pleasure of its beauty.

When people encounter someone who is beautiful but stupid and annoying, they don't change their mind on the person's beauty. They say that it's too bad that the person's intelligence and personality don't match their appraisal of his or her physical appearance.

They experience beauty despite the fact that the object in question has negative non-aesthetic values -- despite the fact that it is detrimental to their existence.

J

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There is no right or wrong in matters of taste.

That is your amoral view. In the view which contrasts to yours, there is indeed morality in much of our tastes. For taste is one among many other expressions of our personal moral standards of behavior. Returning to the initial catalyst for this exchange:

In your view... Cyrus is beautiful.

In my view... she's an ugly c***.

And within each of our two irreconcilable views of "taste" is the expression of the moral standards to which we each hold ourselves accountable for our own personal behavior.

Greg, did you not see my post #182? Or are you just incapable of understanding and answering its substance? Or perhaps you were hoping that by ignoring it, it would go away, or everyone would forget that you haven't answered it?

That's not what I would call good moral standards or holding yourself accountable for your own personal behavior.

J

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In my view, the objective value of something to us influences our view of it as beautiful or ugly.

I share your view, Darrell.

What we subjectively perceive as beauty has a harmonious correlation to that is inside of us, just as what we subjectively perceive as ugly does not.

Now whether or not our subjective perception agrees or disagrees with what you describe as "objective value" is a completely separate issue, and is determined by what is inside of us. For, as I see it, we cannot be that objective value. Because as wholly subjective beings, we only have the power to subjectively affirm or deny the reality of "objective value". And neither our affirmations or denials have any effect on the reality of that "objective value"...

...only on ourselves.

Greg

Greg,

What's the objectively best flavor? What are some foods that are the culinary equivalent of "objectively ugly"? If people think that sauerkraut or fried liver is delicious when it's actually "objectively repulsive" according to your half-baked theory, don't you think that it would be ridiculous to claim that they must have a "harmonious correlation" inside of them which is deserving of moral condemnation?

Isn't it time to grow up and set aside your need to find a way to feel superior to others based on something as silly as trying to divine their moral inferiority via their aesthetic responses?

J

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There is no right or wrong in matters of taste.

That is your amoral view. In the view which contrasts to yours, there is indeed morality in much of our tastes. For taste is one among many other expressions of our personal moral standards of behavior. Returning to the initial catalyst for this exchange:

In your view... Cyrus is beautiful.

In my view... she's an ugly c***.

And within each of our two irreconcilable views of "taste" is the expression of the moral standards to which we each hold ourselves accountable for our own personal behavior.

Greg, did you not see my post #182? Or are you just incapable of understanding and answering its substance? Or perhaps you were hoping that by ignoring it, it would go away, or everyone would forget that you haven't answered it?

That's not what I would call good moral standards or holding yourself accountable for your own personal behavior.

J

While I enjoy my visits here and find the lively banter to be an entertaining diversion, I'm obviously not devoting the same amount of time to this discussion as you are. You've demonstrated that you have much more of a personal emotional investment than I do in trying to convince me that your view is the right one. In contrast, I remain unconvinced by both your demeanor and your arguments, because I'm content in the understanding that each of us is getting exactly what we each deserve in our own lives as the result of our divergent views... and I'm ok with that. :smile:

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That's not what I would call good moral standards or holding yourself accountable for your own personal behavior.

Whenever someone says something like that to me... observing their behavior always puts their words into the proper perspective.

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Is your view that we are capable of discovering which of us is right and which is wrong when it comes to judgments of beauty?

I am.

You're not.

For if you did, you'd first need to admit to your own lack of decency. Only the indecent can perceive the ugly indecency of others as being beautiful to them, because what is outside is in harmony with what they are on the inside.

And those for whom it is not harmonious, see the ugliness for what it truly is.

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Is your view that we are capable of discovering which of us is right and which is wrong when it comes to judgments of beauty?

II am.

You're not.

For if you did, you'd first need to admit to your own lack of decency. Only the indecent can perceive the ugly indecency of others as being beautiful to them, because what is outside is in harmony with what they are on the inside.

And those for whom it is not harmonious, see the ugliness for what it truly is.

How do you discover that you're right?

Sounds like you first establish to your satisfaction that you're morally excellent, and from there the objective nature of your responses follows.

Ellen

PS: How do you manage to conduct business without ever having to engage in argument?

I see the failure of any of his/its statements/pronouncements, as severely lacking in even a basic definitional foundation to build an argument upom.

A...

Oh, well, as to that problem, I think there's no hope, that he actually doesn't begin to comprehend what a foundation for an argument would be.

How does he run a business? I'm baffled as to how he could.

Ellen

I run more than one, and never have to worry about money for the rest of my life. They give me no end of freedom, the adventure of entrepreneurial risk, and the personal satisfaction of creating something from nothing, as well as being of useful service to others.

It's not necessary to argue with people in business, as I have the luxury of freely choosing to do business solely with other Capitalists who share my view. However... personal responsibility, honesty, and trustworthiness are absolute necessities.

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As for Aimee Mullins, I would say that her upper body and face are attractive, but her stumpy legs make me uncomfortable, perhaps, because I have it in the back of my mind that I'd be uncomfortable making her the mother of my children knowing that they might inherit her defect.

When you did your online search for who Mullins is, if you had discovered that she hadn't had a birth defect, but that she had lost her legs due to a car accident, and therefore your avoiding making her the mother of children who might inherit her defect couldn't be a concern (since she had no defect), what would you have claimed was in the back of your mind causing your discomfort?

J

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Jonathan,

I agree that the question "Is X really beautiful?" makes no more sense than "How des X really taste?" Indeed, I made this point to you in regard to Diana calling some people's beauty reactions "just wrong" and, as I recall, got objections to the point from you.

Nonetheless, this doesn't establish that there's no property of X such that a large percentage of people would respond with "tastes good" or "is beautiful."

You seem to me to argue in your replies to Darrell that pleasure responses are deuces wild and have no relationship to survival needs. If that were the case, how would our ancestors after ancestors after ancestors in previous generations have survived?

Ellen

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Jonathan,

I agree that the question "Is X really beautiful?" makes no more sense than "How des X really taste?" Indeed, I made this point to you in regard to Diana calling some people's beauty reactions "just wrong" and, as I recall, got objections to the point from you.

No, you got agreement from me. I think that I supported your point with an example of a starving shipwreck survivor rating a rotting bit of squid that had landed in his life raft as being the best thing he had ever tasted.

More on the rest of your post later.

J

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Is your view that we are capable of discovering which of us is right and which is wrong when it comes to judgments of beauty?

I am.

You're not.

For if you did, you'd first need to admit to your own lack of decency. Only the indecent can perceive the ugly indecency of others as being beautiful to them, because what is outside is in harmony with what they are on the inside.

And those for whom it is not harmonious, see the ugliness for what it truly is.

How do you discover that you're right?

Well, there are two possible discoveries, Ellen... :wink:

...the discovery of either being wrong or right.

It is the reality of the consequences my own actions set into motion that renders the final verdict of my being wrong or right. I'm not the one who hands down that verdict. It is handed down to me, and it's then my own responsibility what I do with it.

Sounds like you first establish to your satisfaction that you're morally excellent, and from there the objective nature of your responses follows.

I know that's how it appears to others looking from the outside in, but it is not how it truly is looking from the inside out. It is impossible for anyone to be objectively morally excellent, I can only subjectively agree with what is objectively morally excellent. And that agreement arises over time from a growing love of the exquisite beauty of objective moral law.

Ellen

PS: How do you manage to conduct business without ever having to engage in argument?

Ah, that's another source of incomparable beauty... doing business with peers all who share a common enjoyment of participating in the same moral agreement. It is literally an ethical perpetual motion machine with no internal friction, because all of its parts move in harmony on the finest lubricant in the world...

trust

And this machine continues to function regardless of political or economic cycles, for the prosperity of everyone who chooses to belong to its values..

Business is an artform.

It is not its own end. But serves a higher purpose than itself, which is to literally manifest ethical values into this world. Even though I'm a licensed contractor, in 33 years I've only written one contract, and that was in my very first year of business when I was just learning. In time I discovered this moral principle which governs direct, personal, face to face real world business interactions:

People treat me exactly as decent as I am.

And even if they are not,

they will treat me as if they were.

Affirming the reality of this principle puts all of the responsibility on me to set the moral tone of my business interactions. People naturally seek out their own kind with whom to do business. And one distinct advantage of having your own business is that you get to choose those with whom you do business. So I choose to do business with people like me with whom it is not possible to have an argument because of our common ethical values.

One ability Ayn Rand possessed which I truly love is how beautifully she was able to describe in detail exactly how people did business in Galt's Gulch. I yearned for that beneficent atmosphere of goodwill, and discovered that it is totally up to me to create what I love in this world...

...and so I do. :smile:

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So I choose to do business with people like me with whom it is not possible to have an argument because of our common ethical values.

I've been involved in a fulfilling romantic relationship for almost 45 years with someone with whom I share "common ethical values" and a whole lot else. We argue over something or other, or several somethings or others, most every day. Rarely angry arguments. Disagreements, mostly temporary.

I argue with myself in process of coming to conclusions.

Frankly, you sound like cloud la-la land in speaking of relationships in which it isn't possible to have an argument.

Ellen

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Jonathan,

I agree that the question "Is X really beautiful?" makes no more sense than "How des X really taste?" Indeed, I made this point to you in regard to Diana calling some people's beauty reactions "just wrong" and, as I recall, got objections to the point from you.

No, you got agreement from me. I think that I supported your point with an example of a starving shipwreck survivor rating a rotting bit of squid that had landed in his life raft as being the best thing he had ever tasted.

More on the rest of your post later.

J

OK.

I misunderstood then, having too much to read and too little time and reading quickly as a result.

It was a point I meant to come back to but never got around to getting there. :smile:

Ellen

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