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Author Topic:   Do feelings count?
2ice_baked_taters
Member (Idle past 3893 days)
Posts: 566
From: Boulder Junction WI.
Joined: 02-16-2006


Message 76 of 135 (293383)
03-08-2006 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 68 by Chiroptera
03-08-2006 2:19 PM


Whaaa...? How does this follow from what holmes said? Of course it would mean something to him. It would also mean something to me if I were to learn of it. It would probably mean something to everyone. The point is that it could mean something very different to different people; obvious, if someone were to do something bad to holmes' family and friends, it would mean something different to holmes than to the doer.

He very clearly stated he has no concept of good and evil. Good and evil, right,wrong, it means nothing to him according to his own admisssion. According to him he has no feelings to count either way.
Why exactly should it mean anything to either of you? This is getting farther from the tree but I would like to know if you would be so inclined to explain your position.

Not necessarily. I also don't really have a concept of "good and evil". Of course, I might also be an exception, but it is my understanding (perhaps incorrect, but if so someone can correct me) that the Manichaean division of the world into "good" and "evil" is almost (but not quite) unique to Christianity -- most other cultures, if I recall correctly, did not have the same concept of "evil" that the West has.

Aparently you associate the terms good and evil in small circles.
All the major religions have codes of moral conduct in common. Call it what you will. It spells the same thing. It seems you two among others are really hung up on the Jewish/Christian/Muslim thing. Though it would be interesting to discuss Hindu,paganistic,native american, or other various beliefs that is for another forum topic- "highly overdue"
The narrow scope of the general responses on this sight is not productive and seems to be entrenched here. In this case I did not steer it there, the two of you did.

This message has been edited by 2ice_baked_taters, 03-08-2006 04:14 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Chiroptera, posted 03-08-2006 2:19 PM Chiroptera has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Chiroptera, posted 03-08-2006 4:24 PM 2ice_baked_taters has responded
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 77 of 135 (293385)
03-08-2006 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 76 by 2ice_baked_taters
03-08-2006 4:13 PM


quote:
He very clearly stated he has no concept of good and evil.

I'll let holmes speak for himself and explain what he means. It seems pretty clear to me, but it isn't for me to explain it.

-

quote:
Why exactly should it mean anything to either of you?

You seem to be confusing my refusal to acknowledge the existence of an absolute standard of good and evil with an admission that I have no personal feelings of right and wrong.

I do have a sense of right and wrong, and I will act one it when necessary. However, I am not so arrogant that I will confuse my own personal feelings with some sort of absolute laws that hold for all people for all time. In fact, I acknowledge that even in the present time and place there will be people who will disagree with my sense of right and wrong; however, there is no absolute standards by which I can judge either of us to be wrong or correct, all I can say is that this other person's personal sense of morality is different than mine.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by 2ice_baked_taters, posted 03-08-2006 4:13 PM 2ice_baked_taters has responded

Replies to this message:
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2948 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 78 of 135 (293433)
03-08-2006 6:27 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Silent H
03-08-2006 3:54 AM


And who measures that?

God.

The only similar context is cruelty okay against unbelievers. So where is the moral objectivity in that?

I'm still not clear on what point you're trying to make here.

Wrong. They absolutely have meaning. The question is to who. And the answer is to the individual. Unless individuals are meaningless to themselves, their feelings have meaning.

And that gets into a big ontological argument, which is not the subject of this thread. But for the record, I completely disagree with this statement.

Heheheh... You are absolutely right. Just as there is a painting and some sense it as unusually unpleasant and some do not. Just as there is an activity that some sense as unusually unpleasant and some do not. You have described my position, and countered your own.

I totally reversed your point; I didn't prove it. Unpleasantness doesn't equal immorality.

How can you be sure that gods did not make the world with many different subjective experiences, and part of our "fall" was the mistaken belief that our subjective experiences were indications of some objective quality?

I can't, and I never said I could. I said we have to start believing in assumptions at some point if we want to "know" anything.

People from many different cultures can all agree that a person fits hardcore rocker, but that is not the same as for hardcore evil.

So what? Like I already said, the number of people in agreement about a thing can be an argument that increases the credibility of a claim of objectivity, but it doesn't prove it; neither does a lack of consensus about a thing disprove its objective existence.

Indeed I don't believe there is any such thing as evil at all.

I know you don't, and that's your choice. You reject your feelings about good and evil as having no basis in a reality external to yourself because you view the universe as solely materialistic in nature. I view the universe as primarily idealistic in nature so that all things and all feelings and all ideas are in the mind of THE God and as such abstract ideas like good and evil have an objective existence and meaning to The One that contains them.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 52 by Silent H, posted 03-08-2006 3:54 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2948 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 79 of 135 (293438)
03-08-2006 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by nator
03-08-2006 6:57 AM


We can analyse the light waves and find that what you call "blue" and what another percon calls "blue" fall in very similar places on the spectrum.

More feelings. It all becomes a part of your experience as feelings.

There is an objective measure, from physics, for color, but there is no objective measure for feelings.

Wait... first you say an objective measure for feelings can ONLY occur if one can get inside another person's head to determine if they feel the same, but now you're saying that consensus by pretty much everyone is good enough to establish something as objective. Which is it?

If it is the first then there is no way we can know anything by your standard. If it is the latter, then what percentage of the population must agree? And how do you know their senses aren't being fooled?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by nator, posted 03-08-2006 6:57 AM nator has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 12025
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 80 of 135 (293441)
03-08-2006 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Chiroptera
03-08-2006 4:03 PM


Is Infinity an absolute standard?
Chioptera writes:

I have been trying to get people to explain for a while why it is that an omnipotent being and/or a creator of everything determines an absolute standard.

I'll admit that I cannot readily explain it...(or Him) But without an absolute standard, how can we even begin to compare/contrast relative standards?

I will concede, however, that you and Holmes make a great tagteam of logic:

Holmes writes:

By granting humans free will, subjectivism was made reality and objective moral truth ruled out. There is simply compliance to a god's moral viewpoint, or noncompliance. No objective status exists.

If we had a Paragraph Of The Month nomination, I would give that one the nod! :)

I cannot argue against the logic of a reality-based subjectivism and the illogical standard of presupposed God fearin reality! ;)


Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil. --Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

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Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2948 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 81 of 135 (293442)
03-08-2006 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by Chiroptera
03-08-2006 8:53 AM


What if God says a rose is blue? Well, by golly, the rose is still red, regardless of what God says.

This statement is a meaningless statement unless you are playing off the semantics of my usage of the word "say" when by "say" I mean "create".

And I will remind you that, according to the literalists, who feel that the book of Joshua is literal history, God said that it was perfectly alright for the Israelites to murder the Canaanites and take their land. That was wrong, regardless of what God says.

Wait a minute... do you believe in good and evil or not? If you don't, then you've just contradicted yourself. If you do, then this is another meaningless statement like the previous one, since a thing can only exist as God creates it, if God is in fact the creator.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 82 of 135 (293446)
03-08-2006 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Hangdawg13
03-08-2006 6:38 PM


quote:
This statement is a meaningless statement unless you are playing off the semantics of my usage of the word "say" when by "say" I mean "create".

Huh? Are you saying that you were stating that if God creates a red rose, then the rose is red? If so, what relevance does that have to do with the topic?

-

quote:
Wait a minute... do you believe in good and evil or not?

Do I believe in an absolute standard of good and evil? No, I do not. Do I have my own personal beliefs in regards to right or wrong? Yes, I do.

In that case, I have as much right to pass moral judgement on God's actions and attitudes as he does to me. The difference, I suppose, is that God has the power to damn me to everlasting torment, while I have no power over God whatsoever. Except that difference isn't really relevant to the question of right or wrong.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-08-2006 6:38 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-08-2006 8:52 PM Chiroptera has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12025
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 83 of 135 (293457)
03-08-2006 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Hangdawg13
03-08-2006 6:38 PM


Dawgs in da Hoowwse
I got nothin.

Cept, perhaps, a few scrips to ponder:

NIV writes:

1 Cor 1:26-29-- Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

Of course, the typical "fundie" will trot out scripture in the attempts to "win" an argument...since they have nothing to say aside from scripture. I seek not to win any arguments, but only through scripture can I understand certain logical arguments.

I wont say that Holmes response was not true, however. There is absolutely no way to prove an absolute standard...much less define it (Him), much less even live it!

NIV writes:

1 Cor 1:19
19 For it is written:

"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."

What did Paul mean when he uttered these words? Was he not arguing against human wisdom and philosophy in an attempt to explain an absolute standard? The personified standard of the Spirit dwelling within him?

Of course...I also am reminded again and again of Chipteras signature statement:

"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
Since I am introducing some of my "human philosophers" such as Paul, I can only contrast some other philosophers and their philosophies.
soapboxinc.com writes:

katha pollit
Katha Pollitt writes the "Subject to Debate" column in The Nation and is a reliable voice of sanity, feminism, and humor on the Left. She is the author of two collections of columns and essays, Reasonable Creatures and Subject to Debate. She has won many prizes and awards for her writing, including two National Magazine Awards, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Whiting Foundation.
Pollitt is also a poet, with one book, Antarctic Traveller, and many poems in The New Yorker and other magazines. She has taught at Princeton, Barnard, and the Graduate faculty of the New School, and spoken at dozens of colleges and universities, from the University of Pennsylvania and Yale to St. Benedict's College in Minnesota.

So I suppose that I am out of my league in terms of logical, educational rationality! ;) I did browse some of Pollitts writing, however, and was impressed with this quote:
Lip Interview writes:

For me, information is the key to life, and I think that information is very much what people do not have enough of at this moment in time.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-08-2006 6:38 PM Hangdawg13 has not yet responded

  
Hangdawg13
Member (Idle past 2948 days)
Posts: 1161
From: Texas
Joined: 05-30-2004


Message 84 of 135 (293474)
03-08-2006 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 82 by Chiroptera
03-08-2006 6:46 PM


Huh? Are you saying that you were stating that if God creates a red rose, then the rose is red? If so, what relevance does that have to do with the topic?

Yes. Everything.

Do I believe in an absolute standard of good and evil? No, I do not. Do I have my own personal beliefs in regards to right or wrong? Yes, I do.

That is interesting. You have "beliefs" in regards to right and wrong, but you don't believe right and wrong exist. What do you believe in? You don't have beliefs in right and wrong. You have preferences about how people should behave. There is a difference. If you say an action is right or wrong, you are appealing to an objective absolute of rightness or wrongness and imposing that absolute on whatever you are applying it to. It is the same as saying that flower is red or that flower is blue. However; if you say I prefer that people didn't randomly kill people, then you are accurately stating your position.

In that case, I have as much right to pass moral judgement on God's actions and attitudes as he does to me.

haha... no you have no "rights" whatsoever because nothing is right. All you have are your own preferences. You can't say someone ought or ought not to do something because that implies a higher authority. All you can do is say I wish people didn't do things I don't like.

This message has been edited by Hangdawg13, 03-08-2006 08:52 PM


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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2ice_baked_taters
Member (Idle past 3893 days)
Posts: 566
From: Boulder Junction WI.
Joined: 02-16-2006


Message 85 of 135 (293490)
03-08-2006 9:31 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by Chiroptera
03-08-2006 4:24 PM


I do have a sense of right and wrong, and I will act one it when necessary. However, I am not so arrogant that I will confuse my own personal feelings with some sort of absolute laws that hold for all people for all time. In fact, I acknowledge that even in the present time and place there will be people who will disagree with my sense of right and wrong; however, there is no absolute standards by which I can judge either of us to be wrong or correct, all I can say is that this other person's personal sense of morality is different than mine.

Yes. Motivations vary. There are basic truths of bad and good behavior that nearly all people share. They are common because they have stood the test of time as good sense. Where in the world is stealing from each other at will sanctioned by a majority? Where in the world is murdering at will sanctioned by the majority? Where in the world is raping either sex at will sanctioned by the majority?
Where in the world is random violence of any kind, at will, sanctioned by the majority?
There are instances where people will justify nearly anything but as a whole simple logic dictates it is not a good path to go down. If this were not true the world would be a very different place. Enough destructive behavior occurs as it is.

I appologise for I not only walked away from the tree but were heading out of the orchard. ;)
I will propose a new thread.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Chiroptera, posted 03-08-2006 4:24 PM Chiroptera has responded

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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3862 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 86 of 135 (293526)
03-09-2006 5:46 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by 2ice_baked_taters
03-08-2006 4:13 PM


He very clearly stated he has no concept of good and evil. Good and evil, right,wrong, it means nothing to him according to his own admisssion.

Don't confuse two different things. Chiro's description of my position was dead on. In other words he answered your original statement about my position perfectly.

In my response to you, I added a further nuance about me personally. Regardless of whether feelings of good and evil are objective or subjective, I personally do not feel good and evil at all. But that does not mean I have no feelings or tastes.

Let's take a soldier who has been ordered to fight in a war he does not believe in. In fact he believes it is a criminal act and his superiors true enemies of the state. What is good and what is evil, whatever he does? If he chooses not to fight then he is brave and honest and just but disloyal and not law abiding. If he chooses to fight he is perhaps still brave but not honest nor just though he is loyal and law abiding.

In that position I would have certain very strong feelings and take a position. No one could tell me which was truly good and evil, just which one's they do not agree with and why. Neither could I say which was truly good or evil, only the characteristics which mean the most to me. I am defined, and they are.

The narrow scope of the general responses on this sight is not productive and seems to be entrenched here. In this case I did not steer it there, the two of you did.

Huh? Point to where we steered it to religion as an example of moral values being objective external reality? It was not just other religions but also other cultures which did not have the same concept of good and evil.

As far as I can tell good and evil are shorthand for "I like it" and "I don't like it", only puffed up into something larger than onesself. Perhaps a moral scarecrow, propped for the benefit of others.

If you are uninterested or afraid of dealing with a subject you have broached, then that's one thing. But don't try and suggest I was angling to punk on abrahamic religions. I was fine without their ever being mentioned.


holmes
"What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority." (M.Ivins)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by 2ice_baked_taters, posted 03-08-2006 4:13 PM 2ice_baked_taters has responded

Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 3862 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 87 of 135 (293527)
03-09-2006 6:13 AM
Reply to: Message 78 by Hangdawg13
03-08-2006 6:27 PM


God{s}

What gods and who measures them? People are already having a tough time trying to explain what morals are real, much less gods.

I'm still not clear on what point you're trying to make here.

For a rabid Xian, it might be bad to be cruel to all Xians, but okay to be cruel to everyone else. For a rabid muslim it may be bad to be cruel to all muslims, but okay to be cruel to everyone else. Same for rabid jews, same for rabid atheists.

Thus when it is added all up there is no sense that "cruelty" is bad. Essentially cruelty is just fine, just not to your friends. And even then some people believe that cruelty is fine for friends.

Where is the moral objectivity regarding cruelty?

And that gets into a big ontological argument, which is not the subject of this thread. But for the record, I completely disagree with this statement.

I don't see how this could be off topic. The question is if feelings count, as in if it means there are objective truths. My answer is yes, but limited to the individual. You have taken that to mean they are worthless, and I am explaining that's not what that means.

I would suggest bringing gods into it is more of a step away from the topic, since we have no clue what gods feel.

Unpleasantness doesn't equal immorality.

Really? Describe how you feel when you see a painting which is offensive to you, and describe how you feel when you see an activity which is offensive to you.

Like I already said, the number of people in agreement about a thing can be an argument that increases the credibility of a claim of objectivity, but it doesn't prove it; neither does a lack of consensus about a thing disprove its objective existence.

Okay so it is all a stand off, right? This sword cuts both ways.

You reject your feelings about good and evil as having no basis in a reality external to yourself because you view the universe as solely materialistic in nature.

You don't know me, and you are way off. I have no idea what the universe is. I am agnostic-atheist, not atheist-atheist.

And whether good and evil exist or not is not dependent on whether there are deities or not. Believe it or not there were pantheons which simply did not use good and evil as the abrahamic religions did. They were just as much gods, and the people worshipping them were just as religious as you.

I believe that I DON'T KNOW if there is more to this universe than what we can discover through sensorial investigation. I DON'T KNOW if there are powerful entities which created or control this universe (or others). I DO KNOW that no entities of this kind have been proven or work openly on this planet. I DO KNOW that some gods are postulated to have decreed morals in a black/white sense while others are not. I DO KNOW that that is the same for humans. I DO KNOW that people do not act as if there is a moral absolute.

My summation of this is that whether there are gods or not, there is no active moral absolute. If gods have declared such things (or imprinted them on reality) they are opaque to humans and so there are no absolutes in a practical sense. But more likely the gods have not created such sets, or there are no gods.


holmes
"What you need is sustained outrage...there's far too much unthinking respect given to authority." (M.Ivins)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 78 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-08-2006 6:27 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 88 of 135 (293542)
03-09-2006 8:31 AM
Reply to: Message 84 by Hangdawg13
03-08-2006 8:52 PM


quote:
You don't have beliefs in right and wrong. You have preferences about how people should behave.

If you prefer stating it like that, then I have no objections.

-

quote:
haha... no you have no "rights" whatsoever because nothing is right.

Let me rephrase it in your language. I have my preferences how God should behave just as God has his preferences how I behave, and there is no reason to consider one set of preferences any more valid than the other. The only difference is that God has the ability to punish terribly those who do not act according to his preferences, while I have no power over God.

Edited the last paragraph.

This message has been edited by Chiroptera, 09-Mar-2006 01:44 PM


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Hangdawg13, posted 03-08-2006 8:52 PM Hangdawg13 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6531
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 89 of 135 (293546)
03-09-2006 8:55 AM
Reply to: Message 85 by 2ice_baked_taters
03-08-2006 9:31 PM


quote:
Where in the world is stealing from each other at will sanctioned by a majority? Where in the world is murdering at will sanctioned by the majority? Where in the world is raping either sex at will sanctioned by the majority?
Where in the world is random violence of any kind, at will, sanctioned by the majority?

Well, if you are going to be that vague about it, then, yes, I do agree that it is a universal or nearly universal trait that people try to get along with one another, and that this trait is probably innate. We are a social species, after all, so it wouldn't be surprising that we have some sort of innate tendencies to work together as a society. I can't recall what your point is, but if your point is that there are some general, vague tendencies that seem to be nearly universal, then I won't argue with it, but it is a less interesting point to me than the notion that is being discussed here that there is some sort of objective moral standards.

But the actual specific behaviors that are allowed and are prohibited can vary greatly from society to society. Even in your own examples, no, people are not generally allowed to do these things "at will", but that is because to do so would be very diruptive to the smooth functioning of society that everyone relies upon. But societies do vary greatly in to whom and in what circumstances it is permissible to engage in these sorts of actions. The idea that every society has a notion that there is at least one person in that society which a particular individual may not kill with impunity is a bit too vague to consider it as a universal moral absolute.


"Intellectually, scientifically, even artistically, fundamentalism -- biblical literalism -- is a road to nowhere, because it insists on fidelity to revealed truths that are not true." -- Katha Pollitt
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Phat
Member
Posts: 12025
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 90 of 135 (293573)
03-09-2006 10:10 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Silent H
03-09-2006 6:13 AM


The Opinion of the Artist
holmes writes:

Describe how you feel when you see a painting which is offensive to you, and describe how you feel when you see an activity which is offensive to you.

Say we all were in an art museum, viewing a painting. Each of us would have a viewpoint, an opinion, and a critique of the painting--of what is was supposed to mean, and of what types of feelings it conveyed to each individual. There would be no "right" interpretations of the meaning behind the painting as it was intended....EXCEPT...perhaps...by the Artist who painted the painting. The Artists intent, passion, and purpose would, I argue, be more objective than the subjective opinions of the gallery of observers. The observers may still respond to the artists intent differently than the artist "intended" for them to feel. (But maybe not) Maybe the artist intended merely to provoke controversy for some as yet unknown reason.)

This is how fundie logic works. We believe that God, as author of creation, painted the painting, defined the words, ascribed intended meaning and purpose into the "project" and made the very definitions of meaning, purpose, and logic possible.

Im not saying that I am a fundamentalist nor am I saying that objective interpretations can be proven (seeing as how some claim to have met the artist and some have never met the artist.)

Im just throwing another perspective into a symbolic parable.

This message has been edited by Phat, 03-09-2006 08:13 AM


Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil. --Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2006 6:13 AM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Silent H, posted 03-09-2006 11:13 AM Phat has not yet responded

  
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