Re: Re[2]: Complexity, Ethics, Esthetics (was re: Defining Right and Wrong)

From: Gordon Worley (
Date: Wed Dec 04 2002 - 14:10:01 MST

On Wednesday, December 4, 2002, at 01:19 PM, Cliff Stabbert wrote:

>>> Except maybe to point out that the notion of "objective ethics" is at
>>> least as difficult as the notion of "objective aesthetics".
> SA> That is not a meaningful observation in this context.
> Perhaps it is for those who claim objective ethics are possible while
> they might agree if asked that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,
> or determined by (cultural, historical, personal) context. If
> aesthetics is context-dependent surely ethics is.

Actually, most of what makes something beautiful is panhuman. Humans
like certain compositions of objects. Also, all humans find normal
human babies beautiful. We also all find puppies cute. We might learn
to have a fear of them, but we'll still think that they're cute. Both
of these are adaptions. The variation in art is usually cultural, most
often due to differences in technique and media. The underlying nature
of what makes something beautiful is still the same.

It's like the old saying that great works of literature shine through
even freshmen translations.

For ethics, culture only deals with transitive and recent changes. Its
effect on ethics is noticeably different from that of evolved ethics.

Gordon Worley                          "Man will become better when                 you show him what he is like."                                --Anton Chekhov
PGP:  0xBBD3B003

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