The death of beauty
It would appear I am going to have to do a slight shift in my earlier thoughts on the nature of beauty. I was attempting to make the case that beauty was objective. However, after further study I have come to the conclusion that this just can not be. Now before you write me off as a lousy flip flopper, hear me out.
Let's use a mountain for example. Some philosophers will tell you that this mountain will have primary and secondary attributes. The primary attributes are the ones that are objective. They are true of the mountain whether or not a mind is there to perceive them. These qualities would be it's shape, size, etc... The secondary attributes are subjective qualities that require a mind perceive them. Qualities of this nature are color, smell, taste, etc...
The interesting thing is that some people will have pleasant feelings towards these subjective attributes and others not so pleasant. For instance some people like the color blue, others prefer red. We are not all the same.
So where then does beauty fit in? Is it a quality that is independent of the mind that is perceiving it? At this point I am forced to say no. It does not look that way. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
If I were to leave it at that it would seem to take a good bite out of my rants about inherent qualities of people, objects, and situations, but of course I cannot let it stop there! I am realizing something that is in my mind quite profound and should hopefully tie a lot of things together. So watch where this goes...
I have been saying over an over how I believe certain things actually warrant the titles we give them. I believe some things truly are beautiful. I believe people actually do have unsurpassable worth. I believe that love is real and is larger that simple feelings.
I will continue to use the beauty example here but what I am about to say could apply to any of the topics I just mentioned.
Beauty is a subjective feeling towards an object by a perceiving mind. Without a perceiving mind beauty does not exist. If the creator of all things was an all perceiving mind that actually felt certain things were beautiful, then would we as part of creation not be bringing our minds in congruity with our creator when we perceived an object as beautiful that also happened to be what our creator felt was beautiful?
In other words all these topics I keep railing on: beauty, love, inherent personal worth, objective right and wrong, are all totally dependent upon the existence of a personal God who actually feels certain ways about these topics. Without God there can be no perceiving mind for us to bring ourselves into congruity with and ultimately no higher truth behind any of these topics.
This was a rather complicated one and I'm not sure how clear I was. Let me know if that makes any sense.