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Sense and Goodness Without God VI: Natural Beauty

11/24/2010

Of course a full life philosophy must include aesthetics, so Carrier addresses the ideas of beauty. I don’t find this particularly interesting, but the science of beauty that he puts forth is pretty interesting, and it is a response to people claiming that the beauty of say Beethoven is proof of God.

Carrier sees beauty as ‘an emotional response that humans have when confronted with a particular experience, whether auditory, visual, tactile, intellectual, or whatever- even complex experiences involving several senses at once.’

On this view, there seems little that can be objected to. There are many reasons why human beings may have this reaction of ‘beauty’ to certain stimuli. It may be a side effect, or beneficial for survival in some way. Certain patterns are appealing for various reasons, including mate selection, and simple mental stimulation.

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