Is beauty subjective? People have strong feelings in both directions. A stylized representation of possible opinions about the nature of beauty might look like this:
- Strong Subjectivism: the phenomenon of beauty is essentially random with little regularity, a purely personal response that is not predictable across time and person.
- Weak Objectivism: the phenomenon of beauty can be partly predicted by definable regularities in its perception as a result of our specific environments of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA).
- Strong Objectivism: the phenomenon of beauty can be predicted by definable regularities because of regularities in our EEAs and in the phenomenon of intelligence itself.
What? That's it?
Whatever happened to beings made in the image of God, or participation in the divine consciousness, or any of the other transcendent metaphysical whatsits that provide perfectly serviceable justifications for objective notions of truth, beauty and goodness? Aren't there supposed to be people out there -- quite a few I'm told -- that believe Man is fundamentally a divine spirit, ultimately grounded in the eternal, with ready access to eternal truths?
Bueller? ... Bueller?
I mean, we're only talking about religions that the vast majority of human beings have ostensibly been members for, what, the last thousand years or so? And yet we're down to the deification of intelligence? Can't even crack the top three?
And while I'm asking obtuse hypotheticals, how come I have to be the one to bring up this kind of stuff in conversation? And people look at me weird?
Isn't this basic Christian metaphysical thought? Why don't I hear my pastor talking about this? Why do I have to go digging through the bowels of places like Project Gutenberg to find that kind of stuff? Why do I have to patch it all together for myself, and/or make it up out of whole cloth?
Maybe because it's all arm-wavey god-of-the-gaps X-tian nonsense. Obviously, the apotheosis of intelligence is a much more serious answer. Even better -- just not having a clue. Better yet, the denial of all meaning in such silly questions and notions.
Those silly religious idgets...