Why Beauty Matters hosted by Roger Scruton is a wonderful examination of the role beauty has in our lives and meaning. In  his examination, many facets are discussed. I found myself looking at it from a sociological perspective, too, and what is happening in the world of modern art, entertainment, and television programming. How these areas overlap and influence our taste, attitudes, and beliefs. You need an hour to enjoy this video.

The video begins:

At any time between 1750 and 1930 if you asked educated people to describe the aim of poetry, art or music, they would have replied “beauty.”

And if you had asked for the point of that you would have learned that beauty is a value, as important as truth and goodness. Then in the 20th century beauty stopped being important. Art increasingly aimed to disturb and to break moral taboos. It was not beauty but originality however achieved and at whatever moral cost that won the prizes. Not only has art made a cult of ugliness. Architecture too has become soul-less and sterile. And it is not just our physical surroundings that have become ugly. Our language, our music and our manners are increasingly raucous, self-centered and offensive as though beauty and good taste have no real place in our lives. One word is written large on all these ugly things and that word is “Me.” My profits, my desires, my pleasures. And art has nothing to say in response to this except “Yeah, go for it!”

I think we are losing beauty and there is a danger that with it we will lose the meaning of life. I’m Roger Scruton, philosopher and writer. My trade is to ask questions. During the last few years I have been asking questions about beauty. Beauty has been central to our civilisation for over 2000 years. From its beginnings in ancient Greece philosophy has reflected on the place of beauty in art, poetry, music, architecture and everyday life. Philosophers have argued that through the pursuit of beauty we shape the world as a home. We also come to understand our own nature as spiritual beings. But our world has turned its back on beauty and because of that we find ourselves surrounded by ugliness and alienation.

I want to persuade you that beauty matters; that it is not just a subjective thing, but a universal need of human beings. If we ignore this need we find ourselves in a spiritual desert. I want to show you the path out of that desert. It is a path that leads to home…..

Why Beauty Matters – Por que a beleza importa from jinacio on Vimeo.

Por Roger Scruton

legenda revisada

Em qualquer tempo, entre 1750 e 1930, se se pedisse a qualquer pessoa educada para descrever o objetivo da poesia, da arte e da música, eles teriam respondido: a beleza.
E se você perguntasse o motivo disto, aprenderia que a beleza é um valor tão importante quanto a verdade e a bondade.
Então, no séc. XX, a beleza deixou de ser importante. A arte, gradativamente, se focou em perturbar e quebrar tabus morais.

Não era beleza, mas originalidade, atingida por quaisquer meios e a qualquer custo moral, que ganhava os prêmios. Não somente a arte fez um culto à feiura, como a arquitetura se tornou
desalmada e estéril. E não foi somente o nosso entorno físico que se tornou feio: nossa linguagem, música e maneiras, estão cada vez mais rudes, auto centradas e ofensivas, como se a beleza e o bom gosto, não tivessem lugar em nossas vidas.

Uma palavra é escrita em letras garrafais em todas estas coisas feias, e a palavra é: EGOISMO.
“Meus lucros”, “meus desejos” “meus prazeres”,

E a arte não tem o que dizer em resposta, apenas: “sim, faça isso”!
Penso que estamos perdendo a beleza e existe o perigo de que, com isso, percamos o sentido da vida.

2 Replies to “Roger Scruton Examines Why Beauty Matters”

  1. Too much of beauty and it is like we’re fooling ourselves, so the modern art movement that defies beauty and the notion of art tries to bring harsh realities to light. And we’ve gobbled it up to the point that society relishes Reality TV shows and dystopian perspectives on our future. Maybe bringing more emphasis to beauty will inspire the idealism in us more again and bring a much needed shift in society.

  2. What is beauty? Why should it matter? According to science and atheism, there is no such thing as spirit or soul. Everything that happens, from actions to thoughts, are the results of chemical reactions – atoms reacting to their environment according to laws of physics. Leading scientists such a Richard Dawkins are telling us life actually has no meaning, it is just random matter. If that is the case, how does one define beauty? What is spiritual or soulful? How can random chemical reactions be trusted to produce any sort of meaning? By which standards are these terms defined? And that is where the large tropical fruit hits the rotating blades – therein lies our problem.

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