Saturday, March 04, 2017
Morality and the Artist
Truth does reside in material things rather than only in the intellect, as Aristotle seems to have almost said, and so if the Gods of religious tradition exist in a non-material or spiritual realm then that view of God is only an ascetically brought-on, inward, symbolic, human experience of God or the Father, and is an incomplete view of Godhood.
Truth, beauty and goodness are convertible, differing only in levels of overall material and supermaterial evolution. All things desire the good, said Aquinas, but what he did not say is that the good, truth and beauty as well as Godhood are reached through the material and supermaterial evolution of things or objects.
Physical, material, passions seek ultimately to evolve to the zenith of these things, which is Godhood, and which is also the zenith of success in material/supermaterial evolution. This sacred goal can guide the passions but not curb them or block them---as traditional asceticism does in its quest for the inward god---because the physical, material, passions of material evolution are the means to Godhood.
That Inward Path to the symbolic inward God can be conservatively retained in the Twofold Path, but the Outward Path of material evolution to supermaterial Godhood transforms the Inward Path.
Modern art has no morality because it believes in a relativity of morals and values, as its sisters and brothers in postmodern philosophy do, where truth, beauty, and goodness follow the passions, or the minds aimless inventions, with no goal other than power.
Yes, give the artists freedom to create what they want to from their physical, material, passions, or from wherever, but then judge, define, and choose morally the art that affirms the evolution of life toward Godhood. Then the moral imagination of Burke and Kirk can advance great works of realistic and evolutionary moral art.