Beauty As Proof Of God?
Today we are looking at a channel called Apologetics Squared which is another animated explainer video channel. Today they are going to be talking about arguments from beauty that prove God. I’m not sure a preference can ever be used to prove God but this guy is going to try.
Arguments from Beauty unsuccessfully argue for the existence of God. This is because beauty is a dopamine response in brains that causes a sense of pleasure. Everyone will have different things that cause them to experience this type of pleasure. This is just part of the human experience.
Argument 1: Look At The TREES
Jumping into things the first argument goes like this “Look at the trees man. There must be a god!” Now this isn’t really an argument in the traditional sense because well it doesn’t have premises that we can argue about. It’s really just mysterious and mystical. Nonetheless many find this to be quite persuasive, myself included, but i personally prefer non-mysterious arguments that could be analyzed logically.
This isn’t an argument at all. I don’t know why people are convinced by “look at the trees” or why some apologists like this guy or Braxton Hunter like it. It literally makes no sense because beauty isn’t absolute or inherent to an object. What we consider beautiful differs between people. Our own standards for beauty changes over the course of our lives.
None of these arguments from Beauty will work because absent of God, beauty still exists. Beauty is dependent on someone, human or otherwise, experiencing that emotion.
Argument 2: The Nature Of Beauty
The second argument is based on the nature of beauty itself. Many incredibly varied things have the mysterious property of beauty. Plants, abstract objects, or the character of individuals just scratches the surface of the diversity of beauty.
Which is all subjectively determined by the observer to be beautiful. What is beautiful to one person is ugly or bland to another. This is perfectly explained chemically because everyone’s emotions are triggered by different things. These emotions are what our brains experience when certain chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine, flood our neural receptors.
If you have a natural explanation for why something happens then we don’t need a supernatural Deity or Deities to explain it.
now to have a good argument we need to get from these things have the property of beauty to god exists we could do this by mirroring the structure of the moral argument which goes from things have the property of being moral to god exists
If you’re going to model any argument for God off the moral argument, you’re going to have a bad time. Because the moral argument is very bad.
The moral argument makes the assumption that absolute morals exist. The argument fails to realize that a sense of morality requires a mind to exist. Just like with beauty, morals exist without a God but they don’t exist without someone to hold them.
william lane craig’s formulation of the moral argument goes like this if god does not exist then objective moral values do not exist but objective moral values do exist therefore god exists
The objective here should really be “absolute” because that’s what Craig means. You can be objective about morals but morals themselves can’t be objective. So whenever you hear an apologist say “objective morality” they really mean “absolute morality” which is ridiculous.
Even within Christianity, you do not have absolute morality. The Christian set of morals have changed over the span of its history demonstrating the subjectivity of morality. This goes to show that morality is inherently subjective.
now i’ve explained elsewhere that i’m not a huge fan of that formulation and instead prefer constructing the moral argument thusly we can now repurpose this and get a pretty good argument from beauty this argument put simply is saying that if there is such a thing as beauty which is a real feature of reality then this cries out for some sort of deeper or more fundamental explanation but if we try to imagine any theory of this deeper explanation it always seems to work better with the existence of god you could ground beauty in the nature of god or the will of god or in the properties of natures instantiated by god and since the existence of god works so well with providing an explanation for the nature of beauty then god probably exists
Alright well point one seems fine, albeit doesn’t really do anything for ya. Point two through four though are fuckered… you’re gonna need to do something else because these mangey ass things won’t hold up shit.
Beauty is not more than a preference. Things are not inherently beautiful. We experience beauty as an emotional reaction to stimuli. Looking at things objectively, one collection of atoms is no different than another collection of atoms. It’s our human experience that allows us to experience beauty.