Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Thought for the day: Ain't it ugly?

Lask week on these shores, I referenced an excellent post which spoke of the objectivity of beauty (Music and the Objectivity of Beauty). One of the insights I gleaned from reading that post, was how beauty is intrinsic to who God's being. Consider for example the follow verses:

Exodus 28:2
And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.

Exodus 28:40
"For Aaron’s sons you shall make coats and sashes and caps. You shall make them for glory and beauty

Psalm 27:4
One thing have I asked of the LORD,that will I seek after:that I may dwell in the house of the LORDall the days of my life,to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple

Psalm 48:2
beautiful in elevation,is the joy of all the earth,Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King.

Psalm 50:2
Out of Zion, the perfection of 
beauty, God shines forth.

Psalm 96:6
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and 
beauty are in his sanctuary

From these verses, we can clearly see that God likes beauty. He likes beautiful clothes, He likes beautiful surroundings and He Himself is in fact beautiful (Psalm 27:4). I'm sure that there is more that could be said but at the very least we'd want to say that beauty pertains to the very nature of God. Now this is all very nice and interesting, and I was minding my own business having put this "beauty" stuff to one side when I came across this quote from Darwin

Up to the age of 30 or beyond it, poetry of many kinds . . . gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare. . . .
Formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great, delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost any taste for pictures or music. . . .
I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did. . . .
My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive. . . .
The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.

After reading this quote, I've been asking myself - what beautiful things has Atheism produced? Where is their music or art or poetry or architecture? Where are their charities and old people's homes? Where are their holidays and festivals? Could it be that besides hating the One who is the source of all life, atheism is also barren and ugly?

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