Saturday, December 26, 2009

It's said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder ?

Could that extend to include any concept? So, [insert something here] is in the eye of the beholder?

Would that apply to good/evil/right/wrong/injustice as well? Or does it work for some things but not others?

Is something good regardless of how we perceive it? And is something evil even if we don't label it as such?It's said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder ?
No, I don't believe it does apply to any and all concepts. Though I realize some would not agree, I believe there are absolutes in areas such as right and wrong, good and evil. The problem is, sometimes people are not sure of the truth and thus you have what are called gray areas. I don't think that necessarily means it's a gray issue, though perhaps some of those instances could be in areas which are beyond man's comprehension.

However, anything which deals with the tastes of the individual could fit into the concept of it being in the eye of the beholder. My favorite painter, for instance, is Renoir. As long as it is my eye doing the beholding, I'll tell you a Renoir painting is beautiful. I may go further and tell you that ';x'; painted ugly paintings. However, that other artist may appeal to you. It's just a matter of taste.

Because man's emotions often get in the way of logical deduction, it's possible that things and people could be perceived as entirely different than they are. Emotions cloud the issues and sometimes mask the truth.

***Edit: I'm making this more simplistic than it truly is, but to do real justice to the question you would have to delve into a lot of different areas and it would be, perhaps, beyond me. My feeling is that not everything can be relative and depend solely on the beholder.

***Edit2: Both reader and Sophiii took this into other areas than I. Both made good points. My point is, basically, there are certain bedrocks which don't shift depending on the person viewing it. For instance, in an orderly society there are some foundational laws; without them you have chaos. So it is with certain subjects of study like math. There is a right answer and a wrong one, though you may not always know which is which. Like most people, I've experienced the shock of finding an opinion I've held dear to be wrong. My take is that the very fact of seeing the difference means I'm admitting to there being a true right and a very real wrong.

I'm not talking, specifically, about how people are viewed or even politics (ask a liberal and then a conservative about the same contentious issue and you'll get two - often opposite - opinions, each thinking he is absolutely right). No matter what someone like Hitler or Pol Pot thought about their own actions, no matter their interior monologues or intentions, the result of it was an absolute: evil. Some may be uncomfortable with the term ';evil,'; though in such a case as a Hitler being responsible for the deaths of millions upon millions, a lesser word seems too tepid to me.

As far as man goes, there are very few who are either entirely bad or entirely good. Since we can't always cut through all the levels in ourselves and make a true assessment, what makes us think we can judge anyone else fairly? It's far easier to judge actions and results than a person or his motives. I don't know about anyone else, but I sometimes have a hard time understanding why I react to something in a certain way. It's not always easy to analyze yourself, let alone others.

Because we have faulty perceptions, I think it's fair to say a thing could be good though we don't know it or evil even though we don't label it as such.

So, back to your original question: beauty and specific likes and dislikes and tastes are certainly in the eye of the beholder. Not everything fits in that equation, though.It's said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder ?
Its basically about how you look at things. If you look only at the good points in a person rather than the negatives, then you interact more with that person. Even if in a bad situation or if something bad happens to you, instead of feeling miserable about it, if we look at it, in a positive way then things seem better than they actually are.

Because no matter how bad we feel or worry about it, things are not going to change.

It applies to everything - good/evil/right/wrong.
'; A loved one '; is in the very eyes of the beholder.

Funny that when we use this phrase, we are referring to external beauty. Beauty has been abused as a shallow concept.

True beauty is felt by the hearts of people, you heart will feel touched by the presence or words or encouragement or deeds of such people.

External beauty is what your eyes forces you to claim and categorise it as ';beauty';. And true beauty is NOT by force.

Beauty is of love and virtue.

You will learn that things are evil, when they do not make our hearts feel good or better. This is evident from when you receive genuine kind advice from loving people as compared to sapping advice from low souls (dark and depressed or abusive people).

Of course it applies to many instances. I think it's because there is so much ';gray'; area to between right and wrong that we have so many problems in our world today. I don't think it's as ';gray'; between good and evil to most people.
yer, I think it would. because somebody thinks one thing and somebody else thinks another.
Relativity is in the eye of the beholder.
For me the phrase 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' is one cliche which is entirely true. I learned years ago that my impressions of how people looked would inevitably change as I came to know them better. I have friends whom I thought were quite homely at first but whose looks truly changed for me as they gained importance in my life. I have also known a couple of people who completely suckered me by their looks, who I thought must somehow be wonderful because they had such beautiful eyes, or style, or charm, but who then proved to be wretched people and as that lesson was brought home the beauty I had seen also seemed to fade away.

That makes for an interesting question here, at least for me, because I have been spending a lot of time thinking about perception and reality on both the literal and the literary front lately. When I was young I thought that the things which I knew to be true must be just as apparent to everyone else and that by disagreeing with me they were showing a diabolical willingness to lie and disseminate. I'm entirely serious, I really did see things in that black and white a manner. I thought there was one truth, and it was mine, and everyone else was not only wrong but deliberately wrong, and lying.

Imagine my horror in my early twenties when I suddenly started seeing things in very different lights than I had ever seen them before. My liberal upbringing slowly swung away from me until it had done a full 180 and suddenly I was identifying with a number of conservative dictates that had previously seemed fascist to me. Suddenly the wrong was right and, moron that I was, I defended this set just as ardently as I had done the first.

(So you all know, politically I have now settled into some sort of rational yet unaligned state, tending toward the liberal but picking and choosing as I please, and never satisfied by anyone, but, as ever, I digress.)

The thing is, I have been on both sides of several divisive issues through the years. There are parts of me that will never satisfy any group and so I have spent much time mulling over the relative vs. the absolute. I have the sort of mind that would like to believe in the absolute. Unfortunately I also have the sort of mind that likes to explore the grey areas and the more one does that the less possible the absolute becomes.

Let's say there is a man who completely and incontrovertibly believes that a certain small child is the devil, and that the only way to prevent the destruction of the universe is to heinously murder that child. Is it wrong for the person who catches him in that act and, just as incontrovertibly, believes the man is wrong, to kill the man to save the child? Each believes their view of the world correct. Each believes he is doing the right thing, for the greater good. That is, of course, an extreme example, and not what much of daily life involves.

It was hard for me to learn that really, really wrong people do not feel wrong. It was hard for me to come to terms with the fact that their reality was just as real to them as mine is to me. I do think that there are some true wrongs and some true rights and, better yet, I think most of us know what they are, in our hearts at least. Living up to our own ideals is a difficult but worthwhile aim and there are certain things to shoot for that can only be positive for ourselves and for the world at large.

Oddly though, one of those true right things is the understanding and acceptance of the fact that we are all different and that a person who encompasses many things we thought we despised may yet have much to teach us of those things and of others. That there is more to any person than the stereotype which it would be so simple and comforting to apply to them. Not one single aspect of an individual or a life or a philosophy is one dimensional and there is always more to understand than what immediately meets the eye.

I have learned to be open to the person inside the shell because I never know where my next friend is coming from. The same holds true for enemies. Meet each person and circumstance as they come to you and judge them on their own merits. Generalisations are the downfall of humanity and civilization. They breed prejudice, anger and separatism.

I am sure that absolutes exist, and, philosophically, I am capable of arguing for them. I just think that we meet fewer of them in our daily lives than would be convenient for many people to believe. I'm also pretty sure that, once again, I have strayed far from your original question.
Interesting question.

I have to say, I think the saying is true; meaning that the one who has it or wants it sees the beauty; true and false. I think. Sorry, I guess that doesn't make much sense. I'll start again.

In certain cases, ideal cases, it's true; for example, a couple in love, they might see each other as beautiful, when other people would just write them off as ordinary; because they mean something special to you, you see them as special and beautiful. It works with other things, as well; like hobbies and pets. Like, reading; if you really loved reading you might see it as beautiful, metaphorically, but if you didn't you might see it as dull and boring. I guess you could say the same with sports and stuff - to me they seem dull; to others they are a way of life. I think what it's trying to say is that when you love someone, you see them as special, because they are special to you, even if they aren't particularly special mentally or physically - you see them as special because of what they are to you; not what they are, if you get what I mean. It kind of goes with the saying 'love is blind.'

And, to your other question, I think it does apply to those things - particularly justice; if someone was free, they might see it as beautiful, but someone who had never experienced it might see it as a lie. On the other hand, the one who had never experienced it might see it as beautiful because they had never had it, if you get what I mean; and the person who had it might take it for granted. Am I making any sense at all?

The whole thing has a lot to do with perspective; as to do with evil and good. Take Hitler for example; what he was doing, a heck of a lot of people saw it as evil; but he didn't - he saw it as good; he thought it was the right thing to do - he wasn't TRYING to be evil, he was just doing what he felt was right. But, at the same time, I still think that what he was doing was evil. At the same time, my personal classification of something is when something is done for one purpose and one purpose only; to create negative effects, when there is no reason for it other than to do bad things to a world which has never done bad things to you. Does this mean Hitler is evil? Depends on your perceive it.

Evil is a very fragile thing; there is no right or wrong classification of things. I can't remember the name, but there was some great mathematian I saw on a BBC documentary, who, in the end, ended up murdering fifty of his students - he wasn't doing it consciously, it could be argued, because he went mad - but, he still killed fifty people. It's easy for me to sit here and sympathise with this mathematican, but, if one of the people killed was my parent or brother or sister, I probably wouldn't think that.

To finish up, I don't think it could apply to any concept - because it isn't true in every aspect, like most philosophical ideas are - if beauty is in the beholder, then why are there woman killed by their husbands and babies killed by their parents? You would think that if they saw it as beauty, then they wouldn't do things like that - but I guess beauty doesn't mean that they wouldn't do such things, if you thought about it that way; it would just seem that it would make more sense if that concept wasn't true in this context.

So, I think it is a fragile concept; true in an ideal world, not always true in reality.

Hope I helped.

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