Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Humans are useless"

The ever-creative Marc Barnes has posted one of those reflections that will likely have you nodding your head, exclaiming surprise and thinking deeply:
To appreciate a thing as beautiful is to appreciate it as useless, not because it is trash, but because it is real treasure. That which is beautiful is good in and of itself. We do not appreciate the beautiful in regards to how we can use it, change it, or by what it can do for us. We appreciate the beautiful for being, for presenting itself to our intellect — for existing.

Think of a few things which most human beings would agree to crown with the predicate “beautiful”. The Pieta, Mozart’s Requiem, the cool morning sun spilling through summer leaves, a fiery New England autumn, stained glass: What could we answer the man who asks us for the use of these things? We couldn’t, besides to babble an incoherent, self-contradicting set of phrases: “Its use is to be. It is for its own existence. It is here to be beautiful.” We may — in an attempt to make ourselves at least partially rational beings — say that we do use these things: We use them to experience the peace and delight they give to us. But this is only to say we experience beautiful things in order to have an experience of beauty. There is no outside end.

It's quite good and can be found in its entirety here.

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