Without religion would art exist? Watch

Sidhe
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Well This is a philosophy question, anyone who delves into D&D religion knows my viewpoint already, but a simple question: would art exist if it wasn't for religion, before religion could it have existed? And consequently if we gave up religion would it therefore cease to exist, because it is our only means of inspiration. Don't wory I don't expect an essay just an opinion will suffice, but if you want to knock yourself out
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Pesky_Postmodernist
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hahaha guess this is my kind of question.

Art has always been around, its one of our earliest forms of written communication and a sign of our intelligence.

wikipedia has something to say on this subject

"The evidence suggests that they weren't merely decorations of living areas, since the caves in which they've been found don't have signs of ongoing habitation. Also, they are often in areas of caves that aren't easily accessed. Some theories hold that they may have been a way of transmitting information, while other theories ascribe them a religious or ceremonial purpose."

last year i went to Lascaux (or rather the replica as noone is allowed in it) it was like looking at a dedication to all living things, all the colours, marks handprints, animals seemed incredibly organised. Like a church. That said, wiki goes on to say.

"An alternative theory, developed by David Lewis-Williams and broadly based on ethnographic studies of contemporary hunter-gatherer societies, is that the paintings were made by Cro-Magnon shamans. The shaman would retreat into the darkness of the caves, enter into a trance state and then paint images of their visions, perhaps with some notion of drawing power out of the cave walls themselves. This goes some way toward explaining the remoteness of some of the paintings (which often occur in deep or small caves) and the variety of subject matter (from prey animals to predators and human hand-prints)."

Alot of the weird geometric shapes you get with some early art suggests that the early artist might have used pyschedelic drugs (no change there) to induce a higher state of consciousness, and these patterns would be recorded etc as divine inspiration.

throughout the middle ages, when we couldnt read. The churches organised giant Al Frescos and lavish stain glass windows with biblical teachings in pictoral form, they paid well and gave artists a relativly broad freedom of expression. It preserved the Art and help indoctrinate the people, even some churches went so far to claim that artists were divinely inspired/gifted.

If it wasnt for Religion, Art certainly wouldnt have the force it has now, and likewise with Religion.
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Sidhe
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But is it the only inspiration? Or are some people capable of thinking about the world without resorting to a god, gods or spirits? What about poetry such as the poem of king Solomon: The Song of Songs? That's a bit saucy no, was whoever penned it thinking about God at the time, or the bedroom? Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest? A Midsummer Nights Dream was that inspired by God? How about all the other dramatic pieces we see as film and TV and literature, all bereft of concept, or indeed form without religion?
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Pesky_Postmodernist
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I think you are useing the term "religion" in a rather simplistic manner. What ultimatly IS religion?

its the freedom of personal belief of how we can make sense of the universe, Its the WHY not the HOW that makes religion, its a loosely agreed subject open to interpretation and difference in logic all equal, all valid until we find the truth. Which, are the key principles within art. I think you are taking "Art" too literally as well.

Art has the incredible ability to tell the truth by lying, going beyond what is physically percieved to create a world that is completly believable yet "abstract" when looking at it for what it is perceptively (which is probably one of the reasons why you probably do not appreciate Mr Hirst). Now being aware of the metaphysical (Firstly I dont believe we can know it and define what we consider are metanarratives; That wouldnt make me very postmodern now would it. I dont however dismiss the possibility of them existing altogether) this allows all kinds of possibilities within art, from Kandinsky's musical paintings to Rothkos immense theatrical space created in his works.
http://www.uen.org/utahlink/tours/ad...sky_comp_7.jpg
http://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue...thko_room2.jpg

If you take away this incredibly powerful transcendental philosophy, then you take away the main cog within the artistic machine, the ability to personally believe in the possibility of something greater (not necessarily a God) but something more than our worldy ego, and the chance to capture what ever that might be with various marks on a canvas.
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Sidhe
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This seems to suggest if you took religion away we could not develop, but as I said on another thread which came first religion or art? See there for reasons why I believe art came before religion. And thus art could have created religion by simply having that abstractive ability in the first place. It's similar to the argument did morality come first or religion, no morality did to suggest otherwise is doubtful, and difficult to support. You can't have religion without the ability to be abstract in art or morally, and you can't but help but infer that art must therefore have proceeded religion and morality and art helped to contribute to it. Thus religion is not responsible for art, rather the ability to be artistic is responsible for religion, nay could not exist without abstraction.

This is not chicken and egg it is more logical, it is must have before religion can develop, logically that I think is undeniable.

I think you know what religion is, be it tribal or organised, ie just a simple system for explaining the worlds mysteries, or a moral foundation for society. Both morals and art I think preceded religion.
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Pesky_Postmodernist
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but as I said on another thread which came first religion or art? See there for reasons why I believe art came before religion
we can never know what came first, but thought comes before an action. Art is a definition of what we are thinking, we have to learn what we are thinking. So I dont see how you could possibly reach a conclusion that we started drawing such obvious things before we could conceptualise what they would be like in such a distinct form (cave art is not simplistic, hell no, photo representation is, PR doesnt require thought, anyone can be taught to draw a face as it is...but cave art was ascribed to special places, and probably done by special people, and that indicates that there is something special about ALL cave art)

You can't have religion without the ability to be abstract in art or morally, and you can't but help but infer that art must therefore have proceeded religion and morality and art helped to contribute to it. Thus religion is not responsible for art, rather the ability to be artistic is responsible for religion, nay could not exist without abstraction.
art is a visual langauge, an interpretation of ones thoughts. Surely you have to think before you act?

Both morals and art I think preceded religion
they ARE religion.
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Kater Murr
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People will always observe their surroundings.
Some people will put those surroundings on paper, or papyrus, or whatever.
Art would just have gone in a different direction.

However, rather than seeing religion as optional, as you have done here - I think religion is, in primitive stages of a society, pretty inevitable.
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Calvin
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I think it would be a mistake to think that there was some sort of formative event for either Art Or religion. They did (Edit:didn't! I meant didn't) spring fully formed out of a conceptual vacuum. Is it not far more likely that the two formed (over a very long period of time, without any sort of distinct event) and that they did so together? That loosely religious ideas helped us develope our aesthetic ideas, AND vice versa; that they each helped define and develope the other?

Of course, whatever was the case, it seems to me much less a philosophical question, and much more a historical factual one. (though with a lot of room for interpretation)
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Sidhe
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#9
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(Original post by BornUnderPunches)
However, rather than seeing religion as optional, as you have done here - I think religion is, in primitive stages of a society, pretty inevitable.
No I think religion is programmed into out genes by behaviours such as morality and abstraction, it's a natural projection of our intelligence, however inevitable it is I see no reason that these abilities that are hard wired in our brain would have not developed in different ways without religion. To think otherwise is to me utterly ridiculous, actually I think it has so little merit that I would laugh in anyone's face for even suggesting it, seriously its perhaps the dumbest most worthless statement I've ever heard, and it makes me cringe that mankind thinks that he is exclusively capable of this and that even our early ancestors weren't, and just goes to highlight how idiotic and humanocentric the human race really is, giving itself the only ability in the Universe to think abstractly is perhaps the biggest joke since some Mesopotamian drunk said I know it's raining a lot I'll build a boat and put every animal in it.

Art and morality came first, see my article from the New Scientist about morality being hard wired in the brain in religion D&D.

I see no ones challenged whether I a non believer find all my creative expression only from God? Or whether Kafka an atheists trial is about God and not fascist societies? Or from a personal perspective, hehe seriously I think some people are just programmed to overate religion, by being a believer, it's sad that reason has to so often lose out to brainwashing, but then spirituality appears to be in our genes also, you must learn to think for yourself, it is not 600 BC we have developed sophisticated means of governance that makes religion redundant in law and even IMO in morality. And most especially in art, who paints about God these days unless they were ruined by childhood experiences of religion and seek to mock it. Most artists don't even acknowledge it exists at least not in this country.

they ARE religion.
So if I drew a picture of a plate of a flying spagheti monster and said it created the universe in four days, a mountain a tree and a midget included, that would be a religion? FSM isn't a religion, it was created to mock such notions that religion appears to laud and hilariously too. :laugh: religious art is also sent up, instead of David reaching out to God, he reaches out to one of FSM's noodly appendages but does that mean that art came before religion? Does it, considering this secular country in the main thinks religion is a joke, I think you weigh its influence to mightily, and ignore the fact that most people don't even follow it, but are subject to their animalistic needs as should be, we are nothing but animals with big heads, literally and figuratively.
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Pesky_Postmodernist
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So if I drew a picture of a plate of a flying spagheti monster and said it created the universe in four days, a mountain a tree and a midget included, that would be a religion?
its your choice to believe what ever you want, no matter how retarded that might be. The only person you are fooling, well is yourself. So its a rather pathetic argument, not to mention makes you sound like a 15 year old.

FSM isn't a religion, it was created to mock such notions that religion appears to laud and hilariously too.
No, it just makes the person who brings it up sound like an utter ******.
religious art is also sent up, instead of David reaching out to God, he reaches out to one of FSM's noodly appendages but does that mean that art came before religion? Does it, considering this secular country in the main thinks religion is a joke, I think you weigh its influence to mightily, and ignore the fact that most people don't even follow it, but are subject to their animalistic needs as should be, we are nothing but animals with big heads, literally and figuratively.
are you stoned?
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geetar
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Didn't Neitzsche once say 'Art raises its head when relgions relax their hold'?

Point being (albeit slightly off-topic), some would say that religion constrains art and artists.

And to the OP, do you mean religion or spirituality? I think art could exist without an organised religion, with Gods and worship etc., but I also think that art and 'spirituality' (as in, the essence of a subject) go together. When the first caveman daubed some ochre on to a wall he didn't need religion, but, from looking at example such as at Lascaux, we can see that, even then, there was an emotional response from the artist.
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tulipsandsunshine
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I don't think religion is required for art to exist. There is so much "art" out there that has nothing to do with God, or religion. You could argue that every piece of art has an unintentional religious undertone or a hint of something greater - even when the artist did not intend it - but I imagine that would only be put forward by someone who was religious. Just because someone sees religion in a piece of art does not mean it was influenced by religion. And I find it ridiculous to suggest that art is religion? How do you propose that?
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BenThackray
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Theres plenty of non-religious sources of inspiration.

A definite 'yes' is my answer.
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Sidhe
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Post modernist, you hardly make a stronger case by resorting to ad hominems. If you want to argue the facts not fling around insults though feel free to do so, this is not an area of the forum that responds well to spam though, and arguments which are just *****ing at the op are not exactly very clever. OK I wanted to be provocative, get some insights about the subject, I'm not interested in what an internet ghost thinks of me personally though, so kindly take that stuff elsewhere, it's not necessary: thanks.
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Pesky_Postmodernist
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Didn't Neitzsche once say 'Art raises its head when relgions relax their hold'?
Neitzsche said alot of things. Doesnt mean he understood them. (sorry not the biggest fan of old Neitzche)
Post modernist, you hardly make a stronger case by resorting to ad hominems. If you want to argue the facts not fling around insults though feel free to do so
sorry deary, I hardly thought asking if you were stoned had any basis as a vile insult, i'll watch my tounge in future. Just stop equating custard and cheese. Just because they are yellow, dont make 'em similar
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Sidhe
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(Original post by Pesky_Postmodernist)

sorry deary, I hardly thought asking if you were stoned had any basis as a vile insult, i'll watch my tounge in future. Just stop equating custard and cheese. Just because they are yellow, dont make 'em similar
Well that's a sort of argument? Not really very good but then who knows what you are talking about?

Count yourself lucky, I'm quite tolerant, no doubt most people would have reported you for insulting them, and you'd be looking at some more warning points, but I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt.

Can you link custard and cheese so that I can understand that brilliant argument? I'm a bit stupid you see?
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Socrates
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Behave people. I'm watching you.
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Pesky_Postmodernist
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Well that's a sort of argument? Not really very good but then who knows what you are talking about?
ah such are the "Mysterium fidei". It defies your reasoning, yet you carry on typing.

Count yourself lucky, I'm quite tolerant, no doubt most people would have reported you for insulting them, and you'd be looking at some more warning points, but I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt.
matey boy, youre on level 7. Those who live in grass houses shouldn't stow thrones.
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Melancholy
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Art would exist without religion. Art could have existed purely because we live in a [in my opinion] beautiful world [which, incidentally, may or may not have been the work of a God].
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geetar
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(Original post by Pesky_Postmodernist)
Neitzsche said alot of things. Doesnt mean he understood them. (sorry not the biggest fan of old Neitzche)
Had a few good ideas did Neitzsche, and I'd wager that he did understand quite a few things. And anyway, I just used it to illustrate my opinion in that art can exist without religion.
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