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Session: What Is Meaningful Culture And Art?
This is a Session within the Topic Culture
What is the difference between mass culture and meaningful culture?
 
 
Reach the heart of any topic
Find something good in what you disagree with.
Resolve an Impossible Question.
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Goal
What is true and relevant about each perspective, and how can we bring these together to find our what is meaningful culture?
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Perspectives & Resources
Perspectives are short paragraphs summarizing any point of view about the Topic. Explore each View and then vote on it.
If your opinion is not represented, feel free to add it!
"Leisure to read, to reflect, to converseddd"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is meaningful culture and art?


Leisure to read, to reflect, to converse

“To be bred in a place of estimation; to see nothing low and sordid from one’s infancy; to be taught to respect one’s self; to be habituated to the censorial inspection of the public eye; to look early to public opinion; to stand upon such elevated ground as to be enabled to take a large view of the widespread and infinitely diversified combinations of men and affairs in a large society; to have leisure to read, to reflect, to converse; to be enabled to draw and court the attention of the wise and learned, wherever they are to be found; to be habituated in armies to command and to obey; to be taught to despise danger in the pursuit of honor and duty; to be formed to the greatest degree of vigilance, foresight, and circumspection, in a state of things in which no fault is committed with impunity and the slightest mistakes draw on the most ruinous consequences; to be led to a guarded and regulated conduct, from a sense that you are considered as an instructor of your fellow-citizens in their highest concerns, and that you act as a reconciler between God and man;.. amongst rich traders, who from their success are presumed to have sharp and vigorous understandings, and to possess the virtues of diligence, order, constancy, and regularity, and to have cultivated an habitual regard to commutative justice: these are the circumstances of men that form what I should call a natural aristocracy, without which there is no nation.” Edmund Burke, Letter From The New To The Old Whigs (1791)

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on March 11, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Edmund Burke
"The goal of culture should be not beauty but goodnessddd"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is meaningful culture and art?


The goal of culture should be not beauty but goodness

The value of culture is its effect on character. It avails nothing unless it ennobles and strengthens that. It's use is for life. It's aim is not beauty but goodness. Too often as we know, it gives rise to self-complacency. Who has not seen the scholar's thin-lipped smile when he corrects a misquotation, and the connoisseurs pained look when someone praises a picture he does not care for. There is no more merit in having read a thousand books than in having plowed a thousand fields. There is no more merit in being able to attach a correct description to a picture, than in being able to find out what is wrong with a stalled motorcar.
In each case it is special knowledge. The stockbroker has his knowledge too, and so has the artisan. It is a silly prejudice of the intellectual that his is the only one that counts. The True, the Good, and the Beautiful, are not the perquisites of those who have been to expensive schools, burrowed in libraries, and frequented museums. The artist has no excuse when he uses others with condescension. He is a fool if he thinks his knowledge is more important than theirs, and an oaf if he cannot comfortably meet them on equal footing.

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on March 11, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Somerset Maugham
"Culture should be judged by how much spiritual substance there is in itsddd"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is meaningful culture and art?


Culture should be judged by how much spiritual substance there is in its

How do we measure culture? “By how much spiritual substance there is in its everyday existence...We gauge culture by the extent to which a whole people, not only individuals, live in accordance with the dictates of an eternal doctrine or strive for spiritual integrity; the extent to which inwardness, compassion, justice and holiness are to be found in the daily life of the masses."

“Peace with all our needs would mean surrender to the ego. It is easy to convert the soul into a madhouse and think it is a sanctuary. The spirit that gasps for a breath of the divine, to be stronger than the ruthlessness of passions, must be equipped with weapons that the mind alone cannot produce.” Abraham Heschel, Man Is not Alone

"Beauty which is acquired at the cost of justice is an abomination and should be rejected for its loathsomeness. All values are esteemed only to the extent that they are worthy in the sight of God, for only through the Divine Light is their light seen." "The criterion by which we judge beauty is integrity, the criterion by which we judge integrity is truth, and truth is the correspondence of the finite to the infinite, the specific to the general, the cosmos to God." Abraham Heschel Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity
 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on March 11, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Abraham Heschel
"A hollow, empty place of celebration and grief should be at the center of cultureddd"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is meaningful culture and art?


A hollow, empty place of celebration and grief should be at the center of culture

“Our culture also emphasizes individual freedom, but such freedom can be enjoyed only when there is a waiting village of open-armed, laughing elders who know compassion and grasp the complexity of the spirit world well enough to catch us, keep us grounded, and protect us from ourselves. If the modern world is to start maintaining things, it will have to redefine itself. A new culture will have to develop, in which neither humans and their inventions nor God is at the center of the universe. What should be at the center is a hollow place, an empty place where both God and humans can sing and weep together. Maybe, together, the diverse and combined excellence of all cultures could court the tree of life back from where it’s been banished by our literalist minds and dogmatic religions.” Martin Prechtel, The Sun, Sept, 2001.

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on March 11, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Martin Prechtel
"Develop a culture and a mind capable of noble artddd"
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Reach the Heart of a Perspective
Topic: What is meaningful culture and art?


Develop a culture and a mind capable of noble art

The arts, as regard teachableness, differ from the sciences also in this, that their power is founded not merely on facts which can be communicated, but on dispositions which require to be created. Art is neither to be achieved by effort of thinking, nor explained by accuracy of speaking. It is the instinctive and necessary result of power, which can only be developed through the mind of successive generations, and which finally burst into life under social conditions as slow of growth as the faculties they regulate. Whole eras of mighty history are summed, and the passions of dead myriads are concentrated, in the existence of a noble art; and if that noble art were among us, we should feel it and rejoice; not caring in the least to [hear] lectures on it; and since it is not among us, be assured we have to go back to the root of it, or, at least, to the place where the stock of it is yet alive, and the branches began to die.

 

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(Hide)

Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on March 11, 2018
 
This is the opinion of John Ruskin
 
Recommended Resources (Review before voting)
 
 
Document: John Ruskin, The Crown of Wild Olive
 
 
Would you like to add a Perspective or Resource? Go to the Topic development page!
 
 
 
Activities
Reflect on your own relation to the issue (experiences, biases, interests, etc, before making a conclusion).
How do you use culture in your own life?
How much times do you spend watching television? How much time do you spend on the internet? How much time do you spend on your telephone?
Do you watch sports? Do you go to popular movies? Do you listen to popular songs?
Conclusion
Ask the impossible question!
What is most important – and true – about each perspective, especially those you disagree with? Taking all this into account, what do you think is most important about meaningful culture?
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