Episode 46 – Beauty and the Beholder

This Week’s episode starts off with a story about how Molly got kicked out of class in college because she wasn’t a Christian.  While it sounds like the big problem is that her professor was an asshole, it serves as an inspiration for a conversation about beauty and whether or not the artistic contributions of religion give religion any intrinsic value.  Tim spends a lot of time bragging about all the shit that he’s seen that Molly and Nick haven’t. We also read Mark Everhart’s set of answers to our five questions.  This time we even tried the sandwich!!!

Show notes are below the fold:

Just in case you’d like to go there, here’s the website for the University of St. Catherine.

The Veiled Woman is a sculpture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

More info about Andrew Ryan from Bioshock.

Here’s a definition of the word “aesthetic” from Dictionary.com:


1. pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the philosophy of aesthetics.
2. of or pertaining to the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty; of or relating to the science ofaesthetics.
3. having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty.
4. pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

5.the philosophical theory or set of principles governing the idea of beauty at a given time and place: the clean lines, bare surfaces,and sense of space that bespeak the machine-age aesthetic; the Cubist Aesthetic.
6.Archaic. the study of the nature of sensation.
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10 Responses to Episode 46 – Beauty and the Beholder

  1. Let’s say that God did create these beautiful places for us – the Grand Canyon, Yellow Stone, etc. If God is an artist, then he the shallowest, most thin-skinned artist out there. He created the world filled with what he considers beauty and then created creatures that could express how much they like his beauty. There are a few people out there who’d say nature isn’t beautiful – usually tired preteens who are so used to being in an AC room with their laptop that they’re craving that more than they’re really looking at the site in front of them – but those people are an extremely small minority and usually don’t go out to land marks just to complain. So God created beauty and then went, “I need someone to appreciate this because I awesome.” Then he went and made humans and we’re all going, “Oooooo! Aaaaah! Ooooh!” And God’s up there, leaning back, taking in all the praise. What a dick.

    And keep in mind that Earth is our only habitable planet. What happens when we leave this rock and find another Earth-like planet? I have a feeling that it’d be a bit like when I started watching Doctor Who. I started off with the reboot, so my first Doctor and companion were 9 and Rose. I really liked Rose until I met later companions and had a comparison, then I started to not really care for her. I imagine something similar will happen when we get a new world. There’ll be people who will take in the beauty of the new world and go, “You know, this place is actually better than Earth. I like it more. Earth is a bit of a dump.” And then there’ll be people who will say, “This new world sucks! Earth is better! I love Earth! I’m going to write a fanfic about how great Earth is!” And the forums will be filled people arguing back and forth over which planet is better. Snarky internet reviewers (who’ve, by then, become a part of mainstream media) will come up with clever arguments on both sides, and both sides will quote and re-quote to them to death. Two camps of extreme planet fans will form: Earthies and Victors (randomly thought up a name for our first colonized planet, I think “Victory” does nicely), leaving out the vast majority of people who either see beauty on both planets or just really don’t care.

    • I’m totally going to write slash about Earth and our new world. “Earth swept the new planet into her arms, gently caressing her continental divide. ‘All I had is yours now,’ Earth cooed. ‘I’m afraid…’ the new world said, trembling. ‘I don’t know how to sustain all this life. Can you… can you teach me?’ Earth smiled knowingly. ‘I won’t just teach you. I’ll show you right here, right now.’ As she kissed and licked the new world, lava began to boil in her volcanoes. Entire civilizations were shifted as her tectonic plates clashed, grinding with the passion of a different star…”

  2. @PedanticEric says:

    I’m very amused by Nick’s mention of peanut butter and hot sauce. When I was a kid, I made peanut butter and mustard sandwiches. No one suggested it, one day I just randomly decided to try it and thought it was good so I had a phase of making them for a while. To be specific, I’d put a very thin amount of mustard and a pretty thick layer of peanut butter. This came up in conversation again just over a week ago with my family. In retrospect, I also compared it to the thai peanut concept and I’ve been tempted to make one again, to see if I still find it appealing.

    • Interesting! Plain yellow mustard, or something fancier, like a dijon?

      • @PedanticEric says:

        This was back when I was a kid in the 70s so all my parents bought then was yellow, I think specialty mustard was almost non-existent then, at least at the stores where my mom was shopping for the family and trying to safe money feeding the family on a minister’s salary.

        I decided to try it again yesterday after making this comment and it was still pretty good. If anything, in my paranoia I probably put too little mustard on. Next time I’ll try with a bit more.

        • I will try this sandwich, and report my findings. I’ll likely be using chunky peanut butter, unless you can make a convincing argument to use the vastly inferior smooth-style.