Can Atheists appreciate Johann Sebastian Bach?

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Morley
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate Johann Sebastian Bach?

Post by Morley »

huckelberry wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:54 pm
Though I think that wonder is a pointer to God Marcus is clear that she thinks there is no God behind that wonder just the natural world we live in. I can understand that view. I think that wonder is a closer, much better, impression of God than sometimes comes out of pulpits.
Nice. I'll take that.
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate J. S. Bach?

Post by huckelberry »

Morley wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 7:32 pm
Morley wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 4:24 pm
Does everything that's ugly also point to God?
huckelberry wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 6:13 pm
Morley,

So not happy with the easy question you want to pose the hard one.

It is an old observation to say that ugly is a corruption of beauty so derives all of its meaning and existence from the existence of beauty. I doubt that covers certain arguments against the belief in God, death the central ugly is a fundamental part of this world's life.
Huckelberry: Bach points to God. All beauty points to God.

Morley: Given how culturally laden both tastes in music and concepts of beauty are, this is troubling. A teenaged girl into BTS or a middle-aged board moderator into Perfume might actually find the Brandenburg Concertos to be ugly.

Does everyone's conception of beauty point to God? Is eveyone's observation of ugly pointing away?
Hi Morley, you are leaning into questions that I find difficult so I will start with an easy open.

All music is in itself a jumble of sound waves. It is in the ears and minds of listeners that it turns in to significant sound that communicates things. I find that I have to be in the right frame of thought to connect up with a particular music. Some familiarity with the style of music helps a lot to hear it. In truth I do not listen to Bach frequently. There have been time when hearing his music has been a great experience for me. Perhaps part of why I listen infrequently is that his music is a lot of work to listen to. Part of the reason is I do not feel a need to repeat the experience of Bach frequently.

I can see that the phrase "points to God"could be thought of as implying differing degrees of clarity. I admit to think of a pretty loose pointing. Bach church music associates with specific religious ideas. Clearly not everybody is going to hear those or care. Someone can be happy to hear beauty in all sorts of music without making conceptural associations with the idea of god.

I find myself unsure how to think about ugly in music. Well there is music played by people who have not yet learned how to play very well and make a mess of the notes.There is boring music, sort of an ugly idea. Then there is confrontational music. Thinking of Bach gave me an urge to listen to Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet, Sympathy for the Devil.

I might not be up to an explanation as to how that beauty points to God. Perhaps Jersey Girl knows. I have more difficulty knowing how to relate to Midnight Rambler. She posted a link to a terrific recent live version. I can't see it as ugly, should I somehow?

Perhaps all of us not yet dead are still pointing to God.
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malkie
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate Johann Sebastian Bach?

Post by malkie »

Marcus wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 10:07 pm
hauslern wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:21 pm
...I wonder if Atheists would appreciate the writing of Clive Staples Lewis who converted from atheism to Christianity. Could Atheists let their children read the Narnia series of books, which told stories of some children who went through the cupboard in a house to a land called Narnia where they met Arslan, a lion which I understand Christians see as Jesus. (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) He wrote apologetic books for Christianity eg Mere Christianity. Would Atheists read The Screwtape Letters which is an imaginary dialogue between two devils? There is a youtube video titled The Question of God which Dr Armand M Nicholi has a discussion with a mixture of believers and nonbelievers about the writings of Sigmund Freud (Not Anna Freud) and Clive Staples Lewis. I believe it is one of Dan Petersen's favorites.
Yes, of course atheists can appreciate great literature! I have almost all of c.s. Lewis' works, Including the Narnia chronicles and the Screwtape letters in my library, and I have always encouraged all my children and my family to read his works.

When I was growing up Mormon, my Mormon father disapproved of me reading the chronicles of narnia, because he said it would make me think religious works like the Bible and Book of Mormon were also fiction.

Little did he know. :twisted:
As an agnostic/atheist I have a profound admiration for at least some of Lewis' writings, perhaps especially The Screwtape Letters, and Screwtape Proposes a Toast. I've also enjoyed his adult Sci Fi.

That he points out Christian hypocrisy pleases me. But what I admire most is how his criticism of hypocrisy goes beyond those who profess Christianity, and applies equally (and painfully) to myself. While I enjoy reading and re-reading his works, I'm made acutely aware of how I am also failing as a person.
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate Johann Sebastian Bach?

Post by toon »

I appreciate PDQ Bach. Don’t know if he points to god, though.
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate Johann Sebastian Bach?

Post by hauslern »

Irish Comedian Dave Allen:
The Pope and the Atheist having a discussion about the existence of God. Heated, the Pope turns to the man and “The man get the man you come here, you are like a man in a dark room totally blindfolded looking for a black cat that is not there."

The Man says, “With respect, your holiness, I think there is a similarity between us both. As far as I am concerned you are like a man in a dark room totally blindfolded looking for a cat that is not there, the only difference is that you think you have found it."
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate Johann Sebastian Bach?

Post by hauslern »

Clive Staples Lewis has a little essay Fern-seed and Elephants where he attacks Biblical scholarship which attacks the historicity of the Bible. He was no archaeologist like Israel Finkelstein or William Dever or a Biblical scholar like Bart Ehrman. No mention about the Isaiah authorship that LDS scholar Sidney Perry found to be a problem for chapters that appeared in the Book of Mormon that would not have been written yet and not available to Nephi, etc.
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate J. S. Bach?

Post by Dr. Shades »

Morley wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 7:32 pm
Morley: . . . a middle-aged board moderator into Perfume might actually find the Brandenburg Concertos to be ugly.
??? Whence the cheap shot?
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate J S Bach?

Post by Chap »

huckelberry wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:51 am
Does Bach prove the existence of God? No, but his music points in that direction.
Surely not! We know that human beings can compose music, much of it very good. Bach was, in the context of his time, extremely good.

Why on earth should that be felt to point to the existence of some other non-human entity?
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate J S Bach?

Post by I Have Questions »

Chap wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:22 am
huckelberry wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:51 am
Does Bach prove the existence of God? No, but his music points in that direction.
Surely not! We know that human beings can compose music, much of it very good. Bach was, in the context of his time, extremely good.

Why on earth should that be felt to point to the existence of some other non-human entity?
Believers are prone to seeing their particular God’s hand in a variety of things. For instance, they will see their God’s hand in Bach, but they won’t see it in The Sex Pistols.
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Re: Can Atheists appreciate Johann Sebastian Bach?

Post by Philo Sofee »

hauslern wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:44 am
Irish Comedian Dave Allen:
The Pope and the Atheist having a discussion about the existence of God. Heated, the Pope turns to the man and “The man get the man you come here, you are like a man in a dark room totally blindfolded looking for a black cat that is not there."

The Man says, “With respect, your holiness, I think there is a similarity between us both. As far as I am concerned you are like a man in a dark room totally blindfolded looking for a cat that is not there, the only difference is that you think you have found it."
:lol:
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