RARA-AVIS: Re: Books Must Be Good... Or Else.

From: jimdohertyjr ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 12 Feb 2007


Re your comments below:

> Not ARTISTS. Is it the cook or the bowl of soup that must be moral?
> As far as art itself having moral obligations, what does that mean
> exactly? And by whose yardstick? Should we ban "bad" books?

If, as you seem to admit, artists have moral obligations, then it stands to reason that the art they produce must be consistent with those moral obligations.

To say otherwise is to say that if, to use your example, a cook does something immoral like putting poison in the dish s/he prepares, the dish itself is morally neutral. Obviously a dish, being inanimate, can't make moral choices, but it was produced for an immoral purpose to further an immoral action.

Art that is produced for an immoral purpose, or that is produced in an immoral way, reflects the immoral actions of its producer. That's why a novel that is plagiarized, however well-written it may be in its own right, reflects the immoral actions of its writer.

Miker's comment was in response to my assertion that an artist adapting a piece of work created by another to a different medium owed a moral obligation to the original creator to show a modium of fidelity to the original work. In other words I was talking about the moral obligations of the artist. So it was reasonable to draw the inference, when Miker responded by saying "Art has no moral obligations," that he was talking about the producer of the art.


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