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If art is made for those who share the same values, is it okay to like a movie like Avatar? I may like the movie, but I DEFINATELY disagree with its message. Am I betraying my values to like a movie with different values?

asked Dec 26 '11 at 22:07

Collin1's gravatar image



If you appreciate the skill with which a movie was made, you are responding to the competence of the artist. The message is a separate issue. One can disagree with a movie's message while recognizing the quality of the work. There is no betrayal, but such works of art may leave one with negative emotions as a reaction to values that oppose those one holds.

(Dec 29 '11 at 12:34) Donovan Donovan's gravatar image

There's an interesting premise in this question: that you can choose what you like.

Can you choose whether you like to eat steak?

I must admit I like the movie "Fight Club" even though many aspects of it disgust me, especially its nihilism. I find the film terribly funny, technically amazing, and well-acted.

What would be immoral would be to make an unqualified recommendation of a film which you like with qualifications.

It would also be immoral to be dishonest about what you like.

I think many people also watch films without thinking about them very much -- so they end up liking a film for very superficial reasons, and recommending it to friends, without realizing that there are good reasons not to recommend the film to anyone. I consider such to be an immoral lapse of rationality.

You cannot directly choose what you like. You can choose what you come to know, and you can choose whether or not to let your new knowledge affect your desires. If you blank out your new knowledge, thus protecting your tastes from revision, you lack integrity.

If you recommend a film just because everybody else likes it, then you lack independence.

If you like a film for the wrong reasons such as: "Avatar really did a great job portraying large corporations as evil." then you lack justice, and perhaps honesty.

answered Dec 30 '11 at 17:30

John%20Paquette's gravatar image

John Paquette ♦

Remember that value is relational to an individual's life, and whether something is valuable depends on its relationship towards that end. Value is neither static nor arbitrary, but rather depends on what the thing is and how it affects a person.

In Mr. Paquette's answer, he rightly points out that it takes an active and rational mind to determine what is of value. If certain aspects of Avatar bring joy and otherwise life-enhancing affects upon your life, then the movie is of value to you.

answered Dec 30 '11 at 18:38

JK%20Gregg's gravatar image

JK Gregg ♦

Watch out for emotionalism. Just because something brings you joy, that doesn't make it a value. Doing terrible things might bring a person joy. Emotions are not a standard of value.

(Jan 09 '12 at 17:38) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image

Is it okay to like a movie with a socialist message?

Yes. You can like part of something; there's no moral or ethical requirement to like everything about it.

answered Jan 08 '12 at 04:20

Rick's gravatar image

Rick ♦

The idea of "ok to like" rubs me the wrong way. Morality concerns action, not emotion. Feeling guilty about liking something is a dead end. Instead, be curious about why you like something which reason tells you is not a value. And be wary about following desires which are irrational. Don't trash yourself for what you like. Just, if you do like something, don't promote it or pursue it blindly.

(Jan 09 '12 at 17:30) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image

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Asked: Dec 26 '11 at 22:07

Seen: 1,283 times

Last updated: Jan 09 '12 at 17:38