Nor ought he to be worshipped under the representation of an corporeal thing.
As a blind man has no idea of colours, so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God precieves and understands all things.
Every soul that has perception is, though in different times and in different organs of sense and motion, still the same individual person.
Since every particle of space is always, and every indivisible moment of duration is everywhere, certainly the Maker and Lord of all things cannot be never and nowhere.
The true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being.
Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect, but a being, however perfect, without dominion, cannot be said to be ‘Lord God’.
He is wont to be called ‘Lord God’, παντοκρατωρ, or ‘Universal Ruler’; for ‘God’ is a relative word and has respect to servants.
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the councel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being
What, exactly, makes what is classified as a good piece of art? Many would argue that if one were to compare the works of Shakespeare alongside those of Britney Spears, the result would be that Shakespeare’s works are indeed art, whereas Spears’ would be entertainment for the masses. The website thephilosophersnet.com allows you to put this question to the test and see for yourself what the logical outcome of your decisions is.
Firstly, let us think of what the main components of art is. The website at hand displays these following criteria for a piece of art: The work displays great technical ability, the work is enjoyable, the work conveys the feelings of the artist, the work conveys an important moral lesson or helps us to live better lives, the formal features of the work are harmonious and/or beautiful, the work reveals an insight into reality. A problem arises from these categories though, which is that these are based on one’s own opinion. What is convenient about this website is that it allows you to rank each criterion on a scale of one to five based on how much you personally believe the criteria is relevant or important to how it contributes overall to the work of art. Then again, at the end of the day, the result that is generated about art is always one’s own opinion. And as it is commonly accepted, each individual shares a different opinion to the next.
Then, as is expected, the website asks of you to then rate the works of the two artists chosen from a list ranging, indeed, from Shakespeare to Britney Spears with all in between, against the criteria set, and against the importance that you had assigned to each of the criteria. Finally, it finishes the questionnaire with a question titled ‘Desert Island Delight’, and asks you to pick, if you were stranded on a desert island for twenty-four hours, which of the artists you would choose to take with you.
In my own opinion, I would choose to be stuck with the works of Shakespeare rather than those of Britney Spears. Following the criteria mentioned earlier, I will now explain my reasoning for this decision.
The first criteria is whether the works of the artist chosen display great technical ability. I know, first and foremost, even though Spears is a renowned performer, she is not more than that commonly. She does not write her own music, although occasionally for some tracks she does indeed co-write, but only in a minor way, perhaps tweaking a lyric, or throwing in a run here or there. She merely displays the ability to convey the piece of music, (what I believe to be the original piece of art), rather than creating it from the bottom up herself. Whereas with Shakespeare, it is widely accepted that he wrote the plays by his own hand; although there are instances of his actors taking advantage of the lack of copyright laws in that era and writing the play’s lines out as a group and publishing the play for their own profit (still under the name of Shakespeare), or even a recent conspiracy as to whether there really was a man named William Shakespeare and that he was the one indeed who wrote the plays, or if they were a group of people together. If that were the case, I would see the work of a different man, or many together, as working under a pseudonym or even under a band title. Still, the work that they produced was in fact their own creation devised through their technical ability, whereas with Spears she is simply performing a piece of work that is devised through another’s technical ability rather than her own.
The second criterion asks whether the works of the artist are enjoyable. Now, this is highly down to each individual’s opinion. In my opinion, although Spears songs are enjoyable, say, when you’re taking a shower and want to sing along to some catchy music, the delight I found in Shakespeare is somewhat more eternal than the momentary joy that I find in singing along to a familiar tune.
Thirdly, it asks whether the works of the artist convey his or her feelings. I think this is a rather badly worded question, and would like to point out that I believe that a piece of art conveys emotion; any emotion, not just that of the artist in the moment. Such as a painting, one might simply be meaning to convey the feeling of depression through paint, rather than actually being depressed themselves. Nonetheless, this goes back to the initial writing of the work. Although Spears ultimately decides which songs she shall perform, they are not her own words, and therefore not her own emotions or past experience with emotion. Whereas with Shakespeare, all of the works were of the same source, as apparent through writing style, and therefore are based on the writer’s own experience with emotion.
Next, it asks if the works of the artist convey important moral lessons. Although I again think that this is not a very important aspect of an artistic work, I believe that Shakespeare has much more to say in the department of important moral lessons than Spears. Shakespeare writes of friendships and families, love and insanity, and everything in between, whereas most of Spears’ music is concerned with lustrous activities and the pursuit of them.
The website also asks if the formal features of the work are harmonious and/or beautiful. I assume that what it means to ask is that if the artist is a musician, if their music sounds good, or if a painter their work displays a profound aesthetic. I would like to say, that although Spears does churn out a good party anthem, and does in fact include harmonies in the music she produces (to take the question literally), it is in the works of Shakespeare the harmony and beauty come together. From the beauty of the poetry and rhyme scheme in much of his work, including his sonnets, and from the clear imagery that those who understand the words he uses creates, Shakespeare again demonstrates through my criteria that he is a superior artist to Spears.
The final criterion asked of on the website is whether the works of the artist reveal an insight into reality. This is a very interesting criterion, in my point of view. This is considering that I see that both artists at hand show an insight in to what is known as reality, although in significantly different ways. As aforementioned, Spears demonstrates a very knowledgeable insight into human desire and necessity, and very common human emotions and situations which mostly convey relationship status and the forming and breaking of thereof. In Shakespeare, a wider array of realistic insight is demonstrated. In his plays and sonnets the theme human desire and relationship status is indeed present, although he does explore many more topics, such as insanity, power struggle, mayhem and chaos, discrimination and exploitation. So, once again, Shakespeare dominates over Spears in another of the criterion presented by the website.
In conclusion, based on my analysis of both Shakespeare and Spears in relation to the criteria given, it can be safely said that in my own opinion, Shakespeare is the superior artist. But, again, this is my own opinion. True art cannot be exactly defined due to its nature to be interpreted differently from person to person. This boils down to our very human characteristic to be different and hold different opinions to those around us. Each individual is exactly that; individual, and therefore an accurate knowledge of what art really is can never be attained.
 http://allmusic.com/album/baby-one-more-time-r384763/review “Allmusic”, 2012. Accessed 16.4.12
“ http://shakespeareauthorship.com/howdowe.html”, “How We Know That Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare: The Historical Facts”, Tom Reedy and David Kathman, 2011
 “http://www.philosophersnet.com/games/britney_spears.php,” “The Philosopher’s Magazine (TPM)”, 2010. Accessed 16.4.12
Episode One – Australasia and the Pacific Ring of Fire
Episode Two – The Far East
Episode Three – Africa
Episode Four – The Middle East
Episode Five – USA
Episode Six – India
Episode Seven – Latin America
Episode Eight – Europe
She did not cry at his funeral. She watched them parade his body into the ground, say a final few words that she didn’t hear, and finally begin to shovel the dirt on to his sleek, black coffin. She stood as the crowd dispersed, watching as the lonely man carried out his job. Her lips were settled in a small, quirky smile as he left. Her reflection was crisp in the shine of the fresh tombstone. She has plans for you, John. Your death will be the beginning of an enlightenment within the scientific community. She stroked her hand gently across her abdomen. Even now, John. Even now you’re with me. Growing.
No thought is original. We all began to snowball, even from the earliest days spent at the bottom of the ocean; friendly patches of slime. Someone has the idea to keep the cell it divides into. And the others follow suit, as many believe, guided by something that binds them all together. Something that transcends what is known as reality. And from that initial spark, our ideas grew and blossomed; we are continually inspired by each other, in ideas and in evolution. The development of the physical portrayal of souls. This reflects in art today. With writers and painters, theatre practitioners. They are all inspired by someone, whether they know it or not.
But how do we know what is real? How do we know that our thoughts are really our own thoughts? Perhaps because I am, right now, as I write, challenging the credibility of thought is what makes it uniquely mine. Because if someone was controlling what I am now thinking, wouldn’t I not be able to challenge the thought?
This man is genuinely incredible. As I was revising for my upcoming first-year exams in my World Religions course, my teacher sent me a link to an episode of Jones’s ‘Around the World in 80 Faiths’. Upon seeing the title is a pun off of Verne’s novel, I was incredibly excited to see what this was all about. So far I have only watched the first hour-length episode, which I enjoyed immensely. It is an exploration of faiths in Australia and the Pacific Ring of Fire. This entails different mixtures of tradition and religion in Christianity and Islam, as well as a glimpse into Wicca, and also a faith which struck me as very interesting, which is John Frum.
Now, I think I have found something that I genuinely care to explore in my life. Archaeology has always been a passion of mine, but recently, since my experience in my World Religions class, I have realised that more of my interest lies in philosophy and religious study. Also, my incessant need to travel and my itch for exploration were awakened whilst watching this man’s documentary. Perhaps this is something that I want to do in my future; discover different philosophies and cultures, customs and faiths around the world. Perhaps write a book. Or perhaps… I always find that whatever path of life I am interested in somehow morphs into me ending up a professor.
I highly recommend watching this documentary, the first episode of which can be found here.