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TOK presentation

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Clara Lam

on 26 November 2013

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Transcript of TOK presentation

Real Life Situation:
Brief summary of RLS:

-An anti-Islam film--> sparked protests and attacks across parts of the Middle East, Africa and Asia, --> more than 28 people have died.

-What does the film show?
depict Islam as a religion of violence and hate
Prophet Muhammad as a foolish and power-hungry man
killers, looters and extortionists
the sexual abuse of children
he is gay

-The director and producer of the movie is still unclear

-Why is it so offensive?
defies Islamic belief
satirising Muhammad

What has it caused?
-protests and attacks on embassies and schools, resulting in multiple deaths.
Extracting Knowledge issue from Real life situation:

Can art be judged ethically?

OUR Definition of terms
What is Art?
man-made, with skills, have to cause emotional response

What is ethics?
The study of what is "right" or what is "wrong" or what is "good" or what is "bad".

"Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace." -Oscar Wilde
Related KI:
Is it unethical for a piece of art to induce negative feelings in audience?
Culture (affects emotions)
Related KI:
How do we judge whether the production of art is ethical?
Related KI:
Culture/ Religion
How do we judge whether the message of the art is ethical or not?
Applying our reflection back to our RLS
Extending our reflections to OTHER REAL LIFE situations:
Nature of Logic and its application
Nature of Emotions and its application
Our personal view
Muslim's view
Other's view
The film is just wrong! It's a sign of insult! Blasphemy! Disrespect!
The film is unethical because it has hurt other's feelings and made people unhappy. It has brought severe consequences.
but why do we have different views on a piece of art?
How have we arrived at our views?
- using different ways of knowing to develop our view
- Discuss does Art has any ethical implication?
- if yes, what is an ethical piece of artwork?
Muslims' view:
"The film, which is denouncing and insulting the Prophet Muhammad, is wrong, and to be frank, repulsive."

Religion and culture and emotions
Back to the anti-Islam film.

If we agree that we can judge the film ethically.

what responses it has induced in its audience. Was this intentional?

How have various parties come to their views on the film?
reasons? emotions? Did religion and culture affect us?
example: There's a children murderer in Britain named Hindley. an artist made a huge portrait of Hindley using children hand prints. The piece of art was put on display in the Art gallery.
More people in Britain may find the piece of Art unethical.
IT'S A LOCAL MURDERER that killed our children!

We're in Hong Kong.

Bertrand Russell:
"I can only say that while my own opinions as to ethics do not satisfy me, other people's satisfy me even less"
"I can't believe that the only thing wrong with wanton cruelty is that I don't like it"

someone else thinks:
a moral and educative role.

provokes emotions

broadens our awareness that there are other equally valid perspectives in the world
the Citralaksana of Nagnajit:
"The face should be divided into three parts, forehead, nose and chin, each of which should measure four digits. The width of the face is given as the total of 14 digits; the upper and lower parts of the face amount to 12 digits in width; on the grounds of this measurement, the length of the face is taken to be 12 digits."
-if the sculpture of a face is to be regarded as beautiful, these are the dimensions.
In art
In ethics
In ethics
In art
-Does Art have to induce an emotional response?
-emotions help us to appreciate Art.
"This piece of art angers me. How can they make a portrait of a murderer? It's just wrong."
Other KIs attached to this:
Audience have different interpretations of what the message of the art is.
Is the piece of art still considered an unethical piece of art if the audience perceives the message of the art to be so even though the artist did not intend to give such a message? INTENTION
I think the film is just a piece of art. It is fine. Why should we consider the ethical issue behind it?
Some people's view:

Judged purely on its aesthetic value

Only appreciate its aesthetic value
To what extent should we consider Art's ethical implication?
Can art be ethical?
Does art have a moral and educative role?
If art can be judged ethically, meaning that we should consider art's ethical implications, then what is an ethical piece of art?

Duty ethics:

Imannuel Kant.
It is your duty and your obligation to do certain things.
Focuses on intention of actions.
-imagine if everyone did the same thing, then what would happen to the world?
so what ways of knowing do we use when we judge whether the art is ethical or not?
Use logic once we have established moral principles

It's more reliable to use logic and follow the established moral principles.
If we depend on emotions --> moral principles are too fluctuating
"I can't believe that the only thing wrong with wanton cruelty is that I don't like it" --Bertrand Russell
"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike." --Oscar Wilde
gut feeling and intuition
This emotional intuition is affected by culture

moral relativism
We have different moral principles and they are determined by the society we grow up in.
culture really affects our moral principles.

cultural background of the audience heavily affects their emotional intuitions and whether he or she thinks the piece of art is ethical or not
we personally think that emotions play the bigger role.
How do we use logic or emotions to judge whether something about a piece of art is ethical or not
following Kant's duty of ethics
"You shouldn't go out of your way to hurt people, that much is obvious. However, you cannot try to prevent people from offending others, because offense can be taken at anything. Self-censorship at the expense of the message has no place in any creative, political, or intellectual medium."--Perpetual Sigh
following utilitarianism
Another related KI:
-Apart from its ability to please, should an art also be valued for its ability to shock or disgust?

-Is it not true that the artistic value lie in the art's ability to provoke feelings, good or bad?
A woman killed her own cat by snapping its neck and made the cat into her handbag. It was not illegal because she did it in the name of "Art"
Personally, as animal lovers, we find this barbaric and sick.

"That's outrageous and unethical."
Once again, our culture and beliefs affect why we think this piece of art is unethical.
If we had been raised in a society where it is fine to kill animals and make them into furniture or clothes, we wouldn't think it is unethical.
We can use logic to judge whether this is ethical or not by following the moral principles set out by duty ethics or utilitarianism.
The art collective Gran Fury made public art projects. This one features same-sex and interracial couples
Once again, use duty ethics and utilitarianism's moral principles. adhere to them and use logic to make moral-judgements.
"I think it is fine"

"I don't like it."

"Yuck, that's so wrong."
Once again, our culture and religion and believes etc. affects whether we think the message of this piece of art is ethical or not
People in the US:
The film is not unethical. We are allowed freedom of speech and freedom and religion.

Culture and emotions.
Our view:
It has hurt people and made people unhappy.

We came to this view using a combination of culture values, reason and emotional intuitions.

Can art be judged ethically?
Aim is to maximise the world's happiness.
Focuses on the consequences of actions.
Different theories of ethics that helps establish different moral principles:
If we mostly use emotions/gut feelings to judge whether a piece of art is ethical, what affects our gut feeling?

Components of a piece of art
1. the emotional response it induces
2. its production
3. its message
"People have gut feelings that give them emphatic moral convictions, and they struggle to rationalize them after the fact" -- Steven Pinker, author of "The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature"
Symbol of Knowledge
and how we don't sleep to think about TOK
Full transcript