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Art, the Sacred, and Ethics – Option B: Art and Ethics

Art, the Sacred, and Ethics – Option B: Art and Ethics

Art, the Sacred, and Ethics – Option B: Art and Ethics

When should an artist follow ethics, values, or rules?

Artists should follow ethics if they want their work to be appropriate and suitable for society and the established moral standards. Art and morality tend to be associated, particularly in the art that disturbs and provokes. How a society judges art has a lot to do with their beliefs and ethical standards. The judgments of works that artists create have a lot to do with society’s value determination in specific historical times. Consequently, if artists are considerate of society’s moral standards, their art is most likely to be accepted by society. As long as they can effectively deliver their intended message and at the same time observe the laid out societal ethics, then they should follow the ethics.

When should an artist challenge ethics, values, or rules?

The association between art and ethics has been at the forefront of various current controversies regarding art (Gaut, 2001). Challenging ethics should be done if necessary. Therefore, artists should challenge ethics if they hinder their freedom of expression. As much as artists may be willing to follow ethics, some may not allow them to express or pass a particular message, and as such, they should challenge them.

To what extent should artists be responsible for the impact of their art?

Artists should be moderately responsible for the impact of their art. Once art is presented in its raw condition, the artist should then be accountable for what follows, but not entirely. This is because art tends to be subjective (Blood, P, and Sachant, P, n.d.). In other words, it is interpreted and received by many people in diverse ways. People have different interpretations of what is ethical and unethical. Art being subjective means that it is susceptible to moral judgment and even more vulnerable if a society does not have a historical comprehension of the art to appreciate it.


Blood, P and Sachant, P. (n.d.). “11. Art and ethics” in “Introduction to art: Design, context, and meaning” on OpenALG

Gaut, B. (2001). Art and ethics. The Routledge companion to aesthetics, 341-352.


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Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, read Chapters 10 and 11, and explore the following:

Hagia Sophia: 3D Virtual Tour
Stonehenge Virtual Tour: Inside the Stones
NOVA Online Adventure: Pyramids: Khufu
360° / VR (4k) Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo in Rome, Italy
360 VR Tour | Florence | Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower | Santa Maria del Fiore | Inside
Hindu Temples
The Sun Stone (The Calendar Stone)
The Stupa video
Select one option from the two listed below:

Option A: Art and the Sacred

Select a work of art or architecture with a religious purpose or which engages the sacred in some way.

Art the Sacred and Ethics – Option B-Art and Ethics

Art the Sacred and Ethics – Option B-Art and Ethics

You can find works of art in the textbook, a website listed on the ART101 Museum and Images Website document, one of the assigned virtual reality videos, or visit your local museum.

Your work of art should be one that you have not already examined elsewhere in this class, with the exception of the Week 3 assignment.

Answer all relevant prompts, you may skip prompts that do not apply to your chosen work:

Provide the title, artist, date, and place of the work, embedding an image if possible.
Explain the purpose the work served in ritual or religious life.
Discuss the functional, symbolic, and material components in the work.
Discuss how the work engages with religious ideas or beliefs and what the work conveys in terms of human relationships with the cosmos or the divine.
Describe any reactions to the work, or connections to the work that you feel.
Option B: Art and Ethics

What is the relationship between art and ethics? Consider the following:

When should an artist follow ethics, values, or rules?
When should an artist challenge ethics, values, or rules?
To what extent should artists be responsible for the impact of their art?

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