Is Beauty Good?

"What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness."

Is Beauty Good?

Let's question this thought; is beauty inherently good?

"What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness."
—Leo Tolstoy

Beauty is inherently good because it truly is in the eye of the beholder. No thing is beautiful on its own. Any thing gains the quality of being beautiful in the mind of the observer, the spectator. Once a thing is found beautiful by a mind, then that unique link of beauty, between the thing and the mind is what's good, or positive.

The thing itself is neither good nor bad, beautiful nor displeasing. But in its rapport to an eye, a soul, in that emotional quality, it is interpreted as being found beautiful. And it is that interpretation, dependant on the thing and the beholder, that can be deemed as good.

So there is no such thing as a single universal good beauty. The beauty is individual to all things and the good only exists in the link between a thing and an eye.

It could be argued that the positive feeling of experiencing beauty in itself is universal, in that the emotion I feel when I find a thing beautiful is similar to the emotion you feel in a like context. What's universal is that finding beauty, in a general sense, is a positive feeling.

What isn't universal is the beauty itself. Anything can be beautiful to anyone. And the beauty lives exclusively in that connection, that interaction. A lot of things can be found beautiful by a lot of people simultaneously, but it is never everyone. So beauty isn't universal.

However, I think it is fair to say that beauty is inherently good, it just isn't universal.

But then are all universal things supposed to be inherently good? Not at all. Nature reserves all sorts of negative things and events for us, and always has. But I think it's fair to assume that all beauty is goodness. It is far from being a delusion.

Beauty is good because it is true. And truth is good, right?

This is truth