Sunday, July 8, 2007

Things valuable in themselves

Lydia McGrew at Right Reason ponders things that are of value in themselves; things that have no utilitarian or political purpose but are simply beautiful and true. She invites each of us to create our own list. Christians argue that such things are instances of God's overwhelming grace, and would suppose that an answer to her second question [below] would have to do with valuing these things inordinately [for themselves, perhaps?].
There is something peculiarly satisfying about certain human activities and the accomplishments of human art and endeavour. There is also something uniquely valuable about good things that come to us as gifts without the exercise of any special skill of our own. In Part II, I plan to raise the more disturbing question, "How does a dedication to things valuable in themselves become corrupted, or how can it corrupt the person so dedicated?"

But for now, here are a few, a very few, of my favorite intrinsically valuable things:
the music of Bach

the paintings of Vermeer

"The Winter's Tale"

savoury beef stew with orange peel

the Book of Common Prayer

the Spanish Riding School


a human child

a little girl's hair

a clean house

a tough and interesting proof

a cardinal
Right Reason: Raindrops on Roses

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