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elbanditoroso's avatar

If you were blind and suddenly got your sight, how would you know what is beautiful and what is ugly?

Asked by elbanditoroso (24301points) December 13th, 2017

Since you wouldn’t have a previous visual frame of reference, how would you know?

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20 Answers

rojo's avatar

What about if it occurred the other way, if you suddenly lost your sight would you “view” ugly in the same light?

I guess what I am trying to say is that beauty, and ugly, are subjective.

flutherother's avatar

At first, could you even tell a circle from a square?

MrGrimm888's avatar

I think everything would be beautiful.

kritiper's avatar

At first, people would be telling you, and then you would have to decide for yourself after hearing differences of opinions.

funkdaddy's avatar

There are things that are visually pleasing, nearly universally, and that would be true even if viewing them was new to you. Sunsets where everything lights up spectacularly come to mind.

Ugly is a tougher word, because it’s an opinion. But visually jarring things would still be unsettling on some level.

By the time you need someone to tell you what’s ugly and beautiful, you’re slicing things really thin.

I think if you were seeing for the first time, the things that would jump out compared to an average adult would be all the beautiful things we take for granted because they’re so common. All the lights and shiny objects by the millions that we’re surrounded by all day.

Someone seeing those for the first time would probably find more beauty than we do.

Zaku's avatar


One of the least false truisms is “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Beauty is what a person finds beautiful. Experience not required. It might be different from other people’s judgements, but that is arbitrary and does not matter.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You wouldn’t.

For some reason this memory popped into my head. My baby was about 6 months old. We were at a thrift store and some homeless-looking black guy tried to interact with her. It was fine with me, but my baby didn’t particularly care for strangers being in her face and she started crying.
The guy said, “Oh, she doesn’t like black people, does she.”
Left me seriously scratching my head. What??
Attractive / ugly are pretty much what we are taught, although I do think there are spontaneous reactions to certain things, like a pretty woman or handsome man, that are attractive at an instinctive level. By the same token there are things we recoil from at an instinctive level, like death.

imrainmaker's avatar

It will totally depend on the person what he / she thinks is beautiful and vice versa. I’m not sure if it would be more beautiful than the picture of outside world they might have imagined in their mind or not!!

janbb's avatar

I wouldn’t ask Picasso, that’s for sure!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Did you mean Van Gough?

janbb's avatar

No – I didn’t mean Van Gogh. His paintings are beautiful in my eyes; which I guess illustrates the premise.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I stand corrected. Picasso is the one that does all the weird faces and stuff.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Dutchess_III – but Van Gogh cut off his ear. At least I didn’t ask a question about hearing !

funkdaddy's avatar

Maybe you meant Dali? ~

Dutchess_III's avatar

They were all nutz.

chinchin31's avatar

It would just be a feeling. E.g my baby has a toy that i can tell he thinks is ugly. He always squints his face and pushes it away. I think as human beings it is natural to feel uncomfortable around things that are foreign to us but the more we are exposed to them the more some but not all things do not seem ugly. I think this is how racism and other predjuduces start but the difference is that God made us with reason and intellect and after using our brains over time we realise that beauty is a very subjective thing .

funkdaddy's avatar

Dali made me think of his Meditative Rose last night, which I take as a commentary on beauty and it’s place in the world.

I think someone with fresh sight would know beauty when they saw it. Ugly might need to be learned.

janbb's avatar

^^ Dali was a master at technique.

Inspired_2write's avatar

To a blind person who regains his sight everything is beautiful because he can now see the light.

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