Social Question

grntwlkr's avatar

Which music is morally worse to listen to: violent music written by a peaceful person, or peaceful music written by a violent person?

Asked by grntwlkr (179points) February 9th, 2010

one of my friends was disgusted when they found out i was listening to an album by Charles Manson. The music is non violent even with themes of love. Do you think this is worse than listening to a song about hurting people, which was written by a non violent person?

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47 Answers

rangerr's avatar

Why do either of them have to be considered bad?

odali's avatar

No music is morally wrong to listen to. I didn’t realize that Charles Manson wrote music,I’d like to hear it; it could be interesting. If you act out the actions depicted in the violent music, that could be morally wrong, but just the action of listening to music could never be morally wrong.

syz's avatar

What does listening to music have to do with morals?

odali's avatar

Also, Hitler listened to a lot of Classical. Does that make it morally wrong to listen to Classical?

lilikoi's avatar

@rangerr My thought exactly.

Shae's avatar

The music itself is not the problem, the problem your friend probably has, is why would you seek out the music of a murderous mad man?

grntwlkr's avatar

@shae I’ll ask you this: what is wrong with seeking out* the music of a murderous mad man?, especially since the music is peacfull.

odali's avatar

Also, in Charles Manson’s case – writing music could have been a form of sublimation for him. If he kept writing music like this, perhaps what he had done would not have been done.

Shae's avatar

@grntwlkr really depends on your purpose and state of mind. If you are researching who the person is and why they became what they were then no problem.

If you love music and just happen to come across it, no problem.

But if you are an anti social person with anger issues who is looking for a role model, then I would be worried about you.

For example I worked with a guy that one day wanted to tell me about the great ideas he read in Mien Kampf. I knew this guy was on the edge and looking for something to grad a hold of. So his seeking out that kind of book was scary as hell to me.

Val123's avatar

Made me think of “Beth” by KISS.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

It’s not morally wrong unless it’s bad violent/nonviolent music

rangerr's avatar

@Mike_Hunt And who is the judge of that?

Steve_A's avatar

It does seem some people are more obsessed with the person behind than music than the actual music….I guess one might assume that the music must represent them in some shape way or form.Specially if the music has lyrics.

But than you have to ask yourself what is music?

The point I am trying to get is it’s not relevant the devil himself could create music, If I liked it I would listen to it.Nothing changes….

and who says it would be satanic? it could be the most lovely and relaxing music known to man.

I think really in this case, he went off the reputation of this person or in your case Charles Manson which is logical to assume.

Its not the music(excluding lyrical content I suppose) but that his reputation,Charles Manson precedes himself in such, it created a ideal that his music be evil,bad, “morally wrong” because of who is.

And if your listening to it, they or your friend may think differently of you. Just off that…

iphigeneia's avatar

I struggle to find anything morally wrong with listening to any sort of music.

with the exception of Arthur Ewing and his musical mice, but those sorts of acts are rare these days

drClaw's avatar

The answer is… Polka

Just say “No”

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I think a lot of people would change their answers on this if the lyrics included racism, sexism, or some other such atrocity. Some lyrics are just too profane or disgusting to be heard. Some “music” is immoral.

In your situation I think both options are bad. One has violent lyrics (why?), and the other was written by a “man” who was pure evil. Personally I would listen to neither just out of principal.

But as with most topics, my opinions are probably not the norm.

Steve_A's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater I agree on the lyrics point.

rangerr's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater So just because the music was written by a “bad man”, that makes it bad? Wow.

iphigeneia's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater I disagree that some lyrics are ‘just too profane or disgusting to be heard.’ There may be something immoral about writing those sorts of lyrics with a view to encourage aggression or discrimination in others, but there is nothing morally wrong with any piece of art as it stands, and without a given context surely it is not immoral to experience art.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I can see everyone is out to shatter my opinion again. xD

Look, you are all welcome to your opinion.. please allow me that luxury as well.

Steve_A's avatar

Well really its just going to come down to the person, and whether or not they think or feel that its morally wrong.

Is it morally wrong to listen to any music, regardless of the content, lyrics,and composer? I say no.

But thats not everyone.

HTDC's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater I agree with your answer.

@iphigeneia ”...but there is nothing morally wrong with any piece of art as it stands,...”

So even if the lyrics speak of violent acts, racism, sexism, possibly even paedophilia, it’s okay because it is considered art? One thing that annoys me is that music like that can be considered art just because it is an expression of someone, so therefore it can’t be morally wrong. It’s the same with photographing naked children and claiming that it is art. The word “art” is just a term used to cover up or excuse whatever it was that was created.

Steve_A's avatar

Like this shit….I don’t like it or get it, it’s racist music….I sure as hell don’t agree with it.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@rangerr You’ll notice that I didn’t say anything of the quality of Manson’s music. For me “the principal” has very little to do with his music. It has to do with absolutely any show of support for such a ghastly creature as Charles Manson.

To me it’s nothing but a sweet piece of candy on top of a pile of dog crap. I’m not willing to look past the dog crap.

That said, everyone is welcome to as much candy as they want… dog crap or no.

josie's avatar

It is not immoral to passively listen to anything. Morality is used to determine action or decide on inaction

iphigeneia's avatar

@HTDC Actually, I see nothing wrong with photographing naked children in the name of art. However, my point was that there can be nothing immoral with words or music or a picture by itself: there may be something immoral in the creation of these things, but things cannot be immoral, only actions can.

grntwlkr's avatar

@josie listining is an action

life_after_2012's avatar

i would say the peaceful man making violent music.

HTDC's avatar

@iphigeneia So by that logic, rape isn’t immoral until somebody actually does it? Or racism isn’t immoral until somebody does it?

iphigeneia's avatar

@HTDC Maybe I should have elaborated more. The examples I gave (words, music, pictures) are more or less tangible: by things I don’t mean just nouns, but things that can be seen or heard.

Racism has no physical form, though once it is expressed in actions such as believing, thinking or supporting racist ideas or carrying out racist acts, those actions are fair game for being called immoral.

Similarly, rape has no sensation (I’m sorry if that seems terribly crude, just trying not to repeat the same words here) until somebody thinks about or performs rape. ‘Rape’ and ‘racism’ as concepts by all means can be called immoral, but a painting or song or poem that depicts them is no less morally responsible than a streetlamp or teacup.

JONESGH's avatar

music isn’t morally wrong to listen to.

the100thmonkey's avatar

What about Michael Jackson’s music?

Gimme some of that paedophile disco!

HTDC's avatar

@iphigeneia But aren’t the words themselves, even without physical form, immoral because they represent a concept that is certainly immoral? Maybe I’m thinking too hard about it.

iphigeneia's avatar

@HTDC You mean words like the ones you suggested above, ‘rape’ and ‘racism’? I don’t think so, they’re just words. It’s kind of like how the number 666 is not to blame for being the devil’s number (not a perfect example, as it has other uses as well, I’m aware).

Nah, I don’t mind it. There’s nothing quite like being forced to make a solid argument to make you feel like you’re actually doing work when what you really should be doing is the ironing!

HTDC's avatar

@iphigeneia What I mean to say is; even though someone hasn’t performed the act of rape or hasn’t been racist to another person, the actual concept and idea of it is still immoral.

Lmao, yep, all these intellectually stimulating conversations are hard to resist. :D

Berserker's avatar

I don’t think any music is necessarily bad if it’s honest, even if the intent is bad. Wait wut.

Trillian's avatar

I really don’t get these either or questions. Why does it have to be either this or that?

josie's avatar

@grntwlkr If you expose your senses to the outside world, you can not help but see, hear, taste etc. The action would be to mechanically or chemically block your senses.

john65pennington's avatar

CHUCK IT ALL…....then put on a cd by Chuck Berry and live a little.

odali's avatar

What I think is morally wrong is to throw some form of art or accomplishment of any kind under the bus because of the person’s character who created it. If we did that we could find a character flaw in a facet of anything and everything that we have. Humans have flaws. Big or small. That’s what makes us human. To undermine the beauty that someone brings to this world simply because they have also brought pain and destruction is to undermine humanity as a whole.

Shae's avatar

There are many artists I do not support financially. I don’t think it is immoral of me to choose where my money goes. Mel Gibson will never get a dollar of mine. Woody Allen gets nothing too. Might be the most beautiful thing ever created by man but Frakk it, I don’t like them.

cbloom8's avatar

Music should never be considered morally bad or bad for any matter. It should simply be music – an artistic expression.

plethora's avatar

I had no idea there was a moral connotation to listening to any music. Some of it sucks, some of it doesnt. I, personally, like “All My Ex’s Live in Texas”....:) Gives me a good feeling.

Nullo's avatar

We often think that violence is necessarily bad, and it isn’t.
Braining someone and taking his wallet is bad. But clobbering a man intent on murdering his wife is good.
I’d say that the peaceful music is the healthier of the two.

Druidblue's avatar

I’m afraid there’s a flaw in the question.

There is not one set list of “morality”. Morals differ between every individual. While some morals are shared universally, others are not- and even if thousands believe one way and one person another, that does not nullify that one person’s stance, as their opinion and view regarding abstract notions such as morality is by default no greater or lesser than anyone else’s view.

Therefore, to some, both would be immoral. To others, one or the other. To yet others, neither. And all of those would be correct.

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