I just finished watching Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, and it was easily amongst the top five of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. I use the word "beautiful" because any other superlatives like "great" doesn't seem to reflect the aesthetic dimension. In fact, if the film had been entirely non-fictional and the cameras had captured real actual events of sexual torture, I would not think any differently of it. Does one's taste of the beautiful reflect upon the viewers morality and is that important? Is beauty more important than morality or vice versa?

I don't know the film , but on many accounts of beauty one should separate ideas of morality from those of aesthetic appreciation. We can often find something beautiful yet also disgusting, although it is not easy to keep these two responses separate from each other. This does not mean that beauty is more important than morality but that we can suspend our principles in one area when we are concentrating on the other. Often that involves concentrating on some aspect of the object while ignoring its wider implications, which would perhaps put it within some other and less agreeable context. It might be said that the more sophisticated one becomes aesthetically, the more one is able to dissociate judgments of beauty from those of morality.

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