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Dear Gramps,

Our family got into a discussion on pornography — what is and what isn’t. David, the sculpture, is art, but Madonna’s book isn’t. Some art students are told they ‘need’ to take a class with nude models in order to be a ‘real’ artist and understand what art is about. How are we supposed to define what is art and what is pornography? Do we have any clear guidance?





Dear Leann,

The difference between pornography and art is easy to define. Art is that which ennobles and inspires with its use of form, composition and color, to produce aesthetic value. Pornography, on the other hand, according to the dictionary definition, is the depiction of erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement.

But it is also true that beauty [art] is in the eye of the beholder. One person may see a work of art as erotic in nature while another may be ennobled by the beauty of the scene. The eye sees only what the mind gives it power to see. If an unclean mind is bent on the perception of filth, it will be oblivious to beauty and perceive only filth, upon which it feeds. A sound mind will perceive things as they are, appreciating beauty where it exists and being offended by the unclean.






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