Art and Ethics

Art and Ethics

a) Artists should not be limited by questions of ethics.
b) Ethical considerations should not limit the methods used by artists.

In response to both of these claims, I believe that art should be limited by the question of ethics. Art explores into our humanity, our psychology and emotional behavior. Art can explore into these aspects in a variety of way without the need of bringing controversy such as harming animals or abusing them for the sake of art. Some may argue that the sciences conducts animal testing for medical purposes, and since art also explores knowledge, it should gain the same right. However, it is important to understand that the sciences only conduct animal testing to ensure that the medicine created is safe for human consumption and use. The purpose is to sustain human life and to prevent diseases. Art on the other hand, does not handle with the matter of life of death with humans, which is why art should be bounded by ethics. The life of others should not be a tool used to express emotions.

Taking a look at the example of Nathalia Edenmont and Damien Hirst’s work, it incorporates the use of dead animals. The message was very powerful because of this, but the means of achieving it was unnecessary. It was possible to achieve the same message without needing lives to be sacrificed. Showcasing these type of artwork only promotes poaching and killing animal for sport, which only limits our ability to further knowledge as species goes extinct, contradicting the goal of art to spread knowledge in different mediums. The sciences never promote the act of testing animals and scientists would not conduct animal testing if there were a better alternative. 

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