We can detect objective beauty…

Despite varying tastes, disagreements, and gray areas, we can detect objective beauty in the world. To reduce beauty to mere subjective judgments (“beauty is in the eye of the beholder”) is clearly false and counterintuitive. Consider obvious, staggering examples of beauty: New England’s fall foliage, Brazil’s Iguazu Falls, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the Minnesota- Ontario border—or, more generally, crashing ocean waves, tropical sunsets, evergreen forests, glacial lakes, rugged mountains, new-fallen snow in the countryside, starry skies, deep canyons, coral reefs. Then consider the contrasts: a pile of tennis shoes or a junkyard. Furthermore, beautiful scientific theories aren’t subjective; this is evidenced by their yielding fruitful, accurate predictions. Additionally, art appreciators know people can be trained or attuned to detect and grasp subtle beauty and elegance—just as logic and humility are needed to grasp and appreciate philosophical and theological truths

Paul Copan, from Loving Wisdom, kindle location 1386

Is something “beautiful” just because…

In an age of egalitarianism and relativism, it is easier than ever to regard matters of taste as wholly private and personal. I like Bach, you like Bon Jovi, praise the Lord anyhow. But is aesthetic judgment purely a subjective and neutral matter? Is “beauty” exclusively in the eye of the beholder? Is something “beautiful” just because I like it, or does it have some objective quality rooted in creation that allows me to recognize that it is beautiful?

Kenneth Myers, from All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes, kindle location 1147

Beauty is not only in the eye of…

Beauty is in the eye (or ear or imagination) of the beholder in that one identifies it and (ideally) responds to it in a particular way that is fitting. But beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder. The act of aesthetic judgment is a judgment of something outside myself, which I take to possess certain qualities, whether it be a painting, a sculpture or a musical performance.

Douglas Groothuis, from Truth Decay, p. 257