Some people will vehemently (perhaps this is you) defend that art has nothing to do with morality. I'm reminded of the quote from Oscar Wilde's preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray. "There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all." Now, I think this is a dangerous position to hold, but I understand what this person is protecting. Generally, when you defend that art has no connection to morality, you've encountered one of two things, maybe both. Either you were told that a book that had moved you was a pagan piece of garbage because it contained some mature elements, or you were subjected to some hideous painting, movie, or song that was acclaimed because it taught good morals. For example...
While this whole discussion could become messy, to give a simple answer, I would argue that art has at least some connection with morality. Whenever we start using words like ought or should, we're often treading on ethical ground. Any discussion of banned books is a great example of how art and morality do interact. Children shouldn't be reading Catcher in the Rye. It's wrong to censor or ban art. Art has tremendous social impact, but those who argue against its social and moral effects do so because most attempts to explain these effects ends up diminishing what art is all about. At this point, I should tell you what art is all about, but I don't know that I can. While most people would agree that art teaches some form of truth, they would be hard-pressed to explain why art's truth is different from say, a sermon, and why that difference is important.
In "The Relevance of the Beautiful," Hans-Georg Gadamer discusses the origins of art as worship. When we look back at the Greeks, we often look at their statues and their architecture as works of art, but this misses
While I can give little in the way of a definitive answer, I think this contentious relationship between art and morality (or art and culture) arose from this movement from worship to sensation. At one time, art had both a social function and a sphere of operations that was greater than man himself. As someone who still worships a real, personal God, I see no reason why we couldn't retrieve this view. But what do you think? Is it possible or right to view art as a social object, an object meant to aid worship?