When I’m caught in the ice-breaking conversation of music interests, I usually dismiss the topic with the following disclaimer:  “I have a really bad taste in music.”  (Pardon the self-defeating nature of this statement:  could someone really find their own preferences distasteful?)

By this disclaimer, I intend to communicate two things.  First, many of my preferred musicians are not particularly well-known.  Second, I listen to a variety of music, ranging from classical to bluegrass to alternative rock.  (But, excluding all things rap; sorry.)

Often, people will ask where Christian music fits in on my continuum of musical preferences.  The question probably needs some nuance, since Christian music is more a term of convenience (perhaps, marketing) than a description of musical genre.

Allowing the niceties of the question, I try to confess gently my dislike of music marketed as “Christian.”  Most everything on Christian music radio fails to appeal to my taste in music.

A few months ago, I heard a very creative tune on a Christian radio station; for a moment, I thought I was on one of those cool, indie, public-radio stations.  After the song, a Christian radio personality said something to the effect of “I hope you like that song; it’s a bit different than what we normally play.”

That moment aptly captures my attitude toward Christian music.  Christian radio stations don’t normally play the kind of music I enjoy.

But, theoretically, actual people exist who enjoy Christian music for more than its often vague association with Christian belief.  Is it possible that people enjoy Christian music for its musicality?

Surely, the answer is “yes.”  And, if I asked this question to the average Christian music consumer, he would probably look at me as if I had grown demon horns.

Imagine a scenario in which my interlocutor feels as passionately for Christian music as I do against it.  (Let us also take for granted that each of our cognitive and perceptive faculties are well functioning.)

How do we adjudicate between conflicting claims of preference?  Is either my interlocutor or I wrong in our preference?

In the next two posts, I’ll argue–reluctantly, mind you–that musical preferences are properly basic beliefs and the rationality of these beliefs is hard to dispute.