Why are Humanities Courses Required For University Students?

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Re: Why are Humanities Courses Required For University Students?

Post by EquALLity » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm

There is currently a strong push for STEM which I think makes people devalue humanities. However, they both are important for society. The best thing about STEM is that it creates technology that can improve the world. But the reason why we want to improve the world is explored in humanities. Without enough of a focus on the humanities, society may use STEM unethically. Engineers are currently developing machines which will replace many jobs. Without regulation, justified through humanities, this is may be a catastrophe.

Also, people often don't recognize the significance of humanities in general. I cannot defend every humanities major, but many are necessary; we need politicians to manage the government, lawyers to defend the innocent and prosecute the guilty, economists to examine the societal impacts of issues such as minimum wage alterations, and historians to explain the causes for the current world order. While you can study some of these independently, studying them in a classroom ensures that you obtain the correct information. Humanities classes also often include discussion-based lessons which expose you to differing viewpoints.

People may agree with me there, but disagree with needing creative jobs. But people are not suited for every field. This applies broadly to STEM and humanities and to careers within these fields. For example, not everyone is suited to STEM, as it includes complex math which many struggle with. Similarly, people who struggle with reading, writing, and discussion-based environments aren't suited to humanities. People who pursue creative jobs may be best suited to those jobs, and the arts, such as music, art, and writing, provide society with happiness and have often changed the way we think. If the arts didn't exist as college classes, people may never realize their artistic passions, and society would lose those artists. And even if you think all STEM or certain humanities careers are far better than others, if someone would be far more successful in an artistic field, do you think it would be better for that person to obtain a low-paying job which will likely end from automation or to obtain an arts job?

Of course, STEM is extremely important. I will likely double major, or at least major and minor, in humanities and STEM, because there are aspects of both which I like and want to combine. I think we should view humanities and STEM as working together, not opposing each other.
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Post by Red » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:28 pm

EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
There is currently a strong push for STEM which I think makes people devalue humanities. However, they both are important for society. The best thing about STEM is that it creates technology that can improve the world. But the reason why we want to improve the world is explored in humanities. Without enough of a focus on the humanities, society may use STEM unethically. Engineers are currently developing machines which will replace many jobs. Without regulation, justified through humanities, this is may be a catastrophe.
We discussed this a little bit in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4370

Basically, while the humanities have their uses in such a respect, it's more about teaching both scientific literacy and ethical values. Scientific literacy allows people to not subscribe to pseudoscience (like anti-vaxxing or anti-nuclear cucks), and ethics for obvious reasons. Wanting to improve the world is more achieved through Philosophy, which I guess you can be considered part of the humanities (we discussed that in another thread viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4426). We also can't forget that basically, all knowledge IS philosophy, and science is just a branch of it.

Which humanities would be the most useful in that respect? Which is the most cost-effective? I highly doubt that a lot of the art we have is useful in achieving such a thing.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
Also, people often don't recognize the significance of humanities in general. I cannot defend every humanities major, but many are necessary; we need politicians to manage the government,
Many politicians study political science and government (not humanities fields) and history which is a humanities, but they don't need to know all history, just modern history.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
lawyers to defend the innocent and prosecute the guilty,
Not a humanities field either, that's also a social science.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
economists to examine the societal impacts of issues such as minimum wage alterations,
Economics is, again, a social science.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
and historians to explain the causes for the current world order.
Which is only so important. History teachers are more useful than historians; Historians tend to know more esoteric facts, while teachers help the public learn from the past so they can try not to repeat the same mistakes. The public knowing about history is more important than a few select people who likely won't communicate it to many people (or even at all; just look at the History channel). A small amount of historians is important, but history teachers are more important.

Also, as I've said to @Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, ancient history is near useless, since we know little about it, it isn't very applicable to the modern world, and a lot of it is likely false.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
While you can study these independently, studying them in a classroom ensures that you obtain the correct information. Humanities classes also often include discussion-based lessons which expose you to differing viewpoints.
Depends on the humanities, but if we're talking about a humanities field that teaches facts (such as history, and I guess Theology), you can pick up a book by someone who has studied it, or take online classes on it. Hell, just go on Youtube and you'll find tons of great videos on history. And if you want to discuss it, there are tons of forums for that sort of thing.

As for the arts, we've been over that too. While science benefits greatly from having expensive equipment and professional guidance (especially due to the tiny margins of error), the humanities can benefit from being relatively cheap (you're gonna be buying the materials if you go to classes or not), and can be learned with the help of other learners.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
People may agree with me there, but disagree with needing creative jobs. But people are not suited for every field. This applies broadly to STEM and humanities and to careers within these fields. For example, not everyone is suited to STEM, as it includes complex math which many struggle with. Similarly, people who struggle with reading, writing, and discussion-based environments aren't suited to humanities. People who pursue creative jobs may be best suited to those jobs, and the arts, such as music, art, and writing, provide society with happiness and have often changed the way we think. If the arts didn't exist as college classes, people may never realize their artistic passions, and society would lose those artists.
I'd argue most people aren't suited for STEM, and them getting a degree in the Humanities likely won't be too beneficial to society. They should be going to Trade School, if anything.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:08 pm
Of course, STEM is extremely important. I will likely double major, or at least major and minor, in humanities and STEM, because there are aspects of both which I like and want to combine. I think we should view humanities and STEM as working together, not opposing each other.
I wouldn't bother majoring in the humanities, I think it'd be better to double major in a social science, such as Psychology or Economics. It's fine if you want to study the humanities, but that's best left as a hobby of sorts.
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Post by EquALLity » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm

RedAppleGP wrote:Basically, while the humanities have their uses in such a respect, it's more about teaching both scientific literacy and ethical values. Scientific literacy allows people to not subscribe to pseudoscience (like anti-vaxxing or anti-nuclear cucks), and ethics for obvious reasons. Wanting to improve the world is more achieved through Philosophy, which I guess you can be considered part of the humanities (we discussed that in another thread viewtopic.php?f=17&t=4426). We also can't forget that basically, all knowledge IS philosophy, and science is just a branch of it.
Yes, ethical values are apart of humanities. Caring about the humans is apart of (human)ities. Having the knowledge on the best ways to improve the world can be apart of humanities.
Many politicians study political science and government (not humanities fields) and history which is a humanities, but they don't need to know all history, just modern history.
You are making a distinction between humanities and social sciences that I didn't realize exists. Even though social sciences are technically in-between humanities and natural sciences, I think most people consider social sciences as apart of humanities. And you sort of framed this as STEM vs. non-STEM.
Which is only so important. History teachers are more useful than historians; Historians tend to know more esoteric facts, while teachers help the public learn from the past so they can try not to repeat the same mistakes. The public knowing about history is more important than a few select people who likely won't communicate it to many people (or even at all; just look at the History channel). A small amount of historians is important, but history teachers are more important.

Also, as I've said to __, ancient history is near useless, since we know little about it, it isn't very applicable to the modern world, and a lot of it is likely false.
Ancient history is where we come from and it helps us understand ourselves. Historians, such as Jared Diamond, have used ancient history to make relevant points to current issues, such as racism. Certain societies were more successful in ancient history because of geographical advantages which they had, such as greater access to plants and wildlife which could be domesticated. These societies continued to dominate until the present day. Knowing the origin of that helps provide a justification to oppose the idea that some ethnic groups are successful due to genetic superiority.
Depends on the humanities, but if we're talking about a humanities field that teaches facts (such as history, and I guess Theology), you can pick up a book by someone who has studied it, or take online classes on it. Hell, just go on Youtube and you'll find tons of great videos on history. And if you want to discuss it, there are tons of forums for that sort of thing.

As for the arts, we've been over that too. While science benefits greatly from having expensive equipment and professional guidance (especially due to the tiny margins of error), the humanities can benefit from being relatively cheap (you're gonna be buying the materials if you go to classes or not), and can be learned with the help of other learners.
But reading a book is just learning information. You can also read a book on science, but that doesn't help you understand real experiments as well as conducting them. In humanities/social sciences, the discussions that you have are the most important thing, and the level of discussion on the average forum is not of equal caliber to a university discussion.

And as for the arts, as I mentioned, you may not realize your passion without a college class. Don't devalue what you consume. Most people do things such as watching T.V., playing video games, etc.. It's entertainment, and society needs that too. Sometimes, it can make us think in a way unique to itself.

Since you keep mentioning that we've been over stuff, I'm just going to say that I don't remember what we discussed three years ago.
I'd argue most people aren't suited for STEM, and them getting a degree in the Humanities likely won't be too beneficial to society. They should be going to Trade School, if anything.
Why?
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Post by Red » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:12 pm

EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Yes, ethical values are apart of humanities. Caring about the humans is apart of (human)ities. Having the knowledge on the best ways to improve the world can be apart of humanities.
Then why didn't you say that. You were being much to broad.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
You are making a distinction between humanities and social sciences that I didn't realize exists.
HOW COULD YOU BE SO WRONG?
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Even though social sciences are technically in-between humanities and natural sciences, I think most people consider social sciences as apart of humanities.
Right, but... they're not.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
And you sort of framed this as STEM vs. non-STEM.
Most social sciences aren't part of STEM since they fail to properly employ scientific methodology.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Ancient history is where we come from and it helps us understand ourselves. Historians, such as Jared Diamond, have used ancient history to make relevant points to current issues, such as racism. Certain societies were more successful in ancient history because of geographical advantages which they had, such as greater access to plants and wildlife which could be domesticated. These societies continued to dominate until the present day.
The same can be said about modern history (which again is more applicable to our day to day lives. We don't live in an age without science, medicine, and democracy do we?). Any useful thing that we can find in ancient history can usually be better used with Modern History.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Knowing the origin of that helps provide a justification to oppose the idea that some ethnic groups are successful due to genetic superiority.
You're right there, I don't think there has ever been a mass genocide of innocents or a bloody war waged based on a certain demographic in the past 100 or so years.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
But reading a book is just learning information.
Isn't that what the main point of it is?
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
You can also read a book on science, but that doesn't help you understand real experiments as well as conducting them.
True, which is why reading the literature is often a prerequisite to taking the classes so you can have an idea for what you're getting into.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
In humanities/social sciences, the discussions that you have are the most important thing, and the level of discussion on the average forum is not of equal caliber to a university discussion.
How do you know? What is the most important thing to be discussed? For philosophy, possibly, but I'm not sure about other humanities.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Since you keep mentioning that we've been over stuff, I'm just going to say that I don't remember what we discussed three years ago.
I meant others and I have been over this pretty recently.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Why?
People are dumb and can't understand science very well (look at all the pseudoscience that plagues society). Hell, even a lot of art can be pretty difficult for them (you'll likely be surprised at how many people don't have much artistic talent, nor have much interest in one). Since it's hard for them to do these things, and we need more productive people in society, going to trade school is likely their best option in that regard, since becoming a plumber or electrician is quite easy to learn.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
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Post by EquALLity » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:27 pm

RedAppleGP wrote:Then why didn't you say that. You were being much to broad.
Ok. Anyway, the point is that humanities justify the meaning of STEM and ensure it doesn't do damage.
Right, but... they're not.
Yeah, technically, but everyone thinks of them that way. And you yourself framed it that way in your first post by contrasting humanities with science.
Most social sciences aren't part of STEM since they fail to properly employ scientific methodology.
They don't have the same methodology because they are different.
The same can be said about modern history (which again is more applicable to our day to day lives. We don't live in an age without science, medicine, and democracy do we?). Any useful thing that we can find in ancient history can usually be better used with Modern History.
It isn't modern history, though. It's ancient history that addresses present problems.
You're right there, I don't think there has ever been a mass genocide of innocents or a bloody war waged based on a certain demographic in the past 100 or so years.
And it's science's fault that society didn't accept evolution for decades.
Isn't that what the main point of it is?
Yeah, it's the point of reading a book, but humanities isn't just that.
How do you know? What is the most important thing to be discussed? For philosophy, yes, but I'm not sure about other humanities.
It's not most important for a specific topic to be discussed, but to have discussions. Politicians and lawyers need to have debate skills. And many other humanities professions, such as economists, should have discussions, because given that it is hard to find definitive answers through experiments, having discussions can help determine these answers to issues which are relevant to society.
People are dumb and can't understand science very well (look at all the pseudoscience that plagues society). Hell, even a lot of art can be pretty difficult for them (you'll likely be surprised at how many people don't have much artistic talent, nor have much interest in one). Since it's hard for them to do these things, and we need more productive people in society, going to trade school is likely their best option in that regard, since becoming a plumber or electrician is quite easy to learn.
But people can be bad at science and good at the arts. If this is the case, why should they not pursue the arts?
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Post by Red » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:47 pm

EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Ok. Anyway, the point is that humanities justify the meaning of STEM and ensure it doesn't do damage.
So it's just a matter of degree.

But should these humanities people go to college to learn about it?
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Yeah, technically, but everyone thinks of them that way.
So?
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
And you yourself framed it that way in your first post by contrasting humanities with science.
How?
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
They don't have the same methodology because they are different.
If a field that claims to be science doesn't use scientific methodology, it is not science.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
It isn't modern history, though. It's ancient history that addresses present problems.
I know that? I don't think you're getting my point.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
And it's science's fault that society didn't accept evolution for decades.
What point are you making?

Anyway, society still doesn't accept evolution, at least to the extent that the majority of people believing in it.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
Yeah, it's the point of reading a book, but humanities isn't just that.
You can say the same thing about the sciences (and you did).
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
It's not most important for a specific topic to be discussed, but to have discussions. Politicians and lawyers need to have debate skills. And many other humanities professions, such as economists, should have discussions, because given that it is hard to find definitive answers through experiments, having discussions can help determine these answers to issues which are relevant to society.
So it's more learning rhetoric then?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:55 pm
But people can be bad at science and good at the arts. If this is the case, why should they not pursue the arts?
Because they largely aren't too useful. We need more electricians than artists.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
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Post by EquALLity » Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm

RedAppleGP wrote:So it's just a matter of degree.
What do you mean?
But should these humanities people go to college to learn about it?
STEM people should learn humanities too so they apply STEM ethically.
So?
So I'm using the common definition.
How?
Because you talked about why the humanities are unnecessary and said that sciences are necessary, without mentioning social sciences.
If a field that claims to be science doesn't use scientific methodology, it is not science.
I am confused. I said social sciences are humanities, and you are trying to prove to me that they're not science.
I know that? I don't think you're getting my point.
If you think someone's reply misunderstands your point, you should clarify your point.
What point are you making?

Anyway, society still doesn't accept evolution, at least to the extent that the majority of people believing in it.
I'm being sarcastic. I said that ancient history was used to make an argument against racism, and you replied that it hasn't ended racism, as if that invalidates my point. That's like saying it doesn't matter that evolution was discovered because society isn't completely accepting of evolution.
You can say the same thing about the sciences (and you did).
Yes. Humanities are more than books, college classes with discussions are important for humanities. Therefore you shouldn't just learn about humanities from books. It's not a complete understanding of humanities.
So it's more learning rhetoric then?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric
Well, rhetoric is also apart of humanities. It's also because the discussions help lead to solutions, as I mentioned.
Because they largely aren't too useful. We need more electricians than artists.
Is there a major shortage of electricians? Both have value. Don't devalue what you participate in. As I mentioned, most people consume TV or video games or some other art daily.
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Post by Red » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:20 pm

EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
What do you mean?
Degree of how much of the humanities we need, and which particular fields.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
STEM people should learn humanities too so they apply STEM ethically.
Then that's more ethics, not the humanities as a whole. That's really the only thing they need to learn about in terms of humanities.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
So I'm using the common definition.
Where are you getting it from? It's incorrect.

The two are similar, but are not the same. It's like equating Algebra to Calculus.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
Because you talked about why the humanities are unnecessary and said that sciences are necessary, without mentioning social sciences.
The social sciences have their importance, but it's not a rigorous field, and much of it is pseudoscience since the scientific methodology is not utilized.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
I am confused. I said social sciences are humanities, and you are trying to prove to me that they're not science.
No, not really.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
If you think someone's reply misunderstands your point, you should clarify your point.
I was aware that you were discussing ancient history.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
I'm being sarcastic. I said that ancient history was used to make an argument against racism, and you replied that it hasn't ended racism, as if that invalidates my point.
No, I was not saying that at all. Don't you remember me saying how modern history largely does a better job at what ancient history does?
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
Yes. Humanities are more than books, college classes with discussions are important for humanities. Therefore you shouldn't just learn about humanities from books. It's not a complete understanding of humanities.
They are important though, no?

It depends on the field. For the arts, just buy the paints and turn on Bob Ross and you're good to go. For something like dance or acting, it's probably a better idea to go to school for it, but even then, hiring a private tutor would likely be more effective in that regard. It depends though.

Anyway, I wasn't saying that you shouldn't just rely on books. Again, if it's a field based on facts, history books often do a great job.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
Well, rhetoric is also apart of humanities. It's also because the discussions help lead to solutions, as I mentioned.
Then just learn rhetoric then.

To clarify, I am not saying ALL humanities are useless, they should teach some in Universities (especially ethics), but they have to filter out the bullshit classes from the important ones.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
Is there a major shortage of electricians? Both have value. Don't devalue what you participate in.
Never really said that, but I'm not sure if you can deny that the electrician has more value than the artist.

AGAIN, it's fine to have a few of these humanities blokes, but we need more scientists than artists.
EquALLity wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 4:58 pm
As I mentioned, most people consume TV or video games or some other art daily.
Which is fine in small amounts, but it often is a loss of productivity. AFAIK, people indulge in their entertainment time a bit too much.

Though I enjoy video games from time to time, I wonder if society would be better off without them.
Learning never exhausts the mind.
-Leonardo da Vinci

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