Humanities are important because they, first and foremost, are involved with the pursuit of knowledge. Life is not as simple as an equation with a guaranteed solution. Some of the problems that a person will encounter do not have a clear remedy. The humanities give students a level of critical thinking that they will carry with them into their careers, personal relationships, and life’s ambitions.
The ability to even consider two conflicting ideas and make judgements are at the essence of being human. While some individuals may assume that the humanities as a field do not offer the same opportunities as a hard science, there remains confusion surrounding what exactly differentiates the humanities from science.
Science seeks to improve the quality of life for millions through vaccines, disease prevention, and technological advancement. In the same way, if a person briefly looks at history, they will see the humanities improving cultures and giving people hope. For example, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all book religions. How many billions upon billions have been encouraged by these works? How many social and political movements have borrowed from these books to make a more just society?
Science and humanities are not that different when we break down how they affect society at large. Both fields offer opportunities, but the question is, “What kind of opportunity are you looking for?” Are we looking to simple make money? If so, how much money? Are we looking to right wrongs in our society? If so, then how many wrongs? How many laws, doctrines, governments need to be researched and investigated?
When we pit te humanities against the sciences, not including social sciences for which there are many: environmental studies, psychology, etc., we are playing a game that only an individual can decide for themselves. It isn’t a society’s job to dictate what a person should or should not learn. In the words of Hamlet, “To thine own self be true.”