Get updates from Catholic and Enjoying It! delivered straight to your inbox
Look on its works, ye mighty, and despair.
A perfect explanation as to why the USA is the way it is.
Absolutely true and absolutely nothing can be done about it. Voting is a sacred right to the American pagan – the highest expression of our State religion – even higher than Education.
Nice! Voting > Education. Definitely explains why education administrators and support persons vastly outnumber teachers.
Yikes but an ignorance of basic math is not the most disastrous example of what’s wrong with us. Our ignorance of sin (personal and national sin) and of God seems more threatening.
The meme explains Social Security and why “gay marriage” is so important. What’s the problem?
Are you positive that that meme wasn’t made tongue-in-cheek?
Even if the meme was (and it doesn’t seem to be), that comment thread makes me cry.
This is why I want to scream when I see people telling me that liberal arts education is more important to maintaining a healthly democracy than STEM.
Liberal arts does not mean ignorance of science and mathematics. Indeed originally, liberal arts included mathematics and the natural sciences in the course of study. Indeed, focusing on just one area of the liberal arts, whether it be the sciences or literature means you have not actually received a proper liberal arts education.
Looking at the graduation requirements for a BA in English (from a quick google search) yielded a requirement for 2 100 level math and and 2 100 level natural science — all of which targeted at non-majors and the result of which is a lower level of numeracy and scientific literacy than a STEM focused high school senior.
Looking at the graduation requirements for a BS in Engineering yields a much broader coverage of the liberal arts. All of which (with the sad exception of the “Intro to Sociology” I took) was covered in far more depth than the various college prep liberal arts/social studies of at least my suburban high school.
We need STEM *and* the broader scope of the liberal arts, but frankly STEM programs (at least within the University settings I’ve encountered) do better at achieving this ideal.
You do understand, of course, that, drawing upon a proper liberal arts education, Marylandbill is using the historical, and therefore far more accurate, meaning of a term, while you are referring to a contemporary course catalogue for guidance?
That your universities have perverted the liberal arts (trivium and quadrivium) doesn’t affect, in any way, the truth of the lament with which you take issue.
Rather, i suppose, if your STEM field education was doing such a bang up job, you would.
Well played, my good sir, well played.
“Liberal arts does not mean ignorance of science and mathematics. ” — please note the *present* tense. In the present, it does, as shown by the example shown.
Strangely enough, part of my liberal arts curriculum pointed out to me that the meaning of terms changes over time, and those meanings are best when interpreted in the context of the time when the term is used. Given that the post was written today, current usage is entirely appropriate.
Appeals to past interpretation have no relevance to the meaning of “liberal arts” in the present.
I’m sorry, but when people (worth listening to) cite the importance of the liberal arts in forming a free citizenry, they aren’t referring to a degree in Crit Lit or Women’s Studies, or Marxist Pablum. They are indeed referring to grammar, logic, and rhetoric (trivium) and arithmetic, geometry, composition, and astronomy (quadrivium) with some allowance in the quadrivium for a broader field of knowledge as generations progress.
The liberal arts, in such discussions, refers to the skills (artes) necessary for free people (liberales). It’s, after all, in the very phrase ‘artes liberales’.
While your point about shifting meanings is entirely accurate, it isn’t at all Germaine to your original point. Since arithmetic is one of the liberal arts, the link Mark provides in no way illustrates the necessity of STEM education for a free people.
In fact, many slaves have proven well versed in manipulating the slide rule and referring to stress tables. STEM education is useful in economic productivity, but does little to free Man’s spirit.
As is readily demonstrated by a visit to the break room of your nearest tech corp.
Hezekiah: I must express my admiration of the above concise paragraphs.
Ah. Both a “true scotsman” fallacy and an ad. hom in a single response. Just one more own-goal and I’ll have to throw a hat onto the rink.
The claim that your historical definitions of liberal arts is the one to which “people (worth listening to)” ,is simply claiming that those in academe creating and implementing the current definition are “no true Scotsman” (or in this case “no true liberal arts advocates”). This cannot magically reestablish the validity of an outmoded (literaly “out of mode” in the sense of current fashion) definition of the term. One could find no truer advocate of Liberal Arts education than those charged and employed in the implementation of it as their calling, passion, and vocation. They are indeed “true Scotsman”, thus the claim that no “people (worth listening to)” agree with the current usage of the term is fallacious.
As for the ad. hom., I am sitting at this very moment in the lunchroom of a tech company. There are neither slaves nor slide rules in sight. They may not know their “anagnorisis” from their “peripeteia” but they are better equipped by far than the current crop of liberal arts graduates to understand the complex issues requiring deep scientific literacy and numeracy. They are so equipped because of the current state of STEM education compared to what the advocates of the liberal arts education have implemented.
Here’s just a couple issues, “what are the relative merits of ‘linear no threshold’ assessment of environmental risk?” How about “collective and individual risk assessment of vaccination” (one each that left and right get wrong frequently, just for balance). The raft of lesser issues with dueling headlines (“wine is good for you” “wine is bad for you”) also require good nuanced understanding, though they don’t endanger the republic.
If you were to simply respond, “well liberal arts should have more science and math emphasis than it does as currently taught” I’d agree, and you’d be conceding my point.
I certainly believe the Economics, English, Speech, Music, History Sociology, Cosmology, and Business courses were a very valuable part of my university education in Engineering. Universities turn those programs into mere trade schools at their peril and do their students a gross disservice. So in that sense, I concede your point.
I believe that we need an “and” instead of an “or” in terms of what should be taught.
So you demonstrate the poor worth of contemporary liberal arts by drawing upon your knowledge gained in the same?
As this is quickly descending into the prose equivalent of the math thread above, I bid you adieu.
And always pax. The errors of your culture, while making life difficult on us all, in no way give cause for anything other than prayer and fasting.
I’m not sure where you went to college, but my roommate was a mechanical engineering major at UT Austin in 1981. She had a grand total of fifteen hours — five classes — that weren’t in her major, and three of those were American history, American government and English 301 which the Legislature required every university student in the state to take. That’s two electives she could choose in four years.
There ARE people this stupid. I recently had someone get angry at me on the phone when he called about a house we were offering, owner finance.
What made him so mad? Why, I wasn’t putting 100% of his monthly payment toward the principle of the loan.
I tried to explain it to him once and, when he insisted I was trying to rip people off, told him he should stick to renting an apartment.
One of the basic problems with modern democracy is that it often seems to be seen as the end, in and of itself. Without really understanding what our government is for, I have little hope that government will ever really improve.