STEM and the Humanities

“Only 7.6 percent of  American college students majored in the humanities in 2010,” according to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (cited in Christian Century, Aug 2013). Many more are studying Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (the STEM courses). And even more are going into business and economics. That’s not a good sign for America.

Where will they learn the value of human life or basic ethics or wisdom? Santayana’s old saying is still a cogent warning for us: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Ignorance of history or literature or music will never serve us well.

I just saw part of an interview with atheist Richard Dawkins on one of the CSpan channels. The interviewer asked him about the seeming injustice of some people getting lots of breaks in life and some people never having a chance. Dawkins is not bothered by such inequalities because he simply does not believe that justice is one of the realities of nature. For him, our desire for justice for all is a remnant of our religious background.

It is a scary thought that our culture is increasingly shaped by people like Dawkins who may think of justice (however defined) as a nice option for those who happen to value it. While it may be currently fashionable to blame religion for all or most of the world’s ills, that is a silly and totally unrealistic misperception. No one can read the Gospels with any care at all can come away thinking Jesus taught falsehoods about faith, love, justice, or our accountability to our righteous Creator.

Read them for yourself. Go ahead, read them for yourself.

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About mthayes42

I am a retired pastor, interested in the Bible, cross-cultural ministries, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the current and past history of western civilization.
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