Importance of Being Well Versed in the Humanities: Argumentative Essay

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The humanities is a useful subject, especially in any healthcare field, as it promotes an understanding of different cultures and histories, which is useful when caring for people from different backgrounds to ensure the best possible care is provided.

Nicholas Kristof in his article ‘Starving for Wisdom’ starts a story of a country that has become so consumed by the Internet that we are losing critical thinking skills in the process, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. He opens the article with a quote by E. O. Wilson: “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom” (Kristoff, 2015, p.1). We live in a world where there is an abundance of information, but an ever-decreasing lack of critical thinking skills to make connections to fully utilize all the information that we have access to. People are becoming lazy and not doing anything to change the lack of knowledge associated with the information overload, it is just accepted as a part of daily life. While there are pros to having access to information such as fast access to telephone numbers, directions, and general information, there are cons that outweigh the pros by far. With more data and less critical thinking, we are accepting information from the media blindly without further research into the credibility of the information. There is a complete lack of effort to determine what is true and what is not. With applications like Instagram where it is flooded with celebrities doing anything to get a like, society is becoming consumed by shallowness, irrelevancy, and listlessness. Most people could be focused on things more important than Kylie Jenner’s Instagram page, but this is what our county is coming to with the abundance and accessibility of the internet. Public figures, parents, and college students have all began to regress from the humanities as the years have carried on with a decrease in students enrolled in English by more than three times the amount (Kristof, 2015, p.3).

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According to Kristof, three reasons why it is important to have a humanities education are that the humanities equip students with communication and interpersonal skills that are valuable and truly rewarding in the workforce, especially when accompanied by technical skills (Kristoff, 2015, p.8). This is a true statement that I agree with because someone educated in the humanities will be a well-rounded person able to make better decisions and policies that are thought of with respect to a potentially diverse group of people. Responsibilities of a job can be multi-faceted and require strong backgrounds in both a technical skill and communication and personal skills.

The second reason Kristof believes that it is important to have a strong background in the humanities is that people who are helping create public policy decisions about science need people conversant in the humanities. I agree with this as well because, as Kristof states in his article, technology companies must constantly weight ethical decisions (Kristof, 2015, p.10). Someone who has an education in the humanities will also be more apt to foster social justice and equality due to being taught things about others in a way that will help them to be empathetic and open to different kinds of people. Being open-minded and considering that there is more than one option to every question. Someone with a science-based background who has the responsibility to make decisions on allowing human germline gene modification, which can be a highly ethical issue. If this were approved, it could potentially cause social inequality, conflict, and discrimination. A person who makes a decision regarding this kind of normative acts must be scientifically and humanistically educated due to the nature of the issue.

The third reason Kristof provides about the importance of being well versed in the humanities is that much of our happiness depends on our interactions with those around us, and there’s some evidence that literature nurtures a richer emotional intelligence (Kristof, 2015, p.15). I disagree with Kristof on his third reason. I feel that the happiness of an emotionally intelligent person does not rely on their interactions with the people around them. Emotionally intelligent people are smart enough to realize that the actions of other people should not affect how they are feeling. In my opinion, emotionally stunted people are affected by the interactions that they have with other people.

Overall, I agree with Kristof that being well versed in the humanities makes for a more diversified person that will be more successful in their everyday life because of the connections they will be able to make.

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Importance of Being Well Versed in the Humanities: Argumentative Essay. (2023, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2024, from
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