Art and humanities
In his article, ‘Don’t Turn Away from the Art of Life’; Arnold Weinstein describes the Importance of art in humanity. He describes art as a tool that fuels one’s knowledge and understanding about oneself. Being born as a twin in his family, the author was closely identified with his twin brother. This is evident through the quote, ‘Even though our friends and family could easily tell us apart, most people could not, and I began life with a blurrier, more fluid sense of my contours than most other folks’ (Arnold). This explains how the society viewed him; most people drew conclusions and assumptions by comparison. They did not engage in the efforts of trying to study everyone and appreciate the small but fundamental differences that existed between them. The author was inspired by their perception and at an early age, he learned of his true identity. Many people tend to draw conclusions without giving much thought; many make assumptions and justify their assumptions and assertions that suffer from lack of justification.
Science has been the only field that is well recognized and universally accepted as a platform that feeds us with the knowledge and understanding about human life. An assertion is never considered correct until it is seconded by a scientific theory or a scientific actuality. Other fields have been disregarded and their contribution has been ignored. However, many are attracted to science and disregard other disciplines because of the promise that science gives; a well structured career, respect after accomplishing a research in science and financial stability.
The shifting of interest from humanities that bound the society together to science has resulted in erosion of the societies’ pillar-traditions. The traditions and culture of many societies are suffering extinction since everyone has turned their interest to the much promising scientific world. Arnold Weinstein, in his article, describes science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields as ‘worthy disciplines that offer precise information on practically everything (Arnold). But, often and inadvertently, they distort our perceptions; they even shortchange us’.
With the daily introduction, development and amalgamation of technology in our lives, a lot of changes are being recorded. The inventions are set to make life easier, and exaggerate the limits of human beings. They help people achieve their goals with less effort and allow them to do what they initially termed impossible. At face value, technology could be considered and perceived as a life changing discipline that does not bear shortcomings or effects on human life. It could be worshipped by everyone and be allowed into the lives of every living person. The precision is technology cannot deliver without the help of humanities and other social disciplines. Before a newly invented technology can perform, it needs a number of concepts and approval from the humanities. The author, Arnold Weinstein, uses a GPS technology to stress the weakness of the technology world. GPS cannot give direction without instructions; it only responds to the needs of the person using it. It is, therefore, dependent on a person’s choice and direction. One’s sense of direction is defined by the humanities, arts and other social disciplines; this is where one gets a deeper understanding and consequential insight about oneself. It is this very field that one develops a sense of identity that technology helps to deliver. This stresses the position and the importance of humanities in one’s life.
Humanities, unlike sciences, do allow us to earn a full understanding of who we really are. Humanities cross-examine us and force us to develop insights about ourselves. For example, the author makes use of the statement, “Not as much as he knows about me” (Arnold), to illustrate the position of humanities in our lives. Literature and humanities know much about us than we actually know about it. These fields feed us with the information of ‘who we are’, ‘what we do’, ‘when do we do this’ and ‘why do we do whatever we do’. They provide answers to the most troubling questions about human life. They explain the rationale behind our thoughts and actions, they justify our reaction, and lastly they advice us on what to do. Art and humanities are depicted as the real life changers; science would actually not accord much success without art and humanities.
The humanistic field is poorly developed and casually structured compared to the scientific field. It does not involve studies, experiments, data, theories and it seemingly does not offer much challenge. It poses a week structure and many shun away for the well structured and much promising scientific world. Nevertheless, the author argues that the ‘humanistic field rivals with rockets when it comes to flight and the visions it enables’ (Arnold). He depicts the strength of humanities hidden in its poor structure. Arts and humanities realize a much clear definition and understanding of our lives. It adds reverberation and meaning to life, hence, helps us to lead a clearly characterized life.
In conclusion, this article makes the most of ethos, pathos and logos to confirm the role and position of arts and humanities in human existence.
Arnold Weinstein.Don‘t turn away from the art of life. New York Times. 2016. Print. Retrieved: March 31, 2016.