What caused me to think about all this is a speech given by David McCullough (the guy who wrote 1776 and John Adams). His speech is called "The Course of Human Events" and I got it on audio book from the Provo library. I love listening to audio books while at work. I feel like I'm using my time so effectively when I do. Anyway, at one point during his speech about the importance of education, David McCullough quotes John Adams saying this:
"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain."So, according to John Adams, studying porcelain should be the aspiration of any student. Wait, I take that back. Having the freedom to study porcelain should be aspiration of any society. I don't think that any subject is inherently better than another, but I think the freedom to study subjects that aren't crucial for survival is important. Some subjects enhance the human experience, while others simply provide the framework so that the enhancing can take place.