Darwin answers the question:
This isn’t because a degree in the humanities is “useless”. I believe that learning Greek, Latin, history and philosophy was very useful to me. But it was useful to me in the sense that a liberal art is meant to be useful — in allowing one to think like a “free man”. It is not useful in the sense of providing instant and easy employment. I think that it would be helpful if colleges and departments were a little more honest about this. It would also be very, very helpful if people took it into account before blithely borrowing large amounts of money. (And if people were less blithe about borrowing so much money in order to fund college degrees, perhaps the absurd rate of tuition increase would slow down. You may be assured that one of the things allowing universities to make off like bandits is that people have the illusion that having a degree, any degree, is an automatic ticket to a “good job”.)
He also confirms that Rush Limbaugh is not a classicist. Apparently people were confused on that point.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Chaput demonstrates how to use such an education. From his “On Being Human in an Age of Unbelief”:
That leads to my fourth and final point. The pro-life movement needs to be understood and respected for what it is: part of a much larger, consistent, and morally worthy vision of the dignity of the human person. You don’t need to be Christian or even religious to be “pro-life.” Common sense alone is enough to make a reasonable person uneasy about what actually happens in an abortion. The natural reaction, the sane and healthy response, is repugnance.
The whole thing is excellent, and eminently readable. Print it out and read it on paper, because it merits sitting down and giving it your full attention. Great essay to discuss with your high school or college student.
2 thoughts on “What use a Classics Degree?”
I so agree, people who aren’t religious should still choose pro life. I can’t believe the excuses some make just to defend abortion. Abortion is murder, plain and simple.
It’s funny I pulled out that one quote. When I was reading it, about four or five paragraphs stood out to me as ones I ought to post. But that one, which is near the end, is the one that stuck. I think it is worth reading the whole of Archbishop Chaput’s essay, because he builds up to that final point very carefully and thoroughly.