Once somebody asked me what I felt was more important: art or science. At the time I instinctively replied science, but upon further inspection I think that might have been a bias.
I know a lot of people who don't want anything to do with science, and would much rather spend time expressing themselves in new and interesting ways. There's nothing wrong with either I suppose, but now that I'm getting older it might be good that I make a judgement call.
I certainly still believe in stimulating progress as much as possible. But then again, who's to say that art isn't progress. Maybe it's a progress of the mind, the practice of developing new ideas and the cultivation of outside the box thinking. I think we can all agree, no matter who you are, that you need to be inventive to create progress. Isn't that the whole point?
So then which is more important, cultural or mathematical progress? If you had to choose to keep one and destroy the other, which would you pick?
I think that for me, the answer is still science. Of course we need free thinkers and inventors in order to really get anywhere in science, but if we focus on free thinking without getting results then what's the point? I don't think moral growth or maturity really mean much if you're not going anywhere anyway. I mean, what's the point of pondering what it means to be human if we'll never go out into the universe and find something that challenges that belief? Maybe I'm still locked into my logical thinking pattern, but I feel like there's a pretty good argument for seeking results over better ways to get results. Then again that goes against all the Disney movies I watched as a kid...
Tell me what you think if you care, I'd love to get another perspective on why either art or science is necessary to human development.