Friday, September 30, 2005


Remember, we are meeting Thursday, October 6th, 7p, James Lobby. RSVP to me, cciocche

Are we obligated to stick around his or her hometown? After being educated in a community and benefiting from its resources, a person could take what he or she has gained and then high-tail it to a city that could provide the individual with even more resources. As high school graduates continue to leave their hometowns looking for better opportunities, their home loses their best, and brightest. Those who remain in their hometown who invested in your education, including friends and family, do not get to enjoy the benefits of their investment. But should intelligent young adults be expected to stay in one location? How much should be expected of us? This month the Philosophy Discussion Group will be talking about what a person owes to their hometown, their community, or their state.

I'll post arguments for and against thinking we have an obligation to support our hometown in the next two comments. Add your own arguments, offer comments on them, and join us on Thursday.



Blogger CSC said...

What do you owe your hometown? Nothing, but you owe humanity something. If leaving behind your hometown allows you to bring about positive change on a large scale, you are justified in leaving the hometown. Greater happiness is produced if you leave.
Arguments for Leaving (Homer vs Shreveport)
Larger cities offer more opportunities for growth

Jobs- A large city will have a larger and more diverse job market than a small rural town.

People-It will also have a more diverse population, meaning new experiences with
different ethnic groups and sub-cultures.
Experiences with diversity test the young adults held beliefs, making the
young adult question what he or she values.

School-Small, rural towns usually do not have colleges or universities.

The college environment is competitive and challenging, forcing the student to work hard. This will produce a positive change within the individual. He or she is better able to solve problems, manage time, and prioritize.
Centenary: FYE 102: encourages public discourse and gives students the chance to share their ideas and research conclusions with other students and professors.
Community Involvement: service learning requires students to participate in the community. This program shows that volunteers are needed for the betterment of the community and students get to see how they can create positive change.
Modules: Students are required to study a different culture which, in some cases, alters the student’s world view. This also causes one to question deeply held beliefs.
College degree opens more doors, giving the student more opportunities to test his or her moral values and beliefs.

A person who chooses to stay in Homer misses out on the intercultural experiences and his or her beliefs and values are not challenged as often.

I think the argument can be reversed. The student chooses to move from Dallas to Shreveport.

(Thanks to Lacey for writing this up)

11:28 AM  
Blogger CSC said...

People can have horrible childhoods. Physical deprivation can leave lasting physical and psychological marks. Psychological abuse or neglect can make it difficult for a person to function or be happy for years. It is easy to take the help others have given you for granted, but it’s wrong. We should reciprocate and maybe even give back a little more than we received.

Occasionally, you get the opportunity to reciprocate to the people who helped you. Elderly parents need physical care much as young children do. But, really, that is only half of it. The physical care your parents gave wasn’t the work that emotional care required. And then there is your education. Your parents helped, but so did many teachers, administrators, and taxpayers.

If you were to use your skills, you could make life better for others in your community. If you practice law, you can bring justice there. A bad lawyer means someone gets screwed. If you learn medicine, you can help your hometown provide better medical care. You can even bring some culture to town if you play an instrument. And the effects will multiply. One good doctor attracts others. One good doctor trains good nurses, who can then work for other doctors and improve the level of care.

I’m not saying you should stay home. Surely, to have something to give you might need to leave for a time to get training and education. But you ought to return. Communities do not grow and thrive on their own. If we don't accept an obligation to reciprocate and give a little more, they will die.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Mike_Schwalke said...

One thing: some of those occupations are much more specialized than you've stated: doctors and lawyers. Family practitioners and pediatricians are the most abundant specialist--and rightly so, they're needed more often than a neurosurgeon. But a neurosurgeon is going to need infrastructure in order to practice. This not only means having the right tools for the job and the surrounding staff and hospital, but also airports and highways and a way for patients to get to the neurosugeon. This neurosurgeon will probably be the only one for a wide area (for example, Louisiana has one neurosurgeon, Mississippi has none).
Now I understand that the neurosurgeon is an extreme case, but I'd wager that as each specialty becomes more unique, the more extra-medical infrastructure (ie. surrounding urban area) that specialist will need.
There are "general" feilds of medicine: general practitioner (ie. your family doctor) and general surgeon. The majority of the medical community is made of of specialists rather than generalists though (although I don't have any figures in front of me).

This is all probably true for any feild you're in: the more specialized you are, the more you need a larger population base to ply your wares.
One possible exception though: the university town. Take Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, VA is about 10000 people strong--tiny. Compare that to the University which has approx. 26,000 undergrads (well, 10 years ago) plus a huge grad school in countless scientific feilds, nuclear reactors, huge agricultural research centers, a division I football team and all kinds of whiz-bang stuff you'd associate with a big school.
So in this town of 10,000 (40,000 with classes in session), you have the need of a Unified Feild Theorist or a Fuzzy Mathmetician or a World Market Fluctuation Anylist or (insert really important brainiac title here).
But, these towns are few and far between. What is Homer, LA going to do with a Nobel Prize Winner.

The answer is: they will pester them until they leave or die drunk (case in point Wm. Faulkner).


11:07 PM  
Blogger CSC said...

In response to Mike, we can say that there are certainly other ways to give back. A person could consider what her hometown needs, and choose her specialty from to suit that. It would be one reason to forgo neurosurgery for being a GP. One could work at the nearest hospital, keeping service in a rural area, or one could just spend a few years paying back, before or after a career elsewhere. So, yeah, hometowns are going to be somewhat limited, but, without some commitment from those who’ve been successful, they would be even more limited.


4:09 AM  
Blogger CSC said...

An interesting story from the NYT. Louisiana could lose a Congressional seat due to Katrina.

9:48 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home