Is est a simplex mens quisnam puto is has refero.

Encountered a "new" argument that we haven't addressed? Post it here.

Do you feel the inclusion of Latin in secondary school curriculum is associated with the agendas of the Catholic church?

Yes, definitely
3
14%
Distinct possibility
5
24%
Definitely not
13
62%
 
Total votes : 21

Is est a simplex mens quisnam puto is has refero.

Postby Dustmundo » Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:11 am

I was watching the television today an I saw an interview of young high school student who had aspirations of becoming a doctor. When asked what preparations he was making to get ready for his pre-med studies, he cited that he had taken advanced Latin courses offered by his high school. I remember from my secondary education that many people elected to study Latin to accomplish their foreign language requirement. At the time I had given it no real thought and that it made sense for someone to take Latin if they had plans become a physician.

But recently I began to think about the matter a little further. How many high school students actually go on to become doctors. Does this number actually warrant teaching a thoroughly dead and obscure language at the the tax payers expense. And the then it occurred to me the other connotations of the Latin language. Besides being the language of the ancient defunct Roman people, it is and always has been the official language of the Roman Catholic Church. Today the most predominant utilization of the the Latin language would be in the post graduate studies of theology, Christian theology more specifically.

Don't get me wrong. I feel in no way that the inclusion of Latin in secondary school curriculum violates the separation of church and state, unless of course translation assignments include Bible translations. I personally know several doctors, and they fully admit their proficiency with the language is limited to basic scientific terminology and justifiably so. The only people I have ever know who had any proficiency in speaking Latin were Catholic clergymen and those in theological study. My real question here is does it make sense to include Latin as part of secondary school education any more than it does to include ancient Greek, an equally dead language? Also, does anybody feel that there might be a connection with teaching Latin in schools and the propagation of theology into the public domain?

My intent here is not to actually connect the dots and conclude that this is vast Catholic conspiracy, i just think it is an interesting point that warrants discussion. What do you guys think about it? I have also attached a poll above. Feel free to voice your opinion.
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Postby Blu_Matt » Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:50 pm

I'm not sure that the study of Latin can be thought of in those terms. It makes some sense to learn it for getting an additional grounding in many fields, including medicine, law, literature, history, archaeology, classics, philosophy, linguistics, the romance languages and, of course, divinity. I'm sure there are a few other fields that I can't think of at the moment.

Admittedly, it's not of much use in the other sciences except possibly from a historical standpoint (e.g. if you'd like to read Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica in it's original form).

When I took Latin and it's sidekick, Ancient Greek, in school (albeit for 2 and 1 year(s) respectively) neither was promoted with any kind of religious implication. In fact, I took Greek as an elective - Latin was compulsory for 2 years - to get out of having to study Comparative Religion!

However, I'm of course talking about this from a UK standpoint, where religiosity in general has been in a steady decline (apart from the lengthening claws of a vocal minority) for many years. This may not be applicable where you are.

It may be a dead language for day-to-day use (except in the Vatican) but as a reference point and basis for some commonality within many other fields of endeavour, it still has some value.

I would not opine for one moment that it should be compulsory, although I don't think it should be considered as some sort of insidious insertion of religiosity into the classroom, purely on the basis that it has much more influence than simply theology.
But honest men do not pretend to know; they are candid and sincere; they love the truth; they admit their ignorance, and they say, "We do not know." - Robert Green Ingersoll, "Superstition" (1898)
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Postby Sans_Deity » Fri Jul 21, 2006 7:10 pm

The use of Latin (and other "dead" languages) is, in my opinion, a combination of a "nod to history" and a pragmatic attempt to create and maintain a uniform standard in a diverse and changing world.

It is difficult to come up with an appropriate label in a language which is constantly undergoing subtle changes. We discussed this recently when deciding whether to list logical fallacies in the Latin or in common English.

My preference was for the Latin, with the common English label(s) included in the entry's summary, for the following reason:

- The Latin names aren't going to change
- The common English names can vary
- The wiki may, eventually, be translated into other languages

As a prime example:

Argument ad baculum, in English could be "argument from force", "appeal to force", "argument from the stick", "argument from threat" or any number of similar options. It will also have a variety of options in Spanish, French, German, etc. However, the Latin is unchanged and universal.

While English may someday become the universal language of the planet, Latin is already the universal language of science.

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Postby jhawksgirl » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:09 pm

I took several years of Latin. It's a wonderful language to study! If nothing else, learning latin (and greek, to a lesser extent) helped me get a kickass score on the old-school SAT. :) It's also proven to be a handy tool when dealing with medical and/or scientific information.

I don't think a secondary school level study of Latin is any more "tied in" with the Catholic Church than learning Spanish is tied-in to the immigration movement.
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Postby Kathy_4 » Sat Jul 29, 2006 10:14 pm

Latin sounds like a great language to learn. :P
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Postby Coleran » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:00 pm

Latin can also be a very useful language to know if you intend to learn other European languages as most have their linguistic roots in it as well as greek further back.

I had Latin at school and remember no references or insinuations towards religion at all. It may still be the Catholics language of choice, but it was around before them, and who knows, may still outlive them.

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Postby Coleran » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:04 pm

Latin can also be a very useful language to know if you intend to learn other European languages as most have their linguistic roots in it as well as greek further back.

I had Latin at school and remember no references or insinuations towards religion at all. It may still be the Catholics language of choice, but it was around before them, and who knows, may still outlive them.

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Postby Diaphanus » Mon May 12, 2008 10:06 am

I agree with Matt about the modern uses of Latin as a "nod to history" and such.

Latin may be what the linguists call extinct, but its modern form, Neo-Latin, is still alive and well. Just look at the Latin Wikipedia:

http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagina_prima

And look at some of the entries:

Atheismus
http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheismus
Caption: "Ricardus Dawkins est atheus."

Macaronoteras Volatile (The Flying Spaghetti Monster)
http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaronoteras_Volatile

Monoceros Rosea Invisibilis (Invisible Pink Unicorn)
http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monoceros_ ... nvisibilis

I studied Latin in school, and I enjoyed the experience, but what bothers me now is that although you do learn grammar and vocabulary in such courses, you really do not get to learn the details of word formation. Knowledge of Latin and Greek word formation is necessary if you want to create new words using word components of those languages. Unfortunately, the formation of new words is not always intuitive, and I had to learn a lot of it myself. What I would like to do is see more courses that are devoted to etymology and Latin-Greek word formation. If you have such knowledge, you can come up with something like...

Culipetasus Nonprophetarum (literally, "the Non-Prophets' Asshat")

for the name of a critter.
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Postby bugsoup » Mon May 12, 2008 5:20 pm

Diaphanus wrote:Knowledge of Latin and Greek word formation is necessary if you want to create new words using word components of those languages. Unfortunately, the formation of new words is not always intuitive, and I had to learn a lot of it myself. What I would like to do is see more courses that are devoted to etymology and Latin-Greek word formation. If you have such knowledge, you can come up with something like...

Culipetasus Nonprophetarum (literally, "the Non-Prophets' Asshat")

for the name of a critter.
It sounds like Latin is a lot like Lego. They both are based on core building block and you can basically make anything out of them. Is Latin such an open platform that anyone can translate any phrase/word? I was never very good learning French in HS, so I'm not sure if I could even survive learning Latin to the point where I could apply it.
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Postby donnyton » Tue May 13, 2008 1:51 am

When you consider the fact that Latin gave birth to many other languages...that's like saying that learning to read is a plot by the Church to get people to read bibles.
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Postby Diaphanus » Tue May 13, 2008 9:33 am

Do you feel the inclusion of Latin in secondary school curriculum is associated with the agendas of the Catholic church?

No, I don't think so, and I agree with many of the comments (from people of like mind) in this thread.

bugsoup wrote:It sounds like Latin is a lot like Lego.

That's a great analogy! I want to use that somewhere (and I'll credit you).

Latin-Greek word formation can be divided into two categories: composition, the creation of compounded words (e.g. tyrannos + sauros = Tyrannosaurus), and derivation, the use of prefixes and suffixes (e.g. Tyrannosaurus + -inae = Tyrannosaurinae). The two languages complement each other: Latin specializes in derivation, but Greek specializes in composition. Dinosaur names that are compounds are very often Greek-derived (Velociraptor is an important exception).

bugsoup wrote:Is Latin such an open platform that anyone can translate any phrase/word? I was never very good learning French in HS, so I'm not sure if I could even survive learning Latin to the point where I could apply it.

I think so, although some modern translations seem more like definitions instead of actual translations. "Bikini" has been translated as vesticula balnearis bikiniana, but that would be quickly shortened to bikiniana.

Latin is a pretty fecund language in that it can a) use existing words with new meanings, b) borrow words from Ancient Greek, c) borrow words from Modern Greek, d) borrow words from Italian, e) borrow words from any other language and then use those words as if they were Latin. Tiktaalik, for instance, is treated as Latin, and it would get the usual Latin suffixes (if it doesn't already).
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Postby Legato » Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:44 am

Latin is a fantastic language from which most major western languages either originate or have strong influence. Latin is the ancient Roman language, not the Catholic language.

Hell, maybe if more people understood Latin, more people would understand those little bits of wisdom immortalized in little Latin phrases. :P

But then again, I think I would also advocate that second and third languages be taught in elementary school just for the mind-expanding that's a direct result of it.
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Postby Diaphanus » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:31 pm

Legato wrote:Latin is the ancient Roman language, not the Catholic language.

I agree! :D

Legato wrote:Hell, maybe if more people understood Latin, more people would understand those little bits of wisdom immortalized in little Latin phrases. :P

Right!

Tu intelligens es! :D
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Postby Thomas » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:38 am

Unless students only study classical latin, they will read a lot of Christian and Humanist texts. So i would say that latin introduces people to Christians literature and we therefor we Catholics usually support latin education.
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Postby dromedaryhump1 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:06 am

therefor we Catholics usually support latin education.


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