Does history matter?Watch
The problem with history, is that it's very complicated, and people generally don't care or even when they care they are often unable to get a 'proper' set of data on particular events, which results in
As a result, people often draw very wrong conclusions from history. For example, I often hear and see an argument that societies or states must be built on religion, because without religion societies or states are much worse and the case of USSR proves that. - First of all, people raising such arguments don't understand that a single, ten or even 20 examples make a very poor argument.
The second thing is, you could easily find very specific features of Bolshevik and Maoist ideologies, that were identical with features of most if not all major religions, and those features were crucial for existence of said ideologies, their ability to promote themselves and to last while slaughtering whole society, and in the end you could come to a conclusion, that said ideologies were actually very similar to religion in general, only they were younger and had their gods living on Earth, walking around other humans. Then people can draw exactly the opposite conclusions from the same history.
Also the Philosophy of Science for example, that has been providing many important clues for the development of scientific methodology in decades of the XXth century, largely used historical data to draw these conclusions.
You learn to read and walk and talk and socialise when you are a child, without your past you would be a blubbering stumbling slurring wreck. And so it is with the human race.
I draw inspiration from people of The Faith who in times past used it to transform themselves or situations . I face the same opportunity to escape a world that surrounds me in ordinariness.
In my opinion it does matter. There's many lessons to be learned from mistakes humanity has made in the past. They should be remembered so that they're not repeated in the future.
my own might be a bit irrelevant since this forum is rather old but I thought I’d say why I think history is important.
I think to say that history is irrelevant and that we should focus on the future is, in many ways, the same as claiming all subjects except for maths and sciences are irrelevant. All phenomenon that aren’t the result of specific natural laws and patterns, in some form or another find their articulation, development and genesis through a historical medium. All principles in sociology, politics, anthropology, even economics (to a certain extent) cannot exist without the sequences of human interaction that provided both context and substance for the creation of these theories, principles, -isms, etc. The reason why history is important for the future is because it provides a holistic perception (which is the only one that can be useful) of the various organizational principles that can be used in the reformation, hopefully for the better, of society.
But I don't think we should hang on to the past. A lot of cultures are regressive. The caste system in India is an example. Another is the role of women in a number of societies. Just because our ancestors did something, doesn't mean we should. Also religion. Don't just blindly believe in it. Research its history and how humanity came to believe in God(s) etc.