I think that arts are certainly very important for society! I plan on getting a major in science purely because I enjoy the subject. But I also happen to draw quite a lot and do pastel work. I love both and think they're equally important. Though the only problem with an art major is it's nearly impossible to come by a job in the field nowadays...
Not at all! The visual arts especially are important because in a consumer society the prettiest things are the things that get bought!