All good questions. Answering them and debating them would quickly fill pages and pages of this forum (as I am sure it already did, if one looks through older threads). My short response would be: there are great photographers who do not edit, and there are great photographers who edit extensively.
Thus I will limit my response to your posted edit (welcome, btw - I thought I'd get that out of the way before I embark on saying something that might be interpreted as unwelcoming
It does not work for me. As a client, I would rather accept the original version (this is not to say the real client might not prefer the edited one). Your edit breaches what I like to call believability. I assume you wanted to replace the gray, overcast lighting with some glorious, orange glow of the late afternoon sun. That is all fine, but, in my opinion, you overdid it.
That the sun, hitting the right side of the pillars, could be that orange is actually believable. Anything else, given that it is in the shade, isn't - shades are typically cooler, bluish. The guy's hand is particularly overdone in its "orange-ness". That patch of dry grass in the lower left corner now fights for attention, given how bright and orange it is. Even if not so orange, it would be a prime candidate for a different kind of editing: cloning out. It does not add anything to the story but distracts.
So, edit yes, but the right one for the purpose.
Welcome again, and my apologies if I turned your attempt at a philosophical debate into a lowly critique.