Article in Stretton Focus, April 2019

… and have a look at what you’ve been sitting on. We all make assumptions. An assumption is something that we just take for granted as being true, without raising any questions about it.

There was a time when people thought the world was flat, and the sun moved each day across the sky: it was obvious to anyone with eyes to see. It was taken as a fact of life; people just ‘sat on it’, assuming it to be true. Until, that is, a few people (heretics!) got off their ass-umptions, and started to ask awkward questions.

Parents might make assumptions that their children will follow in the family footsteps; and children themselves might assume that their parents are infallible sources of knowledge and wisdom. Until, that is, both of these assumptions are eventually exposed for what they are, bringing varying degrees of disappointment or elation.

If assumptions continue just to be sat on, they can harden into prejudice, stubbornness and arrogance. This is a particular danger where God and Religion are concerned: where God is often thought of, and addressed as, Somebody, somewhere out there.

If beliefs are not examined in the light of personal experience and honest questioning, one can get stuck in an irreversible attitude of ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’. If assumptions are not looked at from time to time, vis-a-vis our widening knowledge and our growing understanding of our place in an ever evolving universe, people will continue to be deceived, and engage in the deceit of others.

Donald Horsfield

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