Assumption: [uh-suhmp-shuhn] (noun) – something taken for granted; a supposition
I’m not sure that innocuous definition does justice to the dangerous power of assumptions. Maybe the subtlety of the definition hints at the subtlety of the concept, but it certainly does nothing to suggest its power.
- Assumptions are “just the way things are.”
- Assumptions are “how its always been done.”
- Assumptions are “the way the world works.”
I’m going to be teaching about assumptions for the next couple of Wednesday nights, and I wonder what the Fumbling family thinks about them. My own definition still doesn’t do them justice: “Assumptions are concepts that are merely supposed to be true, without consideration, investigation, or questioning.”
Here are some of the dangers associated with assumptions:
- Assumptions lie at the root of many, if not all, prejudices (could they be synonyms?).
- The unexamined nature of assumptions quenches imagination, because they disallow (or at least *strongly* resist) creative thinking and challenging.
- Assumptions blind us to reality: because we THINK we know something, we fail to see it for what it is and (more importantly) what it can be.
How would you define assumption? What would you add to the list of dangers associated with assumptions?