Sunday, August 12, 2012

Misconceptions, Preconceptions, and Assumptions

Sunday Service Discussion Notes for August 5 and August 12, 2012

Over the course of two weeks we discussed the ideas of Misconceptions, Preconceptions, and Assumptions.

We started the discussion by reading some brief definitions of these words:

  • Misconception: a mistaken view, belief, or wrong idea.
  • Preconception: an opinion formed before obtaining adequate evidence, especially as the result of bias or prejudice.
  • Assumption: the act of taking for granted, or supposing a thing without proof; a supposition; an unwarrantable claim.

The root of all evil is fear. President Franklin Roosevelt's famous quote was cited:
"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

UMS founder Damien Simpson was quoted as saying:
"Prejudice is being down on something that you are not up on."

One of our participants talked about a discussion he was having with a Muslim coworker not long after the tragedy of September 11th. As they discussed the idea of preconceptions about groups of people based on the actions of a few, or even one person, his associate said to him, "If Al Queda represents Islam, then the KKK must represent Christianity."

Another participant related stories of how she grew up in a time and place of very prevalent racial prejudice. She talked about all of the negative things she would hear one group saying about another, and that she had to always try to make decisions about others only after consulting with her heart, because if she were only to use the ideas of others to guide her then she would be likely to misjudge people.

If we have an opinion about something we owe it to ourselves to learn as much as we can about it, and to do so with an open mind. We said that we should not make generalizations because they lead to unfair blame, stereotypes, and scapegoating.

What do we do about hatred based on fear? It starts with ourselves. We must look within to change what we see without. What we think, we manifest.

It was noted that sometime, we, as a people can become stuck in a rut, and certain assumptions can become so ingrained that sudden, jarring events of great magnitude, such as the recent shooting at the Sikh temple, or a tragedy such as September 11th, become the only means to wake people up. People are forced to examine their beliefs. We talked about the need to be aware that many of the things we fear are sensationalized by society and the media for ratings and profits. We must take the time to examine what we perceive within the grand scheme of things, and realize that what is being suggested to us may not be as bad as it sounds.

We observed that Fear and Excitement are very similar energies.

God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and sound mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment