This online course will challenge our deeply embedded assumptions. Each of us holds a set of basic assumptions about how the world works. For example, is it more likely that:
- We live in a material world that can ultimately be described by scientific findings, or is there a spiritual and mystical world that exists outside the reach of science?
- All humans are created as equals, or intrinsic differences among various castes, races, or genders require unequal treatment of humans?
- Scientific methods provide the most reliable ways of knowing, or religious faith and divine revelation are the true paths toward knowing?
- Evidence provided by relevant experts is more reliable that evidence provided by authorities, or the views expressed by authorities must be obeyed?
Poet Anaïs Nin observed “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” What assumptions shape how we see the world? Are we aware of these assumptions, or are they so fundamental to who we are that they remain unknown even to us? Are these assumptions well founded and helpful? How might we see things differently if we presumed things differently? Are our assumptions good representations of reality? Are these assumptions helpful; do they contribute to our well-being?