We humans aren’t always clear-headed. Presumptions frequently encroach — in arenas in which otherwise rational consideration is the norm. Below are a few samples. . . .
. . . presumptions of church elders who think the Spirit of God, rather than man’s systems in the current era, appointed them
. . . presumptions of today’s ministers and pastors, thinking that the authority manifested by Paul and Barnabas (i.e., when these apostles taught, appointed elders, etc.) somehow extends to them in the 21st century
. . . presumptions of bloggers who come off as though they think they know more than they do [and presumptions of blog readers who may think the bloggers think they know too much] . . .
. . . presumptions of supposedly scientific researchers (see pic and explanation below)
Some people presume they’ve got it all figured out. They may even get government grants to publicize widely their findings. If you look closely, you can make out three categories at the upper right in the image above: Visual, “Maunal,”¹ (sic) and Cognitive. The folks who came up with this tripartite beast of “driving distraction” think they are serving the public, but they seem not to grasp what they are assuming/presuming. The assumptions are not without some basis, but they might be said to extend as follows:
- that horse-blinders are needed for drivers, in order to eliminate anything but the road from view
- that every knob and button should be removed from the dashboard of a car, so that the “maunal”¹ (sic) distractions might be eliminated
- that, in order to guarantee safety on the roads, we should attach a mental extrication device via electrodes, so all thoughts could be eliminated from the driver’s mind
It is irrational to think the eyes must be looking directly at the road at all times.
It is irrational to think the hands may not do anything but grip the steering wheel.
And it is triply irrational to think a driver cannot think about things other than driving.
I’m for safe driving, although I admit I’m not always the safest. A driver must know his/her own limits. We cannot legislate everything, and we look presumptuous and silly when we try to. To the extent that the author of this article in a university alumni magazine seeks to legislate safety, s/he needs to get off the elevated equine and stop presuming that that can or should be done.
Not all presumptions are evil or even unwise, but they should be recognized as presumptions nonetheless.
¹ Ya think someone writing up this thing about distractions might have paused to wonder whether s/he were distracted while writing it? It’s “manual,” not “maunal.” Good grief.