It is, fortunately, no longer general to find the idea of progress to be a given. Undoubtedly some do believe in progress, but they do not imply it is the general context in which to understand or view events.
An equivalent idea is the idea that everything comes, or will come, out finally. An idea like this is a faith, or part of a faith. It, or the idea of progress, like all faiths, is very powerful.
It does not bear examination, although it is difficult to refute.
It is useless, for example, to uncover cases of previously unknown âthingsâ?. All such revelations prove the very proposition they are intended to deny.
The reason it does not stand up to scrutiny is that it assumes the regular dichotomy is between the known and the unknown, whereas it is actually between the perceived and the ânot perceivedâ? and perception is hugely socially conditioned.
We colloquially refer to this fact by asking why nobody is acknowledging âthe elephant in the roomâ?. We often, in fact, conspire to ignore some things.
People of a conventional cast of mind are, by definition, most at home in such circumstances. Consequently, we favour those people when we seek to have âtruthsâ? suppressed or ignored. They are the ideal candidates for appointment to be judges, for instance.