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Questioning authority to advance and understand the world -GRE topic


msroger 1 / -  
May 11, 2011   #1
TOPIC: "Question Authority. Only by questioning accepted wisdom can we advance our understanding of the world."

I completely agree with the author with respect to the statement that we must question authority. But, i would like to add that questioning authority at all points of time might not prove out to be productive. It is to be done only in certain situations which is to be weighed by us.

Basically, right from the early age, man has been having this tendency of doing things what others do. Maybe he saw it in a secure sense that since the other man is doing that and seems to be fine and comfortable we can also try doing that. But in this age, man has also developed the trait of performing certain things which he's being instructed not to do specifically. So comparing both situations we can say that man is in an age wherein he can just obey the authority and do things but also question it if needed. It all depends upon the situation.

Even the earth was presumed to be a flat one and only when someone questioned the posssibility of the same that we came to know that the earth was actually spherical. Similarly, taking the case of Newton, he questioned against the possibility of an apple falling upon his head as to why it fell down and not move upwards. It was this thought of questioning against the authority and also succeeding in the same that led to the discovery of the gravitational force thereby leading to various phenomenal discoveries thereafter.

So its not required to from every man to follow what others say and be a follower but instead he must question it and analyse the truth within and then decide whether to be a follower of the said philosophy or become a leader giving a new one. But its not always that we can question the authority at all situations. In the case of Hitler, whatever may be case the persons questionng against him had their heads chopped off the moment they could barely finish their question. So in such cases of endangerment, one cannot afford to take up dissidence at the risk of his or her life. But yet it did require the risking of so many lives that finally brought an end to Hitler himself.

Only by questioning a given ideal or principle we may stumble upon new perspectives and new ways of looking at it.This thereby might lead to a better refined version of the said statement or principle or ideal whatsoever thus resulting in a better output.Also no wonder can be achieved by just following whats being said.

Taking the learning of a subject by a student, if the student just sticks to the notes prepared and given to him by his faculty he can just answer only that particular question which is being addressed to in the notes. But instead, if he just questions the logic behind it, he might gain a new perspective and develops a better understanding of the subject as a result of which he'll be prepared to face any kind of a question. Similarly in this world of sophistications and complexities it is indeed quite required of questioning authority.

Therefore, I would like to conclude by saying that only by questioning authority one can have a better realisation of the world but yet, turning out to be rebellious at all times isn't the way to the path of advancing our understanding of the world.

fedora - / 2  
May 12, 2011   #2
I completely agree with the author with respect to the statement that we must question authority. But, i would like to add that questioning authority at all points of time might not prove out to be productive. It is to be done only in certain situations which is to be weighed by us.

all the examples support the first statement. i think it would have been better if you quoted atleast one such "certain situation" where questioning the authority is not productive since it seems that you are accepting the contradicting point as well.

otherwise if it was strutured like

"i completely agree with the author with respect to the statement that we must question authority. even though questioning authority at all points of time might not prove out to be productive, i believe questioning the accepted wisdom is the way to advance our understanding of the world."

it would have been bettter.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,335 129  
May 13, 2011   #3
i think it would have been better if you quoted atleast one such "certain situation"

Great idea!!

I want to modify this first sentence:
It is to be done only in certain situations for which we deem questioning to be appropriate.

Let's use an action verb, and lets not say "has been having" because it sounds awkward:
Basically, right from the early age, man has been having exhibited this tendency of doing to do what others do.

I'll add a comma below for clarity:
Even the earth was presumed to be a flat one, and only when someone questioned the posssibility of the same that we came to know that the earth was actually spherical. ---Good example. I guess this is indeed an example of a situation where questioning is appropriate..

So its not required to from that every man follow what others say and be a follower, but instead he...---I don't like the way this essay used "he" and "man" all the time. It is language like this that perpetuates gender inequality and keeps women undermined. I know it is a common way to write and that you do not have good intentions, but I still want to mention: It is good to write about "people" and "humankind" rather than men and mankind.

Therefore, I would like to conclude by saying that only by questioning authority one can can one have...

:-)


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