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"Questioning authority" - GRE topic.


Kahollavan81 4 / 6  
Aug 16, 2009   #1
"Question authority. Only by questioning accepted wisdom can we advance our understanding of the world."

Questioning authority is the source of understanding and the prerequisite for advancement. I agree that with this concept because questioning authority brings advancement to education, repairs faulty authority, and searches for the logic behind a law.

Advancement in the field of education is important because it empowers us. For example, before Charles Darwin discovered the theory of evolution he questioned the accepted belief of creationism. His finding led the world to understand that adaptation is the source of speciation. If he had not done so, people would continue to believe that god created all the animal biodiversity on earth.

Questioning those in power is crucial for keeping a government and its people in equilibrium. In countries where authorities are not questioned, people are oppressed. North Korea is one such country where those in power are not questioned. Their decision are made solely in their own interest. North Koreans have no influence on the condition and direction of their country and are starving to death. If the citizens had the right to question their leader, their power would increase and their condition would improve.

Searching for a logical explanation is important for one's motivation to follow rules. In the military, soldiers are often not presented with a reason for an action being asked of them. Soldiers become frustrated with this approach, and don't perform optimally. When I was in the military, a member of my platoon was ordered not to enter an area but was not provided an explanation. He disrequarded this order and entered the area to inquire what was not explained to him and was almost shot. If he was provided a reason for not entering, such a risk could have been avoided.

Questioning authority has the potential to escalate to chaos. Events in history such as the beating of Rodny King or the recent reelection of Ahmad Jinadad have led people to question. Both situations resulted in mass violence and death. Nevertheless, if questioning brings a positive impact then it must be done despite resistance.

Understanding and progress can only come through questioning. In education it enhances our knowledge. In government, it empowers citizens. And finally, peoples inclination to follow rules is strengthened because of it. Often times the path to advancement is arduous but are worthwhile once it yeilds positive results. The greatest triumphs in history were engendered by those who questioned.

EF_Simone 2 / 1,986  
Aug 16, 2009   #2
This essay is not quite coherent enough for a GRE essay. You raise several issues associated with the question but do so in a disorganized manner rather than within a unified essay with a clear thesis. Did you outline before you started writing?
OP Kahollavan81 4 / 6  
Aug 16, 2009   #3
I did outline but I have not written an essay for six years so I am open to any suggestions.
EF_Sean 6 / 3,491  
Aug 17, 2009   #4
You need to elaborate more on your examples. At the moment, you are not using them to actually prove your points. You are simply assuming that the reader will see what you intend the examples to prove, but this isn't necessarily the case.

His finding led the world to understand that adaptation is the source of speciation. If he had not done so, people would continue to believe that god created all the animal biodiversity on earth.

You're right. If Darwin had not questioned authority, there would be unity where there is now bitter acrimony, and traditional values would have been strengthened rather than weakened, and the current cultural malaise that afflicts us would have been avoided. Questioning authority is therefore clearly wrong . . . oh, wait, no, you want to argue the opposite of that. So, you need to take the next step and explain why Darwin's theory was such a good thing, rather than waiting for the reader to fill in the blanks.

If the citizens had the right to question their leader, their power would increase and their condition would improve.

Why? How? Again, you don't take the final step and answer these important questions. Perhaps allowing people to question the Dear Leader's supreme authority would in fact lead to civil war and a worsening of conditions. You provide no reason to believe otherwise in your essay as it stands.

He disrequarded this order and entered the area to inquire what was not explained to him and was almost shot.

And again . . . The solider questioned authority, and as a result almost died. If he had not questioned authority, he would have been much safer. How does this show that questioning authority is a good thing?

uestioning authority has the potential to escalate to chaos. Events in history such as the beating of Rodny King or the recent reelection of Ahmad Jinadad have led people to question. Both situations resulted in mass violence and death. Nevertheless, if questioning brings a positive impact then it must be done despite resistance.

But you haven't shown that there is a positive impact, which is the main problem with this essay throughout.


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