How do you define authority?

Whirlysplat

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Can it be defined by power, knowledge, wealth, the supernatural :confused: or something else? Does one give it to themselves...or is it given to them by another?


Discuss

- Whirly
 
I guess you could define it as the trust others have in your ability to make decisions. Tough question though.
 
Authority are the people that make decisions, and enforce those decisions, right or wrong.
 
Wilhelm-Scream said:
I smell homework due. :down

Not at all, at 39 that seems unlikely. Assumptions are always foolish Wilhelm, they make an Ass out of u and me. It's a cliche but also a truth.

- Whirly
 
My Mom is in her 50's and calls to moan about her homework all the time.
Assuming that a person in their 30's wouldn't have a homework assignment is incredibly foolish.
 
Wilhelm-Scream said:
My Mom is in her 50's and calls to moan about her homework all the time.

I'm glad your mum continues to educate herself as her lifes journey continues. It shows intelligence, that's not an assumption, it's an observation based on disclosed information. Actually I lecture. So usually I set homework, although I detest marking it. Back to the thread anyway.

- Whirly
 
Authority is that which regulates the actions of others, or at least attempts to.
 
cartman002b.jpg
 
Fledermaus said:
Authority are the people that make decisions, and enforce those decisions, right or wrong.

For me power defines authority in some ways, and Nietzsche would agree with that. If you have more power, then you can force others to do what you want, if they don´t do, they are arrested, or punished somehow. If you had more power than the state, would you need to follow its laws ? Or you would make your own laws ? History show us that authority depends on power, King Henry VIII did not follow the Pope because it was the right thing to do in his opinion, he wanted a divorce lol, or it was the will of God... it was because the Pope had more power than the king. Do you think criminals will still be criminals if they had too much power ? No, they will be the law, and you will be the criminal - Mr Bush springs to mind, waiting for the flames to come lol. Christians were like criminals in Rome before they acquired power. Not that christians are criminals, but criminal is a relative concept. This is only part of the story though. Authority can be conferred to trusted others.

People are so much the hypocrites when they state their opinions about right, and wrong... they believe something is right with no doubt, but that same thing is only justified because not agreeing with that would mean punishment for you... it is the law of the jungle, for example, people are quick to condem piracy, but relatively to many other legally accepted injustices of capitalism, it is a minor problem. People like to associate right, and wrong to the laws of the society, and if you ask them many will deny, but when something happen, everyone quickly judges you for your actions, but when someone kills in mass(for example), and have the "authority" to do that he will never be judged since it is legal. I personally thought of Iraq, when I said kills in mass... if I was powerful enough to start a personnal attack on Iraq killing everyone on Iraq including inocents, which is a consequence of any war. I would probably be arrested, and considered a terrorist, or criminal. But if I am the president, and officially declare war, nope... I will not be arrested for killing people.

Thats is authority... you want to do something, and you do it... if you don´t have authority you suffer the consequences of your actions, if you have authority you don´t suffer the consequences, and if you have authority you have the power to justify our own actions using some random justification, just pick one : God´s will, divine right, laws, majority of opinion, etc. I´m not saying that those justifications are wrong, but they are not more right than my own opinions.

IMPORTANT : Its is like God, metaphysics... those things that "do not have pratical application", if you have authority, you can force people to follow a random metaphysical concept of your choice, or else they are punished. Believe me... you will not feel so free to talk about God being irreal, or about bible´s contradictions in the time where it was against law, it would be like commiting a crime.

Trust is the key:

We must give authority to those we'd trust. If that trust is violated then we must elect others to take their place. Impartiality does help too.


THWIP* said:

:lol: I knew Cartman would enter this.

- Whirly
 
It's just such a lame question. Everyone knows what "authority" is. It's bestowed by the majority in cases such as where 90% of the time, if a cop signals someone to pull over, they will, and then it's instantly meaningless in a case where a criminal doesn't respect the authority and defies it. However, then again, the police person's authority isn't completely intangible and abstract because the majority's consent has given him/her authority to, say, shoot weapons at criminals, or to ignore traffic law and engage in high speed chases, so when the minority (the criminal) doesn't acknowledge the authority, he can still be subject to it, but only if he's caught.

The answer to your question:
Can it be defined by power, knowledge, wealth, the supernatural or something else? Does one give it to themselves...or is it given to them by another?
is a simple, and very uninteresting, "YES".
And yes, there are many screwballs that believe authority is conferred upon people by "God" or by "Fate". If they believe it, then the authority is real. It's all perception.
 
Authority would be a power someone has over you to make you do something that you may or may not want to do. If you choose to disobey the Authority then you will be faced with consequences.
 
Wilhelm-Scream said:
It's just such a lame question. Everyone knows what "authority" is. It's bestowed by the majority in cases such as where 90% of the time, if a cop signals someone to pull over, they will, and then it's instantly meaningless in a case where a criminal doesn't respect the authority and defies it. However, then again, the police person's authority isn't completely intangible and abstract because the majority's consent has given him/her authority to, say, shoot weapons at criminals, or to ignore traffic law and engage in high speed chases, so when the minority (the criminal) doesn't acknowledge the authority, he can still be subject to it, but only if he's caught.

The answer to your question:
is a simple, and very uninteresting, "YES".
And yes, there are many screwballs that believe authority is conferred upon people by "God" or by "Fate". If they believe it, then the authority is real. It's all perception.

To a point I agree with you. However, I think you are making a bit of an assumption about how power is defined.

I don't believe that power equates to the amount of control one has over others. Rather..I think the concept of "power" is more accurately defined by the control one has over themselves.

If something exists that can control an individual on a physical, emotional, or spiritual level..then the authority that they have is indeed very limited, and is only relative to those who choose to subject themselves to it. Something I missed from my first post.

To me, authority is the idea of having the "power" to change ways of living and such by altering what is and isn't "Ok" or "legal" etc.

Impartiality is key. You must be able to stop what's wrong or harmful, change what's impractical or non-functional, create a working machine for lack of a better term. Or if not create, maintain fairly without exception in the idea of what it's creator wants. Where as some people get carried away with power.


If you're not interested why respond Wilhelm?

- Whirly
 
Whirlysplat said:
If something exists that can control an individual on a physical, emotional, or spiritual level..then the authority that they have is indeed very limited, and is only relative to those who choose to subject themselves to it. Something I missed from my first post.
That's what I said. The authority is as powerful as the obediance of those who consider themselves to be under that authority except in cases where coersion is possible (guy puts a shotgun to your head and says "drop that lollipop!"...you drop it willingly, or you drop it when he blows your head off)

Whirlysplat said:
If you're not interested why respond Wilhelm?
'Cause I wanted to express that I don't think it's thread-worthy because there's no need for discussion, The dictionary definitions:
The power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge.

One that is invested with this power, especially a government or body of government officials: land titles issued by the civil authority.

Power assigned to another; authorization: Deputies were given authority to make arrests.

A public agency or corporation with administrative powers in a specified field: a city transit authority.

An accepted source of expert information or advice: a noted authority on birds; a reference book often cited as an authority.

A quotation or citation from such a source: biblical authorities for a moral argument.

Justification; grounds: On what authority do you make such a claim?

A conclusive statement or decision that may be taken as a guide or precedent.

Power to influence or persuade resulting from knowledge or experience: political observers who acquire authority with age.

Confidence derived from experience or practice; firm self-assurance: played the sonata with authority.
are perfect.
 
Wilhelm-Scream said:
That's what I said. The authority is as powerful as the obediance of those who consider themselves to be under that authority except in cases where coersion is possible (guy puts a shotgun to your head and says "drop that lollipop!"...you drop it willingly, or you drop it when he blows your head off)

'Cause I wanted to express that I don't think it's thread-worthy because there's no need for discussion the dictionary definitions:
Are perfect.

Fair enough. I wasn't asking for what the dictionary thought. Secondary sources are usually perfect the writer has had more time to think about it. Problem is they kill a thread of this type by removing the personal aspect.
I was more interested in what you and others though than what the dictionary said.
Opinions vary as to what is thread worthy on a forum. Truth you came to attack what you percieved as a kid.

Wilhelm-Scream said:
I smell homework due. :down

You didn't like my response. It's no problem though.



- Whirly
 
heh, well, that works for "What are your favorite childhood memories?", or "Who's your favorite director?", or "Who's better, Led Zeppelin or the Beatles?"...but with this, it's not a matter of opinion, the word has set meanings, so that means that you wanted 2 kinds of posters: 1) people paraphrasing the dictionary definition and giving examples, and 2) People who are wrong.

I could get behind type 2) I guess because it's pretty entertaining to rip idiots apart on the interwebs. *shrug*
 
Wilhelm-Scream said:
heh, well, that works for "What are your favorite childhood memories?", or "Who's your favorite director?", or "Who's better, Led Zeppelin or the Beatles?"...but with this, it's not a matter of opinion, the word has set meanings, so that means that you wanted 2 kinds of posters: 1) people paraphrasing the dictionary definition and giving examples, and 2) People who are wrong.

I could get behind type 2) I guess because it's pretty entertaining to rip idiots apart on the interwebs. *shrug*

No need to become aggressive, thats really not needed. Also no need to call anyone an idiot. I'm not going to bother responding to a post that is purely meant to incite. I don't know you, and you don't know me. I have behaved appropriately, you had also behaved pretty much appropriately to this point apart from your initial assumption. As for being wrong you agreed with my definition. Which was......... mine.

- Whirly
 
I believe another thread is falling victim to intense generalisation and ambiguity,and this is due to the fact that the idea of authority has no single historical definition on which we can rely on.Originally, its dominant meaning was the capacity to evoke voluntary compliance or assent.It has now changed,in the sense that it is currently the capacity to evoke compliance or assent, whether voluntary or not.

Basically, we are all aware of the fact that it represents the power to influence,manifested by a specific person in a personal manner over somebody or something.I think a more valid topic would be to what extent do you agree with the reinforcing of authority over men,or something along these lines.The concept of authority is,even if in a primitive way,pretty much clear to us.
 
authority = power and corruption! <--well most of the time
 
For me it'd be a person or persons who are particularly knowledgable or responsible in a certain field and thusly are allowed to have the utmost power in said field. It obviously doesn't always work out like that, and can sometimes be defined by everything Whirlysplat listed and more, which sorta ties into My vengeance's point.
 
Definition of Authority: You do what I tell you to do... no questions asked.
 
i suppose if someone has an unquestionable trait in a given area, then they are a world authority on it.

if however anyone has more of this trait than yourself or is believed to have more of this trait than yourself and then are placed in a position to exploit this trait, then they are deemed to have an authority over yourself.

at least that's how i would see it, whether it's correct or not really doesn't matter at the end of the day.
 

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