Authority

I consider the subordination of reason to the authority of any person to be idolatry.

Custom is a violent and treacherous school mistress. She, by little and little, slyly and unperceived, slips in the foot of her authority; but having by this gentle and humble beginning, with the benefit of time, fixed and established it, she then unmasks a furious and tyrannic countenance, against which we have no more the courage or the power so much as to lift up our eyes.

Each of the four main virtues - wisdom, courage, temperance, justice - is a sovereign wielding authority.

Most tyrannous is the authority of custom.

The world is governed by three things - wisdom, authority, and appearance. Wisdom for thoughtful people, authority for rough people, and appearances for the great mass of superficial people who can look only at the outside.

The fundamental argument for freedom of opinion is the doubtfulness of all our beliefs. If we certainly knew the truth, there would be something to be said for teaching it. But in that case it could be taught without invoking authority, by means of its inherent reasonableness.

The pith of conversation does not consist in exhibiting your own superior knowledge on matters of small importance, but in enlarging, improving, and correcting the information you possess, by the authority of others.

Maturity is a quality of personality made up of a number of elements. It is stick-to-itiveness, the ability to stick to a job, to work on it and to struggle through it until it is finished, or until one has given all one has in the endeavor. It is the quality or capacity of giving more than is asked or required in a given situation. It is this characteristic that enables others to count on one; thus it is reliability. Persistence is an aspect of maturity; persistence to carry out a a goal in the face of difficulties. Endurance enters into the concept of maturity; the endurance of difficulties, unpleasantness, discomfort, frustration, hardship. The ability to size things up, make one's own decisions, is a characteristic of maturity. This implies a considerable amount of independence. A mature person is not dependent unless ill. Maturity includes a determination, a will to succeed and achieve, a will to live. Of course, maturity represents the capacity to cooperate; to work with others; to work in an organization and under authority. The mature person is flexible, can defer to time, persons, circumstances. He can show tolerance. He can be patient, and, above all, he has qualities of adaptability and compromise. Basically, maturity represents a wholesome amalgamation of two things: 1) Dissatisfaction with the status quo, which calls forth aggressive, constructive effort, and 2) Social concern and devotion. Emotional maturity is the morale of the individual.

A moral decision is the loneliest thing that exists. Knowledge is shed abroad everywhere. Anybody may dip his cup into that great sea and take out what he can. It is a public appropriation from a public store. But what the man himself must do as a moral being, what ordering he shall make of his life, what allegiance he shall choose, what cause he shall cleave to - this is decided in that solitude where his soul in authentic presence lives with no other companion than the Final Authority which he recognizes as supreme.

Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; but still more when they are super bad and add the tendency of the certainty of corruption of authority.

Truth is the secret of eloquence and virtue, the basis of moral authority; it is the highest summit of art and of life.

All I have is a voice to undo the folded lie, the romantic lie in the brain of the sensual man-in-the-street and the lie of Authority whose buildings grope the sky: there is no such thing as the State and no one exists alone; hunger allows no choice to the citizen or the police; we must love one another or die.

There in fact four very significant stumbling-blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, long-standing custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge... there are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience.

The best government rests on the people, and not on the few, on persons and not on property, on the free development of public opinion and not on authority.

There is no stopping the world’s tendency to throw off imposed restraints, the religious authority that is based on the ignorance of the many, the political authority that is based on the knowledge of the few.

The acceptance of women as authority figures or as role models is an important step I female education... It is this process of identification, respect, and then self-respect that promotes growth.

Reason and authority, the two brightest lights of the world.

Nothing enhances authority better than silence.

"Faith is tendency toward action." According to such a view, faith is the matrix of formulated creeds and the inspiration of endeavor... Faith in its newer sense signifies that experience itself is the sole ultimate authority.

Tracing the progress of mankind in the ascending path of civilization, and moral and intellectual culture, our fathers found that the divine ordinance of government, in every stage of ascent, was adjustable on principles of the common reason to the actual condition of a people, and always had for its objects, in the benevolent councils of the divine wisdom, the happiness, the expansion, the security, the elevation of society, and the redemption of man. They sought in vain for any title of authority of man over man, except of superior capacity and higher morality.