"Anyone who argues by referring to authority is not using his mind but rather his memory."
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Or the Press. Excellent! the worlds greatest Artist - even BR may agree with that one...
 -- RobertSRQ     
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    I say that he who argues by referring to authority is not strongly rooted in their own personal convictions.Either that or this person has no personal convictions and believes that "authorities position" is the position of Truth.How sad because that's not always true.(my opinions)
     -- Me Again.     
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    Arguing by referring to authority is done by indoctrinated Loyalists as opposed to thinking Patriots.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    J Carlton, said very well
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The best disputation is done by those who have assimilated, digested, and mulled over disparate snippets of knowledge and made of it their own truth which they can then exclaim as thoughts of their own. On the other hand honest discourse should give occasional reference to others thought. It is said that nothing is new under the sun and we should give foot notes and credit where credit is due.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    This is my biggest complaint when speaking with people who say 'the Bible tells us' or 'Al Gore said' or 'everyone knows,' etc.. They give up their capacity to reason and their responsibility to think. I honor an opposing viewpoint that has been well thought out -- I have little respect for those that merely parrot the party line.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, I don't mind knowing what the Bible or Al Gore says, but I also want to know the motivation behind why they say what they say.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Academic discourse as opposed to political banter and BS requires extensive research, footnoting and attribution as to sources. Opinions are cheap enough but facts, knowledge, and opinions of respected authorities are jewels to be treasured.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    It is a chestnut of the philosophy world to ask what came first: thought or language. Language is merely the ability to communicate an idea, whether this be through grunting, pointing, speaking, or acting. Ideas are funny things. Like the postulates of science, ideas are built on the past as well as perceived outcomes of the future. As the literal or figurative Adam and Eve took their first steps out of the Garden of Eden, they started the path of ideas upon which they passed to their children and their children's children, etc. While it is impossible to be purely objective in looking down the corridors of history to see things for how they actually were (it's hard enough for us to see our own day for how things ARE and not how we WANT them to be), we do, however, gain a better sense of who we are as individual's and groups in the grand-scale of things when we understand the evolution of thought that has proceeded us. The evolution of thought has rested and made leaps from generation to generation. Mozart influenced Beethoven who then single-handedly became the first and only accepted man to individually make a musical transition from one period (classical) into another (romantic). Beethoven cannot be truly understood, if you're actually seeking to studying and understand his music beyond amateur listening pleasure, unless you understand the evolution of music and philosophy before him. His music being as political as it was melodic, he transformed the way people saw the world. Not only could we not understand how Beethoven transformed music from one genre to the next without understanding his predecessors, but Beethoven himself would not have had the life experience to create his masterful works unless there had been a Mozart, Hayden, Handle, and Bach to come before him. For this reason, there becomes a necessary link we must make to our past and to our ancestors who handed us the world we now have. The problem, however, is when we put trust or fear in the man instead of the message. One man is the same as another, but the ideas that one man can carry forth from one to another are what has proven to make men great. For this reason, many people fall into the fallacy of disregarding truth because of the messenger who carries the message. Ad hominems become rampant as the ignorant find it easier to discredit/purport an idea by attacking/supporting the atrocities/grandness of the messenger, instead of the message itself.
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Good stuff Logan. A thought, philosophy or statement that changed my life by changing my thinking was by Emerson in his essay "Self Reliance". He made what was to me a revolutionary statement when he built on the truth "that all men are created equal". He said each of us to day are in the sight of God equal to any man that has ever lived including the prophets. We are not more equal or greater than they but we are intrinsically equal in rights to have thoughts, use our minds etcetera. We should respect those folks and give some due to those who have stood the test of time but we should not bow the knee as you seemed to say in a subservient manner. I have worked through some rock and roll song books and one would have to be totally nuts not to see the connection from artist to artist, decade to decade and generation to generation.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    An apt quote for bible/Koran quoting fanatics.
     -- H. Samsami, LONDON     
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    This reminds me of the the last judgement from upper right and clockwise, and the renaissance of engineering.
    Following legislation blindly is the lowest form of control, and simple compliance with it leads to a pathological culture.
    Next are the standards, which lead to an uncaring organization, able to demonstrate compliance through copying and documenting such.
    Even better individually tailored internal management systems achieve improvement, but are weighted and destined to be simple bureaucracy.
    The true movement comes from the ability to forgive, and by using the mistakes of others, practice the art of implementing lessons learned. Hopefully all done upon recognition of potential critical failures as they happen, and not actual failures.
     -- Cato, Vejle     
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    I also really appreciate reading everything the people here are saying about this quote, it is truly inspiring.
     -- Me again too, Vejle     
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    An example to the point of the quote is an example in the difference between natural law and legal positivism.

    At natural law, the noble being man is free - with his mind recognizing the things as they are. The argument becomes how best to describe gravity, patterns of physics, recurring acts of science, how fiscal law supersedes all other perceptions of economics or how best to order liberty.

    Legal positivism reduces the argument to the mindless: the supervisor at the IRS said so - if memory serves, the court, with all its glory and authority legislated it from the bench, or I'm right because it has been written by the carnal god authority to to keep the hegemony of tyranny alive.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Really, Waffler, you were most inspired by Emerson's 'Self-Reliance' ... what happened?! Funny, the very same points are made in the Declaration of Independence a hundred years earlier -- in fact, America is founded upon such principles! I'd be curious on how you might twist Emerson's words to support your worship of authority and dependence upon the State. Once again, you demonstrate the quote by repeatedly referring to authority rather than principle -- this quote is about YOU!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Read Leo Tolstoy on Patriotism...
     -- Robert, Somewhere in the USA     
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