Why do people trust authority figures when they often make them frustrated? There is a problem with trusting authority. Instead of committing the logical fallacy of appealing to authority, you can apply five ways to begin to question authority figures and to arrive at your own conclusions.
A Return To Questioning Authority
Problem With Trusting Authority
The problem with questioning authority is that an authority figure, whomever it may be, presents only one solution. There are many examples of this in society. One example is to go to college because then you will be able to get a good-paying job that will turn into a career. A second example is to trust politicians because they are public servants with your best interest in mind, despite having insider trading and not following their own covid restrictions. A third example is that the education system only teaches students to study enough to pass a quiz or exam for a professor without teaching them any essential life skills that will adequately prepare them for life.
Trust authority makes you subjugate to someone you think is your leader or who is better than you. This makes you believe they know more than you, are more intelligent, and can do things you cannot do. By trusting authorities, you are devaluing yourself as an individual and not acknowledging your full potential. You remain stuck in a fixed mindset by lettering leaders or those in authority to tell you what to do and how to live your life.
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Logical Fallacy Of Appealing To Authority
Another reason not to appeal to authority is a logical fallacy. According to Logical Fallacy, “Appeal to Authority (argumentum ad verecundiam) logical fallacy and Argument from Authority(argumentum ab auctoritate) are the same form of of [sic] discussion argument in which person producing a claim referencing the opinion of an authority as evidence to support an argument. As a fallacy it’s included onto Red Herring Fallacies group.”
It is a logical fallacy because a person is appealing to an authority believing that they are a credible source and unquestionably believing what the authority figure is saying to be true. When you take someone whom society tells you is an “expert” or an “authority” figure at their word instead of doing your own research and arriving at your own opinion, you are committing the logical fallacy of appealing to authority. What can be a supposed source of authority? It could be the mainstream media, a politician, a public health expert, or anyone else who claims they are the one source of authority on a topic or issue.
5 Ways How To Begin To Question Authority
Obeying authority kills the best parts of human nature. It kills creativity. It kills critical thinking. It makes people mindless followers. People stop being able to think for themselves when they rely on authority figures. Here are five ways how beginning to question authority can help you!
Be More Creative
When you question authority, you will start to be more creative. You may find yourself no longer being boxed into one way of thinking. Instead, you will begin to unleash your full creative potential. It may look like writing your first book or novel. It could be painting a picture. Maybe it is opening an Etsy store to sell jewelry or something else.
You never did those things because people, especially someone in authority, said you could never do those things. You believed that person, so you never did. When you question authority, you realize that they may be wrong and that you could do a creative venture which you always wanted to do, but you allowed others to hold you back.
You will also begin to think critically instead of relying on a source of authority for everything. You will start to learn about logical fallacies. You will learn how to make rational arguments. This will help to improve your recognition of invalid arguments when people use them. You will even be able to recognize when a supposed expert makes a logical fallacy. You can also apply critical thinking in other areas of your life to help you make decisions and arrive at a choice rationally.
Think For Yourself
You can then begin to think for yourself. Rather than always taking an authority figure at their word, you can judge for yourself. Does it make sense? How accurately does what you are being told to think match reality? You can apply critical thinking skills to arrive at your own conclusions on different topics and issues.
Do Your Own Research
You can also begin to do your research. Instead of believing an authority figure or what the mainstream media says, you can do your research or read the documents that the people in authority are citing. You may find they are trying to skew the data to push their narrative when data or information may go against what they are saying.
You can begin by using search engines to read different articles from people across the political spectrum. You can also read articles from people who come from different backgrounds and have additional expertise. There is no such thing as an “expert” that everyone must trust and never question. You can then use other search engines, like Brave instead of Google, since it does not censor or manipulate the results. You may then find the information you could not find on other search engines.
You can then learn how to read academic and scientific papers so you can decide if what they are presenting holds up or not. You can investigate who funded the academic and scientific research to be done. Is there a conflict of interest?
Finally, you can find good investigative journalists who don’t just tell you information that fits into one side of the right versus left political paradigm but do research. These journalists have become difficult to find today, but you can find them mostly on alternative video platforms such as Odysee or Rokfin. They will find and cite documents you will never hear about or see on mainstream news outlets like Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC, whose only job is to push propaganda onto people.
Learn to question everything. Trust and verify—practice due diligence. Stop relying on emotions and begin to think critically. Start to go below the surface on issues and topics and begin to go deeper. Stop taking the things that society, “experts”, and people who are in positions of authority tell you what to do, how to think, and how to live your life.
Why Questioning Authority Is Important
Questioning authority is important because they are human, just like you and me. They make mistakes. They have their own biases. They have their self-interests. There is no reason to trust an authority figure simply because society says you must.
You will begin to be more creative when you think for yourself. You will start to discover your solutions to problems. This could help you to stop being stuck where you are and to find a way to improve your life. If you always trust an authority figure or an institution to have your best interest in mind, which they may or may not, then you will likely remain stuck where you currently are.
How Questioning Authority Benefits You
It can help you to find solutions for yourself and others. It will make you an independent thinker. You will stop conforming or going along with things merely to please people. When you stop conforming and going along with the crowd and begin to go against the grain, you will start seeing things that others do not. When you think critically, you begin to discover problems to find solutions. You can then present solutions to people in different ways to help yourself and improve the lives of others. What that looks like will depend on you.
Contrary to what society tells you and what you were taught in school, there is nothing wrong with questioning authority. A return to questioning authority can improve your life. It can also improve the lives of the people around you as you present them with solutions to problems that you people have to deal with in everyday life. You can teach your friends and family to think for themselves instead of always trusting authority.
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