On Determining Your Ultimate Authority

On Determining Your Ultimate Authority

Posted on:Sep 26 2007
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On the question of authority, consider this argument for my essential thesis: authority can only be challenged by another authority. If this is a statement of open authority, it cannot be challenged on the basis of its apparent contradiction. To call it a contradiction is to resort to a higher standard, a higher authority, rationalism. But the statement x is y is indisputable if the statement is ultimate authority.

Now as for trying to understand how this could be, it could be inferred that X is part of Y or that Y is part of X. It could be that X and Y are different names for the same entity. It could be that there are principles and interpretations that have not been thought of yet. It could be that X is Y in the sense of metaphor.

It’s not a true or false proposition; it is a yes or no answer. The point is the statement X is Y, while on the surface may seem to be an absolute contradiction, actually may not be at all.

It could also be that none of these explanations is needed because simply in the context of ultimate authority, X is Y – that the law, the excluded middle, does not apply.

It is part of a different lower standard, by which thinking occurs. One cannot judge that X is Y from an external standard. Its authority is indisputable. One may challenge it, but on the basis of a different ultimate authority. The key is to recognize which authority you are working from.

For some it is the scripture. For some it is rationalism. For some it is an enlightened personality. For some it is an intuitive sense of right. But for all there is some authority by which we judge.

Most of us have not stopped to ask the question, who is on the throne of my life? What is the authority by which I judge everything else?

The implications of this line of reasoning are absolutely life-changing.

They are fundamental to understanding the problems with Wittgenstein and with philosophy in general.

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