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Holy War and Authority

Jan 16, 1995 11:58 AM
by Arthur Paul Patterson

It might sound as if authority issues are the bee in my bonnet
but really I do think that a sustained and vulnerable discussion
on the ground of authority would be a first step in being able to
talk about ethical issues.  When your basic hermenuetics
(priniciples of interpretation) are different it is inevitable
that we speak past one another.

What I appreciated about John's post was his unequivical
statement that he roots his authority in individual experience.
Nicholas on the other hand makes an appeal to traditional
authority when he says that we don't need to re-invent the wheel.
There as strengths and weaknesses in both positions I am sure.  I
would like to hear what the members of the list think they are.

I am not coming from anywhere in particular since I have been
cleaned out of belief and am only now trying to rebuild.  At one
time I honored authority of tradition because it seemed superior
to my subjectivity.  But with some inner work I found that there
is an inner authority that seems quite different than just my
egocentrism and I am trying to learn to trust that.  Tradition
has let me down intellectually and emotionally many times.
Appeals to authority rooted in tradition tend toward a
collectivity that barely seems conscious enough for the
individual to rely on.

So, I would like to hear what your experiences of depending on
various forms of authority are like and if you have come to any
"relative" ground on the issue.  John I think that you are too
cynical about the healing of effect of your honesty I for one
appreciate it.

Arthur Paul Patterson

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