Power, Voice, Mandate: Moral Authority in the Contemporary Age


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 11
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    Soft Power of Deference: An Analysis of a Key Pillar of Moral Authority
    (2017-12-11) Kendall, Luke; Elvira Roncalli
    When faced with the issue of leadership, we are tasked with finding when it is appropriate to follow. In following, we are deferring our own authority in favor of another’s. The sliding scale of authority teeters between complacency and anarchy, providing a challenge as to where we can find the effective middle ground for a functioning society. This paper breaks down the parts of authority and discusses the necessity of community deference, namely with respect to the rise of a counter-cultural moral authority that seeks to better humanity. Moral authorities rely on a loyal following, from Nelson Mandela’s fight against apartheid or MLK Jr.’s battle for civil rights, and while we pride ourselves in critiquing authority I argue that there is a time and place to order one’s beliefs behind those of a moral authority in order to further the movement.
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    Moral Judgment: why should we judge and who has the right to?
    (2017-12-11) Moulton, Megan; Elvira Roncalli
    In this paper, I explore the origin of the moral authority to judge another person’s wrong actions through the relationships to those involved in the situation. I also argue that moral authority has an aspect grounded in past experience with similar situations and the ability to understand what it means to be held and to hold another morally responsible. The purpose of defining moral authority and its application is determined to be for the moral growth of the perpetrator, until further development is denied, in which case the possible occurrence of manipulation to stay in relation with the unchanging person is considered.
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    Correctional Officers, Step Off The Treadmill Of Power: The Lack Of Moral Authority In U.S. Correctional Officers
    (2017-12-11) Naidu, Kavida; Elvira Roncalli
    The abuse of authority and power is commonly encountered in different institutions. Similarly, prisons are not immune to the overuse of authority and power. Correctional officers exercise their authority on inmates in ways that result in a prison culture, which is filled with violence and dehumanization. Correctional officers often consider inmates as morally inferior beings, who deserve to be punished beyond sentence, for the crimes that they have committed are inexcusable. However, the abrasive environment of prisons places correctional officers in a situation where they eventually adopt the prison identity and find themselves trapped in this brutish incarcerated culture. This paper argues that the coercive working condition in U.S. prisons leads correctional officers to, not only behave in a coercive manner toward inmates, but also to dehumanize inmates in atrocious ways which violate fundamental human rights, authority and morality. Moral authority is crucial in the process of inmates’ rehabilitation therefore correctional officers in the U.S. should be encouraged to practice moral authority. This paper proceeds to draws upon an important distinction between authority and power, and legitimate authority and moral authority, in order to understand better which is lacking in U.S. prisons, in addition to an analysis of correctional officer–inmate relationship. Finally, this paper concludes that it is the structure of prisons that causes a significant lack of moral authority, but also, instigates not only an abuse of authority, but also a flawed understanding of authority itself.
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    The Nature of Authority in Nature
    (2017-12-11) Cleary, Sean; Elvira Roncalli
    Everything from the clothes we wear to the food we eat is related to the natural world around us. Why do we Montana residents where a fluffy jacket while walking to class in the middle of December? What makes us decide on athletic shorts in July? Although these questions offer a simple response: Montana winters are colder than a Tibetan tin toilet top and Montana summers are hotter than hells pepper patch, they indicate that the natural world influences the way we act on a daily basis. We certainly have the freedom to rock a bikini in the freezing cold and a wool coat in the summer's heat, but nature (in extremely persuasive fashion) cautions us not to. A similar concept can be applied to what we eat, do people in the American Midwest simply have an unparalleled desire to eat an abundance of corn? Do residents of New England just love the taste of lobster more than those who reside in Arizona? For some, this may be the case, however if we examine these trends on a population level it becomes clear that we eat what is available to us. Again, nature surely grants us Montanans the freedom to attempt to produce and eat pineapple year round, however it imposes conditional parameters that limit us to play by its rules. Nature, by way of its processes and conditions, grips society with pure authority, and as stewards of our world we have a moral obligation to maintain a healthy symbiotic relationship with earth and its inhabitants.
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    Being a Part of Something Bigger: How Leaders Affect Morality
    (2017-12-11) Casey, Abra; Elvira Roncalli
    If a person is in a position of leadership then is he or she also responsible to uphold the moral values of the group? This paper argues that people, they are not responsible for morality, rather they become the voice of morality. This is to say that leaders should not develop a new morality on behalf of their group. When leaders do create their own version of morality instead of adhering to an inherent and objective truth such as the golden rule, then their actions ultimately become immoral. Not all leaders actually have this responsibility however. For example, there are leaders who hold the name badge and point fingers. These people may get the job done, but they do not change hearts or represent the needs of the people. Those who do such things are called transformational leaders and are associated with being the moral authority of the group.