Our "right to give orders" operates only within the world that we have created ourselves. Our authority does not extend, at least in any legitimate way, to a right to give orders in, or to exercise dominion over, the world of nature that we did not create.
Authority |əˈθôritē; ôˈθär-| (abbr.: auth.) noun ( pl. -ties)
1 the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience : he had absolute authority over his subordinates | positions of authority | they acted under the authority of the UN Security Council | a rebellion against those in authority. See note at jurisdiction .
• [often with infinitive ] the right to act in a specified way, delegated from one person or organization to another : military forces have the legal authority to arrest drug traffickers.
• official permission; sanction : the money was spent without congressional authority.
2 (often authorities) a person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere : the health authorities | the Chicago Transit Authority | the authorities ordered all foreign embassies to close | she wasn't used to dealing with authority.
3 the power to influence others, esp. because of one's commanding manner or one's recognized knowledge about something : he has the natural authority of one who is used to being obeyed | he spoke with authority on the subject.
• the confidence resulting from personal expertise : he hit the ball with authority.
• a person with extensive or specialized knowledge about a subject; an expert : she was an authority on the stock market.
• a book or other source able to supply reliable information or evidence, typically to settle a dispute : the court cited a series of authorities supporting their decision.
have something on good authority have ascertained something from a reliable source : I have it on good authority that there is a waiting list of up to five weeks.
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French autorite, from Latin auctoritas, from auctor ‘originator, promoter’ (see author).
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