The belief that just because someone is in a position of authority, that it doesn't mean that they are more capable of making decisions then you are. That you should never blindly obey orders from them, but always use your own brain and reason to determine if you should follow the order. And that if an order seems blatantly idiotic or such, that you should question it, finding out their reasoning for it.

It prevents a person from becoming simply a tool or slave.

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