theirs not to reason why


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theirs not to reason why

It is not someone's position or place to question or defy a situation, order, or the way things are done. Taken from a line from Lord Alfred Tennyson's 1854 poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade," describing the British cavalry as they obeyed orders to ride+C1926 into certain death in the Crimean War. Can also be phrased as "ours not to reason why." It is a difficult balance to strike. We must have well trained soldiers who obey orders, theirs not to reason why, yet we can't have those willing to perpetrate war crimes or follow foolish orders to their own deaths, either.
See also: not, reason, theirs, why

theirs (or ours) not to reason why

it is not someone's place to question a situation, order, or system.
This phrase comes from Tennyson's poem ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ ( 1854 ), which describes how, in a notorious incident in the Crimean War, the British cavalry unquestioningly obeyed a suicidal order to ride straight at the Russian guns.
See also: not, reason, theirs, why