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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Logical Fallacy of the Week, Argument from authority: Week 2

By Rich Kozlovich

My Take - I have become convinced that many follow the green movement because they want to be accepted by their friends. Those in the lower echelons of the movement are clearly impressed by credentials, awards, titles and are concerned with peer pressure. The young need acceptance and they need to believe in something. That is why they are beguiled so easily by this secular pseudo-religious movement. Those at the top know better.  They use this as a tool to keep everyone off balance.  For them it is about money and power. 

Argument from authority (also known as argumentum ad verecundiam) An appeal to authority is an argument from the fact that a person judged to be an authority affirms a proposition to the claim that the proposition is true. This alone does not make it true even if they're the most educated and most qualified to make such a determination. It still does NOT make it true.

Appeals to authority are always deductively fallacious; even a legitimate authority speaking on his area of expertise may affirm a falsehood, so no testimony of any authority is guaranteed to be true.

A. Occasionally, this argument is called the "argument from prestige" and is based on the belief that prestigious people cannot be wrong. In these cases, the fallacy is best termed the "snob appeal" variety of the ad populum.

However, the informal fallacy occurs only when the authority cited either (a) is not an authority, or (b) is not an authority on the subject on which he is being cited. If someone either isn’t an authority at all, or isn’t an authority on the subject about which they’re speaking, then that undermines the value of their testimony.

See Also:
Murphy's law
Infinite monkey theorem, a mathematically rigorous probabilistic statement
Compare with: Axiom S5

Logical Fallacy of the Week: Week 1

Logical Fallacy of the Week: Week 1 Logical Fallacy of the Week, Argument from authority: Week 2
Logical Fallacy of the Week, Appeal to Probability: Week 3


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