Appeal to Authority Fallacy
In this video, I explain the appeal to authority fallacy (also called the argument from authority or argumentum ad verecundiam), its logical form and several examples of its usage.
Dirty trick: Appealing to authority
A lot of people look up to people with power, fame, or a high place in the world. A dirty trick is to appeal to these sources of power instead of bringing real evidence, in order to prove a point.
Dr.health, who is a specialist in traditional medicine, says that eating dairy can cause cancer, so eating dairy is the cause of cancer.
The logical way of putting this fallacy is:
because X says that A is correct, hence A is right.
Check out another example: Dr. Pretentious with a special degree in nutrition claims that traditional medicine is all nonsense, hence traditional medicine becomes nonsense.
In these two examples the two people appealed to the opinions of specialists to prove their claims and did not bring any specific proof of their own.
This is a clear case of fallacy. The opinion of a specialist without proof should not have validity of its own. But in action we see that a lot of people get influenced just because a specialist has spoken. Somewhere on the internet you may come across this question:
Do you know why men lower the volume when they want to ask for directions? Because men’s brains are single-dimensional. They can only focus on one thing at a time.
Afterward, someone wrote in response:
Men’s brains have a single-dimensional quality? I don’t think so.
The person answered:
My dear friend, this point is scientifically proven. You can understand that yourself with a simple search on the internet.
The fallacy in this case is that the person has appealed to science in order to prove his point without there being enough evidence to support his claim. In these fallacy cases it doesn’t matter whether the person’s claim is right or wrong, the point is that the person is using the word of a specialist, celebrity, or someone with a good position within the community to prove that what they say is right and tries to use these resources to convince the latter.