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Logical Fallacy: Appeal to Authority

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People make errors in their reasoning, especially when defending themselves or supporting their argument. Such errors are sometimes done willingly, or without conscious knowledge of the act. Errors in reasoning are referred to as fallacies. It is imperative to refrain from relaying fallacious points, since they can mislead parties involved and prevent these parties from knowing the truth of the matter under evaluation. Moreover, one cannot overemphasize the vitality of picking fallacious statements. Spotting fallacious arguments empowers a person to argue critically with factual based points and saves them from malevolent manipulation. Logical fallacies seek to persuade opposite parties to buy a stand founded by wrongful reasoning. One od the examples of a logical fallacy that is common in the society - is a logical fallacy of appeal to authority.

Logical fallacies of appeal to authority seek to affirm the validity of a statement or an argument based on the powers entrenched on the source. Just because somebody who is superior, or is in certain capacities of an authority upholds a decision, the decision becomes an outright truth. These decisions from such people of power may lack factual foundations or even scientific proof, yet they end up being perceived as true. This reasoning is clearly fallacious, and authorities should be accepted to skew decisions if they can be proven true.

After political defeat in a free and fair democratic voting process, John, a supporter of the losing team, claims that the elections were rigged. Being asked why and having no proof of the fact, he says that their leader claims so.

Herman was asked why he was fasting and he replied that the pastor said they (followers) should fast.

Appeal to authority prevents the individual who is making the comment from arguing convincingly on why his/her standpoint should be respected. Instead, the persuasion of the person in authority always wins, neverminding the fact that the validity of the information is not necessarily true. Using appeal to authority demeans the ability to think critically at the imperativeness of the matter. The first example in the previous paragraph could have been valid if John had evidence of rigging, not just the word from the leader. Just because the pastor requested the followers to fast does not mandatorily call for fasting. Instead, Herman should understand the basis of fasting.

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