**Debate Club** Let’s talk about fallacies: The Appeal To Authority

“What is the appeal to authority fallacy?

The appeal to authority fallacy is the logical fallacy of saying a claim is true simply because an authority figure made it. This authority figure could be anyone: an instructor, a politician, a well-known academic, an author, or even an individual with experience related to the claim’s subject.

The statement itself may be true. A statement’s truthfulness has nothing to do with whether it’s fallacious or not. What makes the appeal to authority a logical fallacy is the lack of evidence provided to support the claim. It follows this format:

Individual, who is an expert in Y field, says X is true. 

Therefore, X is true. 

How to avoid using the appeal to authority fallacy

The key to avoiding the appeal to authority fallacy in your writing is to cite only credible facts and data. When you mention your source’s authors in your work, structure your references in a way that demonstrates that you’re citing their findings, rather than simply name-dropping them.”

I thought it might be helpful to go through some of the logical fallacies we tend to fall back on when debating. We all do this sometimes.

Would it be useful for all of us to learn to debate better, or is it more fun just to engage in flame and meme wars? Or some of both?


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