The Appeal to Authority Logical Fallacy

Let me introduce a classic debate technique favored by those with weak arguments, the “Appeal to Authority”:

Spoken like a true keyboard warrior, with zero experience navigating the world of actual crime.

The implication here being that DTW somehow has real world experience on the topic and I don’t and hence his word on this topic must be taken as the absolute truth. No actual compelling argument is needed. DTW doesn’t even need to produce a compelling argument, statistics or anything else disproving my arguments. Just listen to DTW, because he knows his stuff okay!

Of course it is worse than that. DTW hasn’t actually proven any credentials. Nor has he actually proven that I have no real world experience. What do you actually know about a person online. It is true that I have never been a policeman, but I have in the past been tasked with securing a highly important buildings armed with an assault rifle and told to shoot anybody trying to enter. I have interacted with civilians trying to enter, checking their ID etc.

No, this isn’t actual police work, but there is a good chance that DTW actually has even less real world experience with anything of danger and is in fact the real “keyboard warrior.” Not that it should matter. What matters is the quality of your arguments.

Should there be “zero tolerance” for shooting armed suspects reaching for a knife??

How dense can a person really be. You can read the answer to that question in the text you quote me saying. But obviously you are slow on the uptake so let me walk you through it. Notice I put a condition in my statement upon which my zero tolerance applies. Let us read it out loud everybody:

…unarmed people who are no threat whatsoever.

No, think before answering this question: Is somebody reaching for a knife a threat? Potentially yes. What does that mean? That there isn’t necessarily zero tolerance towards shooting that person.

The devil is in the details. If there is nobody in proximity to the person reaching for a knife then that person is in fact not a threat. If you have a good distance to the person and hold a gun, you still have a chance to talk the person out of using the knife.

Zero tolerance for you clowns reacting to a story (for the 30th time), with almost every fact wrong?

This argument would carry a lot more weight if you had the intellectual capacity to articulate what fact you deem wrong.

Just curious if you care to be tolerant of all logical fallacies, or just those convenient to your desired narrative..

Before asking a question, it is useful to actually frame the question properly. Such as what logical fallacies are we talking about here? I suspect “logical fallacy” is a fancy word you just learned and is thrilled to use. But in your mind it simply means “the other guy said something I strongly disagree with.”

There is something highly ironic about your opponent asserting that you engage in logical fallacies, but your opponent provides no specifics or reasoning for this claim. I am hard pressed to think of my opponent as anything but a simpleton. He certainly hasn’t displayed any mastery of argument or logic.

Written by

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store