A Clear example of authority argument Is when we hear the famous saying"whatever the person (institution / add) goes to Mass", denoting that this person / institution has more or less reason, no one should refute it.
An authority argument is one that has the endorsement of a higher institution or authority competent in the subject to be considered as true. The veracity or force of such an argument will depend on the importance and credibility of the authority that supports it.
One way to exemplify his strength would be through literary celebrities. In this way, an affirmation made by Cervantes would have more credibility than one made by Gabriel García Márquez. Likewise, the argument given by García Márquez will have more force than that argued by a lesser writer (Walton, 1997).
Thus it is presumed that people with a lower status within a branch of knowledge will emit arguments of lesser force. Therefore, what the vendor of magazines in a kiosk will never match with Cervantes' argument.
The argument of authority is defined as that which is based on the appreciation and testimony of celebrities, authorities or specialists on a given topic.
In this way, texts and essays can be written where the arguments of authority emitted by experts are adopted, reinforcing our approach and anticipating potential opposing judgments that can be rebutted with the help of the experts' ideas (Archieboy Holdings, 2017) .
20 clear examples of authority arguments
The structure of an authority argument will always be the same: an affirmation"X"is true because"Y"is an authority on the subject. In this way the argument is assumed to be true since the"Y"view is objectively well founded and it has enough information and credibility to be reasoned (REASONING RESOURCES, 2008).
Generally, when"Y"launches an authority argument, it must be considered as true, even though such argument is not necessarily and is a fallacy.
1- In the municipality of Quibdó, in the Colombian Pacific, there is a serious case of malnutrition, according to the latest data released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
2 - According to data from the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, the currency in Venezuela has been devalued by approximately 700% during the last decade.
3 - Ignorance is the only evil, according to Socrates.
4. According to the Greek philosopher Plato, there are two worlds, one palpable that can be experienced through the senses, and another world that can only be experienced with thought and is known as the world of ideas.
5- WWF argues that forest conservation contributes to mitigating the damage caused by climate change.
6 - Children who are stimulated from childhood are more likely to succeed once school life, according to UNICEF.
7- The dance teacher told her students that women love men who know how to dance.
8- The pope says that priests can turn water into wine and multiply fish. As the pope does not lie, this must be true.
9- The family doctor informed his patient that drinking a glass of wine every day helps prevent heart disease and helps good circulation.
10- Tiger Woods says that the best way to become a good golfer is to eat an apple every day on an empty stomach.
11- My nutritionist says that in order to be healthy I must eat cereal with milk chocolate every day.
12- An environmental scientist claims that global warming is a government invention and that we are simply facing a heat wave like the one that took place during the Cretaceous period.
13- My dentist says that to avoid cavities I have to brush my teeth three times a day and floss after every meal.
14- The best way to peel potatoes is soaking them three hours before cutting them with a good knife, according to the best French chef.
15- Freud says that all women suffer from Electra complex.
16- According to Gabriel García Márquez, writing is the main emotion of the life of man and all history deserves to be told.
17- My optometrist says that people who have blue eyes see better than those who have green eyes.
18- According to Cristiano Ronaldo, the best way to be a good football player is discipline and perseverance.
19- The school cook said during lunch that the best ingredient to prepare food was love.
20- People who exercise have healthier, longer lives, according to my doctor.
Argument of authority or"Magister Dixit"
The argument of authority is known by the Latin term"Magister Dixit"which means"the master says". Therefore, this type of argument is considered irrefutable, since it comes from an expert in the matter. This type of argument is only reasonable when it is not necessary to verify the veracity of the statement (softschools.com, 2017).
In this way, the argument of authority is considered a fallacy, because it is based on a feeling and the factors that determine the authority of the person who issues the argument.
It is said to be a fallacy because the authority argument starts from the beliefs of an authority, and such authority can sometimes bear false or false beliefs (Cline, 2015).
On the other hand, for the argument of authority to have meaning must be linked to the subject it deals with, so it would not make sense to quote a famous scientist to talk about religion or politics.
In relation to religion, the argument of power takes another dye, since it appeals to the condition of power of the one who issues the argument and its authority in the subject, beyond the veracity or possibility of checking if what is said is true.
For this reason, science profoundly discredits all that religion holds true, regardless of who the argument comes from, and vice versa (Raptor, 2017).
- Archie Boy Holdings, L. (2017). Logically Fallacious. Retrieved from"Appeal to Authority: logicallyfallacious.com".
- Cline, A. (October 15, 2015). Thoughtco. Retrieved from"Fallacies of Relevance: Appeal to Authority: thoughtco.com".
- Raptor, S. (2017). Skeptical Raptor. Obtained from Argument from authority - logical fallacies: skepticalraptor.com.
- REASONING RESOURCES. (March 12, 2008). Retrieved from"Argument from Authority (Non Fallacious): reasonresources.wordpress.com.
- com. (2017). Soft Schools. Retrieved from Appeal to Authority: softschools.com.
- Walton, D. (1997). Appeal to Expert Opinion: Arguments from Authority. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University.