Occam's razor

2020-04-18

There’s a logical fallacy called Appeal To Authority. It means that your whole argument is resting on the opinion of one person who may or may not be an authority in the field in question.

This isn’t always a fallacy. If everyone agrees that someone is an expert, their opinion should obviously matter. The problem starts when you call someone an expert, but they’re not. Simple stuff, right?

Logical fallacies are something that philosophers have been thinking about for thousands of years. But I’m thinking it might be time to add a few more. These days, the appeal to non-authority is gaining steam. People seem to think there’s more credibility in not being an expert, or even in having all the experts disagree with you.

Or worse, the appeal to self-authority, where a person has done some reading on some topic where they’re vastly out of their depth and made up their own mind.

Skepticism is healthy. But so is realizing when you’re out of your depth. And most of the time, when all of the experts disagree with someone, that person is wrong.