Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Appeal to Authority fallacy in action.

If you read what follows and you have a critical mind, you will probably want tro know why those mentioned below are the world foremost authorities in…(what?)
Because there are no foremost authorities in UFOLOGY. All of them have different and contradictory ideas about what UFOs are, so nobody is an authority in “fastwalkers”. What we have instead is some individuals who proclaim themselves authorities and make a living TALKING about factoids and unreliable sources.
(In the middle age the authorities? in Demonology tortured and burned hundreds of thousands of innocent women.)
After the sample of this fallacy, you can read what LOGIC tells us about this.

Below is the Fastwalkers documentary of ufo and alien disclosure 2006.
It is without doubt the most revealing testimony yet!!
At last astounding revelations by the world's foremost authorities including: Dr. Steven M. Greer, Steve Bassett, Jim Marrs, Robert O Dean, Dr. Michael Salla, Stanton T. Friedman, Alfred L. Webre, John Greenwald Jr., Dr. Len Horowitz, Dr. Richard Boylan, Jaime Maussan, Paola Harris, Jerry Pippin, Dr. Bruce Maccabee, A. J. Gevaerd, Sean David Morton, Graham E. Bethune, Col. Wendelle C. Stevens, Monsignor Corrado Balducci, James W. Deardorff, Phd., Robert M. Wood PhD, Charles Hall, Richard Dolan, Steven Jones, Rob Simone, Don Ware, Richard Giordano, James Courant, Dolores Cannon, Maurice Osborn, David Coote, Stoyan Cheresharov, Daniel Munioz, Lisa Davis, Bruce Jessop, Robert Miles, Alan G.Toleman, Jutta Savill. Hosted by Erika Jessop. Never before has there been such a disclosure of the web of lies and disinformation that the Governments of the world do not want you to know! Hear contactee’s, experiencer's and abductee's share their amazing testimonies! Discover the truth about extraterrestrial contact
"Fastwalkers" UFO Disclosure 2006 

We must often rely upon expert opinion when drawing conclusions about technical matters where we lack the time or expertise to form an informed opinion. For instance, those of us who are not physicians usually rely upon those who are when making medical decisions, and we are not wrong to do so. There are, however, four major ways in which such arguments can go wrong:

    An appeal to authority may be inappropriate in a couple of ways:
        It is unnecessary. If a question can be answered by observation or calculation, an argument from authority is not needed. Since arguments from authority are weaker than more direct evidence, go look or figure it out for yourself.

        The renaissance rebellion against the authority of Aristotle and the Bible played an important role in the scientific revolution. Aristotle was so respected in the Middle Ages that his word was taken on empirical issues which were easily decidable by observation. The scientific revolution moved away from this over-reliance on authority towards the use of observation and experiment.

        Similarly, the Bible has been invoked as an authority on empirical or mathematical questions. A particularly amusing example is the claim that the value of pi can be determined to be 3 based on certain passages in the Old Testament. The value of pi, however, is a mathematical question which can be answered by calculation, and appeal to authority is irrelevant.
        It is impossible. About some issues there simply is no expert opinion, and an appeal to authority is bound to commit the next type of mistake. For example, many self-help books are written every year by self-proclaimed "experts" on matters for which there is no expertise.
    The "authority" cited is not an expert on the issue, that is, the person who supplies the opinion is not an expert at all, or is one, but in an unrelated area. The now-classic example is the old television commercial which began: "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV...." The actor then proceeded to recommend a brand of medicine.
    The authority is an expert, but is not disinterested. That is, the expert is biased towards one side of the issue, and his opinion is thereby untrustworthy.

    For example, suppose that a medical scientist testifies that ambient cigarette smoke does not pose a hazard to the health of non-smokers exposed to it. Suppose, further, that it turns out that the scientist is an employee of a cigarette company. Clearly, the scientist has a powerful bias in favor of the position that he is taking which calls into question his objectivity.

    There is an old saying: "A doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient," and a similar version for attorneys: "A lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client." Why should these be true if the doctor or lawyer is an expert on medicine or the law? The answer is that we are all biased in our own causes. A physician who tries to diagnose his own illness is more likely to make a mistake out of wishful thinking, or out of fear, than another physician would be.
    While the authority is an expert, his opinion is unrepresentative of expert opinion on the subject. The fact is that if one looks hard enough, it is possible to find an expert who supports virtually any position that one wishes to take. "Such is human perversity", to quote Lewis Carroll. This is a great boon for debaters, who can easily find expert opinion on their side of a question, whatever that side is, but it is confusing for those of us listening to debates and trying to form an opinion.

    Experts are human beings, after all, and human beings err, even in their area of expertise. This is one reason why it is a good idea to get a second opinion about major medical matters, and even a third if the first two disagree. While most people understand the sense behind seeking a second opinion when their life or health is at stake, they are frequently willing to accept a single, unrepresentative opinion on other matters, especially when that opinion agrees with their own bias.

    Bias (problem 3) is one source of unrepresentativeness. For instance, the opinions of cigarette company scientists tend to be unrepresentative of expert opinion on the health consequences of smoking because they are biased to minimize such consequences. For the general problem of judging the opinion of a population based upon a sample, see the Fallacy of Unrepresentative Sample.

To sum up these points in a positive manner, before relying upon expert opinion, go through the following checklist:

    Is this a matter which I can decide without appeal to expert opinion? If the answer is "yes", then do so. If "no", go to the next question:
    Is this a matter upon which expert opinion is available? If not, then your opinion will be as good as anyone else's. If so, proceed to the next question:
    Is the authority an expert on the matter? If not, then why listen? If so, go on:
    Is the authority biased towards one side? If so, the authority may be untrustworthy. At the very least, before accepting the authority's word seek a second, unbiased opinion. That is, go to the last question:
    Is the authority's opinion representative of expert opinion? If not, then find out what the expert consensus is and rely on that. If so, then you may rationally rely upon the authority's opinion.

If an argument to authority cannot pass these five tests, then it commits the fallacy of appeal to misleading authority.

Ufology, Exopolitics, Conspiracies, Paranoia, Memes, Hoaxes, 2012, UFO, Aliens, Disinformation, Cultism, Brainwashing, Rational Thinking, ET, Xenopolitics, Contactees, Abductions, Disclosure.