Question on how to answer the Authority fallacy
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05-06-2015, 11:45 AM
Question on how to answer the Authority fallacy
I mostly debate myself in regards to questions of atheism vs. theism. I'll study some particular idea and then imagine I'm having a debate with a theist. Generally, I can at least answer any doubts I have with a satisfactory answer, but I can't seem to argue about the appeal to authority fallacy. A typical exchange seems to go like this:

"X is false. Several studies show that X is false."

"You're relying on scientists. Can you verify that yourself?"

"No, because I'm not a scientist."

"So, you're relying on the authority of scientists. I can back up my claims of Christianity with other people who will also attest that X is true. How are our claims any different?"

"Because someone can independently verify the claims of the scientists. It can be peer reviewed. I'm not taking the word of the scientist as truth, but the findings of the scientist as truth."

"Well, I'm taking the findings of this apologist as true and am no longer appealing to his authority. I can independently verify his claims as true."

"You can't verify individual experiences as proof because they can't be proved or disproved."

"Yet, you can't prove that science is true."
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While this is not a great example of debate, probably why I only debate with myself, I can't think of an acceptable answer for my imaginary opponent.

I in no way think that theism is true, but can't give a sufficient answer when accused of the Appeal to Authority fallacy.

Thanks,

Ryan
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