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    (Original post by The Assassin)
    which is what I said really. If somebody offers an argument with reasoning, you cannot just say 'but Y number of philosophers disagree therefore you are wrong'. If you use it as a supplement to show that the argument might be considered sound, that's fine - as long as it's not the sole argument.
    There's no great harm in using it as a 'supplement' but it is still in my view completely superfluous and would dilute the quality of an argument in any context.

    Further, to clarify -- appealing to authority isn't a fallacy. Appealing to an irrelevant authority is a fallacy. If the testimony of your authority gives reasonably warrant to the claim the appeal is meant to support, it's a perfectly reasonable thing to appeal to for support of that claim.
    An argument from authority is not always fallacious but what you describe is one of a number of forms the fallacy can take. In this context, there is no real consensus so such an appeal would be fallacious. Because of the highly subjective and unprovable nature of the debate I would argue that it would remain fallacious even in spite of an overwhelming consensus. I don't see how an appeal to authority on the subject of ethics could ever be acceptable, since the experts' authority is in this case no more valid than anyone else's as it comes down to a matter of conscience and not knowledge or experience. I think it would be reasonable to say that this makes these philosophers an irrelevant authority in this context and an appeal to their authority therefore fallacious.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    There's no great harm in using it as a 'supplement' but it is still in my view completely superfluous and would dilute the quality of an argument in any context.
    I'm afraid I don't see how. It's not unreasonable to suggest that an argument for a position might be sound if a large majority of academics would think the idea is plausible. If somebody suggested that the idea of 'free will' isn't possible, it's not unreasonable for me to say (1) 'well, a huge majority of 87% think we have free will, and it's around that range for those who specialize in metaphysics, (2) provide them with relevant sources (3) then to ask for some strong evidence to suggest why we wouldn't. Do you have any objections to the responding argument? I feel it would be a tad undervalued to give (2) and (3) without showing what most philosophers would think of the issue itself. See below for more

    An argument from authority is not always fallacious but what you describe is one of a number of forms the fallacy can take. In this context, there is no real consensus so such an appeal would be fallacious. Because of the highly subjective and unprovable nature of the debate I would argue that it would remain fallacious even in spite of an overwhelming consensus. I don't see how an appeal to authority on the subject of ethics could ever be acceptable, since the experts' authority is in this case no more valid than anyone else's as it comes down to a matter of conscience and not knowledge or experience. I think it would be reasonable to say that this makes these philosophers an irrelevant authority in this context and an appeal to their authority therefore fallacious.
    I'm not sure what your objection is, since you seem to admit that there are appeals to authority which are non-fallacious. In fact, I even stated above that there's no consensus -- so any inclination of appealing to authority from my post is misunderstood. My objection was what another poster was mentioning about general appeals to authority that he saw in previous arguments; it has no real necessity from my post above describing what philosophers think about ethics. However I thought it was interesting to note what what exactly the thoughts about ethics here were, and presumably would take that others would see that it's a strongly-debated issue even amongst people who do this for a living.

    I would of course agree that appealing to what philosophers think about the OP is pointless because there's only a 2-4% disparity between the options, but that wasn't what my original objection was about.

    I don't see how an appeal to authority on the subject of ethics could ever be acceptable, since the experts' authority is in this case no more valid than anyone else's as it comes down to a matter of conscience and not knowledge or experience. I think it would be reasonable to say that this makes these philosophers an irrelevant authority in this context and an appeal to their authority therefore fallacious
    Why would this be? Surely, we don't regard testimony as relevant simply because our informants say something to us--I don't think there's any contention about this. Rather, the "relevance" or "appropriateness" or "[comparable qualifier]" of an authority is assessed on the basis of the reliability of their testimony on the given subject. As, for instance, in the example, we regard philosophers especially those who specialise in ethics (and a few others but no need to note that) as relevant authorities on the issue of the OP merely because they say so, but because we have reason to take them, by virtue of being academics in their field to have engaged in a process of acquiring knowledge about ethics, through being educated in the findings of other philosophers and ethic specialists, through engaging in relevant scientific experiments, and so forth. To further add more example to show what I'm speaking of, (1) When an expert gives testimony at a trial, for example, it's reasonable for the jury members to give his opinion weight based on factors like his qualifications + experience, and whether there is any reason to think he's unfairly biased. (2) It's not unreasonable to suggest that global warming might be a strong possibility if the majority of climate scientists (~97%) through their strong research and experimentation think it's likely. Are there any issues with doing this? I'm not sure why there would be.
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    miser

    sorry miser, I don't want this thread to become sidetracked by another debate, so I'll probably stop here. Just in case you missed it, there's a poster on the previous page that said they weren't able to partake any longer.

    Take care
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    (Original post by garfeeled)
    I have a question about the debate itself , is this a tester or are future debates a lady in the pipe line.
    Hopefully it'll work well, in which case we can indeed do future ones.
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    I lack the requisite persuasive skills to participate but I look forward to seeing to down. Brilliant idea miser .
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    To discuss this debate, you can now use the debate's companion discussion thread.
 
 
 
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