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From: Rene Rivera (grafik.list_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-01-04 02:00:43

Dan W. wrote:

> Thorsten Ottosen wrote:
>>>> However, argument by authority is usually not a falacy. It's a valid
>>>> way
>> of
>>>> reasoning.
>>> Never works. If you say X and I say Y.
>>> Then you say, D is an authority and says X.
>>> Then I say, C is a higher authority and says Y.
>>> Then you say B is the highest authority and says X.
>>> Then I say, A, to me, is the highest authority, who says not only X,
>>> but also, that B is a moron.
>>> It never ends... ;-)
>> I don't know what you're trying to say, but if you doupt me, then please
> Let me try another way.
> If you say X and I say !X; and then I say that A is an authority, and
> she says !X, you might ask how do I _know_ that A is an authority. And
> if I'm not an authority myself, I can only appeal to authority again by
> saying that B is a greater authority than A and he attests to the
> authority of A; but then, if you ask me how do I _know_ that B is such
> an authority, I'm caught in an infinite recursion. And the fact of the
> matter is that it could be proven that authority cannot be proven, for
> the only way you can prove authority is by having authority, but then
> you cannot prove it other than to one who has it already but who cannot
> prove it either.

To summarize: You can only prove something logically/mathematically. Anything
else falls into having _faith_ on an authority. Religion and statistical
proofs, ultimately fall onto how much weight you put on the authority.

..Had to learn something from all those Philosophy and Theology classes ;-)

-- Grafik - Don't Assume Anything
-- Redshift Software, Inc. -
-- rrivera/ - grafik/ - 102708583/icq

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