Citation Fallacies

A few under-discussed fallacies and BS tactics related to citations.

This is even worse when it's taken to an extent I call the Vague Fake Citation: doing this with an alleged source so vague that it doesn't even give the opponent a clue where to start even if they wanted to go looking for it. Example: pretty much every sentence starting with "science has proven..." or "it is known..."

Your Logical Fallacy Is: Appeal to Authority

The word of someone with greater expertise in the relevant field than you or your opponent is a great tiebreaker in the absence of compelling evidence either way. But when you take this to the point of using a mere citation to dismiss a totally valid and a priori *proof* and/or to believe something logically impossible, you get the authoritarian fallacy. Even the smartest and best educated humans are not infallible (or unquestionably honest) and should not be followed to absurd or self-contradicting conclusions. Example: the citation to Libet's studies on Wikipedia's article on free will that says it's been proven scientifically that our decisions are made by our brains about ten seconds before we become aware of them. This outright precludes the existence of free will (although Wikipedia claims it doesn't because they have to stick to their token neutrality policy) which is not only directly experienced by all of us but a necessary foundation for all of morality. If you can take this citation seriously then you're an idiot.


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