Appeal to Acceptance

It is easy to make a claim based on another's acceptance of it. This occurs in many forms:

  • Appeal to Celebrity where a celebrity's opinion is given more weight even when speaking on a subject they don't have significant experience in.
  • Appeal to False Authority is similar to Appeal to Celebrity where we accept an opinion from someone outside of their field of expertise.
  • Appeal to Common Belief states that something is true because it is generally accepted.
  • Appeal to Faith/Heaven arguments depend on a religion or belief system.
  • Appeal to Law states that something is right or wrong because it is legal or illegal.

Each of these fallacies base the accuracy of a statement on acceptance from another person, group, or writing but does not provide any underlying evidence that the statement is correct.

How to Respond

Point out that your opponent's argument is dependent on somebody or something else's opinion, but they haven't shared any logical or factual support for the argument itself. Ask them to clarify what evidence they have for their claim besides someone else's acceptance of it. If they are referrencing a field expert that you can request that they share the experts credentials. With more controversial issues you may also need to discuss the experts underlying research or reasoning.

True or False: The following is an Appeal to Acceptance
You can trust her, she has been studying this for 30 years.