Benny on “Experts”

Another thing I would like to touch on is quoting experts in arguments. I don’t like it when people argue that, as their stance is backed up by the word of an expert, they must be right. Most knowledge is quite readily and easily obtainable. Most people who do research have a tendency to promote their findings (I know, it’s crazy). So, if anyone is willing to really find out about a topic, if they are willing to spend the time to trudge through the literature, there wouldn’t be too many points of view, arguments and supporting evidence they wouldn’t have stumbled across. Researchers may add to the pool of knowledge, but I think most people will be able to understand the current pool of knowledge, and make their own inferences once properly informed.


Leah says:

I don't think people use experts to prove they are 'right', but to prove that highly informed people agree with them.

For example I could be debating about AIDS in Africa. If I quoted someone who had worked in an African AIDS orphanage, or who had put in 20 years of research into AIDS in Africa, that would support my argument. Might not prove I'm right, but it'd prove it's not just me saying these things, but other more informed people too. It gives strength to an argument. That's why teachers require students use sources in their assignments.