RichardLinde wrote:That is not at all true. All I ask is that people use reason to support their arguments, rather than relying on the fallacy of appeal to authority (false authority, usually).
Who decides that these authorities are fallible on the subject? Who decides they are false authorities? Who decides whether or not these people are using their reasoning in deciding to cite an authority? Is it you? Are the the grand arbiter of who is fallible and who is not? The judge, jury and executioner in regards to who is true and who is false? Do you know the minds of all so that you know when people are using their reasoning, and when they are not?
RichardLinde wrote:That's not much to ask on an academic forum, is it?
Actually an academic forum should be largely devoid of purely personal opinions unsupported by academic sources. This means if you state a position, you need to be ready to cite from where that position is derived. Thats why its called academic, because research has been done and hence, an opinion has been formed based on authorities. If people quote Nagarjuna or some Sutra, they are not "appealing to authority", they are engaging in academic discussion, using authorities to support their arguments. A point that is apparently completely lost on you.
You wouldn't go to a Christian theological debate and yet know nothing about the Bible, let alone Christian theologists and their writings, but constantly make claims about "what the bible is really about" and pretend to understand Christianity. You wouldn't go to a debate on western philosophy having never read Plato, and complaining and flailing around whenever anyone quoted Aristotle. You would look ridiculous. Why is it any more appropriate to act like when discussing Buddhist philosophy?
RichardLinde wrote:Who is it who decides that the Long PP sutra is valid? And who decides which commentaries are valid? And who decides how the commentaries are to be interpreted?
Lines of questioning like this and your railing against authority sound childish, like a teenager rebelling against "the man".
"says who? huh? says who? your not the boss of me!"