Alan blogged criticizing a "pro-truth pledge" which is actually a pro-authority pledge:
Defer: recognize the opinions of experts as more likely to be accurate when the facts are dispute
which experts? how much more likely? what about when, as usual, some experts disagree with each other? should we believe the more numerous or more famous experts, as the Global Warming lobby recommends?
as a philosophy expert, should everyone defer to me about everything? my field deals with how to think, reason, judge ideas, evaluate conclusions, etc. so i have expertise on whether, for example, a global warming expert is reasoning correctly about climate science, or not.
as a philosopher of science, do my claims trump the claims of all scientists? i've studied the scientific method itself and can evaluate whether they used it correctly or not.
please no. i don't trust my fellow philosophers to make wise kings ;)
saying to defer to experts changes the debate from
1) the debate about the actual issues
2) the debate about which people are experts, how much of an expert they are, and which type of expertise has priority in this case.
But it's way more productive to talk about (1), not (2)!