"Another thing, while I'm thinking aloud here -- isn't relying on the
Bible or God an appeal to a higher authority? The problem that many
students have, though, is that they don't realize their audience often
rejects the higher authority to which they are appealing -- in which
case, the argument fails."
Whether the Bible is true or not, and especially whether or not God is
an authority or even exists is a matter of faith. For me, the Bible
and God are not authorities. I'm not even sure she exists, let alone
that she is an authority. No one has had tangible, verifiable direct
experience with any God I'm aware of. God is not something that can
be "proven" like Steve's distance to the sun. SO we leave it to
So the problem may not be that the audience rejects the higher
authority, but they they fail to see "it" as any kind of authority.