David Silver (dssilver@IDIRECT.COM)
Tue, 6 Aug 1996 15:21:04 -0400

Recently Ms. Sybert was commenting on the use of sacred texts as "authorities". I would like to respectfully disagree with her position which would permit students to cite such texts. Many years ago, I am an Almost Dead White Male, I learned that authorit
ies were accepted repositories of knowledge, accepted that is by those who are knowledgeable in a certain field. If you need a bridge hand analysed, you ask Charles Goren, if you have a toothache, you seek the advice of a dentist etc. etc. Therefore, unle
ss we were discussing theology, I would insist that students stick to sources that are relevant to the topic they are writing about! I cannot see how you can divorce rhetoric from logic in formulating an argument or expounding a thesis. Schemes, tropes
etc. are devices for presenting an argument effectively, not a subsitute for clear and logical thinking. Faith or reason, not both!

David Silver
Thornhill, Canada