Friday, December 17, 2010

Quote of the Day Barrabas and how to judge an argument

Frater.Barrabbas talking about the recent furor raised in Wiccan circles by the book Trials of the Moon said:  

The bottom line to all of this controversy is that we should all examine Whitmore’s book [Trials of the Moon] in a cool and dispassionate manner. Look at what he has to say and how he backs it up. Does he cite his sources? Are the sources verifiable and do they indicate what he says they do? The fact that Ben Whitmore is not an academic and that his book is self-published is completely irrelevant. His arguments and their associated proof are the only valid areas for our unbiased consideration. We can agree with his thesis or not, and if not, then present in a civil manner exact areas where that thesis can’t be backed up with relevant facts. To dismiss someone simply because he doesn’t have the required academic credentials or because he is self-published shows a level of hubris and arrogance that truly astonishes me.

I would add that the same standard needs to be applied to Ronald Hutton’s book Triumph of the Moon. It does not matter that Hutton is a professional historian and got his book published though a publisher. What matters is does his sources support his argument.

And for the record, I have no opinion yet about who is right or who is wrong. Having just finished finals for the semester (I am a double major: Literature and History), I haven't read the two books yet.

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