Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Family Life
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old May 17, '10, 9:19 am
Sierrah Sierrah is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2006
Posts: 1,205
Religion: Catholic
Default How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

I'll first say I'm not a debater. I hate debating and am not good at it. A close relative of mine always wants to go into debate about everything. I feel like my personal beliefs are being attacked and I don't like it. He says he does this because he wants to know what I believe and if I don't have a good argument then my beliefs are strong enough or aren't worth anything basically. I don't like this attitude. He doesn't believe in religion of any kind and considers himself super smart. He can be one of the most generous or thoughtful people I know at times but other times I want to smack him....I know this bad. I don't know to deal with his super ego.
__________________
If you want to make GOD laugh then tell him your plans.

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old May 17, '10, 9:24 am
Rascalking's Avatar
Rascalking Rascalking is offline
Banned
Prayer Warrior
Forum Supporter
 
Join Date: December 6, 2008
Posts: 7,186
Religion: Catholic Mormon
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

The best thing I can offer is that you use clarity to see where you disagree, then leave it at that.This is NOT my original idea, it's the idea of a talk show host I deeply admire.

What I would do is say, (And I'm just using abortion as an example) "Look, you think it's just a blob of tissue. I think it's a human life, we are clear where we disagree. Great, now let's talk about fishing, baseball, video games, something other than politics. If you cannot agree to this, perhaps it best if we remain cordial, but cease to discuss things."

Actually, since we all know that baseball is WAY more important than abortion, religion, and politics, it might be best to avoid talking about that too.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old May 17, '10, 9:26 am
FightingFat's Avatar
FightingFat FightingFat is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2004
Posts: 5,115
Religion: Catholic
Send a message via MSN to FightingFat
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrah View Post
I'll first say I'm not a debater. I hate debating and am not good at it. A close relative of mine always wants to go into debate about everything. I feel like my personal beliefs are being attacked and I don't like it. He says he does this because he wants to know what I believe and if I don't have a good argument then my beliefs are strong enough or aren't worth anything basically. I don't like this attitude. He doesn't believe in religion of any kind and considers himself super smart. He can be one of the most generous or thoughtful people I know at times but other times I want to smack him....I know this bad. I don't know to deal with his super ego.
I suppose you can either engage with him or not.

I recognise your feelings, but would suggest that his questions may be the Holy Spirit prompting you to find out more about your faith and maybe give this guy a reason to think about being Catholic?

One thing is for sure, there are good answers for all his queries, you just have to find out what they are, and this is a good place to get answers. Don't be afraid of saying to him that you don't know, but you can find out an answer for him!
__________________
Roma locuta est, causa finita est
Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatoris.
~ Ubi caritas et amor deus ibi est.~
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi
http://marklambert.blogspot.co.uk/
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old May 17, '10, 10:45 am
Spirithound Spirithound is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: December 11, 2006
Posts: 5,521
Religion: Catholic, Latin Rite
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Add to FightingFat, bring his questions here. We'll help you.
__________________
(\_/)
(O.o)
(> <) This is Bunny. Copy Bunny into your signature to help him on his way to world domination.

A forum for Discerning the Priesthood is now open!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old May 17, '10, 10:49 am
FightingFat's Avatar
FightingFat FightingFat is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: July 1, 2004
Posts: 5,115
Religion: Catholic
Send a message via MSN to FightingFat
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirithound View Post
Add to FightingFat, bring his questions here. We'll help you.
We sure will!
__________________
Roma locuta est, causa finita est
Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatoris.
~ Ubi caritas et amor deus ibi est.~
Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi
http://marklambert.blogspot.co.uk/
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old May 17, '10, 11:05 am
CDelphine CDelphine is offline
Trial Membership
 
Join Date: May 5, 2010
Posts: 28
Religion: Catholic, Roman Rite
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Tell him that if he's just testing you personally, and your own ability/desire to defend your deeply held beliefs, then it makes you very uncomfortable and is not enjoyable or valuable to you. And from now on, you'd like to talk about something else. After all, he wouldn't debate someone about how much they love their mother or children.
And then say that if he is truly interested in learning more about the faith, or about Catholic teachings on hot-button issues, then you are happy to give him some really great resources.
I LOVE to debate, and there are people I won't engage with, because they don't listen. There are people out there who (wonderful as they may be) love to hear themselves talk, and who believe that the last or loudest word is equivalent to the most convincing argument. And it ain't! God Bless you & your relative!!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old May 17, '10, 11:09 am
Mark77's Avatar
Mark77 Mark77 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2008
Posts: 2,278
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Jesus taught us;

"And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (MK 16:15).


While argument, or more preferably charitable & civil debate, are challenging, i believe the Holy Spirit may be at work here.

i drifted away from the Catholic Faith for many years precisely because i didn't know what i believed & why i believed it.

After much pain & suffering, i finally opened my heart to Jesus!

Initially, i attempted to disprove Catholic beliefs because it was so much easier to be a cafeteria catholic or better yet a non-denominational protestant & pick & choose only the easy teachings & be my own "pope!'

In the process of trying to disprove the teachings i disliked, i read Sacred Scripture daily, spent many hours in prayer, read the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) twice from cover to cover, it is a surprisingly clear & understandable resource! (search CCC here; http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm, & found many great resources like CA & listened to wonderful apologists like Fr. Corapi, Dr. Scott Hahn, Steve Ray, Fr. Barron & many more!


A few tips for dealing with atheist intellectuals. Avoid using Catholic teaching to defend Catholic teaching!

i try to use natural or moral arguments. The clearest example to me starts with the argument for God. We live in an perfectly ordered universe with infinite variety.

The atheist's "religion of random choice" is far less possible (i would argue it is impossible!), than belief in a Perfect, Loving & Infinitely Merciful God who created everything!

Don't expect someone with a huge ego to publicly agree with your arguments. Just plant the seeds & let the Holy Spirit work in them!

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark
__________________
"EGO SUM PANIS VITAE" "ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς"
"I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE"

(JOHN 6:35 & 48)



"For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man's most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths." (CCC 1776).
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old May 17, '10, 11:35 am
Portrait's Avatar
Portrait Portrait is offline
Regular Member
Greeter
 
Join Date: July 21, 2009
Posts: 2,228
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrah View Post
I'll first say I'm not a debater. I hate debating and am not good at it. A close relative of mine always wants to go into debate about everything. I feel like my personal beliefs are being attacked and I don't like it. He says he does this because he wants to know what I believe and if I don't have a good argument then my beliefs are strong enough or aren't worth anything basically. I don't like this attitude. He doesn't believe in religion of any kind and considers himself super smart. He can be one of the most generous or thoughtful people I know at times but other times I want to smack him....I know this bad. I don't know to deal with his super ego.
Dear Sierrah,

Cordial greetings to you.

There is nothing wrong with having a vigorous exchange of views provided there is nothing of an uncharitble and malicious nature involved. It is possible to have a lively debate and at the same time to avoid rancour, well at least among mature and rational persons.

Unfortunately, some people, and this relative of yours seems a case in point, appear to relish winning an argument, overwhelming their opponents and 'exposing and exploding' any supposedly fallacious arguments. These folk have deep insecurities and have a constant need to demonstrate their debating skills and prove just how quick-witted they are. Moreover, they usually have an eristic cast of mind or a mind that is characterized by disputation. When they engage in debate their primary concern is always winning an argument rather than seeking to arrive at the truth. As they feed upon peoples fears there is always something intimidating and unpleasant about their manner and they are always out to humiliate the other person.

If at all possible I would refuse to become ensnared and drawn into a discussion with your relative. Ensure that you are pleasant and courteous when you do see him, but do not get involved in his silly childish games. If he is really 'super-smart' like he says he is, then suggest that he read a book on Catholic Apologetics if he he is really keen to understand why you believe as you do.



Warmest good wishes,




Portrait
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old May 17, '10, 1:02 pm
flyingfish flyingfish is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2009
Posts: 3,076
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

"We are never going to agree about religion, and you are welcome to think that my beliefs are unreasonable. However, now let's get back to dinner/movie we were going to watch because I don't find having to justify myself to you fun."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old May 17, '10, 1:27 pm
crazzeto's Avatar
crazzeto crazzeto is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: October 14, 2009
Posts: 5,687
Religion: Catholic - Roman Rite
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrah View Post
I'll first say I'm not a debater. I hate debating and am not good at it. A close relative of mine always wants to go into debate about everything. I feel like my personal beliefs are being attacked and I don't like it. He says he does this because he wants to know what I believe and if I don't have a good argument then my beliefs are strong enough or aren't worth anything basically. I don't like this attitude. He doesn't believe in religion of any kind and considers himself super smart. He can be one of the most generous or thoughtful people I know at times but other times I want to smack him....I know this bad. I don't know to deal with his super ego.
Sounds like he's an evangelical athiest, he probably isn't going to leave you alone I'm sad to say. He wants you out of the Church, and he's going to continue no matter what. So I guess on that note, the best thing to do is as St. Peter suggests, be prepared to offer a defence of the hope that lives in you. That is to say, even if you don't want to debate per-se, at least be prepared to offer them some good reasoning as to why you believe, and leave it at that.

Now I would also like to exhort you to bring his arguments here as others have done. There are a lot of smart people here (whom I have learned so much from), I'm sure someone can give you a helping hand.
__________________
http://www.drbo.org/cgi-bin/d?b=drb&...h=24&l=7&f=s#x
Quote:
(Jer 24:7) And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: because they shall return to me with their whole heart.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old May 17, '10, 1:36 pm
Contra Mundum's Avatar
Contra Mundum Contra Mundum is offline
Regular Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: July 18, 2009
Posts: 5,070
Religion: Catholic, latin rite
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

I have an atheist friend who is like that. Every single thing has the potential to become a topic for heated debate. And you never see it coming - she just innocently starts asking questions that lead in a certain direction.

What I've learned from this is that it is necessary to know your stuff. Be strong in your arguments and don't be afraid to defend your position. Another thing that is important is that you can challenge your relative about his beliefs. Maybe he doesn't have a very elaborate philosophy behind his atheism and you might find out that it is not especially difficult to turn the tables and ask that he defends himself. That will certainly make him think about it from a different perspective.

Don't get all emotional and offended by his attitude. Seriously, so many people simply bluff and are in no way confident as they'd like to think. Say a prayer before speaking to him, that will help you keep your cool and engage in a discussion in a fruitful way.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old May 17, '10, 1:39 pm
gardenswithkids gardenswithkids is offline
Senior Member
Prayer Warrior
 
Join Date: December 19, 2004
Posts: 6,142
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrah View Post
...A close relative of mine always wants to go into debate about everything. I feel like my personal beliefs are being attacked and I don't like it. He says he does this because he wants to know what I believe and if I don't have a good argument then my beliefs... aren't worth anything basically. I don't like this attitude. ...
You could debate him on his theory that if your beliefs aren't worth anything if you don't debate them effectively. Truth (or lack of truth) does not depend on any particular person's ability to debate it or explain it effectively. If truth depended on a person's ability to explain it, many historical and scientific facts could cease to be true as poor students write essays and answer questions on their finals.

By the way, some people find debates an enjoyable way to exchabge ideas. It's not so much that they're trying to just be argumentative. If he's interested in debating you, he may simple be interested in learning more about what you believe and why.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old May 17, '10, 1:51 pm
gmarie21 gmarie21 is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: March 26, 2006
Posts: 3,108
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gardenswithkids View Post
You could debate him on his theory that if your beliefs aren't worth anything if you don't debate them effectively. Truth (or lack of truth) does not depend on any particular person's ability to debate it or explain it effectively. If truth depended on a person's ability to explain it, many historical and scientific facts could cease to be true as poor students write essays and answer questions on their finals.

By the way, some people find debates an enjoyable way to exchabge ideas. It's not so much that they're trying to just be argumentative. If he's interested in debating you, he may simple be interested in learning more about what you believe and why.
Yep, that's me. but I enjoy asking questions and debating those who state they are Catholic but publicly oppose some key catholic teachings and Traditions. i guess I just don't understand them especially when the do attend mass weekly and are loud and proud Catholics.

On a side note, it was Evangelicals who challenged me which lead me to study the faith more intensely. I thank God for them and some of their "Catholics aren't saved" attitudes for where I am today in my faith journey.
__________________
LOVING THE ROCKFORD DIOCESE
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old May 17, '10, 1:56 pm
Sierrah Sierrah is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2006
Posts: 1,205
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

He wants to debate everything? Not necessarily religion. Now that I think about it it's a family trait we have other relatives that do the same but just because they like to be annoying and for no other reason. I'm not a debater and don't like doing it...the way he does it makes me feel attacked in a way. He has a know it all complex and it's impossible to overcome any point with him anyway. He's been brain washed by the liberal culture into accepting everything that is considered politically correct as completely right.
__________________
If you want to make GOD laugh then tell him your plans.

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old May 17, '10, 2:07 pm
jmcrae's Avatar
jmcrae jmcrae is offline
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: September 7, 2006
Posts: 34,890
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: How to deal with someone who wants to debate everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrah View Post
I'll first say I'm not a debater. I hate debating and am not good at it. A close relative of mine always wants to go into debate about everything. I feel like my personal beliefs are being attacked and I don't like it. He says he does this because he wants to know what I believe and if I don't have a good argument then my beliefs are strong enough or aren't worth anything basically.
I would just say, "Who made you to be my judge? I can believe whatever I want to, just because I want to. I don't need your permission or approval. It's absolutely none of your business. On the other hand, if you are interested in learning about my beliefs because you want to share them or to understand them, my church is running a class this Fall that you might be interested in taking. They can explain these things way better than I can."
__________________
According to Quentin Tarentino, (Kill Bill Volume 2) Clark Kent is Superman's opinion of the human race. It occurs to me that, using the same logic, Jesus of Nazareth is God's.

Tiber Swim Team - Class of 2001
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Catholic Living > Family Life

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8547Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: Eungang
5208CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: UpUpAndAway
4435Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3871SOLITUDE
Last by: tuscany
3848Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3409Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3302Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3231Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: Rifester
3155For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: Paulette60



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 2:44 pm.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.