Yup. You know EXACTLY who it was.
I think most important, before engaging in a forum “debate” would be to pray first. We are only instruments of the Holy Spirit and cannot ourselves change anyone’s way of thinking.
I TRY to remember to do this but I’m such a smart-alec, I often skip this step. :tsktsk:
When posts first begin, it’s very hard to “diagnose” another’s intention through forums. Are they sincere in their questions? Do they have a malicious intent? It’s only after several posts does one start to see patterns of obstinance whether justified or not.
If a person is not open minded to learn each other’s Faith they more than likely do not even try to understand your point of view.
I try to overlook the first signs of an attack which might be a mistake on my part. I try to use “friendly” language in my replies to show I’m sincere in trying to understand the other’s point of view or to see if I’ve made a mistake.
I do this also – especially because I KNOW what kind of anti-Catholic background some people have. It goes REALLY deep. But sometimes we should be able to make the diagnosis earlier than we do, e.g., when somebody responds to a carefully-thought-out post with, “I’m sorry, but the word of God is the best I can do.” Or how about yesterday’s memorable dialog:
Catholic: How many Catholics are there?
Anti-C: Too many.
Admittedly, this was when our interlocutor had already been runniing around for a couple of hours one step short of screaming “Antichrist!” “Whore of Babylon!” “Synagogue of Satan!”
It’s important to stay with one issue at a time, from what I’ve read. That’s hard to do face to face much less in a forum.
If you’ve honestly responded to questions, it’s only fair to get them to respond of some of your questions.
YES! But we can certainly make stronger efforts at this.
What we may encounter in such a case (as yesterday’s interchange so vividly demonstrated) can be: “SEE! Catholics CAN’T answer ANY of these questions!” Maybe dealing with that particular ploy could use a thread of its own.
I fault myself for not just giving up sooner. The thought had crossed my mind when the person refused to answer any questions put forth and only belittled the responses given to his questions with no explanations.
We live in hope. Even if the only hope is that you can lower the heat on someone’s hate by half a degree.
The person yesterday didn’t have time to read anything on the early fathers or read back through a thread to see they were mistaken about addressing certain points after stating they had already addressed that. The reason, I assume, they did not have time was because they were working 3 different threads and not being open minded to anything coming from a Catholic perspective. Again, there’s not much you can do if they don’t even pay any attention to anything you offer just because of their contempt for your Faith.
In a one-on-one, you could simply refuse to engage in further dialog until the person had appropriately responded to your point. But in a forum free-for-all you have 8 people picking different aspects of the argument and throwing you off.
You make really good points.