Handling contentious interlocutors


#1

How do you judge and respond to contentious or snide comments from those with whom you are in dialogue here?

I ignore initial contentiousness; a lot of people have a deeply ingrained hatred of the Church, and they didn’t put it there all by themselves. But after a person has been answered several times with patience and care, if the person refuses even to acknowledge (I do not say accept) the Catholic position, and if contentiousness persists, I will call the person on it directly. No name calling. But firm notice of the insult.

Does it harm or help the Church if we expect those who disagree with us, even those who hate the Church, to treat us with respect? Are we failing our Lord by refusing to accept the opportunity to turn the other cheek?

WWJD?


#2

Those people don’t bother me, as I used to be in their shoes. The people who bother me are the ones who use labels (like “liberal”) to attack someone’s position instead of well-reasoned arguments. I’ve no patience for that, I’m ashamed to say.


#3

“I have answered your lies with truth and reason, showing you what is taught and believed by Catholics. I have met your anger and attacks with kindness and Christian charity. If you are unable to dialog and discuss issues like civilized adults, I will have no choice but to end our conversation and simply pray for you.”

This will usually disarm them and leave them with their jaws dragging the ground. Then I just walk away.

Some people are just too hard headed to reason with.


#4

[quote=mkw]“I have answered your lies with truth and reason, showing you what is taught and believed by Catholics. I have met your anger and attacks with kindness and Christian charity. If you are unable to dialog and discuss issues like civilized adults, I will have no choice but to end our conversation and simply pray for you.”

This will usually disarm them and leave them with their jaws dragging the ground. Then I just walk away.

Some people are just too hard headed to reason with.
[/quote]

Ouch!.

Somehow, calling somebody a liar seems a bit over the top. Many of these “difficult” people have NO idea that they are hard headed or that they are misrepresenting Catholicism when they “lie” about the faith – even after they have been shown the error of their preconceptions again and again. This can be a deep-dyed condition.


#5

[quote=JKirkLVNV]…The people who bother me are the ones who use labels (like “liberal”) to attack someone’s position instead of well-reasoned arguments. I’ve no patience for that, I’m ashamed to say.
[/quote]

This all sounds so paradoxical. A liberal characteristic is to AVOID that which they cannot logically defend and attack the character of the person (ad hominim).
If a person objectively puts forth a liberal persuasion, then it is completely justified to identify them as having that characteristic, for we proclaim what we believe.
Anyone who deviates from reasonable human logic or the dogmas of the faith they profess to believe, is playing the part of a liberal. Thus they are labeled as such.
Here is an actual example:
Originally Posted by Théodred

Those are utterly ridiculous conclusions, and not just a little infuriating. You are making the claim that our hope is a secret justification for murder? You are so quick to bring** judgment** down on others and put the most fowl words in other’s mouths.

He never argued why the premises or the “conclusions” were “ridiculous” point by point, but just exclaimed his fury toward them, then went on to falsify the post by attacking the person by putting words in their mouth that they did not say or reasonably imply.
That is a liberal position, thus they are a liberal.
If I rob banks, I AM a bank robber. Not real difficult.
If one lies, they are a lier.


#6

The interlocutors who give me the hardest time are the ones who undertake to instruct me on what the Catholic Church teaches, when they clearly are very misinformed.

I reply with the teaching of the Church, and if they persist, I tell them I am more than willing to discuss the teaching of the Church with them, but not what they have just stated, since it is not the teaching of the Church.

A friend of mine once had a discussion with a Free Presbyterian (Ian Paisley’s one of those, and they don’t much like us). Apparently, the chap told him what went on during confession. My friend asked him if he was really telling him what confession was all about, and if so, when was the last time he was in a confessional? Sometimes, you just have to stand like a beaten anvil, as St. Ignatius of Antioch advised.

Blessings,

Gerry


#7

[quote=mercygate]How do you judge and respond to contentious or snide comments from those with whom you are in dialogue here?

I ignore initial contentiousness; a lot of people have a deeply ingrained hatred of the Church, and they didn’t put it there all by themselves. But after a person has been answered several times with patience and care, if the person refuses even to acknowledge (I do not say accept) the Catholic position, and if contentiousness persists, I will call the person on it directly. No name calling. But firm notice of the insult.

Does it harm or help the Church if we expect those who disagree with us, even those who hate the Church, to treat us with respect? Are we failing our Lord by refusing to accept the opportunity to turn the other cheek?

WWJD?
[/quote]

I do good most of the time,but sometimes:eek: I get into a very sarcastic debate, I end up dishing out the same sarcasm they dish out.Usually it takes a while to get to that point,but when your there:nope: your there.Remorse only happens after the fact.God Bless


#8

[quote=TNT]This all sounds so paradoxical. A liberal characteristic is to AVOID that which they cannot logically defend and attack the character of the person (ad hominim).
If a person objectively puts forth a liberal persuasion, then it is completely justified to identify them as having that characteristic, for we proclaim what we believe.
Anyone who deviates from reasonable human logic or the dogmas of the faith they profess to believe, is playing the part of a liberal. Thus they are labeled as such.
Here is an actual example:
Originally Posted by Théodred
He never argued why the premises or the “conclusions” were “ridiculous” point by point, but just exclaimed his fury toward them, then went on to falsify the post by attacking the person by putting words in their mouth that they did not say or reasonably imply.
That is a liberal position, thus they are a liberal.
If I rob banks, I AM a bank robber. Not real difficult.
If one lies, they are a lier.
[/quote]

But…in these forums, people who associate themselves with views that might be termed “radical fringe traditionalism” very often use the term “liberal” to dismiss what is being said by perfectly orthodox catholics (which is why I always think it is important to distinguish between “orthodox” and “conservative” or “rad. trad.”) who are only reiterating what is being said by the Pope and the Magisterium. These aren’t “liberal” people and they find themselves somewhat bewildered, as they oppose liberalism in the Church (ie., groups like Voice of the Faithful, Dignity, etc.), to be called “liberal.” I will admit that these are rather subjective adjectives. If you want an example of what I mean, however, look up the thread “Jews Thank the Pope.” Precisely what you have said Theodred did was done to me. Sincerely, J “Not a Liberal” Kirk


#9

[quote=TNT]This all sounds so paradoxical. A liberal characteristic is to AVOID that which they cannot logically defend and attack the character of the person (ad hominim).
If a person objectively puts forth a liberal persuasion, then it is completely justified to identify them as having that characteristic, for we proclaim what we believe.
Anyone who deviates from reasonable human logic or the dogmas of the faith they profess to believe, is playing the part of a liberal. Thus they are labeled as such.
Here is an actual example:
Originally Posted by Théodred
He never argued why the premises or the “conclusions” were “ridiculous” point by point, but just exclaimed his fury toward them, then went on to falsify the post by attacking the person by putting words in their mouth that they did not say or reasonably imply.
That is a liberal position, thus they are a liberal.
If I rob banks, I AM a bank robber. Not real difficult.
If one lies, they are a lier.
[/quote]

Not only that, but there are some who claim to be orthodox, yet attempt to combine truth with error. They will give 95% truth, then sneak in the 5% error and hold firm they are faithful Catholics.


#10

When i say this,i am not just referring to this website.I am also thinking of a secular website i visit.In spite of the catholic sex
scandals being discussed previously,it was raised again in the BBC’s Scottish Soapbox.The moderators don’t allow you to give any links unless it is a BBC link,so i had to suggest to this guy that he type certain words into his search engine which would tell him something about Protestant scandals.I’m still waiting for his response.More than likely,if i had failed to respond to something he said,he would have been accusing me of not having an answer and being chicken.
I think that sometimes happens on this website when,actually,
a person has simply retreated due to suspicion that some statement is inaccurate but they cannot prove it.


#11

[quote=fix]Not only that, but there are some who claim to be orthodox, yet attempt to combine truth with error. They will give 95% truth, then sneak in the 5% error and hold firm they are faithful Catholics.
[/quote]

True.
Never heard of anyone attempting poison by having one drink pure arsenic. Isn’t it aways pinched into otherwise good drink or food?
No one would consume pure poison, but pinch by pinch, …your dead.


#12

[quote=mercygate]How do you judge and respond to contentious or snide comments from those with whom you are in dialogue here?
[/quote]

Insist that the contentious person quote and reference a Church document that backs up their point. They usually will wiggle and squirm if this demand is insisted upon, since their misinformation comes not from original sources, but from sources with an ax to grind.

As for the troll that has nothing to say but snide remarks - the Catholic Answers Forum has a cloaking device that allow you to not see the posts of whomever you wish. :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

[quote=Matt16_18]Insist that the contentious person quote and reference a Church document that backs up their point. They usually will wiggle and squirm if this demand is insisted upon, since their misinformation comes not from original sources, but from sources with an ax to grind.

As for the troll that has nothing to say but snide remarks - the Catholic Answers Forum has a cloaking device that allow you to not see the posts of whomever you wish. :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

I like the “ask for a reference” tack. But what’s the cloaking device? Although I get posts to subscribed thread in my e-mail, I view mostly from the CA Forums site. ??? Not that I would block much.


#14

[quote=mercygate]… what’s the cloaking device? Although I get posts to subscribed thread in my e-mail, I view mostly from the CA Forums site. ??? Not that I would block much.
[/quote]

This forum has a tool called the “ignore list”. I believe that if you put a troll on the ignore list, their posts won’t appear on your computer screen. I could be wrong about that though, and I can’t seem to find any information on the ignore list function.

Does anyone know how the “ignore list” tool works?


#15

[quote=Matt16_18]This forum has a tool called the “ignore list”. I believe that if you put a troll on the ignore list, their posts won’t appear on your computer screen. I could be wrong about that though, and I can’t seem to find any information on the ignore list function.

Does anyone know how the “ignore list” tool works?
[/quote]

You’ve got it right…the problem is that it still lists the responses of the poor folks that respond to the dude.


#16

[quote=Church Militant]You’ve got it right…the problem is that it still lists the responses of the poor folks that respond to the dude.
[/quote]

Perhaps those “poor” folks may not hold the same attitude or opinion as you do towards the supposed “troll”, which is why they still prefer to reply to him/her. In any case, I personally don’t have problems with people who post replies to alleged “trolls”. I just stick to the relevant issues and assume the best of intentions, not the worst, from people.

Gerry :slight_smile:


#17

[quote=RobedWithLight]Perhaps those “poor” folks may not hold the same attitude or opinion as you do towards the supposed “troll”, which is why they still prefer to reply to him/her. In any case, I personally don’t have problems with people who post replies to alleged “trolls”. I just stick to the relevant issues and assume the best of intentions, not the worst, from people.

Gerry :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I generally agree with you, Rob, and I wasn’t thinking of trolls but rather of those who are persistently obdurate; not really responding to patient and reasoned efforts but retorting with name-calling and such.

Anyone engaged in apologetics must be prepared for initial pugnacity from the usual suspects. But does there come a point, where you call the person on it? Where you say, “Please have the courtesy of at least recognizing our point, even if you disagree with it?” Or must we continue to ignore persistent hostility? The title of this thread is “handling” contentious interlocutors. I really didn’t mean that we should block messages from them.

In my own “live” experience, through patience and well-placed 50-word apologetic responses, I have watched a hostile anti-Catholic acquaintance go from “You Catholics are all statue worshippers doomed to Hell!” to “I believe that there are some Catholics who are saved.” That, if you ask me, is a miraculous tranformation.


#18

I hope I’m not one of the trolls. I sometimes display a tremendous sarcastic streak, which is probably not the right way to handle the half-truths, lies, and distortions which are the usual figures of speech employed by protestants and liberals. I should know better, but sometimes I just can’t resist an easy target. :o Mea culpa.

As faithful Catholics, we know at our very cores that the Church’s teachings are 100% true - nothing has to be proven to us. We know by faith. Our “separated brethren” are overly influenced by the rationalism of “the world.” They attack doctrines, as though they can destroy 2000 years of orthodoxy with an out-of-context bible quote. If we bite and become obsessed with defending doctrines which don’t need to be defended, we can forget to inform them that the Church is all about faith. If we can show them that we live by faith, and that everything they try to denigrate (like the sacraments and devotion to the Blessed Mother) only exist to strengthen our faith and bring us closer to Christ, we have a better chance of winning friends and influencing people.


#19

[quote=Matt16_18]Does anyone know how the “ignore list” tool works?
[/quote]

When reading a thread and coming upon an annoying post, click on the person’s screen name by their post. Choose to view their public profile. On the public profile screen is various info, and near the top on the right are the words “add so and so to your ignore list” click the words and follow directions.

You will still see all the replies quoting their posts, however.


#20

[quote=RobedWithLight]Perhaps those “poor” folks may not hold the same attitude or opinion as you do towards the supposed “troll”, which is why they still prefer to reply to him/her. In any case, I personally don’t have problems with people who post replies to alleged “trolls”. I just stick to the relevant issues and assume the best of intentions, not the worst, from people.

Gerry :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Gerry … :smiley: In all the time you’ve seen me posting on here, have you ever seen me back down from a troll? LOL! I’m Irish and Polish and Catholic all the back to my DNA and I love my faith and love to talk about it. (A good use for my blarney…) I tried ignore once and just found it lacking, so I just either ignore the ignorant posts or answer with all the charity that I can muster.


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