I am in debate about Mary and saints. I want to leave. But when I leave, they attack my faith. Then I see the comments have increased and I am tempted to read. When I read I am tempted to reply. When I reply, the argument grows long. But if I leave they say false things. Do I have to reply?
Is the argument going around in circles? Have you said what you have to say? Are their questions *honest *searches for knowledge or merely searches for more to attack with?
I try to remember that my policy is to explain, not to convince. If I am in a discussion in which it seems the other person and i are merely trying to “win,” then I try to remember to leave.
Yes, you are leaving them in their ignorance, but that is their problem, and their fault, not yours. You hve explained, and maybe even planted some seeds.
I have the same problem, on a non-religious forum where I am a regular. There are only a few people posting who will even admit to a belief in God and generally I don’t get involved, as I post on that particular forum for fun, not for arguments.
However, recently I posted on a thread to politely object to an offensive comment someone made about priests (you can imagine what it was, no doubt). I explained that I had no intention of getting involved in theological debate, as I did not feel the need to justify or ‘prove’ my beliefs to anyone - I don’t ridicule anyone for being a non-believer and I expect the same back. The thread then progressed and I had to make a few more replies, as I simply couldn’t leave some of the ridiculous comments unchallenged.
In the end, I just said that I had made my views clear, I wasn’t going to change my mind and I wasn’t going to go round in circles whilst people tried to ridicule me. But you leave with a feeling that you haven’t done your best.
If you are talking about an online exchange, it is certainly acceptable (and probably even prudent) to leave when it is clear that you are just beating your head against the wall. Argumentation via online forums is often not the most productive form of apologetics-in-action anyway.
yes I have explained. It is a non-religious forum. It does seem like we go round in circles. Trying to win. I think the poster who said explain, don’t attempt convincing is right. I will try not to read it because if I do, I will just have to reply. A fundamentalist said catholic church is no different than Mormons and JWitnesses, I just had to go in after I had left when I read that. Now accusing us of necromancy because of intercession of saints. I wont read, even if I will seem to lose.
Just walking away gives a signal, as do all of our body language. The absolute best thig you can do is pray for them. Let the Holy Spirit do its work on their heart.
I would stay away from debating them. Just show them the love Christ.
I think the important thing to keep in mind, too, is that the person who gets the last word in isn’t necessarily going to be construed as the “winner” by every lurker who stumbles across the discussion. You don’t have to respond point-for-point to every over-the-top assertion in order to come across as the reasonable one.
You might have to leave the forum if you are constantly attacked as a Catholic. No matter what points you make, it sounds like they are not interested in listening. There is nothing wrong with backing out and leaving. I would suggest you read the book by Karl Keating “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” which goes into the common agreements these types of people use against Catholics. On the forum and since it is suppose to be non-religious, you can always point out that attacking someone as a heretic will not make friends and influence people and that in a free and open forum (and society) attacking other beliefs show the lack of brains on their part. If they can’t come up with something of substance then they need to shut up and leave you along. Anyone can call names and labels on something they don’t understand much about.