No Need to Apologise

This thread really should be called, “Why do you do apologetics?”, but this was funnier… at least to me.

I’ve noticed that many people in this forum tend to post to about subjects internal to Catholicism. Usually this type of thread deals with the question, “What does the Catholic Church say about…?” This question can be phrased any number of ways, but it is pretty much the same question: Should I? Do I have to? Is this right? What do you think about? Generally, the answers clear and unambiguous. There is no great mystery to discovering what the Catholic Church really teaches.

My question actually deals with the other form of apologetics. Attempts to justify faith in general. This kind of thread deals with trying to convince the non-believer that they are wrong or that the Catholic Church is right.

I have been in many such arguments and have noticed an interesting trend. The point doesn’t seem to be to prove a point to non-believers, but rather to prove to believers that they are right. I have now been told several times that something has already been proven to me. If I am still unsatisfied it is because I am too closed-minded or that I am too unwilling to see the truth.

I can actually tell you that the opposite is true. I am far, far, far more open minded to Catholicism than the average non-believer. I have tried to tell some of my non-believing friends about debates I have had on this forum. Usually, I can’t even get out a third of the argument before someone says, “That’s just stupid.” I can’t convince most people to pay attention to Anselm long enough to get to my argument against it. I am actually interested in whether the Catholic Church is the true Church. I admit, I have serious doubts, and those doubts are growing daily, but I still am willing to concede the possibilty.

So my question is: Are people just trying to prove to themselves that they are right?

If so, why bother? I mean why would you go to a bunch of people who are biased to believe your argument in order to see if it is right? Why not challenge people who are against your opinion. Or go to someone who is neutral (although who that could be, I don’t know).

If your purpose is to spread the truth, why not try to focus on arguments and techniques that build bridges rather than create chasms? It seems to me that some people think that they are doing a good job of apologetics if the annoy non-believers.

I’m sure that this will come up, and it’s a fair question, so I will explain why I come back to this board over and over.

  1. I might not get a satisfying response, but at least hear I can type out an argument before someone says, “That’s just stupid.”
  2. On the few occasions that people seem to drop their defenses and really communicate it can be really fun.
  3. I like the board layout and choice of smilies.
  4. People post more frequently here than on some of the other sites I’ve tried, so I don’t have to wait weeks for a response from someone.
  5. I’m a little nuts.:banghead: :yup:

Thats just stupid.

Well, yes and no. I’ll just limit this response to the Catechism, which is only one part of Catholic teaching. Would a typical non-Catholic know to reference the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) for her teachings? Probably not, so we point them in that direction. Does the typical person, Catholic or not, have a ready copy of the CCC? Do you have a good Internet site for the CCC? Looking up a topic in the CCC can be intimidating to those not familiar with it, we can help by pointing to pertinent paragraphs.

One problem is we all come to the table with different appetites. One wants an exact legal type answer, another a general teaching. An example I believe the “works vs no works” debate is silly since Paul is not referring to works of Christian charity but to works of the Law. I can point out to you the Scriptural verses which support my view and listen to your verses which support yours. If your Scripture slinging doesn’t convince me, and my Scripture slinging doesn’t convince you, and we’ve both really listened to the others point of view, I’ll think you just don’t see what I see (naturally My point is correct if you’ve not convinced me otherwise). If I’ve given it my best shot and you still can’t see, well you obviously “too closed-minded or that I am too unwilling to see the truth”… LOL

It is the true Church, I’ve told you that!!! Why don’t you believe… LOL

Seriously, I’m here to help my brothers and sisters and to help myself as well. We all seek the truth. Here (the Catholic Church) is where I’ve found it, and find it everyday. I’m not here to argue, but to show you what I believe, and why I believe.

Hi Tom,

I mean no offense by this; I know that you were responding in a spirit of charity, but this is the exact kind of nitpicking that drives me absolutely batty!

I wouldn’t consider not knowing what book to pick up, or where to look in it, a “great mystery”. A “great mystery” is pretty much by definition something that can’t be decided by “pointing to the pertinent paragraphs”.

“How much faith should I have in my perceptions?” Is an example of a mystery. Who would know? How would you decide? Is the answer the same for everyone? Is there even a pertitnent paragraph in the CCC?

Compare it to the question, “Can I have sex with my girlfriend if I know that we are going to get married anyway?” You can debate the subject all you like, but there is only one correct answer according to the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

Okay, I’ll stop ranting now.

No offense taken. It depends on the question asked, take your example of “Can I have sex with my girlfriend if I know that we are going to get married anyway?”; I can show you in Scripture, I can show you in the CCC, but chances are you don’t want to hear the true answer, you want to hear, ‘sure no problemo, go for it,” unfortunately the true answer is one you don’t want to hear. Would you, (as the guy asking the sex question), even want to acknowledge you know where the answer is? Once you’ve been shown, you’ll very much want to disprove the truth. In this case it would appear I was trying to prove to myself I’m (or the Church), right.

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