Why do so many protestants seem to argue in circles?

I haven’t noticed it as much here on CAF, but on other sites and in life when I have discussions with protestants about what Catholics believe the debate always turns into nothing but red herrings and straw man arguments.

Does anyone know why protestants continue to argue in logical fallacies?

Not just Protestants, friend… :rolleyes:

Because of pride and sloth?

OUI d’accord ,:slight_smile: and I should know .

Did Jesus say something about having a plank in the eye ?:smiley:

Well then ,they have something in common with catholics ,after all .:eek:

I sure hope you don’t think a person’s religious affiliation has any bearing on their debate skills. :smiley: I’m Catholic like you, but I’m kind of offended by the statement “Protestants argue in circles.”

No, this isn’t something that only Protestants are guilty of. It’s just a matter of perspective. I’ve seen people of other religions who do the same thing. The only thing this means is, that the persons involved are not very good at debating. Whether they are Baptist or Lutheran or Catholic or Hindu or atheist has nothing to do with it.

As does the rest of humanity. :cool:


Pretty much this. Being Catholic doesn’t guarantee good debating skills, and being Protestant doesn’t guarantee that a person will debate in circles. Unlike this forum, most religious forums aren’t really about debate and learning, they’re more about discussing with like-minded people about why you’re right. As such, most of the people on those forums tend not to be as adept at discussing the whys of their beliefs.

Amen to this point.

Far too many Catholics what to be experts in Apologetics without realizing first they need to take the time to be well catechized.

Its like someone wanting to be a board certified heart surgeon, and then later go to medical school.

They probably ask the same thing about Catholics. :slight_smile:

I’ve quit arguing with Protestants long long ago. Other than informing them about a couple things, I don’t think I’ve ever convinced one to change their positions anyways. Then I slowly grew out of the faith myself, before coming back.

I’d personally tell Catholics to deepen their own faith instead, and to take care of themselves first. It is far too easy getting caught up and you realize you’re just wasting both your time and theirs. JMHO.

Most people do. Most people think largely in terms of prejudices and knee-jerk reactions. Sorry if that sounds too cynical. But fundamentalist Protestants, whom you probably have in mind here, are particularly prone to this because of their populism (anyone can read the Bible and understand it), anti-intellectualism (follows from the above–they don’t think much of professional scholarship or theology), and principled closed-mindedness (by which I mean that they see closed-mindedness as a virtue, explicitly, instead of just stumbling into it as many people do).


I am particularly partial to this one, myself: once, during a worship gathering of the desert monks, one stood up to denounce another, declaring, “This young man, rather than using our money to buy supplies in the city, spent it in a visit to a prostitute!” The monks exclaimed, “The sinner must go!”

At that point, Abba Bessarion, the oldest and most respected of the monks, rose and hobbled towards the door.

“Father,” the monks asked, “why are you going.”

“I, too, am a sinner,” Bessarion replied, “and so I, too, must go.”

The monks learnt from the old man and forgave the young one.

I think that’s a very good summary of it, and I would extend it out to including not just online fora, but much of life: too many of us spend too much time surrounded by others who are willing to agree, and so we become unreasonably convinced that our ways are self-evidently right.

Thank you. :slight_smile:

The post does not address fundamentalist protestants,but all protestants ,and is therefore insulting some of the greatest minds and greatest christians ,in one fell swoop .

I came to know God at a level with some of them ,that I never had the chance to, as a catholic .

Unfortunately, Catholics are often just as guilty of bad logic. Conversely, there are folks on both sides of the divide that are exceptionally clear in their thinking. CS Lewis, anyone?

However, the real question that I think you may be asking is: Why do Protestants often argue against things that Catholics do not actually believe?

First, Catholics do the same regarding Protestant beliefs.

Second, the fundamental source of this phenomenon is ignorance of the facts regarding true Catholic belief, and these distortions of Catholicism are taught in Protestant churches and books.

Catholic priests don’t tend to spend their homilies on what Protestants believe because we don’t define ourselves as being in protest against them, but it is not unheard of for some fundamentalist preachers (and indeed whole denominations) to focus considerable energy in preaching against the Whore of Babylon which, according to them, is headquartered in Rome.

Did you have a particular protestant in mind?

Oh indeed. Believe me, I have fought against this over and over on this forum.

I was just trying to be gentle rather than adversarial. The OP almost certainly is reacting to bad experiences with fundamentalists, and is unfairly generalizing to all Protestants.

I don’t know where you are from, but anti-Catholicism varies widely by region. Many people who come from the South or other very conservative areas live with constant anti-Catholicism that people from more “enlightened” areas may find hard to imagine. I know, because alas I was once part of that anti-Catholicism (though not just in the South–my one really nasty anti-Catholic act, spraying a statue of the Blessed Virgin with water when I was seven years old, was committed in Indiana). Until I went to grad school I had met a handful of Catholics and many, many people who began their religious testimony by saying some variant of "I used to be Catholic and then I became a Christian. . . . "


The prejudice against protestants was so great as a child among Irish catholics , that I was amazed when I met one face to face when I was 21 years ,and found that I they were just like us ,people . I have to admit, this in part was historical as the Irish lost everything to the protestant colonialists .
For me God’s people are simply those who love Him, and try to ‘follow’ Him ,but I also think that Catholicism is simply a facet of God’s creation ,as is the simplicity and
biblically based protestantism is another .
What is not is prejudice ,ignorance and hatred . If God make us different in our personalities He also wishes us to have a religion that suits us ,as long as it is
‘journeying’ to Him

We need different things at different stages in our ‘walk’ ,and instead of saying ,one way is the only way, we would be wise to to try both

The Protestants that like to try and argue with me tend to be Southern Baptist or Calvinist. I find most of the aggression is aimed at what they perceive the catholic faith to be, without investigating for themselves.

The circular arguments happen because they are convinced I am a heretic, and I am convinced they are in the shadows of a grey area, like I was only a few short years ago.

The last observation I have to share, is we may be using words that sound the same, but have a completely different meaning. Grace means something entirely different to a Calvinist. Just type “grace” into wikipedia and then “religion” to study what I am trying to say.

I try to leave it to the gifted RCIA teachers to argue, and rather just invite people to go with me. They can take what they need from actually attending mass, and ask questions if they like, but I’m not going to argue with them.

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