Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Discussion Continues

The discussion of Catholicism I've reported in previous entries has continued. Here is what I posted to the message board today:

You keep saying that when I express my misgivings about
Catholicism, I don't know what I'm talking about and am arguing
against straw men. You say that I need to spend at least several
months intensively studying and meditating on its key teachings before
I'm qualified to challenge them or the faith from which they issue. I
admit that I don't know reams of facts about the finer details of
Church teachings and history, but I don't concede that this makes the
arguments I've posed here against Catholicism unsound. Furthermore,
if these arguments are sound, I contend that they provide ample reason
not to waste my time engaging in the kind of intensive study of
Catholicism you say I should.

Let us take just one of my arguments for now. I argue that if the God
worshiped by the Catholic Church really existed and wanted us to know,
love, and serve him with total devotion in this life and join him for
blissful eternity instead of suffering apart from him for eternity in
the next, it's legitimate to assume that he would make sure we know
that he exists from the very outset instead of requiring us to seek
out what seems like a fairy tale to many of us; therefore, he probably
doesn't exist and there is no compelling reason to seek him out.

You counter-argue that God transcends such "simple logic" and that he
doesn't make us certain of his existence because that would compromise
our free will. I counter-counter argue that my faith that a real God
who wants us to embrace him would make us certain of his existence is
at least as sensible as your faith that he wouldn't, and I ask why we
still couldn't have the free will to obey or disobey God even if he
made us certain that he exists.

Now you can dismiss my argument, counter-counter argument, and
question as ignorant and "sophomoric," but I don't believe that they
are, and I think they provide ample justification in themselves for my
not spending months or years poring over scripture and Catholic
theology before I further challenge Catholicism in places like this
with this and many more arguments and questions. And if I'm wrong
about this, then surely a wannabe Jesuit like yourself can do a better
job of addressing my comments and questions than you have so far so
that I might begin to see enough of the light that I'll want to
investigate further to see more of it.

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