Saint Thomas Aquinas

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When Protestant "Scholars" Attack!: Vol I



This is the first post of a new running series called, 'When Protestant "Scholars" Attack!' I don't mind debating a topic about Catholicism when a person uses relevant theological, historical, and rational argumentation. I enjoy debating people who are seriously interested in the truth and want to exchange their research in an effort to argue their position. I invite those people to continue to challenge my beliefs, and I will do my best to offer a rational researched response. I believe that those who are seeking the truth will eventually end up Catholic. I am growing tired however of people using bad arguments, crazy analogies or irrelevant material (Red herrings) to attack the Catholic Church with. We hear a loud bark, yet there is no bite. It seems that anyone with a blog these days can bring in traffic by hurling insults and red herrings at the Catholic Church. This type of bottom barrel feeding is now at an all time high in the Protestant apologetics world.

So, instead of wasting my time by falling into a long heated debate with these people, I will simply summarize how bad their argument is. This will save me time so I can focus on real arguments and real research, and still be able to defend the Church from these outlandish attacks. (Not that the Church really needs me to defend it from these guys) Maybe this will get people to start taking more time to do some real research before putting up a blog post attacking the Catholic Church with some lame argument. These people are usually pretty stubborn, but I will give it a try despite the backlash I will receive. Without further ado, the first edition of, 'When Protestant "Scholars" Attack!'

Protestant "Scholar" #1 Steve Hays-Triablogue

In an attempt to argue against the papacy this "scholar", Steve Hays from Triablogue has invented a new ecclesial typology as to how the church is composed. He now has compared the Church to a flock of birds, or a school of fish! Just when you think you have heard it all. I guess this guy has never read the Scriptures where Jesus refers to the flock as being sheep, which need a shepherd? If this is the best argument against the papacy as being the visible head of the Church, Catholics have nothing to fear. Jesus told Peter to feed his sheep, not swim like a school of fish or fly as a formation of birds. While movements of flocks of birds or schools of fish are fascinating, the analogy is not a Biblical one. What he is trying to accomplish here is a mystery indeed. Link Here.

Protestant "Scholar" #2 Rhology- Beggars All

Rhology over at Beggars All blog has come up with the best arguments yet against the Catholic teaching on Mary's perpetual virginity. He uses the abuse scandals to explain why the Catholic Church's theology on Mary is wrong. When someone uses an argument not pertaining to the topic, we call that a red herring. Lets plug in Rhology's pitiful argument into the fallacy. For those who don't know how this fallacy goes, here is the perfect example. Link here.

Topic A is under discussion. Mary's Perpetual Virginity
Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A). Sexual Abuse.
Topic A is abandoned. Mary's Perpetual Virginity

9 comments:

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Yes, I think the sexual abuse issue arose because of questions about the Catholic view of sexual relations in general--something which can be somewhat confusing to Protestants, given the PVM issue.

As far as the abuse issue, I commented on Beggars All with this:

Not trying to advance the theological argument here but merely as a point of clarification:

Protestant clergy abuse statistics are much lower than that of the RCC. Probably the biggest reason is that the RCC priesthood attracts bad people who can, under the guise of holy celibacy, engage in their nefarious sins. And for quite a long time it could be done with relative impunity.

I do not think it's a question of which communions or persons are more "spiritual," etc. I think the opportunity for this kind of thing is more prevalent in the RCC because of the way things are structured. I suspect that some men become priests knowing they have a serious problem, thinking that being a priest will help them immensely with their sexual self-control. I may think that being a minister or an elder will improve my own spiritual life immensely, and perhaps, on some level, it would. Sadly, when we desperately want to sin, we will find all kinds of ways to both do it and justify it.

I don't think Rhology is trying to argue for exceptional wickedness of priests because of doctrinal issues.

I would suggest the book Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church by the Investigative Staff of the Boston Globe. This book was very helpful to me in understanding what happened and what can be done in future to insure that it never happens again, as much as is humanly possible.

Rhology said...

1) It's certainly relevant.
2) It wasn't my main point.
3) I have nowhere claimed to be anythg other than a mediocre blogger. Certainly not a scholar.
4) Focusing on this (which is really not a point I think is even up for reasonable dispute, as it is so self-evident as to be amazing) is itself a red herring when you, Matthew, disagree with a published Romanist author, a member of Opus Dei. Maybe you could deal with THAT...


Peace,
Rhology

Matthew Bellisario said...

Oh, the peanut gallery has grown fickle! That didn't take long, did it? Here comes "scholar" #2 as he realizes his post was a colossal waste of everyone's time!

Genius B responded with,
1) It's certainly relevant.

My response, not to the topic of Mary's perpetual virginity. Learn to focus on the argument.

Genius B also said,
2) It wasn't my main point.

My response,
If you learned to compose rational thoughts in your posts you wouldn't have made a fool of yourself. You made no point in the entire post.

Genius B continued,
3) I have nowhere claimed to be anythg other than a mediocre blogger. Certainly not a scholar.

My response,
Its a good thing to admit being that you can't even spell "anything" correctly.

Genius B finished his pathetic retort with,
4) Focusing on this (which is really not a point I think is even up for reasonable dispute, as it is so self-evident as to be amazing) is itself a red herring when you, Matthew, disagree with a published Romanist author, a member of Opus Dei. Maybe you could deal with THAT...

My response,
The "Romanist" author that you quoted doesn't determine doctrine for the Church. Come up with some real arguments before wasting innocent blogger's time that went looking for some decent reading material and found the garbage that ended up on the Beggars All blog. Also, quit wasting my time! Deal with that!

This is going to be par for the course with these guys. So far the experiment is failing. :(

Alex said...

I'm still trying to figure ot what being a member of Opus Dei has to do with anything. Rhology, I think that you took the DaVinci Code way too seriously.

Matthew Bellisario said...

In the future, if people like Rhology and the like insist on slandering the character of priests, I wont tolerate it on my blog. I Don't want their trash over on my website. I have good friends that are priests and I take it very, very personally when someone tries to frame an argument around a red herring like this one.

In fact if someone made such character assassinations of priests in front me they would be lucky not to get knocked out of their chair! Sorry for the harsh words, but it makes me sick that twisted people will drag in the sins of a few to try and deface the entire Catholic Church just to promote their own pathetic cause. If this is the best these guys have then they are not worth my time to dialog with. Get some real arguments and quit using the abuse scandal to attack the Church's theology!

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Matthew,

I posted this over at Beggars All but wanted to post it here as well so all could see.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Protestant clergy abuse statistics are much lower than that of the RCC.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Where are the statistics? Show them.

This issue is much more complicated than I thought, even given some of the good reading I've done.

What I find after looking into it more is that my statement is unwarranted for a number of reasons:

1) The private nature of the acts themselves make statistics unreliable.

2) The descriptions of what constitutes sexual misconduct are varied and somewhat subjective, ranging from "harassment," whatever that means today legally, to outright rape and everything in between. It's frequently an apples-to-oranges thing.

3) The media furor over the high-profile Catholic abuse cases have eclipsed the reality that this kind of thing occurs in all faiths. Any reasonable person knows this, but a large, visible institution like the RCC casts a big shadow. The public perception also drives the idea that RCC clergy abuse is greater than other communions, a perception driven mainly by the media.

For these reasons (and probably more) I retract my original statement about Protestant clergy abuse statistics being much lower than RCC. Sometimes it's true in one area, and not in another.

However, I am still interested in what you may think of the rest of my comments on reasons that homosexuals are drawn to the RCC priesthood. Beyond that, I really did not intend to get into a long discussion on sexual abuse in this thread.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Thanks Pilgrim for posting that retraction. I do not want to pit abuse cases against one another. The point I was making is that it does not pertain to the whole argument on Mary's perpetual virginity or any argument in the theological realm. People are sinful inside and outside the Church. Some listen to what the Church teaches, some do not. That has no bearing on what the Church teaches in faith and morals. As far as why some priests did these heinous things, or what their motivation was, I would not venture to say. It is a travesty indeed.

Rhology said...

Hi all,

Wow, you guys are even meaner in real life than at Beggars All. Nice.
"Anythg" is an abbreviation. I'd suggest you drop the practice of ripping people's spelling. It's weaksauce, and you never know when you yourself will let a misspelling slip here or there. A good example is this sentence from your OP:
I am growing tired however of people using bad arguments, crazy analogies or irrelevant material (Red herrings) to attack the Catholic Church with.

It should be:
I am growing tired, however, of people using bad arguments, crazy analogies or irrelevant material (red herrings) with which to attack the Catholic Church.

Moving on.
Again, I've never claimed to be a genius (far from it) or a scholar.

You said:
The "Romanist" author that you quoted doesn't determine doctrine for the Church.

Then you do much, much less. The man is a member of the clergy. What are you? Some self-proclaimed apologist, a blogger.
Alex, I mention that Waiss is a member of Opus Dei b/c it demonstrates his standing in the Roman church. I find it highly ironic that blogger laymen take us Reformed to task for rebelling against the Church, yet when it comes to official representatives of that church, you feel free to dissent from them whenever you feel like it. This practice is a lot of things, but intellectually honest it ain't.


if people like Rhology and the like insist on slandering the character of priests

Where did I slander Waiss' character? A direct quote will suffice, thanks.
Seems to me YOU'RE critical of, not his character, but his position and competence. Just where do you get off correcting a priest?


Peace,
Rhology

Matthew Bellisario said...

First of all Rhology you keep showing everyone how ignorant you are. Where have I challenged the priest you made reference to? I merely pointed out how he does not define doctrine. Secondly what status does Opus Dei give a person in the Catholic Church? Does this give them some sort of doctrinal status in the Magisterium? I agree with Alex, too many Dan Brown novels. Finally you used the abuse cases to justify your warped theological opinions, as well as trying to use them to tear down Catholic theology. Grow up and get some real arguments