How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
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18-03-2015, 11:31 PM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
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19-03-2015, 12:47 PM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(17-03-2015 11:50 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  Actually, though, I'm curious about the two answers you're hinting at. What were you going to suggest?

Well for Christians you have to understand that a LOT of negative stuff associated with the religion historically is tied directly to the Catholic Church. Many people (I'd argue falsely) don't feel their particular denomination should be lumped in with the atrocities of Catholicisms' past, so you will have some serious walls to break down. Now .... in any other topic here is where I would argue your best bet is to make the argument that the Churches' past is just that: in the past. However.....it's not.
The Church is still actively engaged in protecting child rapists from criminal prosecution, often shuffling them around to new locations and knowingly making new rape victims in an attempt to keep them from Police. That's a major problem for everyone that's not a High ranking Church official. Your previous Pope was, in his day, personally involved in covering that up and it's an issue that a lot of people, believers and nonbelievers alike, have not forgotten. You also have other issues : The church is complicit in the rampant spread of Aids in Africa due to it's systematic and knowingly dishonest smear campaign on Condoms. It's still, in this day and age, hostile to women and especially venomous to LGBT peoples. The church is still electing people who are despicable people to offices of power, and not removing cancerous elements from power. It's still sitting on a vast amount of wealth, arguably more then any other religious institution, which it could be using to help the poor and impoverished way more then it does. Way way more. Many people, especially believers, view this as not just hypocritical but totally opposed to the supposed teachings of Christ. The list goes on.
Now it could be argued, successfully, that many of those issues won't bother many Christians (Anti-gay being amongst the most prominent) but to many Christians they do.
Thus I would argue that your biggest problem reaching out to non-Catholic Christians is not gonna be a scriptural disputes (of which there are many) I'd argue it's the fact that the Catholic Church is viewed, rightly by the way, as corrupt, opulent, decadent, detached from the average man's suffering, bigoted, self obsessed and cares more for the preservation of tradition over the equal treatment of the worlds people.
Your biggest hurdle is the Church it's self, both it's past and it's present.


Now as for atheists.....if they came by their atheism in a evidence based way, with careful consideration of religious claims and found them wanting.....nothing short of testable, falsifiable, and demonstrable evidence is gonna bring them in. Now if we are being honest...we both know you don't have that. That's not a dig or an insult, it's just a fact. Now you might be able to convert some people who have chosen to self identify as atheist for reasons that are not evidence based and more emotional by making emotional arguments but I'm not gonna touch on them. The rationalists, the people who value evidence, and the people that genuinely understand the origins of Judaism and Christianity....you will never get them. You just won't, you have nothing at all to offer them that's tangible.

That said there are a few things you can do to foster communication with nonbelievers, you won't win them to your side, but you can have a better dialog. The first of which is to stop stating as fact things you can not demonstrate to be fact. I've seen you do this a couple of times now. Also accepting that we don't hold the bible as anything more then a work of literary fiction and in no way authoritative will go a long way. You get absolutely no where quoting Bible verses or parables to people who don't believe. Your just gonna distance yourself from them and simultaneously make yourself look silly. Lastly and arguably the most important step to take is to learn what Atheism actually is, does, says, and involves. It's not a religion, it does not have dogma, it is not a world view, it's not "taken on faith", and it does not have denominations or "officials" of any kind.
Seriously I can not stress that last one enough. It's just wrong. It's wrong by definition, it's wrong by content, it's wrong demonstrably.

Now a lot of this might sound a bit harsh...and well maybe it is. The worlds a harsh place, that's why we invent these kinda stories. But keep this little quote in mind and you should be fine:
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When valour preys on reason, it eats the sword it fights with.
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19-03-2015, 01:10 PM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(18-03-2015 01:38 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  
(18-03-2015 01:20 PM)Leo Wrote:  The fact that some atheists have some ballshit ideas don't change the reality that Catholicism is horse shit. Catholicism like all religions is presenting lies as absolute truths.

Atheism, like most religions, presents lies as absolute truths.

You have to make a claim to have a lie.

Atheism by itself doesn't make a claim. It is a lack of belief in any gods. It is skepticism. It means atheists don't have any faith in supernatural dieties, unlike religion. I'm not lying about a lack of belief in gods, nor can you or anyone else tell me that I believe otherwise.

So don't paint atheism as presenting a positive claim, because it clearly isn't.
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20-03-2015, 01:13 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(18-03-2015 07:41 PM)Chas Wrote:  Atheism is not a religion. You are talking out your ass. As usual.

Goodness! How do you function in society talking like that?


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(18-03-2015 05:56 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(18-03-2015 01:53 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  You even have your own denominations.

Any group of people that has subgroups is a religion?

No. But atheism is a religion that has subgroups.

(18-03-2015 05:56 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  
(18-03-2015 01:38 PM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  Atheism, like most religions, presents lies as absolute truths.

What's your best example?


I suppose the boldest lie is that atheists speak with assuredness that there is no Creator outside of this universe. In reality, atheists cannot prove this. They do not really know.

It is difficult to point to something beyond the universe when all you use to measure and detect things is the material. Trying to prove or disprove something beyond the material with simple limited material things will get you nowhere.

The ultimate problem, I suppose, is that atheists are materialists.



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20-03-2015, 01:25 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(16-03-2015 12:17 AM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  In fact, after my conversion, most of my friends have been careful ever since to not bring up religion or ask me why I believe what I believe (it's been 14 years, now).
It's generally not a great idea to talk politics or religion with people that you intend to have an ongoing relationship with.

Politics and religion is a personal thing and also a polarizing thing. People can easily end up in arguments and lose respect for each other.

I have a religious friend. I talk about everything except religion with her. In my younger days I did ask her how she went towards Christianity rather than Islam or Jewish or other religion. She said she had a religious experience. I didn't ask her what that was.
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20-03-2015, 01:31 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(20-03-2015 01:13 AM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  
(18-03-2015 07:41 PM)Chas Wrote:  Atheism is not a religion. You are talking out your ass. As usual.

Goodness! How do you function in society talking like that?
Rolleyes Oh dear me! The rudeness! The barbarism! Save us from such things Oh Lord.

Quote:
(18-03-2015 05:56 PM)Hafnof Wrote:  Any group of people that has subgroups is a religion?

No. But atheism is a religion that has subgroups.
...

We have no rituals. We have no Gods. We have no dogma. How exactly are we a religion? Be precise.

Quote:I suppose the boldest lie is that atheists speak with assuredness that there is no Creator outside of this universe. In reality, atheists cannot prove this. They do not really know.
That's why the term "agnostic atheist" is in vogue. It acknowledges that we can't *absolutely* prove that your so-great God who never does anything besides inspire goat-herds to write homophobic drivel and froth at the mouth about his "enemies", does not exist.

Quote:It is difficult to point to something beyond the universe when all you use to measure and detect things is the material. Trying to prove or disprove something beyond the material with simple limited material things will get you nowhere.

The ultimate problem, I suppose, is that atheists are materialists.
And yet, those spiritual believers in the great God Shiva, there's no problem there. The ultimate problem is that *you* have a problem with us. It's *your head* that's the problem bucko. Not our philosophy.

You're back to making wild statements about atheists without caring y'know, about what we actually think.

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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20-03-2015, 01:48 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
I heartily appreciate your invested reply, Whiskey. Don't worry about sounding harsh. You come off honest. It's not as though you're cussin' me or something juvenile as that. So, I think we're cool.

I'm running low on time, so I'll address the second part first. What you said about reaching out to atheists:

(19-03-2015 12:47 PM)WhiskeyDebates Wrote:  Now as for atheists.....if they came by their atheism in a evidence based way, with careful consideration of religious claims and found them wanting.....nothing short of testable, falsifiable, and demonstrable evidence is gonna bring them in. Now if we are being honest...we both know you don't have that. That's not a dig or an insult, it's just a fact. Now you might be able to convert some people who have chosen to self identify as atheist for reasons that are not evidence based and more emotional by making emotional arguments but I'm not gonna touch on them. The rationalists, the people who value evidence, and the people that genuinely understand the origins of Judaism and Christianity....you will never get them. You just won't, you have nothing at all to offer them that's tangible.

That said there are a few things you can do to foster communication with nonbelievers, you won't win them to your side, but you can have a better dialog. The first of which is to stop stating as fact things you can not demonstrate to be fact. I've seen you do this a couple of times now. Also accepting that we don't hold the bible as anything more then a work of literary fiction and in no way authoritative will go a long way. You get absolutely no where quoting Bible verses or parables to people who don't believe. Your just gonna distance yourself from them and simultaneously make yourself look silly. Lastly and arguably the most important step to take is to learn what Atheism actually is, does, says, and involves. It's not a religion, it does not have dogma, it is not a world view, it's not "taken on faith", and it does not have denominations or "officials" of any kind.
Seriously I can not stress that last one enough. It's just wrong. It's wrong by definition, it's wrong by content, it's wrong demonstrably.

Here, at TTA, I'm not really interested in presenting "testable, falsifiable, and demonstrable evidence" that's gonna bring them in. I've said before in another thread, I'm not trying to convert anyone here. I'm just a conversationalist who, for one reason or another, wandered over here from the "safe" confines of another forum because I'm not afraid of being challenged. I initially came here because there weren't really that many practicing Catholics who come here. So, I guess, here I am. If I somehow convert someone, that'd be cool for me, but unexpected--seeing as how I really have not managed to lead anyone into the faith.

That being said, I also understand that folks here are going to say their atheist things as though it's just absolutely true without question because they're atheist, and that's how atheists talk. Likewise, I will speak the way I speak and say Catholic things like it's just absolutely true without question because I'm Catholic, and that's how Catholics talk. Hopefully this kind of frankness will help in civil discourse, but we'll just have to see. I trust that when I quote Bible verses as fact or statements from the Catechism or the saints as fact, the people at TTA will have the understanding to expect me to say that, seeing as I'm Catholic. Why lie? We are ideological enemies when it comes to theism. I'm not going to lie and say everything should stay the same: I think it'd be nice if everyone here started believing in the Almighty, repented of sin, and we all went to Heaven together. But you know; things are the way they are.

I stand behind my accusation that atheism is a religion, though I think that's a subject for a different thread.

I understand that stating these things only further ostracize me here. But what can you do? I'm a token Catholic on an atheist forum.

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20-03-2015, 01:50 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(20-03-2015 01:25 AM)Stevil Wrote:  It's generally not a great idea to talk politics or religion with people that you intend to have an ongoing relationship with.

Politics and religion is a personal thing and also a polarizing thing. People can easily end up in arguments and lose respect for each other.

I find this to be quite true. That is, unless you're in an ongoing relationship with people who already agree with you. It's amazing I've kept the friends that I have now.

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20-03-2015, 02:03 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(20-03-2015 01:31 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(20-03-2015 01:13 AM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  Goodness! How do you function in society talking like that?
Rolleyes Oh dear me! The rudeness! The barbarism! Save us from such things Oh Lord.

I know, right? Unsure


(20-03-2015 01:31 AM)morondog Wrote:  We have no rituals. We have no Gods. We have no dogma. How exactly are we a religion? Be precise...

...

...And yet, those spiritual believers in the great God Shiva, there's no problem there. The ultimate problem is that *you* have a problem with us. It's *your head* that's the problem bucko. Not our philosophy.

...You're back to making wild statements about atheists without caring y'know, about what we actually think.

"Be precise..." Again, arguing on TTA against an army of atheists requires encyclopedic knowledge, weeks of back and forth, and an understanding that all information will not be blurted out instantaneously. There are many out there who argue this, and I'm willing to bet you have a thread about this accusation already.

Many accusations are hurled my way. I don't put you to the test on each one, typically, because it's off topic. Plus, time is limited. For now, it will have to be enough that you know that my accusation is there.

But the problem is not "my head," bucko. Should I be right, and this life is a mere test, then your denial of the Creator could land you in a bad afterlife. I don't have a problem "with you." I have a problem with what you believe. But, even then, it's just the same lingering problem in the background between atheists like you and creationists like me. It's the perennial disagreement. Agree that we disagree, be friendly, speak strongly, and life goes on. Can you look at my words objectively without cussin' me? I'm not so sure.

As far as wild statements are concerned, I hear them all the time from you folks. There's too many to counter in a reasonable fashion. One has to pick their battles. Besides, the internet's a hobby, not an obsession.

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20-03-2015, 02:23 AM
RE: How do I (a Catholic) reach out to non-Catholics...
(20-03-2015 02:03 AM)LaramieHirsch Wrote:  Should I be right, and this life is a mere test, then your denial of the Creator could land you in a bad afterlife. I don't have a problem "with you." I have a problem with what you believe.
But you have to admit (don't you) that from our skeptical POV there isn't any evidence that let's us know that your god exists.

If you say that we need faith and to just believe, then who is it that we are to believe?
Are we to believe what the Christians tell us, or what the Jews tell us or what the Maoris tell us or what the Hindus tell us?
Are we to put a god on each segment of a dart board, blind fold ourselves and throw a dart at it then worship whatever it lands on?
Does god reward those people who get lucky and randomly pick the right one and then torture those who are unlucky and randomly pick the wrong one?
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