Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Apologetics Sabotaged

I had a discussion last week were I made some good arguments but I sabotaged them. At the end of my arguments I made a joke. I told the person the following...

The rest of what you wrote sounds like you're pulling numbers out of your arse. The last sentence should be read in your best Norse tribesfolk accent.

And this was his response....

Cure of Ars, I should prefer it if you no longer commented on my posts. There may be a place on Overcoming Bias for Catholics; but none for those who despise math they don't understand. Link

I originally was going to say that he was pulling numbers out of thin air. But instead, I went with a smart ass remark. This did a couple of things that were counterproductive.

1. The person did not have to focus on my arguments. He was able to exclusively focus on my smart ass remark.

2. A joke like this just makes someone defensive, in affect, putting more between himself and the truth. Apologetics is supposed to take away barriers not make them.

3. This gave the person the justification to ask me not to comment on his posts anymore.

On a personal level, I learned that I have a big ego. I need to become more humble if I am going to be a good apologist. So the question then becomes how do you become humble? I don’t think beating myself up or feeling sorry for myself is going to do the trick. I decided to do two things. I have decided to go to confession more often. Every Saturday I will be in the confessional at 4:00. I personally do not enjoy confession (hurts my ego) but it is the sacrament that I feel the most spiritual consolation afterwards. I also decided that I was going to increase the amount of time that I pray. Every night I will say a rosary. I am writing this, in part, so that I have a public commitment to do this. It’s now out there so no backing out.

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