The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Volk23
Con (against)
Winning
39 Points

the catholic church has never contradicted itself, from an official capacity

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
Volk23
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/12/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,579 times Debate No: 32408
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (8)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

n this debate, i am not counting the issues of limbo, or "no salvation outside the catholic church".

you would think if the catholic church were not true, that it would have contradicted itself at some point in two thousand years.

the only things that count are statements that are authoritative, things that could be considerted "infallible". the pope, intentionally, teaches, the church, on faith and morals. that is the criteria. it includes many councils and other statements by popes.

note:

-this does not include moral corruption, only official teaching. that means you can't use bad priest, even peodofile priests. it means you can't use the inquisistion where millions were killed by catholics. can't use the sins of past popes. it has to be actual teachings of the church, as said, councils and statements by popes. etc. impeccable v infallble, there's a difference.
-since we are comparing official statements, id rather not use the bible either. it's usually too open to interpretation to begin with. we are examining the church's consistency on its own anyway... and you'd think even beyond the bible, it'd have contradicted itself within two thousand years.
-also there's a differnce between widespread belief and doctrine. that so many believed the earth was made in six days, that the earth was flat, that man wasn't from apes etc... only shows they are human. it'd make sense at first impression. this isn't doctrine. you have to cite a quote or citation.
-there's a difference between practice and doctrine too... preistly celibacy is practice, reading the mass in latin is a practice... etc

also try not to be vague. so many claims of contradiction online are superficial. for example, "papal bull regarding jews", without getting into what exactly is contradicting what etc. if possible, find the quote or citation for what you are referring to.
Volk23

Con

I thank my opponent for proposing this debate. It's certainly an interesting one, considering that the affirmative burden is incredibly low; inasfar as right off the bat you exclude two pretty big theological issues (limbo and no salvation outside the church), you concede that, like any other imperfect institution in the world, the Catholic Church has indeed contradicted itself.

Nevertheless, I accept and meet your burden.

The resolution makes a normative statement: the church has never contradicted itself. Correspondingly, this means that it is the burden of the con to prove only a single instance in which the church has contradicted itself in order for there to be a con vote. Thus, rather than going through a rote list of tensions and contradictions, I will instead focus on one doctrinal teaching. Note that in this instance I am not arguing that the church is contradicting a previous teaching (e.g. saying something and then saying, "No, we didn't say that"), nor am I saying that the church has contradicted itself because of its failure to live up to its practices. Rather, I am arguing that two related doctrines of theirs, when juxtaposed, produce a contradiction.

The thesis and sole contention of the con in this debate is that the Catholic teachings on contraception, when juxtaposed with their advocacy of "Natural Family Planning" (NFP), produce a contradiction.

[For the purposes of this debate, I will refer to Peter Kreeft's excellent annotated version of the official Catechism. See Peter Kreeft, Catholic Christianity (San Francisco, CA: Ignatius, 2001).]

1. The Catholic Church opposes contraceptive techniques such as "the pill" or condoms. "This particular doctrine [of procreation in the Catholic Church], expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, qtd. in Kreeft 250). Simply put, the intentionality behind sex must include two criteria: (1) sex must be for the purposes of uniting the married couple, and (2) sex must be open to the possibility of the creation of a new being as a result of that unity.

2. However, in response to those concerned that they might have too many children and not be able to provide for them, the Church advocates Natural Family Planning (NFP), a policy whereby "methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and infertile periods" is used (Catechism of the Catholic Church, qtd. in Kreeft 250). This involves charting the woman's ovulation cycles, having sex during breastfeeding, amongst other things.

3. The Contradiction: Look to the second criterion under the first point. It says that the man and woman involved in the sex act must be open to the possibility of the creation of a new being as a result of their unity. If NFP, widely held church teaching, is true, then Catholics all the time violate this standard. Under NFP, you are still deliberately trying to avoid the result of new life being created. Thus, Catholic teaching on legitimate standards for birth control clearly violates Catholic teaching concerning the nature of the sex act in marriage.

I urge a vote in favor of the CON, and I look forward to my opponent's remarks.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

NFPlanning is not full proof. so it is technically open to life. or at least not deliberately closed to life, through artificial means.
this seems mostly like a philosophical argument than a real contradiction.

also i'm not sure NFP is taught by the pope etc.
but i do know there's a significant number of even catholics who express the concerns of being open to life, as said by con.

this point is very weak.
i agree that the burden to show a win for con should be low, as all that needs shown is one contradiction. but if you could find another one, a stronger one, that would be better.
Volk23

Con

I thank my opponent for her remarks. A couple of responses are in order.

1. A contradiction is a philosophical claim. Contradictions involve the nature of statements juxtaposed together, which necessarily involves some philosophical valuation. Philosophies--such as NFP and Catholic reproductive ethics--can, in fact, contradict each other.

2. NFP is indeed not fool-proof. However, for Catholics, it is just as good as birth control, as Kreeft himself admits: "[NFP] is much more reliable than the 'rhythm method,' as reliable as 'the pill,'* and has none of the pill's side effects..." (250). Moreover, that it is not fool-proof does not mean it is "open to life"; if that's true, then condoms and the pill are both "open to life" since they are not universally perfect means of contraception. That it is "artificial" is not a meaningful standard, since the overriding claim against contraceptives from the Catholic end is that sex should be open to life, so even if you're using "natural" means of contraception, you're still not being open to life. In fact, you are in some senses violating your body even more, since you are using its natural functions against it.

3. I mean, there's no grand document at the Vatican saying "NFP is the way to go," but Catholic doctrine on sexual morality is universal, and since NFP--in the mind of the Church--is the only viable contraceptive solution, it therefore still counts as legitimate Church teaching. The contradiction therefore is still a meaningful one based on the standards set up in the first round.

I urge a vote in the CON.

*Note: this is utterly false.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

I appreciate your points, and as someone who is not a catholic, I have used the articifical v open to life points many times against them. condoms don't seems to be any worse based on their own philosophy. an in fact are worse cause they often admit NFP is more effective birth control, as a way to get people to use it.... yet if it's more effective, youd think it'd be worse to use NFP.
but this is based on per se philosophy, not a literal contradiction.

an obvious contradiction is A is not B. A is B. what's being talked about here is interpretation. etc

I don't think i'd claim that they contradicted themselves though. even the catechism openly talks about NFP versus contraception. they wouldn't make such a obvious contradiction if it were in fact a contradiction.
Volk23

Con

I thank my opponent for the speediness of her remarks. Several concluding remarks are in order.

1. This distinction between "philosophy" and "contradiction" is nonsense. A contradiction is a philosophical claim; it is a claim of identity. Moreover, this distinction of hers didn't exist in the original limitations of the round, so it can be thrown out completely. Basically, she wanted this debate to be, "One day the Pope said something, and the next day said something different." That wasn't explicitly laid out when she initially constructed the round, and she also never addressed a claim that I made in my initial constructive: "Note that in this instance I am not arguing that the church is contradicting a previous teaching (e.g. saying something and then saying, 'No, we didn't say that.')" If the debate was going to be that narrow--even narrower than the initial construction of the debate, I might add--my opponent should have done better to clarify that.

2. My arguments are not about interpretation. (Of course, "All knowledge is interpretation," but in the sense that she used the word in round 3, I'm not.) My argument is about juxtaposing two claims made by the Catholic Church that, upon said juxtaposition, yield a contradiction. To reiterate:

Catholic Teaching on Sexuality: (1) Sex must be for the purposes of uniting the married couple, and (2) Sex must be open to the possibility of the creation of a new being as a result of that unity.
Catholic Teaching on Contraceptives: The advocacy of Natural Family Planning (NFP), a policy whereby "methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and infertile periods" is used (Catechism of the Catholic Church, qtd. in Kreeft 250). This involves charting the woman's ovulation cycles, having sex during breastfeeding, amongst other things.

The latter is the alternative to typical forms of contraception, e.g. the pill or condoms, which, according to the Church's statements (brought up by my opponent in the comment section of this debate) fall into the category of "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible"[; these actions are] intrinsically evil." This evil comes from the fact that these contraceptive methods are by their nature intending to subvert the openness of life necessary for sex that is morally legitimate.

My contention is that advocating NFP--a policy which is still not open to the possibility of life--violates this standard. To put in the terms of "A and B" that my opponent wants me to:

Catholic Teaching on Sexuality: You must have sex that is open to the possibility of life.
Catholic Teaching on Contraceptives: You are allowed to have sex that is in its intention not open to the possibility of life.

You can and you can't. That is a contradiction. QED.

3. The only ways she attempted to get out of this contradiction are not sufficient to address it.

(A) First she claims that NFP does not contradict the teaching on sexuality because "NFP is not fool proof." However, as I pointed out, by that measure contraceptives such as the pill or condoms are also open to life, for they are not 100 percent effective. By this measure, then, the pill and condoms should be allowable under Catholic doctrine. Openness to life, I would add here finally, is itself a troubling standard. If NFP is "as effective as the pill," as Kreeft says (which is false), then what's the difference between doing NFP or using a condom? (I'll get to the "it's artificial" claim in a moment.) Openness to life is best measured not in whether or not you use the pill, but rather if you are willing to accept the life once it is actually there: see the church's teachings on abortion.

(B) The claim that "well, condoms and the pill are bad because it's artificial" is an arbitrary heuristic. This assumes that all things non-natural are bad, which is absurd and not supported in other lines of the Church's thinking qua the Catechism and the historical tradition of the Church (or, at least, the standard is not as facile as that). Moreover, the overriding claim against contraceptives are not that they aren't natural, but rather that they display an unwillingness to be open to life. Under NFP, one is deliberately trying to avoid the creation of a life, and one has to put a hell of a lot of work (and thereby a lot more intentionality) into it to make sure that's not the case. Additionally, she doesn't respond to the argument I made in the second round, where I say that it's worse under NFP, because you are actively using your body to undermine its reproductive capabilities. So even if "artificiality" was a meaningful standard, which I've clearly shown that it isn't, NFP is still worse in upholding the openness to life because it requires much more intentionality on the part of the married couple.

4. But, if nothing else, I think the CON deserves a win just on the basis of this statement alone, made at the end of my opponent's round 3 argument: "they wouldn't make such a obvious contradiction if it were in fact a contradiction." Right... because people only contradict themselves intentionally. It's not like the Catholic teaching on contraception is archaic and incoherent or anything.

So, at the end of this debate, I've done two key things:

(1) I've met the standards set by my opponent from the beginning. I used official Catholic teaching derived from the authority of the Church and its subsequent official statements in the Catechism. I used no Scriptural appeals or tu quoque arguments (like the fact that 99 percent of Catholic women admit to using artificial contraceptives). Frankly, I think I was as gracious as I could have been, given the inordinately narrow parameters made from the outset. Again: that she outright excludes two huge areas of tension from the debate means that even if you don't buy all of my above arguments, you still vote CON because she essentially admits these contradictions exist.

(2) I've met my burden set up in my first constructive in Round 1. I have shown one distinct example that proves the falsity of the claim: the Church has never contradicted itself. My burden was to show only one example, which I have sufficiently done as detailed above.

I therefore urge a vote in the CON, and I thank my opponent for instigating the debate.

Post-Script: I would suggest to my opponent to do one of two things in future debates on this topic, as I see that you have argued this issue multiple times with a few more on the horizon. Either (1) get rid of all of the parameters you set up or (2) specify the debate. I say (2) because it seems to me that given the hyper-specificity of the resolution, you clearly have some contradiction you have in mind that you think people might believe of the church. If that's the case, then come out and say it. Don't just expect the audience on this website to read your mind.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jgku 3 years ago
jgku
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Posted by campbellp10 3 years ago
campbellp10
I consider limiting the ground of a debate to the extent that the debate is ruined as misconduct. How you CONDUCT the debate is directly associated with CONDUCT (go figure).
Posted by sammehluv 3 years ago
sammehluv
The Popes themselves contradict themselves constantly. Birth controls okay, then its not a Pope or two later. You can't shave on Sundays, then you can a while later. ( Not sure if this one is accurate, but just as an example. They change what they claim is the "word of God" constantly.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
i will add this later...

"2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:

Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality."

it shows that it's not like they overlooked that contraception and NFP are both ways to regulate birth. and they also point out that w NFP life is technically possible. and other unitive points, which underlie 'theology of the body' etc.
Posted by campbellp10 3 years ago
campbellp10
You start all of your debates by excluding two huge contradictions that the church has made under the guise of "those don't count".
Why don't they count?
Because you KNOW the church has contradicted itself, TWICE on TWO VERY IMPORTANT ISSUES.
So by excluding those two contradictions, you are conceding that the church has contradicted itself from an official standpoint.
"All ducks are black except these two, but those don't count!" Jesus Christ.
Posted by Misterscruffles 3 years ago
Misterscruffles
...You still haven't located the shift key?
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
all i'm saying is the catholic church never officially contradicted itself, with all the qualifications I made in my initial post.
im not necessarily saying it's fact, or that God created everything.
people killing other people isn't doctrine. even if priests did it, or lead it, etc. it wasn't a teaching "we should kill all these people" etc by the pope, as far as I can tell. I excluded it because these are personal sins, even like the apostles sinned yet we still read the bible. if the popes taught the inquisition as teaching etc I stand open to correction.
Posted by GiantSpoonMan 3 years ago
GiantSpoonMan
and also is the argument that the catholic church is fact? In other words god created everything?
Posted by GiantSpoonMan 3 years ago
GiantSpoonMan
I don't understand how the catholic people sloughtering millions of people by order of the church isn't an official statement...
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
also I have debated this topic many times in the past, if you would like you may review my profile to see all the points brought up by past debaters etc
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
dairygirl4u2cVolk23Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This belongs in the forums, not the debate section... Anyway argument goes to con, for exceeding his BoP even with firm limits in place.
Vote Placed by likespeace 3 years ago
likespeace
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments: Con showed the teaching of the Catholic church clearly contradict each other. S&G: Pro's words "n this debate, i am not" justify a vote for Con.
Vote Placed by dragonb95 3 years ago
dragonb95
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Reasons for voting decision: Countering a vote that gave conduct to con because pro limited the debate. Pro is allowed to limit the debate as much as she wants.
Vote Placed by BennyW 3 years ago
BennyW
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Reasons for voting decision: con was able to come up with examples even in spite of pro's ridiculous prohibition against certain specific examples.
Vote Placed by Misterscruffles 3 years ago
Misterscruffles
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct because pro attempted to stack the terms of the debate in order to favor her position. Arguments, pro used the same arguments of hers that were refuted previously in almost the same way con just did. s/g to con, as con managed to discover the shift key.
Vote Placed by MassiveDump 3 years ago
MassiveDump
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Reasons for voting decision: If you want to give Catholics a good image, just stop. For Pete's sakes, stop.
Vote Placed by TN05 3 years ago
TN05
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Reasons for voting decision: Protest vote.
Vote Placed by campbellp10 3 years ago
campbellp10
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Reasons for voting decision: THIS IS NOT A VOTE BOMB. Pro loses conduct for making the parameters so abusive that it skews the debate to her side (although it didn't work for her). Pro loses on spelling and grammar for pretty obvious reasons. Please learn to use the shift key. Pro loses on argumentation because she had very little burden of proof but still managed to inadequately defend her position. Simply saying "I don't think that's true!" is not an argument. You need warrant, and you articulated NONE. If you need any other reason for my argument vote, just look at the last sentence of Pro's argumentation from the last round. Yeah, that's why. Pro also loses on sources because she failed to to use really any reliable source other than her own knowledge (which was at the very least confused. A lot of "I'm not sure". Thats why we read BOOKS!) Con did well given the abusively tight parameters, and found a pretty solid contradiction and easily repelled Pro's nonsense. As such, Con wins.