Some time back I had an internet discussion with another Christian over the topic of contraception. I can’t remember if the person I was discussing this with was Catholic or not. At any rate, she seemed to think contraception was just fine.
During our exchange, I gave her a syllogism:
God designed human biology.
God does not err.
Therefore, God did not err when He designed human biology.
She could see where the argument was headed: if God did not err when He designed human biology, it is correctly designed. So who, then, are we to alter a divine design? She had already agreed with the first premise. My syllogism didn’t have any fallacies in logic, at least not any that I could see. I thought the argument was pretty much a slam-dunk for someone who was, at least, Christian.
To my utter shock, she denied the second premise.
I could scarcely believe someone was so eager to keep contraception that she declared God makes mistakes, that she was claiming herself to be God’s judge.
God has some harsh words about such a thing in the Book of Job: “Will the one who disputes with the Almighty correct him? God’s instructor must answer him.” (Job 40:1-2)
Yet, later on, as I thought about it more, I realized it explains a lot about human nature. You grow up with a certain philosophy, a certain outlook on life, and the mere thought of changing that would be, well, pretty scary. You’re already using contraception, have thought all along that using it is just peachy keen, and then someone comes along with a reason why you should spurn your belief and turn 180 degrees around. I can understand having some resistance to that, an incredible amount of resistance.
Take, for example, anti-Catholics. Now, by “anti-Catholic” I don’t mean someone who simply disagrees with our doctrines. I mean the kind of person who calls the Church the Whore of Babylon and says all Catholics are idolaters destined for Hell. When you’re talking with these people, you can quote scripture until you’re blue in the face. You can throw all the logic in the world at them. A lot of them will pretty much ignore what you say, still claim the Church is the Whore of Babylon, and tell you you’re destined for eternal damnation.
Why the resistance to even look at the evidence?
Well, suppose as you were growing up that everyone who loved you and took care of you told you the Catholic Church was wicked and evil. Suppose they told you we worship statues and Mary and the saints. Suppose they told you the pope was the anti-Christ. When you’re just a kid, and this is the way your outlook is formed, you’re likely to believe it.
Worse yet, if Catholicism turns out to be right, you would have to (oh, the horror! the horror!) become Catholic yourself. And that would mean no re-marriage after divorce, no contraception, and required attendance at church on Sunday.
Therefore, Catholicism, a priori, must be wrong. Therefore, anyone who tells you Catholicism is right is either a liar or a demon in disguise or both. You may very well think appeals to logic are actually attempts at trickery. And as far as quoting scripture goes, even the devil did that when he tempted Christ.
Catholics simply must be wrong. They absolutely have to be. Your attitude, your outlook on life depends on it.
Now, this doesn’t mean there’s never been an anti-Catholic who ended up converting to the faith. Dr. Scott Hahn stands out as a prime example of the fact that it can be done.
And yes, I realize I’ve pretty much lumped all anti-Catholics together here, and there may very well be other reasons for the will to disbelieve.
But perhaps this explains a lot. After all, if someone is willing to place herself above God rather than alter her pre-conceived notions, the resistance to change must be strong indeed.