Leah Libresco has consented to a public discussion with me about her conversion to Catholicism. So far I like the way it’s going. We’ve both been very frank. She knows precisely where I stand and what I hope to accomplish and ditto on her end. She asked only for two weeks to get her life in order. I think that’s more than reasonable since she’s dealing with quite a lot of traffic right now.
There is one thing I’d like to get out of the way early: her conversion is not a gimmick. It’s for real. It’s time to lay to rest the idea that her motivations are somehow insincere.
I’ve also sent her some preliminary questions to mull over in the following weeks.
1. For those of us who admire your intellect, what is the most compelling piece of evidence that convinced you that Catholicism was true? In your opinion, should that reason convince others, such as myself?
2. What parts of Catholicism do you now accept? Which do you reject?
- Did Jesus rise from the dead?
- Do you believe in heaven and hell? If so…
- What are the criteria for entry into heaven? Into hell?
- Were you to find out today that disobeying the ten commandments meant entry to heaven and abiding by them landed you in hell, would your behavior change? If so, how?
Any others you feel are particularly relevant would be awesome to read.
3. I’ve read that you felt the Catholic church had the best grounding for your moral values. I know how things can get twisted in the media, so is this true? If so…
- From what parts of the bible have you derived your moral truths? What parts, if any, have you decided are not useful morally? What methodology did you use?
- Do you have any moral critiques of the Catholic church?
3. You undoubtedly have a logical proof of some sort for a moral lawgiver. What is it?
4. How do you get from the existence of a moral lawgiver to Catholicism?
I’ve told Leah my motivation: that there are a lot of theists now pointing to her conversion as proof that there are good reasons/evidence to believe in god (even if they don’t know what those reasons are). I either need to confirm that or dispel it. Questions #3 and #4 were asked to get her reasoning on the table as bare-faced as possible. The others are to ascertain the nature of her Catholicism and to poke about her moral impulses.
I wish Leah the best, and I certainly don’t view her as a bad person. But there’s no hiding the fact that sometimes, for the sake of society, we must necessarily be at odds with good people. Leah undoubtedly feels the same.
This should be interesting.