Wednesday, January 9, 2008

TurretinFan Rebuttal

Using Holy Water to counter demonic forces is undeniably innovative, (PhatCatholic admits Scriptural silence on the matter, and we have seen silence from the Early Church Fathers, to whom consecration of water for anything but baptism was apparently unknown, Leo IV not having instituted the modern practice of weekly water-blessing) but that alone would not automatically win the debate. We need to address PhatCatholic’s three arguments for efficacy.

Of PhatCatholic’s three arguments, the first two may be admitted without any effect on the debate, as already demonstrated above. It is chiefly the third item that is objectionable.

1. It has not been established that demons are actually “repulsed by anything that is holy or blessed by God.” PhatCatholic’s scriptural argument on this matter first refers to the curing of the sick by the bringing of materials that had been on Paul’s body to them.

A. Even assuming that the “evil spirits” mentioned in Acts 19:12 are demons (which is not necessarily a given), we cannot infer that demons are in fact repulsed by anything that is holy or blessed by God,” since contrariwise Satan, for example, was able to take Christ himself up to a pinnacle of the temple (Matthew 4:5 and Luke 4:9). Likewise it is not the holiness of the name “Jesus” that repulsed devils in the other passages cited by PhatCatholic, but the authority associated with the name, as already discussed above.

B. Likewise, demons can be cast out by those who are not holy, for a variety of reasons. Chapter II of the Apostolic Constitutions states, “nor will those who cast demons be sanctified by the demons being made subject to them: for they only mock one another, as they do who play childish tricks for mirth, and destroy those who give heed to them.”

C. Similarly, canon 79 of the Apostolic Constitutions prohibits ordination of demoniacs, and even prohibits demoniacs from praying “with the faithful.” This would seem to be an utterly unnecessary prohibition if it was believed at that time that demons are repulsed by anything that is holy.

2. It has not been established that “Holy Water” is, in fact, holy.

A. This is a relatively minor point, but the authority to consecrate water for anything other than baptism is simply absent from Scripture or the Early Church Fathers.

B. The infidels and pagans also consecrate water, but it should not be deemed “Holy.” Thus, merely consecrating water is not enough to make it holy.

3. If PhatCatholic is simply saying that it would be right for demons to be repulsed by holy things, then – of course – that would not meet the burden of proof. In the role of the affirmative, PhatCatholic has the burden to show that Holy Water is effective, I do not have the burden of showing that it is ineffective. I would respectfully submit that PhatCatholic has not met that burden.



Turretinfan said...

PhatCatholic, I count 483 words. You have until 16 January to post your own rebuttal.

phatcatholic said...

Does it have to be submitted before the 16th or sometime during the day on the 16th? I'm afraid I might be cutting it down to the wire.

Turretinfan said...

What I meant was that the 16th was the last day to post your rebuttal. If you need an extra day in this case, please take it. I'd rather you have an extra day than a rushed rebuttal.
That means that, as far as I'm concerned, you can have until the end of the 17th to post your rebuttal.


phatcatholic said...

I would like to request an extension of the word limit to 1,000 words. In exchange, I will allow you an extension of 500 more words to write your conclusion. Is that acceptable?

Turretinfan said...

That's fine with me. Note that will leave things as:

PC Rebuttal (1000 words)
TF Conclusion (1500 words)
PC Conclusion (1000 words)

phatcatholic said...

That's fine. I'll stick with 1000 words for the Conclusion. Thank you for your continued generosity throughout this debate.