Over a dozen students filled the chairs of the Fireside Lounge in the JC Williams Center to discuss and defend the validity of faith on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. Sophomore Kyle Taggart led the group in a series of worldview arguments contrary to the Catholic faith, leaving the students to ponder and debate whether or not faith is valid.
The Anscombe Seminars are a branch of the Veritas Society designed to promote intellectual dialogue in a place to freely share ideas, explained Taggart. It is training for students to defend their faith.
The seminars are broken down into four parts: contradictio, response, worldview analysis, and conclusion. “(We) look at the best arguments for opposing worldviews by using pure reason as to why they are wrong,” said Taggart.
After opening with St. Thomas Aquinas’ prayer for study “Oratio Ante Studium” and then watching a short clip entitled “Why Faith is Irrational,” the group formed a circle and began a Socratic discussion. Taggart read arguments opposed to faith as the group listened intently, soaking in the information to prepare for their rebuttals.
“I don’t think that it’s easy to refute that faith is emotional, but I would also like to point out that faith is natural,” said one student.
The discussion involved pondering why people believe that religion and science conflict with each other as well as sharing points in favor of God’s reliability, using Abraham’s biblical interactions with God as examples. “It’s not that faith has changed. It’s our understanding of it,” said another student in the circle, responding to the argument on faith and science.
The seminars will continue every Wednesday from 8-9 p.m. in the Fireside Lounge in the JC Williams Center. Next week’s topic is abortion and the moral controversies that surround it.