Archive for the ‘Anecdotal Evidence’ Category

On the Exercise of Charity

August 28, 2008

I was recently told (by someone who was there), of a certain elderly Roman Catholic lady, unwilling to be so uncharitable as to pray that the unhelpful bank teller be damned in hell, compromised by indicating her intention to pray that the teller would be stuck in Purgatory.

I don’t bring this up to suggest that the woman was in any way expressing proper Roman Catholic doctrine or approved practice. I suppose that most Roman Catholic bishops would acknowledge that such a prayer would be improper.

I bring it up to highlight the need to distinguish between our own perceptions of Charity and true Charity. True Charity is turning the other cheek, not punching the villain with only 50% of your strength. It’s a lesson we can all learn, not just this otherwise sweet old lady.


TheoJunkie on Death

June 29, 2008

My friend, TheoJunkie, has posted an interesting blog article on the subject of death, including a few personal anecdotes that are quite touching. Caution – this article may bring you to tears. (link)


Anecdotal Rebuttal – Holy Water Debate Followup

April 4, 2008

Those who followed the Holy Water Debate may recall that the final refuge for PhatCatholic was under the theory that exorcisms actually occur and that holy water has proven its usefulness in such situations.

The following article provides an anecdotal rebuttal to those claims. In the article, Italian prosecutors are essentially charging a Catholic priest, “Father” Francesco Saverio Bazzoffi with fraud on account of his fake exorcisms. (link to article) This priest also claimed to perform healing.

Why is the government so interested? Apparently the priest has accumulated an enormous amount of money (millions of Euros) through his exercise of his supposed gifts.

It is interesting to note that the priest’s bishop had cautioned him previously against performing exorcisms, and that the priest claims that he doesn’t perform exorcisms, just “blessings.” In fact the priest’s bishop (who is also a cardinal) had apparently prohibited exorcisms!

What is the point? The point is to illustrate how invalid anecdotal arguments for the supposed efficacy of holy water are. There are plenty of deceivers and showman out there whether Benny Hinn or his Catholic equivalent Bazzoffi.

We need something more reliable than the fact that someone has claimed that they accomplished something using Holy Water before we accept it as a valid, efficacious practice. Does the article prove anything conclusively? Of course not. All it does is demonstrate how inconclusive anecdotal evidence is. It rebuts the case for Holy Water practices. Thus, at the end of the day, we don’t find any reason to accept Holy Water practices as anything more than superstition.


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