In talk at Facebook, Bishop Barron tackles how to debate religion
California, September, 21st, 2017 (CNA/EWTN News). People need to learn how to argue better on the internet, especially about religion, Catholic media personality and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron said in remarks at Facebook's headquarters. “Seek with great patience to understand your opponent’s position,” he advised, adding that it can be “very tempting just to fire back 'why you’re wrong.'” Instead of going after what’s wrong, he said, one should seek also highlight what your opponent has right. This is an “extraordinarily helpful” way to get past impasses. Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire website and media content reach millions of people each year over the internet. The bishop spoke to Facebook employees Sept. 18 at the company's Menlo Park, Calif. headquarters on the topic “How to have a religious argument.” The event was live-streamed to around 2,500 viewers. “If we don't know how to argue about religion, then we’re going to fight about religion,” he said. For Bishop Barron, argument is something positive and “a way to peace.” If one goes on social media, he said, “you'll see a lot of energy around religious issues. There will be a lot of words exchanged, often angry ones, but very little argument.” Bishop Barron praised the intellectual tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas and his time's treatment of disputed questions. A professor would gather in a public place and entertain objections and questions. Aquinas always phrases the objections “in a very pithy, and very persuasive way.” In the bishop's view, he formulates arguments against God's existence even better than modern atheists and sets them up in the most convincing manner, before providing his responses to these arguments. Further, St. Thomas Aquinas cites great Muslim and Jewish scholars, as well as pre-Christian authorities like Aristotle and Cicero, always with great respect. Bishop Barron said authentic faith is not opposed to reason; it does not accept simply anything on the basis of no evidence. He compared faith to the process of coming to know another human person. While one can begin to come to know someone by reason, or through a Google search or a background check, when a relationship deepens, other questions arise. Bishop Barron addressed several other mindsets that he said forestall intelligent argument about religion. The mentality of “mere toleration” keeps religion to oneself and treats it as a hobby. However, religion makes truth claims, like claims that Christ rose from the dead. The bishop also faulted a mindset that is “voluntarist,” which believes that the faculty of the will has precedence over the intellect. In a religious context, this holds that God could make two plus two equal five. This gives rise to a view of God as arbitrary and even oppressive. In response, some people believe humanity’s will trumps the intellect and determines truth through power. According to Bishop Barron, they see God as incompatible with human freedom and, in the words of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, see freedom as the inherent liberty to determine the meaning of one’s own concept of existence, the universe, and human life itself. Addressing the Facebook employees about their work, he said that their company’s social media network shows an “extraordinary spiritual power” in connecting all the world. “I think that it’s a spiritual thing that you’re bringing everybody together,” he said.
World's best entertainment shows honoured at 56th Rose d'Or Awards
Berlin, September, 20th, 2017 (Rose d’or). The best in TV and online entertainment from seven countries has been honoured at the 56th Rose d’Or Awards in Berlin (19 September). Programmes from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom were awarded trophies in 10 categories including for the first time, Virtual Reality, TV Movie and Children & Youth. Among the winners were interactive German drama “The Verdict” (Terror – Ihr Urteil) which won Best TV Movie and Italy’s “Stasera CasaMika” (Tonight at Mika’s Home), starring the eponymous British-Lebanese singer, which took home the prize for Best Entertainment. The UK picked up four of the 10 awards in the Gameshow (Bigheads), Sitcom (Henry IX), Arts (Young Men) and Comedy (Fleabag) categories. Speaking from Los Angeles, James Corden said he was “truly honoured” to receive the inaugural Entertainer of the Year award. “It truly means the world to me,” he said before dedicating the award to his team on CBS’ “Late Late Show” which he hosts. “The truth is, I am only a small part of entertaining so I accept this on behalf of all of our crew.” Also sending greetings from the US, Dame Angela Lansbury said she was “deeply honoured “ to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry. “I’ve enjoyed a career spanning 75 years but being in "Murder, She Wrote" has made friends for me all over the world.” “In my 92nd year,” Lansbury added, “this recognition means so much to me.” The ceremony, held at the Axica venue next to Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, was attended by around 400 industry luminaries and hosted by BBC presenter Paddy O’Connell. The Director of Media at the European Broadcasting Union, which runs the awards, Jean Philip De Tender praised the standard of entries in 2017: “For nearly 60 years the Rose d’Or Awards have recognised the very best in global entertainment content. Over 400 programmes from more than 130 broadcasters and production companies in 33 different countries were submitted for this year’s awards. Our winners, and indeed all the nominees, tonight truly represent the gold standard of entertainment.“ Juries made up of industry professionals from 21 different countries shortlisted four nominees and then selected winners in each of the 10 categories competing for a Rose d’Or. For the first time in 2017 producers from nominated programmes were invited to a Market Forum on the afternoon of the event to network and discuss the making of their shows. The Rose d'Or Awards, one of the world's most prestigious awards for entertainment programming, are given out by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). More information on the winners and nominees is available here. Hi-res photos of the event can be downloaded here.