In an effort to spur healthy debate between students of different beliefs, University of Wisconsin’s Badger Catholic organization and the Atheists, Humanists and Agnostics club battled it out Tuesday on topics like science and feminism.

Among the prompts was whether science can be compatible with religion. Both Badger Catholic and AHA agreed the two are compatible, but with certain conditions.

Davis Pratt, a UW mathematics graduate student and a member of AHA, said religion and science “butt heads” when there’s contradiction.

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But, Tom Dobbins, a Badger Catholic representative and engineering graduate student, said religion has greatly helped science in the past.

Dobbins pointed to past philosophers, citing the fact that many of them were religious, and it helped advance some of their works.

“Science is compatible with religion in the sense that religion helps ask questions,” Dobbins said.

On the topic of feminism, AHA’s Nicole Niebler tapped into her religious upbringing to comment on abortion and the prohibition of female priests in the Catholic Church.

Niebler said Catholicism’s stances on these issues make it incompatible with feminism.

“Religion and feminism can be compatible, but Catholicism and feminism, no,” Niebler said.

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Pointing to scripture, Niebler said many men who hold the Catholic faith use scripture to suppress and manipulate women.

“Women trying to become priests are dealt with more harshly than accounts of men abusing children, and that’s according to the Vatican,” Niebler said.

But Badger Catholic representative and education graduate student Audrey Hilts said if woman were truly seen as inferior, then it would inflict harm on her dignity. Hilts added that women share equally in the work of man and share a common lifestyle.

“The vocation of the priesthood is one of servitude, not of riches,” Hilts said.

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