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Topic

THBT: The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is CHRISTIAN

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
6
3
Sources points
4
2
Spelling and grammar points
2
2
Conduct points
2
2

With 2 votes and 5 points ahead, the winner is ...

oromagi
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Religion
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One week
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Two weeks
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9
1544
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~ 1,290 / 5,000

THBT: The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is CHRISTIAN

DEFINITIONS:

The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is "the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2018. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilization. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.

CHRISTIAN [adjective] is "of, like or relating to Christianity or Christians"

CHRISTIANITY [proper noun] is "An Abrahamic religion originating from the community of the followers of Jesus Christ"

BURDEN of PROOF
Burden of Proof is shared.

PRO is defending the established definition of Roman Catholicism as a Christian religion.
CON must prove established tradition wrong, that Roman Catholicism is not a Christian religion.

PRO is requesting sincere and friendly engagement on this subject.
No trolls or kritiks, please.

- RULES --
1. Forfeit=auto loss
2. Sources may be merely linked in debate as long as citations are listed in comments
3. No new arguments in R5
4. For all relevant terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the rational context of this resolution and debate

Round 1
Pro
thanks, Athias!

THBT: The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is CHRISTIAN

PRO argues that this statement stands by itself as true by any commonplace understanding of this English language sentence.
PRO further claims that this statement stands as proven tautologically- simply by benefit of definition.

TAUTOLOGY:

    • "What is a tautology?  Well, the Oxford English Dictionary defines tautology as “A compound proposition which is unconditionally true for all the truth-possibilities of its elementary propositions and by virtue of its logical form.”  For those of you who haven’t taken a course in modal logic lately, a tautology is an argument that is true by how the arguer defined it."
      • PRO has defined the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH as "the largest Christian church"
        • PRO offered this definition in the debate description and by accepting, CON has agreed to this argue this definition of ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
      • PRO has defined CHRISTIAN as "of, like or relating to Christianity or Christians."  Is CON really prepared to show that ROMAN CATHOLICS have no relationship to Christ or Christianity?  The history of Western Civilization says otherwise.
TRUISM:

    • "A truism is distinct from a tautology in that it is not true by definition.  Instead, a truism is an argument that is considered to be true by the vast majority of people; it is an argument that really is not disputable.  For example, the argument that “genocide is bad” is a truism; virtually no one is going to argue that a genocide is good."
      • By any ordinary understanding, the majority of people accept that the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is a CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
        • The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is "the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution,"
          • Including any other Christian institution.
        • Roman Catholics represent the majority of all Christians.  This has been true since at least the emergence of Christianity as the State Church of the Roman Empire.  Anybody who states as fact that Christianity is the world's largest religion is confirming as fact that Catholics are Christians since without the1.3 billion baptized Roman Catholics, Christianity would not be largest.
        • Encyclopædia Britannica:
          • "There are more Roman Catholics than all other Christians combined and more Roman Catholics than all Buddhists or Hindus. Although there are more Muslims than Roman Catholics, the number of Roman Catholics is greater than that of the individual traditions of Shiʿi and Sunni Islam.   These incontestable statistical and historical facts suggest that some understanding of Roman Catholicism—its history, its institutional structure, its beliefs and practices, and its place in the world—is an indispensable component of cultural literacy, regardless of how one may individually answer the ultimate questions of life and death and faith. Without a grasp of what Roman Catholicism is, it is difficult to make historical sense of the Middle Ages, intellectual sense of the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, literary sense of The Divine Comedy of Dante, artistic sense of the Gothic cathedrals, or musical sense of many of the compositions of Haydn and Mozart."
          • Is CON prepared to argue that the majority opinion of Christians should not apply to the criteria for defining Christianity?
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:

  • PRO asserts that FREEDOM of RELIGION is a fundamental human right.
    • The UNIVERSAL DECLARATION of HUMAN RIGHTS affirms in Article 18:
      • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
      • Implicit to this right is the freedom to identify ourselves by any we choose to nominate.  No other human holds the right to define an of age human's religion for them.
    • Catholics have the right to identify as Christians and Christians have the right to recognize Catholics as Christians as most do.  There is no state or institutional test that might justly apply to the question of one's own identity.
THEOLOGY:

  • Likewise, PRO asserts that no religious or doctrinal test of some Christian principle may with justice apply to an individual's spiritual self-identification.
    • Any such test necessarily fails as an appeal to purity, the informal fallacy of NO TRUE SCOTSMEN.
      • We have defined our terms, no ad hoc re-definitions of Christianity according to minority theological principle should override our right  to name our faith as we please.
SUMMARY:

  • PRO has shown that by commonplace definition and with the authority of ordinary understanding and use, The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is irrefutably CHRISTIAN.
    • To say otherwise is to disrespect the good faith intentions of Catholics who all call themselves Christians by creed and the Christian non-Catholics who nevertheless count Roman Catholics in their number.
PRO looks forward to CON's R1




Con
I want to thank my opponent, oromagi, for accepting this challenge and instigating this debate.

The house believes that the Roman Catholic Church is Christian. My opponent submits pertinent descriptions for both the Roman Catholic Church and the term Christian to which I do not object save the adjectival qualifier, "Christian," when applied to the Roman Catholic Church. With that said, I have a few descriptions of my own to submit:

Roman Catholicism: The beliefs or religion of the Roman Catholic Church.
  1. Catholic Church, synonym occurring in English language since the 17th century.
  2. Latin Church (one of the particular churches of the Catholic Church)
  • A believer in Christianity.
  • An individual who seeks to live his or her life according to the principles and values taught by Jesus Christ.
Prayer: an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship through deliberate communication. In the narrow sense, the term refers to an act of supplication or intercession directed towards a deity (a god), or a deified ancestor.
Bible:
  1. The main religious text in Christianity
I submit these descriptions in a supplementary manner. There are no re-definitions.

Before, I proceed however, there is a clarification needed to made. My opponent has demonstrated a misunderstanding of the "No True Scotsmen Fallacy." He asserts that "no religious or doctrinal test of some Christian principle may with justice apply to an individual's spiritual self-identification." The No True Scotsman fallacy delineates when a conclusion is made about an individual that doesn't necessarily apply to the description of the characterization. The example given in my opponent's reference is "No True Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge." From this we can see that the inept conclusion. It is neither insinuated nor required that one puts sugar on his porridge to be a Scotsmen.

With that said, the No True Scotsman fallacy isn't imputed when the conclusion is applicable to the characterization. Case in point: No true Christian would reject Jesus Christ. As my both my opponent and I have show through our descriptions, to follow Jesus Christ is to be a Christian. (I'm going to presume that my opponent didn't make the reference to identify those who "follow"--keep close proximity--to Jesus Christ.) So no, my opponent attempt to apply the No True Scotsmen to a religious or doctrinal test of some Christian principle does not hold because maintaining said principle is pertinent to the description of being a Christian unlike that conveyed in the No True Scotsman Fallacy. 

For Round One, I'd like to keep attention to focus my attention on deification, idolization, and worship of those other than God, and Jesus by extension. \

In Exodus 20: 3-5, it states:

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Yet millions of Roman Catholics visit St. Peter's Square and bow to Peter's graven image.

As I shown by description, prayer is to a God or deity, yet Roman Catholics pray to Mary:

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
In 1st Timothy 2:5  

For, There is one God and one mediator who can reconcile God and Humanity—the man Christ Jesus.

In Revelation 19:10

Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
And as my description shows, the Bible is the main text of Christians.

I will proceed further with more evidence as the debate goes on.
Round 2
Pro
thx, Athias

THBT: The ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH is CHRISTIAN

TAUTOLOGY:

 My opponent submits pertinent descriptions for both the Roman Catholic Church and the term Christian to which I do not object save the adjectival qualifier, "Christian," when applied to the Roman Catholic Church
  • If CON accepts the definition of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH as "the largest Christian church," then CON accepts the adjective.  If CON rejects all common encyclopedic definitions of the term, then CON must show why his authority on the subject is superior to encyclopedic authority.
TRUISM:

  • CON dropped or at least does not deny the the commonplace, popular understanding of ROMAN CATHOLICISM as a CHRISTIAN tradition.
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:

  • CON dropped or at least does not dispute that Catholics possess the human right to believe what they will and to worship as they see fit, including the right of Catholics to identify as Christians and the right of the Christian community to welcome Catholics into their ranks.
THEOLOGY:

My opponent has demonstrated a misunderstanding of the "No True Scotsmen Fallacy." He asserts that "no religious or doctrinal test of some Christian principle may with justice apply to an individual's spiritual self-identification."  ...the No True Scotsman fallacy isn't imputed when the conclusion is applicable to the characterization. Case in point: No true Christian would reject Jesus Christ
  • CON's point illustrates PRO's argument well enough.  Acceptance/rejection of Christ is precisely the sort of purity test that doesn't apply.
    • Saul of Tarsus rejected Christ and persecuted Christians before becoming St. Paul himself.  Acts 8: 1 & 3 tells us:
      • "And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
      • As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison."
    • St. Peter rejected Jesus three times on the night of the Last Supper.  John 18:17,25-27 reports:
      • "Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.
      •  And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.  One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?  Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew."
    • Some Christian Atheists and Jesusists reject the supernatural Christ aspects of Jesus while still identifying as followers of Jesus.
  • Our definition of CHRISTIAN is not "a follower of Christ" but "of, like, or relating to that religion originating from the community of the followers of Jesus Christ."
    • Peter and Paul were of that community of followers and so Christians but both had moments of rejecting Christ.
    • One can go to church but not believe a word of it and still be called Christian.
    • One can only practice "love thy neighbor as thyself" and still legitimately claim to be Christian.
  • As predicted, CON has applied a religious test to our definition of Christian that fails as an appeal to purity, better known as the informal fallacy of NO TRUE SCOTSMAN.
CON1:   IDOLATRY

  • CON argues:
    • P1: The First Commandment says not to worship other gods
    • P2: Catholics pray to saints and statues of saints, which CON interprets as a violation of that Commandment
    • C1: Therefore, Catholics are not Christians
COUNTER1: 
  • Violation of a Commandment can't be grounds for excommunication from the Christian community. 
    • Lying and cussing are also forbidden by Mosaic law- are all liars and foulmouths likewise non-Christians?
    • God commanded Christians to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.  Work is strictly forbidden from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, but almost no Christians adhere to this commandment.
COUNTER2:
  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly forbids worship of any entity except God.
    • "Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons … power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc"
      • and teaches
        • "The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone: Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate.
    • When humans speak to dead loved ones, we aren't worshiping the dead but remembering them, asserting the soul's immortality and communing in spirit.  Catholics teach that to extend that veneration and communion to other figures in the church is right, proper, and in no more idolatry than speaking respectfully to a photo of some dead loved one.
PRO looks forward to CON's R2







Con
Rebuttal:

If CON accepts the definition of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH as "the largest Christian church," then CON accepts the adjective.  If CON rejects all common encyclopedic definitions of the term, then CON must show why his authority on the subject is superior to encyclopedic authority.
I do not accept the definition as a valid description particularly in its qualification of the Catholic Church as a "Christian" delineated by both our cited definitions of "Christian." I accept it as a pertinent submission as it relates to the subject.

CON dropped or at least does not deny the the commonplace, popular understanding of ROMAN CATHOLICISM as a CHRISTIAN tradition.
I cannot deny this because it's true by definition. Popular understanding of ROMAN CATHOLICISM is informed by its Catholic demographic, which is the most populous. But the subject over which we debate isn't whether Roman Catholicism is popular. It's whether or not Roman Catholicism is Christian, informed by the descriptions we both offer.


RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:

  • CON dropped or at least does not dispute that Catholics possess the human right to believe what they will and to worship as they see fit, including the right of Catholics to identify as Christians and the right of the Christian community to welcome Catholics into their ranks.
I haven't indulged this point because it's not falsifiable. If we entertain an "identitarian" context, then there'd be no point in offering descriptions or definitions of "Christian" because being "Christian" would be informed by one's merely "identifying" as one--even a devil worshiper--not religious principle, customs, and rites.

  • CON's point illustrates PRO's argument well enough.  Acceptance/rejection of Christ is precisely the sort of purity test that doesn't apply.
  • Our definition of CHRISTIAN is not "a follower of Christ" but "of, like, or relating to that religion originating from the community of the followers of Jesus Christ."...
  • As predicted, CON has applied a religious test to our definition of Christian that fails as an appeal to purity, better known as the informal fallacy of NO TRUE SCOTSMAN.
  • It should be pointed out that my opponent doesn't necessarily point out how the behaviors of Peter and Saul do not disqualify them as being Christian. My opponent neglects to mention that the description, "Christian," isn't informed by a temporal aspect. That means, one can be a Christian today, a non-Christian tomorrow, and a Christian again on Wednesday. I would very much argue that at the points in time when Peter rejected Jesus, and Saul wreaked havoc on the Church, they were not being Christian. My opponent offers that merely being part of the community of the followers of Jesus informs their being "Christian" but elides the meaning of being a follower of Jesus which included conscription into the service of God, and spreading the gospel. Peter and Paul became Christians (again) when they repented. Judas Iscariot was also part of Jesus's inner circle--or his community of followers. In the advent of his betrayal, would Judas still be considered "Christian"?

    And once again, my opponent is pedaling a false description of the No True Scotsman fallacy. It is only imputed when a conclusion is made which does not extend the stipulations of a characterization. My argument amounts to this, "A religion denoted by the teachings of Jesus Christ is not espoused by one who does not follow the teachings of Jesus Christ." This is well-defined and not fallacious. I warn my opponent to not use his own incredulity as a counterfactual.


    CON1:   IDOLATRY
    COUNTER1: 
    • Violation of a Commandment can't be grounds for excommunication from the Christian community. 
      • Lying and cussing are also forbidden by Mosaic law- are all liars and foulmouths likewise non-Christians?
      • God commanded Christians to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.  Work is strictly forbidden from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday, but almost no Christians adhere to this commandment.
    Here, you can see that my opponent merely questions extending my premises to their logical conclusion; he does not refute or submit a counterargument or counterfactual. And using anecdotal evidence, I can state with certainty that the claim, "almost no Christians adhere to this commandment" is false. [I grew up Christian.]

    • "Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons … power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc"
    You forgot:

    Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols" [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
    On to R3.
    Round 3
    Pro
    thx, Athias

    TAUTOLOGY:

    CON dropped PRO's R2 request that CON show why his definition is superior to the Wikipedia definition submitted prior to acceptance.  Let's note that CON used Wiktionary definition #1 but his argument directly contradicts definitions #2 and #4 from the same source.

    #2: Literally "universal church", the whole body of Christendom, especially before the division into Western and Eastern churches.

    #4: Any Christian denomination that identifies explicitly as "Catholic" based on its affirmation of the Nicene Creed, such as any of the Anglican Churches.

    Whether VOTERS prefer PRO's mutually agreed definition from Wikipedia or CON's upstart Wiktionary source, CATHOLICS are CHRISTIANS using either definition.

    TRUISM:

    I cannot deny this because it's true by definition.
    • CON concedes truism.
    RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:

    • OBJECTION:  The Identitarian Movement is a White Nationalist ideology.  PRO rejects any association with Catholicism generally.
    • Yes, even Satan worshipers retain the inherent human right to self-identify as Christian and even meet our definition of CHRISTIAN as "relating to Christianity"
      • CON may not apply a "no Satan" test with justice to other people's interpretation of Christianity.
    THEOLOGY:

    one can be a Christian today a non-Christian tomorrow and a Christian again on Wednesday
    • non-Christian as determined by CON's own personal set of rules
    • Except for Catholics, apparently, who are NOT Christians when they worship Christ today because they are NOT Christians when they say a "Hail Mary" kneeling before a statue tomorrow and don't get to be Christians again on Wednesday when they say the Lord's prayer.  CON's purity test is highly selective and strangely exclusive of Catholics.
      • If doing something Christian makes you Christian, then CON has placed himself in the position of proving that Catholics never do anything remotely Christian which acts might restore other denominations after lapses in faith.  Since CON can't possibly prove that Catholics never do anything Christian, then even Catholics must sometimes be Christians and CON loses the debate by this argument.
    when Peter rejected Jesus, and Saul wreaked havoc on the Church, they were not being Christian.
    • According to Luke, Christ explicitly told Peter not to let his faith fail even as he predicted Peter's betrayal.
      • Luke 22:32:
        • But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
        • If Christ still accepted Peter as faithful in spite of sin, what grounds has CON for asserting non-Christian?
    [PRO] elides the meaning of being a follower of Jesus
    • On the contrary, PRO explicitly stated "Our definition of CHRISTIAN is not "a follower of Christ"  That's not omission, just a flat refusal of CON's attempt to redefine the term CHRISTIAN.
    In the advent of his betrayal, would Judas still be considered "Christian"?
    • Of course.  Christ knew in advance that Judas would betray him but explicitly reserves a throne for Judas in heaven:
      • Matthew 19:28:
        • Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
    • Christ immediately offers Judas forgiveness after the revelation of his betrayal and promises to drink with him in heaven.
        • Matthew 26:25
          • Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
        • Matthew 26:28-29
          • For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
    • Since Christ forgives and accepts his own betrayer, who are we to deny Judas?
    • CON again tries to shift the definition from "relating to Christians" to "followers of Christ" and then argues no true follower of Christ fails to follow Christ to deny the fallacy in his thinking.
      • PRO explicitly prefuted CON's argument in R1, "no ad hoc re-definitions of Christianity."
      • CON is still applying his own purity test to a demographic definition that allows no theological test.

    CON1:   IDOLATRY

    • CON drops PRO's argument that a sinful act does not strip Christians of their faith.
    I can state with certainty that the claim, "almost no Christians adhere to this commandment" is false
      [I grew up Christian.]
      You forgot Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols" [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands.
      • Why is CON's interpretation of scripture superior to the Catholic Cathecism?
      PRO looks forward to CON's R3






      Con
      Supplementary Arguments:

      1.The Pope, Catholicism's religious leader, has retained the pagan title "Pontifex Maximus" which was given to the emperors, caesars, and high pagan priests of Rome.

      2. The pope, bishops, and cardinals of the Catholic church must practice as a consequence of Catholic measure, not choice, celibacy (the practice of abstaining from marriage and coitus) not chastity.

      3. In the Bible, once again, acknowledged as the main religious text of Christians--and even referenced by my opponent himself--states this:


       1st Timothy 3: 2-7

      2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
      3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
      4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
      5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
      6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
      7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
      4. Catholics practice the art of indulgences even though purgatory is not mentioned once by Jesus, God, apostle, or any other devotee of God mentioned in the Bible.

      Rebuttal:

      CON dropped PRO's R2 request that CON show why his definition is superior to the Wikipedia definition...
      Con did not drop Pro's request; Con supplemented Pro's definition with a description of the noun form of Christian using the same source. (We both used wiktionary.)

      #2: Literally "universal church", the whole body of Christendom, especially before the division into Western and Eastern churches.

      #4: Any Christian denomination that identifies explicitly as "Catholic" based on its affirmation of the Nicene Creed, such as any of the Anglican Churches.
      Yes, my description contradicts the descriptions you mentioned. So what? It is my burden to legitimize this contradiction in a context that does not focus almost entirely on lexicon. Your argument thus far is predicated on Catholicism's being Christian by lexical definition, in which case a mere citation substantiates your argument. My argument is that Catholicism elides Christian principles. And the argument over principle is superior to one over mere definition in the context of Christianity.

      CON concedes truism
      And let's be clear: the truism to which you refer is that Roman Catholicism is "popularly understood" as Christian; not that it is Christian.

      OBJECTION:  The Identitarian Movement is a White Nationalist ideology.  PRO rejects any association with Catholicism generally.
      If PRO misunderstood my use of the term Identitarian, then Pro could have inquired into the context of my use. When I use the term "identitarian" I'm not referring to PRO's citation, but the adjectival form of "identitarianism" :

      (psychology) The set of ideas arising from an ontology of identity.


    • non-Christian as determined by CON's own personal set of rules
    • Except for Catholics, apparently, who are NOT Christians when they worship Christ today because they are NOT Christians when they say a "Hail Mary" kneeling before a statue tomorrow and don't get to be Christians again on Wednesday when they say the Lord's prayer.  CON's purity test is highly selective and strangely exclusive of Catholics.
      • If doing something Christian makes you Christian, then CON has placed himself in the position of proving that Catholics never do anything remotely Christian which acts might restore other denominations after lapses in faith.  Since CON can't possibly prove that Catholics never do anything Christian, then even Catholics must sometimes be Christians and CON loses the debate by this argument.
      No sequitur. My opponent is citing irrelevancies. The discussion which we are having is over Catholicism. If we were discussion, then they congregants would be brought up. Also, my opponent continues to appeal to his own incredulity. He has not demonstrated how my conclusions are unreasonable.

      Since Christ forgives and accepts his own betrayer, who are we to deny Judas?
      PRO fails to demonstrate how this makes Judas "Christian".


      CON1:   IDOLATRY

      • CON drops PRO's argument that a sinful act does not strip Christians of their faith.
      No, CON did not. PRO does not demonstrate how an habitual act of sin does not disqualify one as being Christian. Christians acknowledge sins as sins. Catholics
      do not acknowledge idolatry as a sin.


    • OBJECTION: APPEAL to AUTHORITY
      • PRO was also raised Christian

      No. Con used anecdotal evidence to create an exception.

      Round 4
      Pro
      thx, Athias

      TAUTOLOGY:

      It is my burden to legitimize this contradiction in a context that does not focus almost entirely on lexicon.  Your argument thus far is predicated on Catholicism's being Christian by lexical definition, in which case a mere citation substantiates your argument
      • CON concedes tautology.  Let's remember that a tautology "is an argument that is true by how the arguer defined it." 
        • CON tried to give us some alternative definitions that didn't explicitly acknowledge Catholicism as Christian but never gave VOTERS a reason to prefer the secondary definition over PRO's primary. 
      • Only one of PRO's four main arguments is predicated on the common sense meaning of CATHOLIC CHURCH in standard English
      TRUISM:

      • CON conceded truism in R2
      let's be clear: the truism to which you refer is that Roman Catholicism is "popularly understood" as Christian; not that it is Christian
      • A truism is "an argument that is considered to be true by the vast majority of people; it is an argument that really is not disputable.  For example, the argument that “genocide is bad” is a truism; virtually no one is going to argue that genocide is good"
      • Similarly, virtually no one is going to argue that Roman Catholics aren't Christians
      RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:

      In R3, PRO continued to argue that all humans are endowed with the human right to freedom of religion.  CON calls the point unfalsifiable because then even people as undesirable as Satanists might call themselves Christians.  PRO replied:

      • Yes, even Satan worshipers retain the inherent human right to self-identify as Christian and even meet our definition of CHRISTIAN as "relating to Christianity"
        • CON clarified IDENTITARIAN (I still don't grasp CON's usage) but dropped the argument that all humans get to name their own religion by the same inherent authority over identity that allows people to control their own name. Would PRO argue that Reginald Dwight is not Elton John just because John gave himself that name?  What is Christianity but another kind of label over which CON (and his personal interpretation of the Bible) has no jurisdiction and no authority?

      THEOLOGY:

      OBJECTION:  CON calls non-sequitur instead of addressing PRO's argument which was quite on point.

      CON claimed in R2:

      one can be a Christian today a non-Christian tomorrow and a Christian again on Wednesday
      • meaning one is Christian when one acts Christian and non-Christian when one acts non-Christian
        • PRO argues that's except for Catholics who CON refuses Christianity based on idolatry and apparently no subsequent Christian act restores their Christianity (as CON suggests it does for non-Catholics)
          • CON drops this point
          • CON wrongly projects this argument as an APPEAL to INCREDULITY, but only CON has made any statement of personal belief here.
          • As stated in R3, PRO's conclusion is unreasonable because Catholics are held to a different standard.  CON argues that Christians are in or out based on acts except for Catholics who are always excluded on principle
      • If Christ still accepted Peter as faithful in spite of sin, what grounds has CON for asserting non-Christian?
      • Dropped by CON
      • PRO explicitly stated "Our definition of CHRISTIAN is not "a follower of Christ"  That's not omission, just a flat refusal of CON's attempt to redefine the term CHRISTIAN.
      • Dropped by CON
      • PRO fails to demonstrate how this makes Judas "Christian"
      • No.  PRO showed in R3 that Christ built Judas a throne in Heaven and welcomed him there even after his betrayal
        • Christ's personal invitation is sufficient qualification for any Christian, even if CON's doctrinal checklist is unmet.
      • CON is still applying his own NO TRUE SCOTSMAN purity test to a demographic definition that allows no theological test
      • Why is CON's interpretation of scripture superior to the Catholic Catechism?
        • CON made no answer

      CON1:   IDOLATRY

      • PRO does not demonstrate how an habitual act of sin does not disqualify one as being Christian
        • PRO makes no such claim.  Christ's example is that no sin is disqualifying.  Even murderers can be Christians.
      • Catholics do not acknowledge idolatry as a sin
        • And reversely, Baptists don't acknowledge eating meat on Friday as sin but Catholics still call Baptists Christians. 
      • So, that's about 1 in 60 US Christians who strictly observe the 4th commandment
        • CON claims his personal experience refutes the polls.
      CON2,3,4:  POPE, CELIBACY, INDULGENCES

      • .The Pope...has retained the pagan title "Pontifex Maximus"
        • (No true Christian retains pagan titles)
      • [priests] must practice celibacy
        • (No true Christian practices celibacy)
      • Catholics practice the art of indulgences
        • (No true Christian practices indulgences)
        • We can see that all these petty arguments merely extend CON's purity test.  The majority of Christians do not consider these practices disqualifying and the only cause for disqualification offered so far by CON is CON's personal and peculiar membership rules based on his interpretation of the Bible
      PRO looks forward to CON's R4










      Con
      Rebuttal:

    • CON concedes tautology.  Let's remember that a tautology "is an argument that is true by how the arguer defined it." 
    • Let's clarify the tautology to which I've conceded; it's not that Roman Catholicism is Christian because its description includes the word Christian; the tautology I've conceded to is your use of the qualifier "popular." i do not deny that the "popular" understanding of the Catholic Church is that of a Christian institution. But popular understanding does not necessarily inform truth.

      CON tried to give us some alternative definitions that didn't explicitly acknowledge Catholicism as Christian but never gave VOTERS a reason to prefer the secondary definition over PRO's primary. 
      Let's examine your definition once more:

      "of, like or relating to Christianity or Christians."
      This isn't really descriptive at all. It's the simplest adjectival representation. "What is Christian?" "Relating to Christianity or Christians." It doesn't expound on anything; it merely repeats the term sought to be described. My supplements expound on your definition using your source to describe what a Christian is. I didn't offer an alternative, I merely expanded your definition. It should read as such:

      "of, like or relating to [An Abrahamic Religion originating from the community of the followers of Jesus Christ] or [believers in Christianity and/or individuals seeking to live their lives according to principles and values taught by Jesus Christ.]"
      The voters should indeed prefer my supplemented definition.

    • A truism is "an argument that is considered to be true by the vast majority of people; it is an argument that really is not disputable.  For example, the argument that “genocide is bad” is a truism; virtually no one is going to argue that genocide is good"
    • I challenge and contradict PRO's description of "truism" given that it imputes an ad populum fallacy. The truth, as I mentioned above, is not necessarily informed by the number of people who believe it to be so. His description suggests, for example, that "genocide is bad" because no one would argue that genocide is bad; that is not a truism. That's popular opinion. The Wu-hu and Jie externimation was genocide; that's a truism, because it true by virtue of its proposed logic.

      In R3, PRO continued to argue that all humans are endowed with the human right to freedom of religion.  CON calls the point unfalsifiable because then even people as undesirable as Satanists might call themselves Christians.
      No. You're conflating the right to freedom of religion to subjecting religion to transmutation as a consequence of arbitrary identitarianism. Case in point: let's acknowledge an anarchist. According to your reasoning, he or she would be able to retain his or her adherence to anarchy even if he were to believe that the Earth's populace should be effectively controlled by a global state under the auspices of a single autocrat. This contradicts the principles and values of anarchy.

      There'd be no significance in creating any distinction between any religion because they wouldn't be informed by their customs, rites, values, and teachings, but by the self-image and identification of any one individual, virtually rendering it a belief with no standard. What then would be the difference between Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Satanism, Paganism, etc? Couldn't I just argue that Catholicism is Hinduism, and be correct, thereby winning this debate? What would be the point of your or my descriptions? There's no standard, right?

      Your reasoning also renders this debate as one without resolution. Premising your argument on the popular understanding of Catholicism imputes an ad populum fallacy, and leaving Christianity to be informed by any one person's discretion means that either you or I are both correct, or incorrect.

      OBJECTION:  CON calls non-sequitur instead of addressing PRO's argument which was quite on point.
      I did address it. You first argued that I was creating an exception for Catholicism, while ignoring the fact that this debate's subject creates the exception. As for the second part of your argument which suggests that Christians are "in and out based on acts," that is where you imputed the non sequitur. I never stated that. I stated that there were no time constraints, and that a person could be a Christian today, a non-Christian tomorrow, and a Christian again the day that followed. That isn't necessarily based on "acts" but the adherence to the teachings of Christ. Catholicism engages in practices and rituals that contradict the teachings of Christ. Some of which I've already mentioned.

      No.  PRO showed in R3 that Christ built Judas a throne in Heaven and welcomed him there even after his betrayal
      Misleading. Jesus didn't say this directly to Judas during the last supper. In fact, Jesus says nothing to him.

      We can see that all these petty arguments merely extend CON's purity test. 
      Once again, it's well-defined. It's not a purity test.
      Round 5
      Pro
      TAUTOLOGY:

      • CON conceded TAUTOLOGY but
            •  I didn't offer an alternative, I merely expanded your definition
              • The conjunction OR is being used to connect two alternative clausesOR means alternative.  PRO's statement, "I didn't offer an alternative" is false
              • CATHOLICS are still definitionally CHRISTIANS even using CON's definition.  
                • To exclude CATHOLICS from CHRISTIANITY, CON would have to show that CATHOLICS were not seeking Christian lives but so far has only argued that CATHOLICS are wrong theologically and can't make a new argument for insincerity in the final round.   The fact that CATHOLICS identify as CHRISTIANS is sufficient proof of seeking to prove TAUTOLOGY, even using CON's unasked for definition
      TRUISM:

      • CON conceded TRUISM but
          • I challenge and contradict PRO's description of truism given that it imputes an ad populum fallacy
            • Absurd. ARGUMENTUM ad POPULUM is a useless retort when popular understanding is what makes the statement true.
              • IE: Columbians are Latinos because the denotation enjoys popular adoption by both Columbians and Latinos.  The denotation is true by definition because of consensus and would stop being true if the majority rejected that nomenclature. The popular understanding is what makes the term true.  Arguing that Columbians are not Latinos because that identity is only rooted in popular consensus is obviously false.
              • Likewise, the fact that all Catholics call themselves Christians and nearly all Christians also call Catholics Christians is what makes Catholics Christians.  The only thing to change that is a change of consensus.
      RELIGIOUS LIBERTY:

      • You're conflating the right to freedom of religion to subjecting religion to transmutation as a consequence of arbitrary identitarianism
        • All religion is sometimes transformed by individual contributions.
      • There'd be no significance in creating any distinction between any religion because they wouldnt be informed by their customs, rites, values, and teachings, but by the self-image and identification of any one individual, virtually rendering it a belief with no standard
        • This is already true of all religions
          • The prosperity gospel of Joel Osteen shares almost no rites, customs, values or teachings in common with the House Amish of Nebraska yet both systems of faith correctly call themselves Christian. 
          • Usury was a profoundly unChristian practice for centuries until one day it wasn't. 
          • Slavery was a perfectly Christian practice until one day it wasn't. 
          • Pacifists and hawks both insist that their view is most consistent with Jesus' teaching. 
        • Likewise, CON wants us to believe that there are some essential aspects of Christianity which CON has discerned and CATHOLICS have not.
          • CON's variation is just another individual take on Christian identity and apparently not even particularly mainstream
        • CON never explained whether he agrees that Freedom of Religion is a fundamental human right.
      THEOLOGY:

      • Catholicism engages in practices and rituals that contradict the teachings of Christ
        • What would Jesus do?  
          • Did Jesus emphasize the importance of specific practices and rituals?  No he did not.
          • Was Jesus given to rejecting imperfect disciples (like Judas, Paul, and Peter) or did he forgive the contradictions and seek brotherhood in love?
          • Christ's First Commandment compels CON to set aside the purity test for membership and welcome Catholics in Christian union,  all alike in fallibility and worth.
              • "Judge not, that ye be not judged."
              • "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
              • "whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them"
            • CON's argument contradicts Christ's teaching
              • Christ suffered Paul's persecution, Peter's lies, and Judas' betrayal yet welcomed these men to his kingdom in Heaven 
              • CON would deny half of all Christianity membership just because they interpret the big book wrong. 
          • CON dropped Peter, Paul, and Judas
      CON1:   IDOLATRY

      • Christ's example is that no sin is disqualifying
        • CON dropped
      • Baptists don't acknowledge eating meat on Friday as sin but Catholics still call Baptists Christians
        • CON dropped
      • So, that's about 1 in 60 US Christians who strictly observe the 4th commandment
        • CON only argues anecdote
      CON2,3,4:  POPE, CELIBACY, INDULGENCES

      • .Once again, it's well-defined. It's not a purity test
        • What is well defined? Your religious principles? The only hints we've had of your belief system is via unapproved Catholicisms.  How is such judgement and outcasting consistent with our popular understanding of Christianity?
        • CON complains that CATHOLICS pray wrong and use the wrong titles and good works or refrain from sex for all the wrong reasons but CON never answered PRO repeated question:
          • Why is CON's interpretation of scripture superior to the Catholic Catechism?

      • Thx to Athias for a great debate!
      • Thx to all VOTERS for their kind consideration
        • Pls. VOTE PRO








      Con
      To comply with the stipulation set forth by my opponent at the onset of this debate, I will not present any new arguments in Round Five; I'll merely present closing arguments.

      Closing Arguments:

      Throughout this debate, my opponent and I have submitted arguments in favor or against--respectively--the merits of the Roman Catholic Church as a Christian institution. My opponent has offered that the Roman Catholic Church's "Christianity" is informed by commonplace and popular understanding. He continued and stated that no test of principle can adequately or with justice apply to any individual's self-identification. I have argued that in spite of the inclusion of the term "Christian" in his description, as well as its popular understanding, the Roman Catholic Church is not a Christian institution because it customarily and ritually contradicts the teachings of Jesus Christ--as delineated by the main Christian text, the Bible.

      Now my opponent would have you believe that religions, namely Christianity, reflect and are informed by individual identity, like some sort of "Trans"-Religion-ism. That is, a person is primarily identified as Christian--or any other adherent of a religion--by virtue of his or her self-image. This proposition unwittingly undermines my opponent's first argument. If we were to sustain the latter argument, then the former argument wouldn't apply. Being a Christian would be defined by one's self-identification, not any lexical descriptions proposed by both myself and my opponent. It would be, for example, like arguing, "A man is defined as an adult human being with a male reproductive organ," while also arguing, "An individual has the right to self-identification and no doctrinal test or test of principle (or description) can with justice apply to one's sexual-identity." So my opponent has proposed a set of inconsistent and contradictory arguments because by defining the Roman Catholic Church as Christian he has cited a principle--a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning--to which he simultaneously argues that one's identity as a Christian cannot be subjected.

      I have argued consistently that the Roman Catholic Church does not qualify as Christian because it practices rituals which contradict the teachings of Jesus Christ. These rituals and customs would include praying to Mary--especially since I've defined prayer as a supplication or intercession with one's deity or God, and thus expressly forbidden in the Bible (the main Christian text)--idolatry (bowing to and kissing the feet of the statue of Peter, the graven images of Mary, and other saints in the Vatican,) retention of Pagan titles (Pontifex Maximus,) celibacy, purgatory and indulgences.  I've provided the specific text from the Bible which condemns these practices. [And given that my opponent has cited text from the Bible himself, I take it he has no issue with the validity of the Bible.] My opponent erroneously refers to this as a "No True Scotsman Fallacy" or "purity test" despite his own source's laying out that which constitutes a well-defined "Scotsman" (non-fallacious.) It is indeed fallacious to argue that No True Scotsman puts sugar on his porridge because putting sugar on one's porridge does not fall within the description of being a Scotsman. However it would be apt to argue that No True Scotsman would hail from outside of Scotland. It would be apt to argue that No True Vegetarian eats meat; it would be apt to argue that No True Anarachist supports the state. It is apt to argue that No True Christian would not seek to live his life according to the principles taught by Jesus Christ (as delineated by my expansion of my opponent's definition) because it's true by virtue of its proposed logic and description. My opponent misconstrued my argument as taking a "single act of sin" as disqualification. It is not a single act of sin; they practice these sins customarily. They do not acknowledge these rituals as sins; therefore, they have not sought to live their lives--Roman Catholics that is--by the principles taught by Jesus Christ (and God by proxy.) Is one an adherent to the principles of a religion if one's behavior, actions, spiritual perspective, fundamentally undermine them? Or does being Christian precede its description as my opponent would argue?

      So to the voters I ask that you consider the following:

      Who has been consistent with defining his premises and extending them to their logical conclusions?
      Who has been thorough and meticulous in elucidating one's definitions, without the particular use of ad populums, incredulity, or identitarian rubrics which aren't falsifiable?
      Whose arguments don't conflict?
      Who did better in laying out their argument?

      I would like to thank oromagi for this rousing debate. I would also like to thank all prospective voters who'll participate. Vote well.