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Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic

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Round 1
Pro
Thank you Fauxlaw

Definition

To begin with, I will start with defining mainstream Christianity, as defined below.

In the most common sense, "mainstream" refers to Nicene Christianity, or rather the traditions which continue to claim adherence to the Nicene Creed.

Fact - Constantine the Great died a heretic Arian Christian

Constantine the Great being a heretic is not a conspiracy theory, nor speculation, nor even up for debate. Constantine the Great was baptised as an Arian Christian.

Constantine, baptized by Eusebius of Nicomedia at the very end of his life, falls into the dogma of Arius, and from that time until now seizures of churches and discord of the whole world have followed.

Arianism

Now let us take a look at what Arianism is. Arianism is a "form" of Christianity which even today is considered a heresy.

Arianism, in Christianity, the Christological (concerning the doctrine of Christ) position that Jesus, as the Son of God, was created by God. It was proposed early in the 4th century by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius and was popular throughout much of the Eastern and Western Roman empires, even after it was denounced as a heresy by the Council of Nicaea (325).

Helena & Constantine the Great

Now for the time being, forget what you read above regarding how Constantine was baptised by an Arian bishop, as what is written above, is actually the end of my round 1 argument.

I am going to begin with pointing to the religion of Helena (the mother of Constantine the Great) as described by Wikipedia. And she is described as a Nicene Christian.

Constantine the Great

Yet, nowhere is Constantine the Great described as a Nicene Christian. He is merely described as a Christian. In fact, Constantine the Greats real actual religion is withheld at this point, and during this round 1 I will be showing, and explaining, why exactly this is.

Roman polytheism (Until 312)
Christianity (From 312)

Edict of Milan was not solely a Christian edict

Now, I am sure we are all aware that it is greatly disputed just how much Constantine the Great actually converted to Christianity, though Christians themselves value Constantine the Great as a hero due to the Edict of Milan, and for this reason Constantine the Great is always held up as one of the biggest converts in the history of Christianity.

However, let us look at this Edict of Milan a little closer. To begin with, The edict protected "all" religions from persecution, not only Christianity, allowing anyone to worship any deity that they chose. So for this reason, Constantine the Great could have easily been a member of "any" religion. 

The proclamation, made for the East by Licinius in June 313, granted all persons freedom to worship whatever deity they pleased

Sol Invictus

Now, make no mistake, it "is" greatly disputed whether or not Constantine the Great truly became a Christian, or not, as you can read yourself from the Wikipedia link below, which suggests Constantine the Great had alterative motives, which tie in with Roman God Sol Invictus, also worshipped on December 25th each year, just like Jesus Christ.

Constantine ruled the Roman Empire as sole emperor for much of his reign. Some scholars allege that his main objective was to gain unanimous approval and submission to his authority from all classes, and therefore chose Christianity to conduct his political propaganda, believing that it was the most appropriate religion that could fit with the Imperial cult (see also Sol Invictus).

Lies & Forgery - Donation of Constantine

The donation of Constantine is yet more reason to be very suspicious about the claims of Roman bishops that Constantine converted to Christianity.

If Constantine truly converted to Christianity, then why the lies that Constantine was baptised by Pope Sylvester? why the lies that Constantine professed his faith in this letter? Why the lies that Constantine donated the Roman emperorship to the bishop of Rome?

(Whilst my source below makes no mention of my claims above, I assume my opponent is already aware that this is the case, and would be expected to do some research on "the Donation of Constantine". If he wants to deny that this is factual, then I will provide more source and citation in round 2 no problem, but this will not look good on my opponent).

Donation of ( Constitutum domini Constantini imperatoris ) A forged document allegedly written by the emperor Constantine the Great ( c .272/3–337) to Pope Sylvester I (r. 314–35 ), in which Constantine professes his faith and confers on the papacy primacy within the Church, honours equivalent to those of the emperor, and temporal power in the West. The authorship, date, and primary purpose of the document remain uncertain. In 1440 , Valla proved it a forgery by applying the techniques of Renaissance classical scholarship and textual...

Pontifex maximus

There are allegations that Constantine the Great might not have patronized Christianity alone, and may have also remained Pagan.

Constantine might not have patronized Christianity alone. He built a triumphal arch in 315 to celebrate his victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312) which was decorated with images of the goddess Victoria, and sacrifices were made to pagan gods at its dedication, including ApolloDiana, and Hercules. Absent from the Arch are any depictions of Christian symbolism. However, the Arch was commissioned by the Senate, so the absence of Christian symbols may reflect the role of the Curia at the time as a pagan redoubt.[233]

Constantine the Great the Pagan high priest

So what hardcore evidence do we actually have that Constantine the Great did not sign up to Christianity wholeheartedly? Well, to begin with, he never relinquished the title "Pontifex maximus".

At the time of his accession (375) he refused the insignia of pontifex maximus, which even Constantine and the other Christian emperors had always accepted. 

What is The Pontifex Maximus?

As page 136 of "A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War" reveals, The pontifex maximus was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion. books.google.co.uk/books?id=aEfvR1Qcd0gC&pg=PA136&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Constantine the Great's son was a Semi-Arian

Now what bigger influence on a childs life than a father? Whilst people do have minds of their own, it is quite typical that a child assumes the denomination of his father, and it just so happens that the son of Constantine the Great, Constantius II, was Semi-Arian.

My opponent needs to counter the below.

  • Father baptised Arian + Semi-Arian son = most likely Nicene Christian?
How can my opponent rationally argue this?


Attempt to install an antipope

Constantinius II was on such friendly terms with the Pope of the time, that he banished him and attempted to replace him with an antipope.

Felix (II), (died Nov. 22, 365, Porto, near Rome), antipope from 355 to 365. Originally an archdeacon, Felix was irregularly installed as pope in 355 after the emperor Constantius banished the reigning pope, Liberius

First council of Nicaea

Now I will show when Arianism became a heresy. It became a heresy at the first council of Nicaea when the Roman bishops won the debate between Arianism and Nicene Christianity and did the very thing that the Edict of Milan had made illegal, and that was to begin a persecution campaign against Arians.

That he appreciated the import of these alterations, or realized that this revision was virtually the proclamation of a new doctrine, is scarcely probable. The creed thus evolved-the expression ὁμοούσιος is of Western origin-was finally signed by all the deputies with the exception of the bishops Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais: even the Arians had submitted. The two recalcitrant prelates, with the presbyter Arius, were banished to Illyria; Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea were also driven into exile and at the same time the works of Arius were condemned to be burned under pain of death.

Summary


  1.  The edict of Milan protected "all" religions from persecution
  2. Attempts to provide evidence for Constantine the Greats loyalty to Christianity have been found to be lies, fakes and forgeries. How much can we trust the counter argument when deceit such as this is at play
  3. At no point did Constantine the Great relinquish his Pagan position as high priest of the ancient Roman religion. Is this acceptable in Christianity, to have a loyal convert that is still acting as Pontifex maximus? 
  4. Constantine the Great somehow managed to spawn a son that became a Semi-Arian. So on top of the lies, fakes and forgeries + the fact Constantine did not relinquish his title, I am to believe that it is just coincidence that his son became a Semi-Arian through no influence from his father? 
  5. Constantine the Great was baptized on his death bed an Arian Christian. I am to believe that the fact that Constantine the Great was baptized an Arian Christian, and spawned a son who became a Semi-Arian, mean he should be considered a Nicene Christian?
  6. My opponent has on this occasion taken on a debate he should not be able to win. Quite simply, Constantine the Great and his son were heretics, and that is not up for debate unless one is delusional. - Fact
The summary above is consistent with the title "Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic".


Good luck Fauxlaw


Con
Resolution: Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic
 
Thank you, Nevets, for this debate. This is a great subject and I’m glad that you challenged it. I love history. 
 
I Argument: What makes a mainstream Christian?
 
I.a Religion is a matter of personal choice. At the root, religion is a belief that establishes what doctrine, and the originating deity of that doctrine, a person chooses to embrace, emulate, and worship. Christianity, as a religion, is no different than any other of the world’s religions in these concepts, though their doctrines and deities differ. That they do is not a matter of discussion in this debate; we concentrate on Christianity, and not even if that particular religion is the truth.
 
I.b Since religion is a matter of personal choice, if one espouses Christianity, and apparently, as I will show, this was Emperor Constantine’s personal choice, it is his place to consider if he was “mainstream,” or not. However, as will be shown, there are indicators of Constantine’s choice. The timing of Constantine, straddling the 3rd and 4th centuries C.E., was a period of minor variant branches of Christianity. The Roman Catholics consider their launch with Simon Peter in the third decade of the 1stcentury C.E.[1]   The East-West division of established Roman Catholicism occurred roughly in the 11th century C.E., creating the [eastern] Orthodox Church centuries following Constantine. And, so on. As the world of Constantine embraced Roman Catholicism, that was mainstream Christianity, and it is to that religion that Constantine was drawn:  “Constantine continued to proclaim his adherence to Christianity…”[2]
 
I.b.1 Adherence to Christianity, in the singular realm of the Roman Catholic Church, in which Constantine was baptized, was primarily exemplified by that ordinance into the faith. However, a curious tenet was in vogue at the time:   “Constantine waited until death drew near to be baptized as a Christian. His decision was not unusual in a day when many Christians believed one could not be forgiven after baptism.”[3]   This is no longer believed, but, we must consider Constantine in his element of the 4th century C.E., not by 21st century C.E. standards. Is it fair to doubt “mainstream” if one accepts the basic ordinances of a religion and performs them? No. Therefore, the Resolution fails on this point: Constantine was mainstream Christian.
 
II Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Constantine, the “Arian” Christian
 
II.a Pro employs Wiki as his primary source, and appears satisfied to stop at Wiki for substantiation of fact. I will repeat a criticism I’ve argued since my membership began with DArt 14 months ago, citing Wiki, itself: “Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a reliable source”[4]   I have always advised that Wiki’s sources, such as Pro cites in R1, citation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Christianity#Citations  as well as the 2nd Summary, be, themselves, investigated by research. Pro quotes his source: “Constantine, baptized by Eusebius of Nicodemia at the very end of his life, falls into the dogma of Arius…”[5]  
 
II.a.1 Using Pro’s own sourcing string in Wiki [but not Wiki, itself], we find disclaimer of Pro’s claim of Constantine’s Arian allegiance in Wiki’s discussion of Arianism: 
“In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment. ... 
— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians”[6]
 
It seems Constantine’s position on Arianism, accused by Jerome [reference my source [5], which is Pro’s source R1 [2]] is flawed, but then, Wiki sites evidence that “Practically all of Jerome's productions in the field of dogma have a more or less vehemently polemical character…”[7]    Jerome was not exactly kind to those he criticized, such as Constantine.  
 
II.b Further, as Pro claims the Nicene Christianity as the “mainstream” Christianity, [and I agree with the definition] let us be reminded of who it was who decreed the creation of official doctrine of the Orthodox Church of Rome by the Nicene Creed:[8]     Constantine the Great. A mainstream Christian.
 
II.c Observe the image to the right side of the text of Pro’s cited source [my source [8], above in II.b], an image of the Church Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea of 325 C.E.; an image with the Fathers to either side of a figure in their midst: Constantine, their instigator, their faithful follower, their Emperor.
 
II.d So, Pro identifies Constantine an Arian, but his own sourcing declares otherwise, in obvious disagreement with itself, as noted above re: Wiki’s self-proclaimed lack of reliability. I’ll let Pro’s sourcing refute his claim of the “Arian Christian,” Constantine. Thus, the Resolution fails. However, I’ll also remind that my argument I, above, relies on different sources.
 
III Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Helena and Constantine
 
III.a Helena is Constantine’s revered mother. But, is Helena a subject of the Resolution?  Nevertheless, a word about Helena: The accepted history is that Helena encouraged Constantine to embrace Christianity. That it may have been Nicene [i.e., the “mainstream”] as alleged by Pro, is only strengthened by Constantine’s own decree by the gathering of the Council of Nicaea of 325, as noted above, II.a.1. Therefore, the relationship of Helena and Constantine only supports the idea that Constantine was “mainstream,” and the Resolution is defeated.
 
IV Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Edict of Milan
 
IV.a “Now, I am sure we are all aware that it is greatly disputed just how much Constantine the Great actually converted to Christianity”   Pro claims. Are we so aware?  Even Pro earlier admits Constantine’s conversion to Christianity. Pro is self-documented confused regarding that it was Arian or Nicene. By my rebuttal II, above, it seems clear that he embraced Nicene Christianity by virtue of the gathering of the Church Fathers at Nicaea in 325 [II.a.1]
 
IV.b Pro then says, “So for this reason, Constantine the Great could have easily been a member of "any" religion.”  Do we then dismiss Pro’s own claim in R1 that Constantine was baptized a Christian near the end of his life? Prior to his baptism, sure. But Pro also advises that, from his youth, Helena, his mother, was herself, embracing Christianity, and encouraged her son in that regard; so says Pro in R1.

What are we to conclude? Pro’s continued confusion? The Resolution is, therefore, defeated.
 
V Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Sol Invictus
 
V.a No need belabor this Pro argument. He cites Wiki, which says “Some scholars allege…” concluding Constantine’s embrace of Christianity for political purposes. As if politics cannot be a source of conversion to any religion? So, what if it is? Does that in any way invalidate the sincerity of conversion? Particularly since, as cited, only “some scholars allege…” allegations being merely suggestions and not evidence-based facts, not to mention that only some, not most, allege same. Does not sound like solid evidence to me. In fact, Pro’s source, Wiki, admits that relative to this claim by adding:  “full citation needed.”  I’ll leave that to voters to determine scholastic authenticity.
 
VI Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Lies & Forgery
 
VI.a Pro claims, “If Constantine truly converted to Christianity, then why the lies that Constantine was baptized by Pope Sylvester?”   Lies? Was it a lie that science claimed, in antiquity, and, in fact, until the 17th century, that the universe was geocentric? A lie is an intentional deception. A claim of some fact, in ignorance, is not a lie. Let’s be certain of our word definitions, here. Who is certain that the claim of Constantine’s baptism was, in fact, deception and not just ignorance of facts? I’ll acknowledge that Pope Sylvester was not the officiator of Constantine’s baptism, particularly since Eusibius of Nicomedia, likely was that officiator, and, coincidentally a relation to Constantine, further cementing the argument of who baptized Constantine.
 
VI.b Why, as Pro alleges, would I be inclined to discuss “the donation of Constantine” as an alleged forged document? So what? It is not particularly a matter I find definitive to disprove the Resolution. Apparently, Pro finds it is not sufficient to prove the Resolution, either. Let us agree that it is not a matter relative to either side’s BoP, and let the matter drop. I appreciate Pro’s attempt at prescience of my BoP, but, this time, it fails.
 
VII Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Pontifex Maximus
 
VII.a Pro claims, “There are allegations that Constantine the Great might not have patronized Christianity alone.”  See above, V.a, regarding “allegations” and their place in evidentiary documentation. Enough said? Not quite. 
 
VII.a.1 I, too, a professed Christian, believer in the Holy Bible, and testifier of the divinity and glory of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, nevertheless, profess truths contained in the Qu’ran, the Torah, The Book of Mormon, the Gida, the Tripitaka, and others. Does that mean I deny my Christianity? No, it indicates my belief that truth is contained in many places.
 
VII.b I suggest Pro research the meaning of  pontifex,  in Latin, “bridge builder.”[9]   So what if Constantine declared himself  “Pontifax Maximus.”  Is there any doubt Constantine was a proud man, perhaps to a fault? But, how does that support declare the truth of the Resolution?
 
VII.b.1 Did Pro bother to define his terms beyond “mainstream Christianity?” No. In particular, he did not define  heresy; a Pro accusation made against Constantine. Let’s see a relevant definition:  “theological doctrine or system rejected as false by ecclesiastical  authority. The Greek word hairesis (from which heresy is derived) was originally a neutral term that signified merely the holding of a particular set of philosophical opinions. Once appropriated by Christianity, however, the term heresy began to convey a note of disapproval.”10    A note of disapproval, but not necessarily by virtue of venal sins. They were committed even by Christians; even Nicene Christians, who were not supposed to be heretics by description, just sinful. Therefore, the Resolution fails.
 
VIII Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Constantine’s son
 
VIII.a  A brief: The debate Resolution is not about Constantine’s son. In this matter, the Resolution is a failure by exclusion. 
 
IX Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Antipope
 
IX.a  A brief: The debate Resolution is not about installing an antipope. In this matter, the Resolution is a failure by exclusion. 
 
X Rebuttal: Pro’s R1: Summary
 
X.a By the numbers:
 
X.a.1 The Edict of Milan: agreed. See my R1, IV, above. What's the point?
 
X.a.2 Lies, fakes and forgeries. See my R1, I – IX, above. Review the definitions of these terms and see the claim of deception disputed as generalizations that do not match the accepted history.
 
X.a.3 Pontifex Maximus. See my R1, VII. Further, would my adherence to my particular Christian faith discount the potential that I may be the local leader of a social club of the Porsche Club of America? How about being a member/leader of the Kiwanis Club? Or maybe the Masons? I am not affiliated with the latter two at all, but, what if I were, and even in a leadership position? So what? If Constantine wanted to be a bridge builder, who am I, as a Christian, to deny him?
 
X.a.4 Constantine’s son. I don’t care if Constantine’s son ran Barnum & Bailey Circus; he is not relevant to the Resolution.
 
X.a.5 Constantine’s baptism. See my R1, I & II, in total. 
 
X.a.6 Pro claims:  “My opponent has on this occasion taken on a debate he should not be able to win. Quite simply, Constantine the Great and his son were heretics, and that is not up for debate unless one is delusional. – Fact”
 
X.a.6.A Let’s review the sequence of events in this debate:
 
1.    Pro initiates Debate [that is what this is, per the section title, as opposed to “Forum.”]
2.    Con requested adjustment to argument and voting timing. Revision accepted by Pro.
3.    Con accepts debate.
4.    According to Dart policy, the debate is thus enjoined, and argument may begin.
 
Thus, Pro’s additional claim, “…and that is not up for debate unless one is delusional”  is suspect since Pro is the initiator. Will Pro agree that Pro, initiator, is, thus, delusional?, since this is, contrary to Pro's claim, a debate? I make no comment on the matter; caveat lector.
 
Assuming Pro will back-step from that accusation, let’s agree we have a debate, and that neither participant is delusional. Therefore, if Pro wants to insist Con cannot win, has Pro, therefore, violated CoC by some perversion of the policy? It is my belief that it is voters who determine who wins the debate, and that based on argument within the rounds, and not by claims to the contrary by participants. As Con, I am fully willing to allow voters their judgment, regardless of outcome.
 
Therefore, I declare, by argument and rebuttal in R1, the Resolution is defeated. I turn the debate to Pro for R2.
 
  






















Round 2
Pro
Fauxlaw wrote...
Thank you, Nevets, for this debate. This is a great subject and I’m glad that you challenged it. I love history. 
And thank you for accepting, and for an extremely quick response.

Error

I will open with providing this link for this quote below from my last round as I provided the wrong link. Though I did let Fauxlaw know about this in the comment section.

At the time of his accession (375) he refused the insignia of pontifex maximus, which even Constantine and the other Christian emperors had always accepted. 

Religion is a matter of personal choice?

Fauxlaw wrote...
I.a Religion is a matter of personal choice. At the root, religion is a belief that establishes what doctrine, and the originating deity of that doctrine, a person chooses to embrace, emulate, and worship. Christianity, as a religion, is no different than any other of the world’s religions in these concepts, though their doctrines and deities differ. That they do is not a matter of discussion in this debate; we concentrate on Christianity, and not even if that particular religion is the truth.
Religion in an ideal world would have been a personal choice, but in reality we are expected and encouraged to conform to the mainstream consensus set up by the authority, and this was particularly true around the time of Constantine the Great. I will leave a few of examples below of what can happen when one does not conform to the chosen path of the chosen fathers.

Example 1 - Arius

Arius, the founder of Arianism was subjected to exile and confinement after losing the debate between Nicene Christianity and Arianism. And what was his crime? His crime was merely teachings that Jesus was not of the same essence as God.

The most enthusiastic and skillful opponent of Arius was the archdeacon of the Alexandrian church, Athanasius. After heated discussions the council condemned the heresy of Arius, and after introducing some corrections and additions, it adopted the Creed in which, contrary to the teachings of Arius, Jesus Christ was recognized as the Son of God, unbegotten, and consubstantial (of one essence) with His Father. The Nicene Creed was signed by many of the Arian bishops. The more persistent of them, including Arius himself, were subjected to exile and confinement.
Constantine the Great to the rescue

In fact, it was Constantine the Great that came to the rescue of Arius and recalled him from exile, and this is yet more proof of Constantine the Great and his Arian sympathies.

 In the attitude of Constantine himself there came to be a marked change in favor of the Arians. A few years after the council, Arius and his most fervent followers were recalled from exile.
Example 2 - Pelagianism

Pelagianism, like Arianism was denounced as a heresy by the bishops of Rome. 

Pelagianism is a heterodox Christian theological position that holds that the original sin did not taint human nature and that humans have the free will to achieve human perfection without divine grace.
Religion being a matter of personal choice has been shown to be untrue

In the above I have shown that religion being a matter of personal choice is not entirely true. There may be a "guise" that is mostly adhered to during peacetime, but it is perfectly clear that we are expected to follow the Nicene creed and adhere to it, or be considered a heretic.
Those that do not adhere to the side which won the debate in Nicaea are condemned as heretics and not recognised as followers of mainstream Christianity. This fact is  indisputable. It is undebatable.

I also provided above yet more evidence as well which supports the Arian sympathies of Constantine the Great, which is perfect for my title.

Example 3 - Armageddon

It is quite clear from the Armageddon delusion that those considered heretics are not expected to survive Armageddon, and Armageddon is yet more proof that humanity being allowed to follow the Edict of Milan, and belong to any religion they wish, is simply a "guise". I have proven this.

he door to the trial of the antichrist and the exit of Essa Ibn Mary and the exit of Gog and Magog



From Constantine to Clovis I

Fauxlaw wrote...
I.b Since religion is a matter of personal choice, if one espouses Christianity, and apparently, as I will show, this was Emperor Constantine’s personal choice, it is his place to consider if he was “mainstream,” or not. However, as will be shown, there are indicators of Constantine’s choice. The timing of Constantine, straddling the 3rd and 4th centuries C.E., was a period of minor variant branches of Christianity. The Roman Catholics consider their launch with Simon Peter in the third decade of the 1stcentury C.E.[1]   The East-West division of established Roman Catholicism occurred roughly in the 11th century C.E., creating the [eastern] Orthodox Church centuries following Constantine. And, so on. As the world of Constantine embraced Roman Catholicism, that was mainstream Christianity, and it is to that religion that Constantine was drawn:  “Constantine continued to proclaim his adherence to Christianity…”[2]
As I have already shown, the statement that religion is a matter of personal choice is not 100% accurate and therefore not entirely true and it "is" possible to be deemed a heretic, and those guilty of heresy are not considered to be part of mainstream Christianity. This is an indisputable fact, not merely a personal opinion. And as I have already shown in my round 1 definition, all mainstream branches of Christianity today, including Catholicism, have their traditional roots in the Nicene Creed. Quite simply, Constantine chose to be sympathetic to a branch of Christianity which denied the key aspects of Jesus Christ and his Father, and was ruled to be "not" mainstream Christianity, but a heresy. It is indisputable.

Also, the world may "think" they embraced the Roman Catholicism of Constantine, but in fact they embraced the Christianity of the bishops of Rome. And what is more, I can prove this right now.

Clovis I

Clovis I is probably one of the most important converts in the history of Catholicism as he was the first Arian and barbarian king to convert from Arianism to Catholicism in 496 AD. Clovis is a great example because he was originally of the faith of Constantine but converted to the faith of the popes, which negates my opponents entire argument that Arianism turned in to Catholicism. It did not. Nicene Christianity turned in to Catholicism and Catholicism defeated Arianism. This is indisputable, and I can prove this too, right now.

Clovis is also significant due to his conversion to Catholicism in 496, largely at the behest of his wife, Clotilde, who would later be venerated as a saint for this act, celebrated today in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church. Clovis was baptized on Christmas Day in 508.[4] The adoption by Clovis of Catholicism (as opposed to the Arianism of most other Germanic tribes) led to widespread conversion among the Frankish peoples; to religious unification across what is now modern-day France, Belgium and Germany; three centuries later, to Charlemagne's alliance with the Bishop of Rome; and in the middle of the 10th century under Otto I the Great, to the consequent birth of the early Holy Roman Empire.
Core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed

Now, according to Wikipedia, the core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed. This blows a hole in my opponents argument.

The core beliefs of Catholicism are found in the Nicene Creed.

Facts, not opinions

Fauxlaw wrote...
I.b.1 Adherence to Christianity, in the singular realm of the Roman Catholic Church, in which Constantine was baptized, was primarily exemplified by that ordinance into the faith. However, a curious tenet was in vogue at the time:   “Constantine waited until death drew near to be baptized as a Christian. His decision was not unusual in a day when many Christians believed one could not be forgiven after baptism.”[3]   This is no longer believed, but, we must consider Constantine in his element of the 4th century C.E., not by 21st century C.E. standards. Is it fair to doubt “mainstream” if one accepts the basic ordinances of a religion and performs them? No. Therefore, the Resolution fails on this point: Constantine was mainstream Christian.
I am presenting "facts", not opinions. My opponent needs to begin disputing those facts, or presenting facts of his own. 
My opponent completely skips around the fact that Constantine was baptized by  the heretic Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia in 337.

My opponent presents a "theory" in to why Constantine chose to become baptized. But I will present a better theory. Constantine chose to become baptized an Arian Christian because he was related to Eusebius, and just like Eusebius and his own son, they were Arians.

And how my opponent can argue that Arianism should be considered mainstream Christianity when the mainstream Christianity adhered too has declared Arianism a heresy and non mainstream, is simply beyond me. This is Fauxlaws personal opinion versus "facts".

Dismissing Wikipedia in round 2 is a mistake

Fauxlaw wrote...
II.a Pro employs Wiki as his primary source, and appears satisfied to stop at Wiki for substantiation of fact. I will repeat a criticism I’ve argued since my membership began with DArt 14 months ago, citing Wiki, itself: “Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a reliable source”[4]   I have always advised that Wiki’s sources, such as Pro cites in R1, citation: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Christianity#Citations  as well as the 2nd Summary, be, themselves, investigated by research. Pro quotes his source: “Constantine, baptized by Eusebius of Nicodemia at the very end of his life, falls into the dogma of Arius…”[5]  

My opponent appears to have ignored the many sources which were not from Wikipedia, and so his statement is yet again not entirely true, and a little false.
But it so far appears that instead of making rebuttals regarding the facts presented, he wishes to simply rubbish Wikipedia as a whole.
However this is a mistake on my opponents part as I merely use Wikipedia in round 1 as a foundation from which to launch a debate, and if my opponent has any concerns regarding sources then I am perfectly willing with four rounds to go to produce sources outside of Wikipedia. But by no fault of my own, it appears I am being denied the opportunity to do this, because my opponent so far has not made it clear what Wikipedia information he has issues with. This is a mistake on my opponents part as he is then failing to rebut anything.

So I will advise my opponent that from now on, if he has issues with anything written in Wikipedia, please raise those specific issues and then I can provide further information. I am willing to do this.

Facts. Nevets 1 Fauxlaw o

Fauxlaw wrote....
II.a.1 Using Pro’s own sourcing string in Wiki [but not Wiki, itself], we find disclaimer of Pro’s claim of Constantine’s Arian allegiance in Wiki’s discussion of Arianism: 
“In addition, if any writing composed by Arius should be found, it should be handed over to the flames, so that not only will the wickedness of his teaching be obliterated, but nothing will be left even to remind anyone of him. And I hereby make a public order, that if someone should be discovered to have hidden a writing composed by Arius, and not to have immediately brought it forward and destroyed it by fire, his penalty shall be death. As soon as he is discovered in this offence, he shall be submitted for capital punishment. ... 
— Edict by Emperor Constantine against the Arians”[6]
My opponent makes a horrendous error here.
It is true that Constantine initially respected the decree of the bishops of Rome, but as I already showed at the start of round 2, Constantine was pretty quick to change his mind and become sympathetic to the Arians.
Here it is again, in case you missed it first time.
And no, the source is not Wikipedia.

 In the attitude of Constantine himself there came to be a marked change in favor of the Arians. A few years after the council, Arius and his most fervent followers were recalled from exile.

Flawed?

Fauxlaw wrote...
It seems Constantine’s position on Arianism, accused by Jerome [reference my source [5], which is Pro’s source R1 [2]] is flawed, but then, Wiki sites evidence that “Practically all of Jerome's productions in the field of dogma have a more or less vehemently polemical character…”[7]    Jerome was not exactly kind to those he criticized, such as Constantine.  
No, the source is not flawed. I just expected you to know already that Constantine did not follow through with his initial decree.

Fauxlaw wrote...
II.b Further, as Pro claims the Nicene Christianity as the “mainstream” Christianity, [and I agree with the definition] let us be reminded of who it was who decreed the creation of official doctrine of the Orthodox Church of Rome by the Nicene Creed:[8]     Constantine the Great. A mainstream Christian.
Repeat argument

Fauxlaw wrote...
II.b Further, as Pro claims the Nicene Christianity as the “mainstream” Christianity, [and I agree with the definition] let us be reminded of who it was who decreed the creation of official doctrine of the Orthodox Church of Rome by the Nicene Creed:[8]     Constantine the Great. A mainstream Christian.
Constantine initially upheld the decision of the voters, but pretty soon abandoned his position. My opponent has lost a key argument here.

Constantine was an instigator? No

Fauxlaw wrote
II.c Observe the image to the right side of the text of Pro’s cited source [my source [8], above in II.b], an image of the Church Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea of 325 C.E.; an image with the Fathers to either side of a figure in their midst: Constantine, their instigator, their faithful follower, their Emperor.
This is completely wrong. Constantine the Great  "was not" the instigator. The purpose of the Council was to resolve disagreements between Arianism and the bishops of Rome. Constantine at this point had no idea that the result would be in breach of his Edict of Milan.
The decision was not made by Constantine but instead by a council of voters, and the decision merely temporarily upheld by Constantine.
Unfortunately you are digging a deeper hole for yourself by continuing with this argument.

NICAEA, COUNCIL OF. The Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325) is an event of the highest importance in the history of Christianity. Its convocation and its course illustrate the radical revolution which the position of this religion, within the confines of the Roman empire, had undergone in consequence of the Edict of Milan.

Non argument

Fauxlaw wrote...
II.d So, Pro identifies Constantine an Arian, but his own sourcing declares otherwise, in obvious disagreement with itself, as noted above re: Wiki’s self-proclaimed lack of reliability. I’ll let Pro’s sourcing refute his claim of the “Arian Christian,” Constantine. Thus, the Resolution fails. However, I’ll also remind that my argument I, above, relies on different sources.
Sorry, but had you known in advance that Constantine the Great later retracted his support for the Council of Nicaea, then you would not, and could not, have went ahead with this argument.

Constantine Chlorus

Fauxlaw wrote...
III.a Helena is Constantine’s revered mother. But, is Helena a subject of the Resolution?  Nevertheless, a word about Helena: The accepted history is that Helena encouraged Constantine to embrace Christianity. That it may have been Nicene [i.e., the “mainstream”] as alleged by Pro, is only strengthened by Constantine’s own decree by the gathering of the Council of Nicaea of 325, as noted above, II.a.1. Therefore, the relationship of Helena and Constantine only supports the idea that Constantine was “mainstream,” and the Resolution is defeated.
 
My opponent speculates that Constantine got his mainstream Christianity from his mother. Yet I have already shown above that my opponent is seriously mistaken about the facts which bring him to this conclusion, and in actual fact Constantine "did not" uphold his allegiance to the Nicaea Council.

But if Constantine got his Christianity from his mother, then did he get his Pontifex Maximus from his father, Constantine Chlorus?. And remember, Fauxlaw is yet to rebut this fact, maybe he will do shortly.

My opponent should offer a concession now

Fauxlaw wrote...
IV.a “Now, I am sure we are all aware that it is greatly disputed just how much Constantine the Great actually converted to Christianity”   Pro claims. Are we so aware?  Even Pro earlier admits Constantine’s conversion to Christianity. Pro is self-documented confused regarding that it was Arian or Nicene. By my rebuttal II, above, it seems clear that he embraced Nicene Christianity by virtue of the gathering of the Church Fathers at Nicaea in 325 [II.a.1]

Fauxlaw needs to provide the quote he is pertaining to where I ever admitted to Constantine converting wholeheartedly to Nicene Christianity, or I am confused about whether he converted to Nicene Christianity or Arianism. Quite simply, I did not, and am not.

Now while it may appear drastic me asking for my opponents concession, I do so because he is "still" putting all his eggs in to his rebuttal II were he drew a conclusion born from lacking the knowledge regarding Constantine and his later removal of support for the Council of Nicaea. He is building conclusion after conclusion on a foundation that does not exist.

So my opponent needs to either rebut the fact that Constantine removed his support for the council, or, concede.

Arian Christian the operative word

Fauxlaw wrote...
IV.b Pro then says, “So for this reason, Constantine the Great could have easily been a member of "any" religion.”  Do we then dismiss Pro’s own claim in R1 that Constantine was baptized a Christian near the end of his life? Prior to his baptism, sure. But Pro also advises that, from his youth, Helena, his mother, was herself, embracing Christianity, and encouraged her son in that regard; so says Pro in R1.
My opponent is using deceitful tactics, claiming to be quoting me, but taking it out of context and not providing the actual quote.
My opponent has deliberately missed out the bit where I said "Arian Christian".
And Arianism "is" a heresy, according to the Council of Nicaea.

Strange argument

Fauxlaw wrote...
V.a No need belabor this Pro argument. He cites Wiki, which says “Some scholars allege…” concluding Constantine’s embrace of Christianity for political purposes. As if politics cannot be a source of conversion to any religion? So, what if it is? Does that in any way invalidate the sincerity of conversion? Particularly since, as cited, only “some scholars allege…” allegations being merely suggestions and not evidence-based facts, not to mention that only some, not most, allege same. Does not sound like solid evidence to me. In fact, Pro’s source, Wiki, admits that relative to this claim by adding:  “full citation needed.”  I’ll leave that to voters to determine scholastic authenticity.
 
Do we really require a citation to know that there is great controversy over Constantine the Greats conversion to Christianity?  It is common knowledge.
But since my opponent wants a citation, I will provide one.

The vision of Constantine in the summer of 312 before the Battle of MilvianBridge has been a source of considerable debate. The controversy of Constantine’sconversion comes from the debate over his legitimacy as a convert to Christianity.Constantine had many Christian influences throughout his life. As a child the impact ofhis father, Constantius (250-306), played a major role in Constantine’s view towardChristians and the Battle of Milvian Bridge was a turning point in the view ofChristianity for Constantine personally. The coins issued as the sole Roman Emperor, hisedicts, and his presidency at the famous Council of Nicaea in 325 all show him as aconscious Christian not only personally as an individual, but also as an emperor.Constantine was convinced that Christianity would be beneficial for him and his empire,but led two lives, public and private.

Fauxlaw acknowledged that Pope Sylvester did not baptize Constantine

Fauxlaw wrote...
VI.a Pro claims, “If Constantine truly converted to Christianity, then why the lies that Constantine was baptized by Pope Sylvester?”   Lies? Was it a lie that science claimed, in antiquity, and, in fact, until the 17th century, that the universe was geocentric? A lie is an intentional deception. A claim of some fact, in ignorance, is not a lie. Let’s be certain of our word definitions, here. Who is certain that the claim of Constantine’s baptism was, in fact, deception and not just ignorance of facts? I’ll acknowledge that Pope Sylvester was not the officiator of Constantine’s baptism, particularly since Eusibius of Nicomedia, likely was that officiator, and, coincidentally a relation to Constantine, further cementing the argument of who baptized Constantine.
My opponent admits that Constantine was baptized by an Arian bishop. So admits that Constantine died a heretic according to mainstream versions of Christianity which originate from the Nicene Creed.

Fauxlaw sees no relevance in The Donation of Constantine

Fauxlaw wrote...
VI.b Why, as Pro alleges, would I be inclined to discuss “the donation of Constantine” as an alleged forged document? So what? It is not particularly a matter I find definitive to disprove the Resolution. Apparently, Pro finds it is not sufficient to prove the Resolution, either. Let us agree that it is not a matter relative to either side’s BoP, and let the matter drop. I appreciate Pro’s attempt at prescience of my BoP, but, this time, it fails.
I find it strange that my opponent wishes to just drop the donation of Constantine from the argument.
This is equal to a concession.

Quite simply, the donation of Constantine is a forgery which alleged to contain some of the key evidence which was used to prove Constantines loyalty to the Pope. "It was a forgery". Do you not understand how important this is? Please Fauxlaw, in the next round present actual factual evidence that Constantine converted to a non heretic form of Christianity.

Now, in the previous round I did state that if requested, I would provide a source. And here is the Britannica encyclopedia. But I initially wanted my opponent to do his own research on the subject.

Donation of Constantine, Latin Donatio Constantini and Constitutum Constantini, the best-known and most important forgery of the Middle Ages, the document purporting to record the Roman emperor Constantine the Great’s bestowal of vast territory and spiritual and temporal power on Pope Sylvester I

Fauxlaw Christianity

Fauxlaw wrote....
VII.a.1 I, too, a professed Christian, believer in the Holy Bible, and testifier of the divinity and glory of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world, nevertheless, profess truths contained in the Qu’ran, the Torah, The Book of Mormon, the Gida, the Tripitaka, and others. Does that mean I deny my Christianity? No, it indicates my belief that truth is contained in many places.
My opponent is arguing that a Christian can be a Christian at the same time as being a member of any other faith.
However this is Fauxlaw Christianity, not mainstream Christianity. And that is indisputable.

High priest of a Pagan religion

Fauxlaw wrote...
VII.b I suggest Pro research the meaning of  pontifex,  in Latin, “bridge builder.”[9]   So what if Constantine declared himself  “Pontifax Maximus.”  Is there any doubt Constantine was a proud man, perhaps to a fault? But, how does that support declare the truth of the Resolution?
My opponent does not deny that Constantine the Great kept the title of Pontifex Maximus, but merely turns to Fauxlaw Christianity where it is ok to remain a high Pagan priest whilst allegedly being a loyal Christian.

And also, when Pontifex Maximus is used in the context given to Constantine the Great, it means a little more than "bridge builder". It means "chief Priest".

the chief priest (pontifex maximus).
Definition of heresy???

Fauxlaw wrote...
VII.b.1 Did Pro bother to define his terms beyond “mainstream Christianity?” No. In particular, he did not define  heresy;
I am confused by this, and rather surprisd.
Quite simply, as English speakers, we should not need to define the meaning of heresy.
Do you deny that what is written below is correct?

belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine.

Constantius II

Fauxlaw wrote...
VIII.a  A brief: The debate Resolution is not about Constantine’s son. In this matter, the Resolution is a failure by exclusion. 
I presented Constantine's son to show that "even" Constantine's own son was at the very least "Semi-arian".
My opponents only rebuttal is to claim that this debate is not about Constantine's son.
Absolutely no comment on just how influencial his father may have been in his decision to become Semi-Aryan?.

My opponent is delusional

Fauxlaw wrote...
Thus, Pro’s additional claim, “…and that is not up for debate unless one is delusional”  is suspect since Pro is the initiator. Will Pro agree that Pro, initiator, is, thus, delusional?, since this is, contrary to Pro's claim, a debate? I make no comment on the matter; caveat lector.
 
Assuming Pro will back-step from that accusation, let’s agree we have a debate, and that neither participant is delusional. Therefore, if Pro wants to insist Con cannot win, has Pro, therefore, violated CoC by some perversion of the policy? It is my belief that it is voters who determine who wins the debate, and that based on argument within the rounds, and not by claims to the contrary by participants. As Con, I am fully willing to allow voters their judgment, regardless of outcome.
 
No, I no longer believe my opponent is delusional, because my opponent got his key arguments wrong, did not rebut anything successfully, and admitted to certain key facts such as Constantine becoming baptized by a heretic Arian bishop.

Like I said in round 1, this debate is undebatable and should not possibly be won by my opponent.

Summary

  1. I successfully showed my opponent why religion being a personal choice is only true in peacetime and in an ideal world, and in Fauxlaw Christianity.
  2. I successfully showed my opponent why he was wrong about Arianism simply becoming Catholicism. In fact, Catholicism was the continuation of Nicene Christianity, not Arianism.
  3. My opponent has conceded that Constantine was baptized by the heretic Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia in 337
  4. My opponent appeared unaware that Constantine later dropped his support for the Council of Nicaea and became sympathetic towards the Arians.
  5. My opponent appeared unaware that the decision was made by the Council of Nicaea and merely temporarily upheld by Constantine
  6. My opponent needs to provide the quote he is pertaining to where I ever admitted to Constantine converting wholeheartedly to Nicene Christianity, or I am confused about whether he converted to Nicene Christianity or Arianism.
  7. My opponent was shown that  Constantine the Greats conversion to Christianity is under scholastic dispute, despite his claims otherwise.
  8. My opponent sees no importance in a forgery faking evidence of Constantine's loyalty to the bishops.
  9. My opponent claimed that Constantine was merely a bridge builder, which is almost 100% false.
  10. My opponent wants to debate the definition of heresy, which is common knowledge in English speaking countries.
  11. My opponent fails to even understand how Constantine the Great having a son that became Semi-Arian "might" suggest that his own father may have had some influence.

Good luck Fauxlaw

Con
Resolution: Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic
 
XI Maintenance / Housekeeping: Pro’s gauntlet
 
XI.a Both Pro R1 and R2 have laid down a gauntlet normally not part of a debate in the spirit of good sportsmanship; a CofC fundamental. Pro’s R1 Description  declared, “…this debate will work with the exact same principles as all other standard debates.”  I accepted the debate on that declaration.
 
XI.a.1 Need I say, again, I don’t appreciate the allegation of being delusional [Pro R1]? 
 
XI.a.2 Pro’s R1 challenged that the debate was, summarily [Pro summary #6], that Con “…has on this occasion taken on a debate he should not be able to win. Quite simply, Constantine the Great and his son were heretics, and that is not up for debate unless one is delusional. – Fact”   Does that declaration make the debate a truism? I do not treat it as such, and did not accept it on that understanding.
 
XI.a.3 Pro’s R1 alleged that, in spite of initiating a debate, and declaring in it,   “…this debate will work with the exact same principles as all other standard debates,”   as noted above, “…Constantine the Great and his son were heretics, and that is not up for debate unless one is delusional. – Fact”  By my acceptance of the debate, by the same principles as other standard debates, Con has thus been branded delusional, and the allegation repeated in R2.
 
X.I.c  Without having read every debate [to date, 1,766] on DArt, and having personally participated in, to date, 67 of them, and voted on 153 others, I will declare that these kinds of statements occur in very few of them, due to 
            1. The natural tendency to exhibit good sportsmanship by members
            2. The CoC to remind members of the importance of good sportsmanship
 
XI.d Further, Pro, on four occasions [and a loose fifth] in R2, asks for my concession. Asks? Read: imperative form of English syntax, to wit:
 
1.     My opponent should offer a concession now”
2.    “…it may appear drastic me asking for my opponents concession…”
3.    “…my opponent needs to either rebut the fact that Constantine removed his support for the council, or, concede.”
4.     I find it strange that my opponent wishes to just drop the donation of Constantine from the argument. This is equal to a concession.”
5.    “My opponent has conceded that Constantine was baptized by the heretic Arian bishop…”
 
 
Considering we are in just the second round, and regardless of which round it is, such commentary is simply out of bounds. I do not concede. I have not conceded. I will not concede.  If I see that again in this debate, I’m going to be angry. Repeat five times and call me in the morning.
 
Or, one might consult the Boardroom scene in the movie, Network, and listen to Arthur Jensen [Ned Beatty]:[1]   “You are meddling with the natural forces of nature… That is the natural order of things today… Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?”
 
Let Con be advised that there are 5 full rounds available for rebuttal in this debate. That I may choose to rebut in whatever round suits my sense of fair play, I will play it that way. Period, end of subject, worlds without end.
 
I contend that good sportsmanship is not exhibited by Pro, to date. Caveat lector.
I charge Pro to cease this language forthwith, lest voting be tainted from its pristine expectation of unbiased judgment. I can always call on Mr. Beatty…   
 
XII Argument: What makes a heretic?
 
XII.a In R1, we discussed what makes a mainstream Christian: an adherent to Christianity, following its tenants and ordinances, as Constantine did. This 2nd round will consider what a heretic is. The definition of the term is revealing: according to the OED, “One who maintains theological or religious opinions at variance with the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, that of any church or religious system, considered as orthodox.”
 
XII.a.1 My R1 definition from Britannica [see my R1, VII.b.1] was a more philosophic than religious definition. Above is the more religious connotation.   
 
XII.b Who is best suited to make the declaration identifying a heretic? Is it fair to say that leaders of said orthodoxy would be best suited to declare one a heretic? Or, is it our place, 1,700 years distant from the history to make the declaration of a heretic? Fausta [I do not refer to Constantine’s wife; just using the name at random], a woman making bread in the market square of Rome, a Constantinian subject, would not be well suited to make the declaration: “The Emperor is a heretic.” She may truly believe it, but I happen to believe that blue people inhabit a distant moon in another system. What credibility have I in that matter?  I will wager, for example, that few of us in this century are aware of the belief in the 4thcentury C.E. that forgiveness was not achievable after baptism.[2] [See my R1, I.b.1] 
 
XII.c The salient question, then, is, did the Roman Catholic Church, in Constantine’s lifetime, declare Constantine a heretic? “Not wanting questions about the divine nature of Christ to sow discord, Constantine summoned church officials to the Council of Nicaea in 325. Out of this came the Nicene Creed, which affirmed that Jesus was a divine being.”[3]  Is there any doubt that, to Roman Catholicism, Jesus Christ, and his divinity, was and is the  prima facie  Christian doctrine? Would the Church, then, declare the man responsible for gathering a council of Church Fathers for canonizing that doctrine a heretic?  They did not.
 
XII.d Perspective is the elephant in the room. In his lifetime, 300 years behind Constantine, in the perspective of the Pharisees, Jesus was a heretic. A heretic of their sanhedrin hold on tradition. Jesus was a tradition-breaker; a revolutionary. Just politically, Jesus represented a serious threat to their hold on sand through their fingers compared to the Roman fist holding them. The Jews response to Pontius Pilate that Jesus represented a threat to him was quelled in Pilate’s direct interview with Jesus:  “Whence art thou?”[4]   Pilate asks. Jesus ultimately concludes,  “My kingdom is not of this world.”[5]  What threat, then, to Pilate? A heretic? Maybe to the Jews, but, what are they to Pilate? He washed his hands. Done. A diversion, yes, but it has the point of putting heresy in perspective. It has the point of demonstrating who is giving offense, but more who is offended.
 
XII.e Even a source that questions Constantine’s devotion to Christianity declares, Constantine built many churches. He celebrated faith in one (Christian) God and his son Jesus by creating many of the greatest churches in the world, including: St. Peter’s in Rome…”[6]   The Resolution fails on this point. Constantine was actually not a heretic.
 
XII.f Pro dismisses the idea of defining “heresy” as being an obvious word to English speakers/readers. I contend that all keywords  in a Resolution be defined up front, in the Description, just to avoid the controversy now challenged by Pro. Pro speaks of standard debates. That is my standard, and, many of my fellow members do so as standard practice. If Pro wishes to belabor the point, let me remind that not all members, including readers and voters of debates, are Anglophones by birth, and offering definitions is a courtesy to them. Far be it from me to teach courtesy, so… Done.
 
It will be easier to group my R2 Rebuttals  to most of Pro’s R2 according to Pro’s summary list, 1 - 6. Therefore, by the numbers:
 
XIII 1. The Edict of Milan
 
XIII.a One should read the Edict of Milan, It’s short, but too long to quote here, but is cited.[7]  Pro’s summary is that the Edict protected all religions, but his argument suggested ulterior motives by Constantine. Yes, he wanted a peaceful empire, void of religious squabbles, mainly because, as evidenced by this website’s Forum, let alone the Debate section, religion tends to spill over into other controversies, and likely always has. That is quite evident in this sentiment from the Edict: “…that no man should be denied leave of attaching himself to the rites of the Christians, or to whatever other religion his mind directed him, that thus the supreme Divinity, to whose worship we freely devote ourselves, might continue to vouchsafe His favour and beneficence to us.”  Herein is no mention of factions of Christians. Arian, Nicene, or Fauxlaw. The latter of which, by the way, does not exist, but in Pro’s imagination. I’ll let that one pass, for now, okay, Mr. Beatty?
 
XIV 2. Lies, falsehoods, and forgeries
 
XIV.a Pro has offered nothing in defense of his claim but by repetition of the pro R1 argument. However, there is no deceit if there is no lie. Constantine desired a peaceful kingdom. He saw in Christianity the vehicle to make that happen. He requested a conferring council of Church Fathers to convene to settle the various squabbles among Christians by establishing a cohesive creed; what became the Nicene Creed of 325. If Constantine thought his politics would be more easily conducted if people of his empire were united in one Christian faith, at least, allowing for the variance in religious faiths be recognizing in such a vast empire of differing peoples and cultures, so much the better. And if, by example, Constantine could espouse Christianity himself, so much further the better. If all of that is deception, it certainly had the blessing of the Church Fathers. Occam’s razor might be applied here.
 
XV 3. Pagan, or Pontifex Maximus?
 
XV.a Constantine, Emperor. A title the man legitimately held; the benefactor of the previous holder of the title. And, since Constantine’s title is not a factor in the Resolution, this argument, already visited in my R1, VII by rebuttal, is irrelevant.
 
XVI 4. Constantine’s son. Circus Circus.
 
XVI.a Already visited and dismissed as irrelevant to the Resolution in my R1, X.a.4.
 
XVII 5. Baptism clowns, or, who baptized Constantine, and does it matter?
 
XVII.a Pro alleges that Constantine’s baptism was, itself, a heresy, given by whom he was baptized. He accuses as opinion, a standing belief in the 4th century, that forgiveness after baptism was my opinion, and not fact. I offered my source of the claim.[8]  Further, consider,  “…because Baptism takes away past, but not future, sins: wherefore the more it is deferred, the more sins it takes away. Therefore it seems that Baptism should be deferred for a long time.”[9]
 
XVII.a.1 That does not align with my personal beliefs, by, as said, my beliefs are not party to this debate.
 
XVII.b Are there clowns here? Isn’t it rich? If Christianity were merely a club, and baptism an initiation protocol, then baptism is going to be the only way to join the club. If the club by-laws do not designate the specific officiator who must perform the baptism, one assumes that any current member of the club may so officiate. Does it matter who it is? 1,700 years later? Does it matter who’s on the ground, and who’s in mid-air? Perhaps as a matter of record, there is merit. Beyond that? Do we accept that Constantine was a member of the club? The circus has come to town. Send in the clowns.
 
XVIII 6. Con should not be able to win
 
XVIII.a This issue [It hardly merits as a germane argument to the Resolution] was handled in XI Maintenance, above. Little value in its repetition. Remember Mr. Beatty?
 
There are additional Pro R2 rebuttals due:
 
XIX Rebuttal: Pro R2: Gratian, pontifex, clowns and weeds
 
As rebutted in R1 regarding irrelevant matters to the debate, this Pro R2 reference to Gratian, whose birth post-dates Constantine’s death by two decades, is not a relevant subject of the debate, regardless of its discussion of  pontifex maximus,  particularly since that is a title not unique to Constantine. In fact, Gratian rejected the title, as Pro argues, but Constantine had naught to do with that decision. As was said of Constantine’s son and a circus, there is at least that degree of separation between Constantine and Gratian. Therefore, the Resolution fails by this exclusion.
 
While we’re on irrelevance, let’s not hear further about Constantine’s father,  Flavius Valerius Constantius "Chlorus", also called Constantius I, mentioned in Pro’s R2, because he’s not a subject of the debate. Of political influence on Constantine, yes, but that’s not a subject of the debate, either.
 
XX Rebuttal: Pro R2: Religion is not by personal choice
 
XX.a Pro claims religion is by personal choice only in peacetime. Is it funny that people tend to turn heavenward, Godward, in times of war? No; it’s respectful. And this is not a personal choice?  Pro throws at us examples of despots who force matters on their subjects, and includes Constantine in that mix of despots. We have read the Edict of Milan. Are those words of force, or of liberty, or, in constitutional jargon “freedom of religion?” Yes, there are examples drawn from history, even by the historic Catholic faith, and others, who burned accused heretics and witches at stakes, under the edict, “repent, or die!” Is that not a choice given, and did not many choose death as a release from despotism? Personal choice, my friends has been the God-given edict since Adam & Eve at the tree; they were also given the choice, avoid the fruit of that tree, or die. Well, now, they chose both the fruit, and, therefore, to die, eventually. Freedom of choice, just as the Edict of Milam dictates: “…For it befits the well-ordered state and the tranquility of our times that each individual be allowed, according to his own choice…”[10]  Aren't you pleased we're discussing the text of the Edict, itself, and not merely opinions about it?
 
XXI Rebuttal: Pro R2: Clovis, Blovis, Beavis & Butthead
 
XXI.a Clovis: According to Pro’s source on the subject, a 5th– 6th  century figure. What relevance, then, to Constantine and the debate Resolution? Being irrelevant, Clovis and his crowd are relegated to the scrap heap.
 
XXII Rebuttal: Pro R2 Arius, Pelogius, Gog and Magog
 
XXII.a While Arius is a contemporary, the rest are as the clowns listed in XXI, above; irrelevant. As for Arius, since Pro is insistent that the Nicene Creed was so dismissive of Arianism and its namesake, why don’t we take a look at the text of the Nicene Creed, and see for ourselves if Arius and his group are maligned as heretics, as Pro claims. Constantine, too, while we’re at it:
 
“I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, 
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried, 
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven 
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.”[11]

Where, oh where, the accusation of heresy against anyone within Constantine’s lifetime, let alone against the Emperor, himself?
 
Further, let us note from Pro’s source, “…After heated discussions the council condemned the heresy of Arius, and after introducing some corrections and additions, it adopted the Creed in which, contrary to the teachings of Arius, Jesus Christ was recognized as the Son of God, unbegotten…”[12]
 
Review the text of the Nicene Creed, just above, specifically line 6, and compare it to the quote immediately above from Pro’s source. Seems we’re confused about the begotteness of Jesus Christ [begotten? unbegotten?], but that may be understandable in the context of the source’s opinion [unsubstantiated], that no records exist of the content of the Creed. “Some doubt that any written records of the proceedings were kept at ll.”[13]  How would Elpenor, the Pro source, know with such conviction, that the council “condemned” anybody? Either they have scholastic sources, or they don’t. The Loyola Press [my source for the Creed], a Catholic enterprise, begs to differ.
 
Somehow, Pro concludes that the Nicene Creed “…blows a hole in my opponents argument.”   If it does, why is Con the only participant to quote the Creed, in full, and discuss what it really says, not what it is alleged to say by a source that barely acknowledges it is a real, factual document and not some doubting modern academic’s [Elpenor] opinion? Facts, not opinions? It appears Pro's sources are not so hot to trot with facts.
 
I conclude that Pro is using a wide field to exercise what ought to be a fairly concise garden [by the Resolution] set of arguments. We’re already extended a lifetime before Constantine, and several centuries after to justify the Resolution which is contained, by its language, within his lifetime, alone, and a foreshortened span of that. 
 
May I suggest that, as Pro is given to accuse a no-win factor in this debate, that there be an end of discussion in the weeds when this debate is a garden of flowers, and should be limited to such. I suggest the debate’s subject, conceived by Pro, is Constantine, his mainstream Christianity, and his alleged heresy, and not all the other weeds Proclivity cultivates.
 
 
 


[4]Holy Bible, John 19: 9
[5]Holy Bible, John 18: 36

Round 3
Pro
Welcome back Fauxlaw and thank you for yet another quick response.

Important facts

Fauxlaw wrote...
XI.a Both Pro R1 and R2 have laid down a gauntlet normally not part of a debate in the spirit of good sportsmanship; a CofC fundamental. Pro’s R1 Description  declared, “…this debate will work with the exact same principles as all other standard debates.”  I accepted the debate on that declaration.
The debate which I am Pro for, is: Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic.
Thus far I have alleged that the Edict of Milan freed "all" religions from persecution, and not only Christianity, and therefore it is wrong to announce Constantine a loyal Christian hero based upon this fact, and thus far, you have not rebutted this.

  • Thus far I have alleged that the main source of evidence proving Constantine was a loyal mainstream Christian was found to be a forgery. You completely failed to rebut this, stating wrongfully that this allegation has nothing to do with this debate, which is simply preposterous. One might have expected you to instead try and find other evidence for Constantines loyalty to mainstream Christianity
  • Thus far I have alleged that the fact that Constantine never relinquished his Pagan title Pontifex Maximus is yet another reason he could  not be considered a mainstream Christian, and you have not challenged this fact, thus far.
  • I have alleged that Constantine also having a son that became Semi-Arian might suggest some influence from his father. You did not rebut this or give an alternative explanation, merely claiming that this debate is not about Constantine's son, which is a cop out.
  • Thus far I have claimed that Constantine was baptized by a heretic Arian priest, and You have actually "admitted" that this is the case.
  • My opponent can't be delusional
My opponent is not delusional

Fauxlaw wrote...
XI.a.1 Need I say, again, I don’t appreciate the allegation of being delusional [Pro R1]? 
My opponent has not challenged any of the irrefutable and indisputable facts I have presented which strongly suggest that "Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic", and therefore is obviously not delusional.

Good Humour

I also appreciate my opponents good humour regarding how angry he is going to get if I ask for another concession.  Thank you for the touch of light heartedness.

Heretic

Fauxlaw wrote...
XII.a In R1, we discussed what makes a mainstream Christian: an adherent to Christianity, following its tenants and ordinances, as Constantine did. This 2nd round will consider what a heretic is. The definition of the term is revealing: according to the OED, “One who maintains theological or religious opinions at variance with the ‘catholic’ or orthodox doctrine of the Christian Church, or, by extension, that of any church or religious system, considered as orthodox.”

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary a heretic is a person who differs in opinion from established religious dogma, and that is exactly what Arius, the founder of Arianism did, and was temporarily exiled and sent in to confinement for his unorthodox views, and this was the religion which Constantine became sympathetic too, and later became baptized too.

religion : a person who differs in opinion from established religious dogma
Dictionary.com

According to Dictionary.Com via Wikipedia a heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. And Arianism has been denounced as a heresy. Something else my opponent has yet to rebut.

Heresy is any belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization.[1]
excommunication & death penalty
Excommunication & Death penalty

The crime of heresy can be met with a number of punishments, ranging from excommunication to death penalty, which is religious persecution and contrary to the edict of Milan.

 In certain historical Christian, Muslim and Jewish cultures, among others, espousing ideas deemed heretical has been (and in some cases still is) met with censure ranging from excommunication to the death penalty.
Meaningless

Fauxlaw wrote...
XII.a.1 My R1 definition from Britannica [see my R1, VII.b.1] was a more philosophic than religious definition. Above is the more religious connotation. 
State what you mean. There is no point in simply pointing to a definition and giving absolutely no explanation whatsoever in to what you think this definition means.

Why did Constantine turn his back on the Council of Nicaea?

Fauxlaw wrote...
XII.b Who is best suited to make the declaration identifying a heretic? Is it fair to say that leaders of said orthodoxy would be best suited to declare one a heretic? Or, is it our place, 1,700 years distant from the history to make the declaration of a heretic? Fausta [I do not refer to Constantine’s wife; just using the name at random], a woman making bread in the market square of Rome, a Constantinian subject, would not be well suited to make the declaration: “The Emperor is a heretic.” She may truly believe it, but I happen to believe that blue people inhabit a distant moon in another system. What credibility have I in that matter?  I will wager, for example, that few of us in this century are aware of the belief in the 4thcentury C.E. that forgiveness was not achievable after baptism.[2] [See my R1, I.b.1] 
But would Constantine wish to be associated with a branch of Christianity which deems one a heretic, and makes a mockery of his edict of Milan? I think not, and that probably explains why Constantine later removed his support for the council of Nicaea, and became sympathetic towards the Arians, and even got baptized as an Arian. Why then should "we" consider Constantine a devout Nicene Christian when Constantine himself clearly did not view himself as such? And may I remind you, thus far you are yet to rebut the fact that Constantine ditched the council of Nicaea in order to support the Arians. The list of facts you have not rebutted is now mounting up and becoming rather huge. So you attempt to turn to philosophy, and become an apologist instead!!

Constantine did not consider himself a Nicene Christian

Fauxlaw wrote...
XII.c The salient question, then, is, did the Roman Catholic Church, in Constantine’s lifetime, declare Constantine a heretic? “Not wanting questions about the divine nature of Christ to sow discord, Constantine summoned church officials to the Council of Nicaea in 325. Out of this came the Nicene Creed, which affirmed that Jesus was a divine being.”[3]  Is there any doubt that, to Roman Catholicism, Jesus Christ, and his divinity, was and is the  prima facie  Christian doctrine? Would the Church, then, declare the man responsible for gathering a council of Church Fathers for canonizing that doctrine a heretic?  They did not.
The point you seem to be missing and skipping over is that Constantine would have also canonized Arian Christianity had Arius won the vote. You also skip over the fact that Constantine "removed his support" for the council of Nicaea. You can't keep avoiding this fact. You will need to respond to it.

Proud to be a heretic

Fauxlaw wrote...
XII.d Perspective is the elephant in the room. In his lifetime, 300 years behind Constantine, in the perspective of the Pharisees, Jesus was a heretic. A heretic of their sanhedrin hold on tradition. Jesus was a tradition-breaker; a revolutionary. Just politically, Jesus represented a serious threat to their hold on sand through their fingers compared to the Roman fist holding them. The Jews response to Pontius Pilate that Jesus represented a threat to him was quelled in Pilate’s direct interview with Jesus:  “Whence art thou?”[4]   Pilate asks. Jesus ultimately concludes,  “My kingdom is not of this world.”[5]  What threat, then, to Pilate? A heretic? Maybe to the Jews, but, what are they to Pilate? He washed his hands. Done. A diversion, yes, but it has the point of putting heresy in perspective. It has the point of demonstrating who is giving offense, but more who is offended.
My opponent here announces that Jesus could be deemed a heretic, like it is something to be proud of, and perhaps he is correct. Perhaps Constantine should be proud of himself that he stood by the principles of the edict of Milan and removed his support for the council of Nicaea and refused to farther involve himself in a persecution campaign against Arians.

Churches and Pagan constructions

Fauxlaw wrote...
XII.e Even a source that questions Constantine’s devotion to Christianity declares, “Constantine built many churches. He celebrated faith in one (Christian) God and his son Jesus by creating many of the greatest churches in the world, including: St. Peter’s in Rome…”[6]   The Resolution fails on this point. Constantine was actually not a heretic.
My opponent claims that Constantine constructing Christian churches proves his devotion to mainstream Christianity. However using this logic, my opponent then must agree that Constantines construction of Pagan structures must disprove his loyalty to mainstream Christianity, and in this photo below we find a statue named "The Tyche of Constantinople".  

The Tyche of Constantinople holding a wreath to crown Constantine (sardonyx cameo, 4th century)
The Tyche of Constantinople was erected under Constantine

According to a Wikipedia cross reference, the Tyche of Constantinople was erected under Constantine, and attested to on coins and medallions dated to 330 AD, five years after any decree by the council of Nicaea.

Under Constantine, the Tychai of Rome and Constantinople together might be presented as personifications of the empire ruling the world.[6]
Constantine continued to Commission Pagan temples

According to another Wikipedia cross reference, Constantine continued to both permit and commission Pagan constructions. This invalidates my opponents claims that Constantine building churches proves he was a devout mainstream Christian. If this is the case, then his Pagan constructions must prove that he was a devout Pagan?

 Constantine's reign did not constitute the end of temple construction. He both permitted and commissioned temple construction in areas outside Constantinople.[48]:
My opponent agrees that the edict of Milan is not solely a Christian document

Fauxlaw wrote...
XIII.a One should read the Edict of Milan, It’s short, but too long to quote here, but is cited.[7]  Pro’s summary is that the Edict protected all religions, but his argument suggested ulterior motives by Constantine. Yes, he wanted a peaceful empire, void of religious squabbles, mainly because, as evidenced by this website’s Forum, let alone the Debate section, religion tends to spill over into other controversies, and likely always has. That is quite evident in this sentiment from the Edict: “…that no man should be denied leave of attaching himself to the rites of the Christians, or to whatever other religion his mind directed him, that thus the supreme Divinity, to whose worship we freely devote ourselves, might continue to vouchsafe His favour and beneficence to us.”  Herein is no mention of factions of Christians. Arian, Nicene, or Fauxlaw. The latter of which, by the way, does not exist, but in Pro’s imagination. I’ll let that one pass, for now, okay, Mr. Beatty?
My opponent is here unable to disprove a word I said, and he appears to agree that the edict of Milan made the persecution of "any" and "all" religions illegal.
I agree however that Constantine wanted a peaceful empire, and therefore my opponent must also agree that the general consensus of the edict making him a devout Christian hero is actually "false". In fact, the decree of the council of Nicaea was in breach of the edict of Milan and could actually explain why Constantine turned his back on the decree and withdrew his support for the Nicene's, in favour of Arianism. My opponent appears to be completely avoiding the fact that Constantine withdrew his support. My opponent must address this fact at some point.

Fakes and forgeries are not important according to my opponent

Fauxlaw wrote...
XIV.a Pro has offered nothing in defense of his claim but by repetition of the pro R1 argument. However, there is no deceit if there is no lie. Constantine desired a peaceful kingdom. He saw in Christianity the vehicle to make that happen. He requested a conferring council of Church Fathers to convene to settle the various squabbles among Christians by establishing a cohesive creed; what became the Nicene Creed of 325. If Constantine thought his politics would be more easily conducted if people of his empire were united in one Christian faith, at least, allowing for the variance in religious faiths be recognizing in such a vast empire of differing peoples and cultures, so much the better. And if, by example, Constantine could espouse Christianity himself, so much further the better. If all of that is deception, it certainly had the blessing of the Church Fathers. Occam’s razor might be applied here.
My opponent is skipping around the fact that Constantine was only there to issue the decree of either side. Had Arius won the vote of the council, Constantine would have issued a decree in favour of Arianism. Therefore, Constantine issuing a decree in favour of Nicene Christianity does not prove he was a devout mainstream Christian. And the fact he quickly withdrew his support for the decree suggests he was not. And I cannot stipulate enough just how important it is that my opponent withdraws his head from the sand and addresses this issue, or else it is the equivalent of a concession really.

Also, it is beyond preposterous for my opponent to think that a forged letter found to be a forgery that was used as key evidence for Constantines loyalty to the popes can simply be brushed over and dismissed. My opponent needs to find real evidence quickly that Constantine ever truly converted to mainstream Christianity. And even in the unlikely event he did, for a small while, would that be enough to consider that he should be considered a mainstream Christian? I think not.

Contradiction 1: Why will my opponent accept Constantines Mother as part of the debate, but not father?

Fauxlaw wrote...
XV.a Constantine, Emperor. A title the man legitimately held; the benefactor of the previous holder of the title. And, since Constantine’s title is not a factor in the Resolution, this argument, already visited in my R1, VII by rebuttal, is irrelevant. 



While we’re on irrelevance, let’s not hear further about Constantine’s father,  Flavius Valerius Constantius "Chlorus", also called Constantius I, mentioned in Pro’s R2, because he’s not a subject of the debate. Of political influence on Constantine, yes, but that’s not a subject of the debate, either.
Earlier in the debate my opponent argued that Constantines Mother Helena being devout Christian could have had an influence of Constantines religious outlook.
Yet, when I suggest that perhaps his fathers Pontifex Maximus might have gotten passed over to Constantine the Great, my opponent declaresthe father irrelevant. Why? And how could this be? 

Contradiction 2: Mention of Constantines Semi-Arian son is also "irrelevant", apparently.

Fauxlaw wrote...
XVI.a Already visited and dismissed as irrelevant to the Resolution in my R1, X.a.4.
My opponent is failing to refute or rebut anything. The list of claims unrebutted is now mounting up. Dismissing the notion that a sons religion may be influenced by a father as irrelevant is totally insufficient.

Does being baptized by a heretic Arian also make one a heretic?

Fauxlaw wrote...
XVII.a Pro alleges that Constantine’s baptism was, itself, a heresy, given by whom he was baptized. He accuses as opinion, a standing belief in the 4th century, that forgiveness after baptism was my opinion, and not fact. I offered my source of the claim.[8]  Further, consider,  “…because Baptism takes away past, but not future, sins: wherefore the more it is deferred, the more sins it takes away. Therefore it seems that Baptism should be deferred for a long time.”[9]
 
By the definition of heresy, being baptized an Arian definitely makes a person a heretic. This is self explanatory.

Does it matter to which denomination one gets baptized?

Fauxlaw wrote...
XVII.b Are there clowns here? Isn’t it rich? If Christianity were merely a club, and baptism an initiation protocol, then baptism is going to be the only way to join the club. If the club by-laws do not designate the specific officiator who must perform the baptism, one assumes that any current member of the club may so officiate. Does it matter who it is? 1,700 years later? Does it matter who’s on the ground, and who’s in mid-air? Perhaps as a matter of record, there is merit. Beyond that? Do we accept that Constantine was a member of the club? The circus has come to town. Send in the clowns.
 
My opponent appears to dismiss the importance of baptism, or by whom one is baptised by. 
I have claimed that Constantine was baptised by a heretic Arian bishop, and my opponent has actually clarified this fact, yet appears to want to dismiss the importance.
However, which denomination one wishes to become baptized to is of high importance and is very indicative of where their loyalties lie.

Gratian???

Fauxlaw wrote...
As rebutted in R1 regarding irrelevant matters to the debate, this Pro R2 reference to Gratian, whose birth post-dates Constantine’s death by two decades, is not a relevant subject of the debate, regardless of its discussion of  pontifex maximus,  particularly since that is a title not unique to Constantine. In fact, Gratian rejected the title, as Pro argues, but Constantine had naught to do with that decision. As was said of Constantine’s son and a circus, there is at least that degree of separation between Constantine and Gratian. Therefore, the Resolution fails by this exclusion.
My opponent can't properly refute anything I have said. He can't refute that Constantine never relinquished so appears to be resorting to actually making up arguments. Quite simply it is ironic that my opponent dismisses all my arguments as simply being irrelevant, and then brings Gratian to the table? Where did I ever mention Gratian? Nowhere. Gratian just so happened to have been mentioned in a link I provided which spoke of Constantine the Great being the Pagan Pontifex Maximus. My opponent is making up the entire argument from start to finish. My opponent needs to quote exactly where I argued anything about Gratian. Gratian truly "is" irrelevant to this debate.

Contradiction 3 - Should I accuse Adam and Eve of simply being "irrelevant"?

Fauxlaw wrote...
XX.a Pro claims religion is by personal choice only in peacetime. Is it funny that people tend to turn heavenward, Godward, in times of war? No; it’s respectful. And this is not a personal choice?  Pro throws at us examples of despots who force matters on their subjects, and includes Constantine in that mix of despots. We have read the Edict of Milan. Are those words of force, or of liberty, or, in constitutional jargon “freedom of religion?” Yes, there are examples drawn from history, even by the historic Catholic faith, and others, who burned accused heretics and witches at stakes, under the edict, “repent, or die!” Is that not a choice given, and did not many choose death as a release from despotism? Personal choice, my friends has been the God-given edict since Adam & Eve at the tree; they were also given the choice, avoid the fruit of that tree, or die. Well, now, they chose both the fruit, and, therefore, to die, eventually. Freedom of choice, just as the Edict of Milam dictates: “…For it befits the well-ordered state and the tranquility of our times that each individual be allowed, according to his own choice…”[10]  Aren't you pleased we're discussing the text of the Edict, itself, and not merely opinions about it?
In the absence of any argument, rebuttal or refutation of hard facts, my opponent appears to run to philosophical jargon, God, the bible , and after falsely accuses me of irrelevance, Adam and Eve.

I must remind my opponent that we are using the dictionary definition of heresy to establish whether or not Constantine should be considered a heretic, not an imagined or made up definition made up by a very disputed god. 

Clovis 1, another clown?

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXI.a Clovis: According to Pro’s source on the subject, a 5th– 6th  century figure. What relevance, then, to Constantine and the debate Resolution? Being irrelevant, Clovis and his crowd are relegated to the scrap heap.
My opponent has been shown how he is wrong about Catholicism being born out of Arianism, and that in actual fact Catholicism was the continuation of Nicene Christianity, and he does not offer a rebuttal for this, and simply thinks he can dismiss to the scrap heap the very person that I used to prove this fact. These are very poor arguments from my opponent.

There now must be a concession from my opponent

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXII.a While Arius is a contemporary, the rest are as the clowns listed in XXI, above; irrelevant. As for Arius, since Pro is insistent that the Nicene Creed was so dismissive of Arianism and its namesake, why don’t we take a look at the text of the Nicene Creed, and see for ourselves if Arius and his group are maligned as heretics, as Pro claims. Constantine, too, while we’re at it:
 

My opponent should concede now. He appears to insinuate that Arius and his followers were not condemned as heretics. I can prove right now that they were.
Even Eusebius of Nicomedia, the heretic arian bishop that baptized constantine was driven in to exile.

I once more ask for my opponents concession.

The creed thus evolved-the expression ὁμοούσιος is of Western origin-was finally signed by all the deputies with the exception of the bishops Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais: even the Arians had submitted. The two recalcitrant prelates, with the presbyter Arius, were banished to Illyria; Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea were also driven into exile and at the same time the works of Arius were condemned to be burned under pain of death.
Biblical hymn?

My opponent wants to dismiss all my arguments as irrelevant, yet produces a hymn from the bible?

Confused

 Where, oh where, the accusation of heresy against anyone within Constantine’s lifetime, let alone against the Emperor, himself?

Further, let us note from Pro’s source, “…After heated discussions the council condemned the heresy of Arius, and after introducing some corrections and additions, it adopted the Creed in which, contrary to the teachings of Arius, Jesus Christ was recognized as the Son of God, unbegotten…”[12]
My opponent might be under the influence of alcohol, as I am very confused by this. He argues that Arius was never condemned a heretic and asks where the source for this is, then produces a source right beneath which clearly states that Arius was condemned for heresy.

Line 7 of my opponents source debunks line 6 - And his own argument

Fauxlaw wrote...
Review the text of the Nicene Creed, just above, specifically line 6, and compare it to the quote immediately above from Pro’s source. Seems we’re confused about the begotteness of Jesus Christ [begotten? unbegotten?], but that may be understandable in the context of the source’s opinion [unsubstantiated], that no records exist of the content of the Creed. “Some doubt that any written records of the proceedings were kept at ll.”[13]  How would Elpenor, the Pro source, know with such conviction, that the council “condemned” anybody? Either they have scholastic sources, or they don’t. The Loyola Press [my source for the Creed], a Catholic enterprise, begs to differ.
Now, my opponent turns to line 6 of a source which is debunked by line 7.
Quite simply, my opponent quotes line 6 of ellops.net which says "The acts of the Council of Nicaea have not been preserved", and then goes on to explain where the information comes from. And it comes from the writings of those that participated in the council of Nicaea, and from historians.

The acts of the Council of Nicaea have not been preserved. Some doubt that any written records of the proceedings were kept at all. Information about the council comes from the writings of those who participated in it as well as from the accounts of historians.
Why did I not bring the Nicene creed up myself? Why will my opponent not address the issue of Constantine abandoning the creed?

Fauxlaw wrote...
Somehow, Pro concludes that the Nicene Creed “…blows a hole in my opponents argument.”   If it does, why is Con the only participant to quote the Creed, in full, and discuss what it really says, not what it is alleged to say by a source that barely acknowledges it is a real, factual document and not some doubting modern academic’s [Elpenor] opinion? Facts, not opinions? It appears Pro's sources are not so hot to trot with facts.
Quite simply, because the Nicene creed is Cons argument. I am arguing for the Pros, not the Cons. But I know that his decree is easily squashed by the fact that he only upheld it for a limited amount of time before abandoning it and becoming sympathetic towards the Arians.
I have firmly rebutted, refuted and addressed the issue however. You are not doing likewise regards to his abandoning of the decree.

Fauxlaw wrote...
I conclude that Pro is using a wide field to exercise what ought to be a fairly concise garden [by the Resolution] set of arguments. We’re already extended a lifetime before Constantine, and several centuries after to justify the Resolution which is contained, by its language, within his lifetime, alone, and a foreshortened span of that. 
Everyone I have mentioned in this debate is firmly to do with Constantine the Great, or to do with what you have written.
The only person that has brought irrelevances to the table is Con, with his Gratian, Adam and Eve, God, and hymns, not to mention Clowns.
My opponent needs to establish that the people he referred to as Clowns really are clowns, because I suggest this is yet another thing my opponent is wrong about.

Summary

  1. In round 1 I claimed that the Edict of Milan protected all religions from persecution, and not only Christianity, and my opponent has conceded this point.
  2. My opponent has given an unsatisfactory response to the donation of Constantine forgery and his insistance that key evidence of Constantine's devout mainstream Christianity being faked is unimportant, is unsatisfactory
  3. My opponent appears to have conceded that Constantine remained the Pagan Pontifex Maximus
  4. My opponent has conceded that his own son was Semi-Aryan
  5. My opponent has conceded that Constantine was baptised by an Arian bishop
  6. I claimed that my opponent was wrong about Catholicism being born out of Arianism, and he did not dispute this
  7. I have claimed that Constantine turned his back on the Nicene Council and became an Arian sympathiser, and my opponent has failed to respond to this
  8. My opponent has dropped the argument about me admitted to Constantine being a mainstream Christian, or being confused about the differences between Arianism and Nicene Christianity, and the allegation was without foundation and was preposterous
  9. My opponent has dropped his argument about my claims regarding Constantine's devotion being under scholastic dispute
  10. My opponent has dropped his argument about Pontifex Maximus meaning anything else other than Chief Priest when taken in to context
  11. I have successfully offered a definition for heresy from the dictionary which precisely defines Constantine's unorthodoxy and baptism as heretic. As well as his loyalty to Roman religion.
  12. I succesfully countered one of my opponents very few arguments regards to Constantine's building of churches, pointing out that Constantine also issued and commissioned Pagan constructs
  13. I successfully pointed out my opponents contradictions
  14. I successfully pointed out my opponents irrelevant argument regarding Gratian
  15. My opponent needs to provide evidence that those he calls clowns can be accurately defined as such
  16. I successfully showed my opponent that Arius and Arianism has been condemned as a heresy
  17. I successfully showed my opponent where he was wrong about there being no scholastic evidence for the council of Nicaea, even though the council of Nicaea is his claim, not mine
  18. Out of 17 arguments of my own that have went unrebutted and unrefuted, my opponent has only really came up with two arguments of his own. That being Christian churches, which I rebutted and refuted. And his main argument the Nicene council being proof of Constantine's devotion to mainstream Christianity, which I have refuted by pointing out that he abandoned the council of Nicaea

Good luck Fauxlaw

Con
Resolution: Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic
 
XXIII Argument: The Root of Constantine’s empire unification dilemma
 
XXIII.a Constantine, a Roman by birth [though his mother, Helena, was a low-born Greek, who may or may not have ever been wed to her son’s father, Constantius Chlorus] spoke Latin as a native language, and was a poor student of Greek, requiring translators in that language his entire life.[i]   I have argued my entire adult life, being a student with fluency in four languages, English, by birth, French, by ancestry and domicile for 3 years, Italian and Greek by personal interest and formal education in Greek, plus a fifth in Egyptian hieroglyphs, by formal education, that translation from one language to another is usually, at best, a dictionary-to-dictionary word-for-word translation, and not usually by an in-depth understanding of both cultures where those languages’ cultures differ. Culture is the creator of language, and not the reverse. 
 
XXIII.a.1 Therefore, though translations by dictionary comparison are common, that method lacks integrity, since 2 languages, particularly those of different roots, do not have a complete lexicon [word set] that are word-for-word compatible with one another. Dictionaries do not exist to teach even its own culture, let alone another, and are, therefore, poor teachers of culture. This is true simply from Greek [considered the original language of the New Testament, for example] to Latin, a language into which biblical texts were first attempted to be translated in Constantine’s lifetime.[ii]
 
XXIII.b Combine that issue with the Christian squabbling going on between factions under Constantine’s nose; one begins to gain perspective on the Emperor’s dilemma of unifying his empire to a greater degree than had even been accomplished by his father. Where previous emperors were stick-bearers, Constantine determined to use a carrot: Christianity.[iii]
 
XXIII.b.1  Pro’s argument has been that:
 
1.   Constantine favored Arian Christianity prior to the timing of the Nicene Creed [pre 325 CE], as opposed to the Church Fathers who assembled to create the Nicene Creed [325 CE], and who, under Constantine’s wishes, formed the Nicene faction by its creed. This is born out by Pro’s claim in R3 that “Constantine would have also canonized Arian Christianity had Arius won the vote. You also skip over the fact that Constantine "removed his support" for the council of Nicaea.”
 
 2Therefore, Constantine was branded a heretic by the Church Fathers.
 
My reply:  The first claim is not supported by any scholastic reference; not even Wiki.Not to mention any sure confidence, 17 centuries later, of what Constantine  would have  done. Conjecture is not evidence.  The second claim has no support by scholastic reference; it is Pro’s opinion.
 
XXIII.c These factions appear to have squabbled over a single point of doctrine; the consubstantial  nature of Christ, the Son of God. Let’s not get into the weeds of the meaning and consequences of this schism; it is enough to know Constantine’s mind on the subject, to wit:  According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, “Constantine… sent from Nicomedia to Alexander a famous letter, in which he treated the controversy as an idle dispute about words and enlarged on the blessings of peace. The emperor, we should call to mind, was only a catechumen, imperfectly acquainted with Greek, much more incompetent in theology, and yet ambitious… to exercise… as Pontifex Maximus …determined on restoring ecclesiastical order.”[iv]
 
XXIII.d  According to the same source:  “Constantine, in 336, recalled the Lybian [Eusibius Nicomedia, who had been exiled], extracted from him a  solemn adhesion to the Nicene faith, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of the Imperial City, to give him Communion in his own church.”[v]
 
XXIII.e Apparently, Constantine is not the heretic Con accuses him of being. These five source links, [i - v] I’ve offered are all from the The New Advent, the Catholic Encyclopedia. I will acknowledge that later, 10 years later, at the end of his life, the same source acknowledges a Constantinian drift to Arianism, but nowhere in the text on this encyclopedic subject of “Arianism” is Constantine branded a heretic by the Holy Roman Church as Pro claims. Pro’s sources for his argument are, themselves, lacking scholastic sourcing, by their admission [see my R2, XIII,], or are Con accusations of opinion against my sourced facts [see my R2, XII], or simply miss Con’s claims of relevance to the Resolution [See my R2, XIII – XXII]
 
XXIV Rebuttal: Pro R3: A heretic, a heretic, my kingdom for a heretic.
 
XXIV.a Pro belabors the definition of Shakespeare’s Richard III’s  missing horse, whose name, of course, was Heretic. Just kidding, but from a position of barely defining terms in Description, they are in abundance, now. Even to the point of confusing Merriam-Webster’s version of “heretic” with “religion.” A curious juxtaposition.
 
XXIV.b Finally, Pro compares these definitions with the Edict of Milan, declaring it is 
“…religious persecution and contrary to the Edict of Milan.”  Why, then, would a thinking man as Constantine consider being contrary to his Edict by being the very thing he sought to root out? We’ll revisit this later when discussing the apparent conflict Constantine has with Pro’s version of the man and what scholarship’s version describes, let alone the Holy Roman Church. Let Pro continue wondering what the horse is…
 
XXV Rebuttal: pro R3: Constantine’s alleged bare-arse to the Creed
 
XXV.a Pro accuses Constantine of turning his back on the Nicene Creed. As I have already demonstrated, by virtue of the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia [see XXIII, above], that Constantine not only kept his britches on, but did not turn his back on the Creed, and, in fact, demonstrated his loyalty by convincing the alleged villain, Eusibius Nicodemia, to profess the supremacy of the Creed, and to have communion in Bishop Alexander’s church.[vi]  See my XXIII.d, above.
 
XXVI Rebuttal: Pro R3: Pro protrait v. Scholarship portrait of Constantine [see XXIV.b], and other irrelevancies to the Resolution
 
XXVI.a Two portraits [yes, I purposely misspelled Pro’s version] of Constantine. Either he was a heretic, or, he was a mainstream Christian. Aren’t those really the only two factors in this debate? May we please stay on point? Does the Resolution identify any other factors, such as Constantine’s dad, his son, Helena, Clovis, Blovis, Beavis & Butthead, Arius, Pelogius, Gog and Magog, Gratius, Pontifex, clowns and weeds…  and now Tyche and an 8thcentury forgery [the “Donation  of Constantine”]?  It should be much more simple. It is. Let’s clear the clutter and the clowns, because, much as Pro wants to malign the Donation, specifically, as a forgery, the which I do not contest, it is a document post-dating Constantine by four centuries, so, what, pray tell, has it to do with the Resolution? Preposterous?  Caveat lector.
 
XXVI.b Our subject is sitting in the chair, waiting for the completion of his portrait: Constantine, 272 – 337, an old man of the 4thcentury CE of 65 at baptism and death.
 
XXVI.c  “Constantine did not consider himself a Nicene Christian,”   Pro claims, and further,  “The point you seem to be missing and skipping over is that Constantine would have also canonized Arian Christianity had Arius won the vote.”   Why miss ‘n skip over a history that did not happen? Uh, because it did not happen? Since it didn’t happen, Pro’s unsubstantiated opinion, notwithstanding, fails on that mic drop.
 
XXVI.c.1 Let us recall that the Church Fathers attending Constantine’s requested council in 325 in Nicea, was to canonize [by the Fathers, not by Constantine, as Pro alleges], a doctrine: the Nicene doctrine that exists to this day. I’ve asked Pro to demonstrate the documentation that Constantine was branded a heretic by these same Church Fathers. Let’s add where, when, and why. We wait with baited breath.
 
XXVI.d “Jesus could be deemed a heretic,”Pro alleges Con said. Nope, I did not say that. What I said was that, from the perspective of the Pharisees, Jesus was a heretic. Heresy can by launched from any faction; it is not an exclusively Christian charge. It’s fine to misquote as a means to rebut a point, but the misquote carries no water and no weight if that is not what was said. Caveat lector.
 
XXVI.e Pro alleges that if Constantine both built Christian churches and pagan structures, he cannot be a loyal Christian. No? As a growing child in Brentwood [L.A.] CA, our next-door neighbor was a wealthy construction contractor, specifically of hospitals. He was a converted Christian from Judaism. He built a Shriners hospital [Shriners, formerly known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine].[vii]   If my neighbor was capable of such separate activities, I think the Emperor of an Empire could do at least as much without stirring controversy by an opinionator 17 centuries later. Let us recall one title Constantine bore, reminded of it by Pro: Pontifex Maximus. The meaning being “bridge builder,” I reminded in R2. I emphasize the words, both of them. Seems the Emperor wore the title well, recalling, after all, that we are not talking about one of the Church Fathers, who were dedicated to a singular religion, but an Emperor, who had to keep peace in a vast empire of several religions, cultures, languages, and people. Oh, by the way, he happened to profess to be a Christian. Given the dichotomy of even that denomination, as it is today, must we insist that Constantine, a political, and not a religious leader, declare by which he was most dedicated, if, as we have observed, by virtue of the Edict of Milan, his aim of a peaceful empire went beyond the confines of a single doctrine?
 
XXVI.f The Nicene Creed  “makes a mockery of the Edict of Milan,” Pro charges, without citation? Having demonstrated the Creed in total in my R2, and also having cited reference to the Edict of Milan, I challenge the evidence of mockery by the Creed. The former is a declaration of freedom of religion. The latter declares the doctrine of one of many religions, Christianity, which is referenced in the former document. What mockery? I see, in the Creed, nothing but affirmation of core beliefs of Christianity. The Edict acknowledges the hope of peaceful coexistence of all doctrines of all religions. The two documents seek separate purposes, but if Pro wants to argue that one of them dismisses the other, it is more correct by the evidence of their respective texts, rather than some anonymous modern academic’s opinion on which Pro builds his own opinion, that of the two, the Edict of Milan is the more generalized, and, therefore, dismissive of a specific doctrine.
 
XXVI.g Pro: “Fakes and forgeries are not important.”  Once again, Pro misquotes to bolster his argument. Did I say these were not important? No, words mean things. “Important” is not the equivalent of “Relevant,” is it? I said they are not relevant because they are not featured as elements of the Resolution. Why must I be the one to keep Pro on track? It’s his Resolution. He’d best be about a BoP focused on the Resolution. But, Pro’s arguments are his to choose… Caveat lector.
 
XXVI.h Pro: “Why will my opponent accept Constantine’s Mother as part of the debate, but not father?”  Please refer to my R2, III.a question; “Is Helena a subject of the Resolution?” In XXVI.a, above, do I not essentially ask the same question? Please, let’s keep the characters Pro insists are Resolution-inclusive at bay. It calls out one character; the portrait we are attempting to complete. There are not enough colors on the palette to paint all the characters Pro wants to include.  Caveat lector.
 
XXVI.j Pro: “Constantine’s semi-arian son…”  I refer my opponent to my R1, X.a.4 and R2, XVI.4, and repeat the above: There are not enough colors on the palette to paint all the contradicting 1,2,3 characters Pro wants to include.  Caveat lector.
 
XXVI.k Pro: “Does being baptized by a heretic also make one a heretic?”   The question makes some assumptions. Let’s consider the chronology, according to the New Advent Catholic Dictionary:[viii]
 
1.     Eusibius Nocodemia, a Bishop, aligns with Arianism. At the time, its just another brand of Christianity. Of Nicene persuasion.. well, it doesn’t yet exist.
2.     Constantine requests a council of Bishops to gather to Nicaea to consolidate a doctrine. Differing arguments are heard. Eventually, the Church Fathers assemble sufficient proponents of one doctrine, with noted dissenters, to publish the Nicene Creed.
3.     Arius, a dissenter, is exiled. Eusibius Nicodemia aligns with Arianism, and is removed from his Bishopric.
4.     Constantine requests the Church Fathers re-admit Eusibius and offer him sacrament. The Holy Roman Church acquiesces.
5.     Constantine succeeds in his request to Eusibius to declare his allegiance to the Nicene Creed.
6.     At the end of his life, Constantine is baptized by Eusibius, who is no longer considered a heretic by Church Fathers.
 
Therefore, Pro’s question contains a false proposition as lead-in, thus making the concluding question a  non sequitur.
 
XXVI.m Pro: “Does it matter to which denomination one gets baptized?”   Pro alleges I consider baptism unimportant. Once again, Pro attempts to interpret what I said to turn away my rebuttal.  I said “IF Christianity were a club…” ‘If’ is a logically useless word because it sets up a statement which always begins first with a proposition that is not true. That is no way to begin a logical argument. So, it must be true that baptism is important. I do believe that, or I wouldn’t have said it the way I did.
 
XXVI.m.1 Pro seems to argue that Arianism was a dissident denomination from Nicene Christianity [except that, prior to the Nicene Creed, there was no such distinction of a Nicene anything]. Let’s take a close look at Pro’s own cited source as the definition of Arianism:   “Arianism is often considered to be a form of Unitarian theology in that it stresses God’s unity at the expense of the notion of the Trinity, the doctrine that three distinct persons are united in one Godhead.”[ix]   Pardon my potential ignorance since I am not Catholic, but the first line of the Nicene Creed states,  “I believe in one God,”  and refers to Jesus as just   “one Lord,”  but then acknowledges Jesus is  “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God…” Please excuse my ignorance, that appears to be saying two different things, thus allowing for a dichotomy of beliefs, or doctrines, and the definition of Arianism does not appear to contradict. I’ve asked Catholics about this before; I am told, “It’s a mystery.” I don’t doubt it. But is “mystery” a valid debate point?
 
XVII.n Gratian, again. Refer to my rebuttal above, XXVI.a, and R2, XIX.
 
XXVI.o Pro: “Adam & Eve”    Yes, I argued Adam & Eve, but not as characters to include in the Resolution, but to demonstrate the fallacy of Pro’s R2 rebuttal that religion is a matter of personal choice only in peacetime. That matter has relevance to the Resolution because Pro argues that Constantine did not choose to be a mainstream Christian, and I countered that, according to Pro, Nicene Christianity is mainstream, and that Constantine was responsible, according to the Church Fathers, for the gathering of Bishops at Nicaea to determine a proper Creed.[x]
 
XXVI.p Clovis, again. Refer to my rebuttal above, XXVI.a, and R2, XIX. However, Pro makes a claim, still again, misinterpreting my words, that   “Catholicism being born out of Arianism...”  There is a reason why I identify my paragraphs so distinctly by consecutive count of Roman numerals; so they may be referenced. I challenge Pro to designate where, in which round, I stated such as Pro claims. Without a reference, I declare the claim false and have no rebuttal.
 
Note: I will skip the next claim by Pro to address it in conclusion.
 
XXVI.q Pro’s biblical hymn. Seems Pro is reading from some other debate. I challenge Pro by the same challenge as above in XXVI.p, to wit:   Please cite the hymn by specific designated round and paragraph.
 
XXVI.r Pro:  “My opponent might be under the influence of alcohol, as I am very confused…”   That’s a cheeky accusation considering I am not the confused party, nor do I drink alcohol at all. Never have, never will. I’d appreciate the cessation of such accusations when Pro has not evidence one that such is the case. I never said Eusibius was not branded a heretic. My argument was, specifically, that the Nicene Creed did not brand Eusibius, or anyone else, of heresy. Once, yet again, Pro misinterprets for benefit of rebuttal. One will note the h-word never appears in the Creed. Caveat lector.
 
XXVI.s A loose [and not exact] interpretation of Pro: Line 7 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet debunks line 6 of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex.
 
Pro is comparing at cross purposes in my R2, XXII.a quote and discussion of the Nicene Creed, and Pro’s source, https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/vasilief/arianism-council-nicaea.asp?pg=3
 
There is no definable line 6 of Pro’s source; it is written in prose, not verse, as is the Nicene Creed. We are discussing the begottenness of Jesus, not preservation of documents. Creed says “begotten;” Ellopos says “unbegotten,”  as I succinctly quoted. Confusion? You bet. 
 
XXVI.t Pro: “Why I did not…”  I can’t care less why Pro did not cite/quote an underpinning document of his BoP proving “mainstream” as Nicene Christianity, per his Resolution. Pro seems to bypass the Resolution altogether with a mélange of characters, documents, and events.  Everyone I have mentioned in this debate is firmly to do with Constantine the Great, or to do with what you have written.”   Pro claims. Yes, they do. But, Constantine’s only relevance to the Resolution is his mainstream Christianity [his, alone]  and his alleged heresy [his alone], and not to Clovis, Blovis, Beavis and Butthead, and every other mother’s son, and mother, in creation.  Caveat lector.
 
Pro’s 18 conclusions have thus been rebutted, reminding that Pro’s accusation of dropped arguments ignores that I have a remaining round, but, then, Pro is convinced of an action he claims I should engage…
 
Thus, we arrive at the skipped argument in pro’s R3, namely
 
XXVII “There now must be a  concession  from my opponent”
 
I am not amused by my opponent making light of my housekeeping commentary of R2 regarding the ‘c’-word and the Dart Code of Conduct. I offered fair warning of consequences of repeating it.  All be advised that I have appealed to Moderation as a violation of the Dart Code of Conduct due to this R3 affront to my right to continue debating.  I remind my opponent of what is written above the “New Argument” entry page of each round:  “…to demonstrate respectful attitude to the opponent…”   Is it respectful to demand concession simply because one believes having a superior argument?  Caveat lector.

Round 4
Pro
Thank you once more for yet another quick response.

Disrespectful to Constantine

Fauxlaw wrote...
 
XXIII.a Constantine, a Roman by birth [though his mother, Helena, was a low-born Greek, who may or may not have ever been wed to her son’s father, Constantius Chlorus] spoke Latin as a native language, and was a poor student of Greek, requiring translators in that language his entire life.[i]   I have argued my entire adult life, being a student with fluency in four languages, English, by birth, French, by ancestry and domicile for 3 years, Italian and Greek by personal interest and formal education in Greek, plus a fifth in Egyptian hieroglyphs, by formal education, that translation from one language to another is usually, at best, a dictionary-to-dictionary word-for-word translation, and not usually by an in-depth understanding of both cultures where those languages’ cultures differ. Culture is the creator of language, and not the reverse. 
 
XXIII.a.1 Therefore, though translations by dictionary comparison are common, that method lacks integrity, since 2 languages, particularly those of different roots, do not have a complete lexicon [word set] that are word-for-word compatible with one another. Dictionaries do not exist to teach even its own culture, let alone another, and are, therefore, poor teachers of culture. This is true simply from Greek [considered the original language of the New Testament, for example] to Latin, a language into which biblical texts were first attempted to be translated in Constantine’s lifetime.[ii]
 
XXIII.b Combine that issue with the Christian squabbling going on between factions under Constantine’s nose; one begins to gain perspective on the Emperor’s dilemma of unifying his empire to a greater degree than had even been accomplished by his father. Where previous emperors were stick-bearers, Constantine determined to use a carrot: Christianity.[
My opponent appears to be trying to suggest that there is some debate or ambiguity to be had regarding the word "heresy". There really is not.
Quite simply, Arianism was deemed a heresy and Arius was thrown in to exile and confinement which is what can happen to heretics. 
However, also consider this. Constantine turned his back on the Nicene creed and became sympathetic to Arians, even becoming baptized as an Arian. My opponent is yet to offer a rebuttal regarding this fact. I wonder if he will in this round? But also consider this. Was Constantine an idiot? I think not. Constantine would have known that when he became baptized as an Arian he was becoming baptized to a denomination which had been deemed a heresy. Now let me remind you that Constantine probably turned his back on Nicene Christianity out of principle, as the persecution of Arians was contrary to his edict of Milan. Constantine obviously "wanted" to be known as an Arian by the fact he chose to die an Arian, as opposed to a Nicene. Therefore how disrespectful is it to deny Constantine's wishes?

Now, if my opponent is suggesting that heresy meant something else than it does now, then he needs to say what. But he is talking nonsense. All the evidence suggests that the punishment of exile and confinement to certain Arians is consistant with the definition of heresy, and what can happen to heretics.

Constantine's very own relative, the man that baptized Constantine, was deemed a heretic and exiled

Fauxlaw wrote...
1.   Constantine favored Arian Christianity prior to the timing of the Nicene Creed [pre 325 CE], as opposed to the Church Fathers who assembled to create the Nicene Creed [325 CE], and who, under Constantine’s wishes, formed the Nicene faction by its creed. This is born out by Pro’s claim in R3 that “Constantine would have also canonized Arian Christianity had Arius won the vote. You also skip over the fact that Constantine "removed his support" for the council of Nicaea.”
There is actually a very good chance that had Arius won the vote then Constantine would have indeed upheld the decision for the Arians, considering  his own relative, the heretic Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia was on the council and sent in to exile and confinement along with Arius. Eusebius was the very man that baptized Constantine, and this is something I brought up in earlier rounds and you have yet to even offer a rebuttal regarding.

This is where my opponents dismissing the donation of Constantine as irrelevant is important

Fauxlaw wrote...
 2Therefore, Constantine was branded a heretic by the Church Fathers.
No, the Church fathers did not brand him a heretic. Instead they lied about who he was baptized by and faked evidence that he was baptized by Pope Sylvester. Do you not remember from previous rounds you admitted that this is the case, but deemed it unimportant and irrelevant?

The Council of Nicaea

Fauxlaw wrote...
My reply:  The first claim is not supported by any scholastic reference; not even Wiki.Not to mention any sure confidence, 17 centuries later, of what Constantine  would have  done. Conjecture is not evidence.  The second claim has no support by scholastic reference; it is Pro’s opinion.
Ok, let us take a look at exactly what the first council of Nicaea was regarding.
Let us also remember that Constantine was a very fair man that wanted a peaceful empire and had issued a decree named the edict of Milan protecting all religions from persecution. Nowhere in any information I can find does it state that Constantine prior to calling a council wished to subject Arians to persecution.
Quite simply, Constantine wished to resolve the dispute between Arianism and mainstream Christianity.

First Council of Nicaea, (325), the first ecumenical council of the Christian church, meeting in ancient Nicaea (now İznikTurkey). It was called by the emperor Constantine I, an unbaptized catechumen, who presided over the opening session and took part in the discussions. He hoped a general council of the church would solve the problem created in the Eastern church by Arianism, a heresy first proposed by Arius of Alexandria that affirmed that Christ is not divine but a created being. Pope Sylvester I did not attend the council but was represented by legates.
My opponent sees no big deal in denying the nature of Christ

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXIII.c These factions appear to have squabbled over a single point of doctrine; the consubstantial  nature of Christ, the Son of God. Let’s not get into the weeds of the meaning and consequences of this schism; it is enough to know Constantine’s mind on the subject, to wit:  According to the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia, “Constantine… sent from Nicomedia to Alexander a famous letter, in which he treated the controversy as an idle dispute about words and enlarged on the blessings of peace. The emperor, we should call to mind, was only a catechumen, imperfectly acquainted with Greek, much more incompetent in theology, and yet ambitious… to exercise… as Pontifex Maximus …determined on restoring ecclesiastical order.”[iv]
Perhaps in certain denominations it is ok to question the nature of Christ. My opponent makes it sound like it is no big deal. But mainstream Christianity is actually quite strict regarding the nature of Christ. No source nor citation is required for this claim either, as it should be common knowledge.

Palm face - My opponent misreads and misunderstands what he reads. The source he quotes even ends by saying "Constantine now favoured none but Arians".

XXIII.d  According to the same source:  “Constantine, in 336, recalled the Lybian [Eusibius Nicomedia, who had been exiled], extracted from him a  solemn adhesion to the Nicene faith, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of the Imperial City, to give him Communion in his own church.”[v]
Read the below properly. The Libyan was not Eusebius of Nicomedia, but Arius. 
Also, the very source you quoted ends with Constantine now favoured none but Arians.
This completely shatters any chance my opponent had left, surely.

The saint firmly declined. In 325 the heresiarch was absolved by two councils, at Tyre and Jerusalem, the former of which deposed Athanasius on false and shameful grounds of personal misconduct. He was banished to Trier, and his sojourn of eighteen months in those parts cemented Alexandria more closely to Rome and the Catholic West. Meanwhile, Constantia, the Emperor's sister, had recommended Arius, whom she thought an injured man, to Constantine's leniency. Her dying words affected him, and he recalled the Lybian, extracted from him a solemn adhesion to the Nicene faith, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of the Imperial City, to give him Communion in his own church (336). Arius openly triumphed; but as he went about in parade, the evening before this event was to take place, he expired from a sudden disorder, which Catholics could not help regarding as a judgment of heaven, due to the bishop's prayers. His death, however, did not stay the plague. Constantine now favoured none but Arians; 
Nicomedia was Greece, not Libya

Eusebius of Nicomedia was not even mentioned in the above quote and is not from Libya, but ancient Greece.

Nicomedia (/ˌnɪkəˈmiːdiə/;[1] Greek: Νικομήδεια, Nikomedeia; modern İzmit) was an ancient Greek city located in what is now Turkey.
Nowhere in the link below does it state that Eusebius ever became a Nicene Christian

Already events were happening at Constantinople which were soon to make him the most important figure of his time. Eusebius of Nicomedia, who had fallen into disgrace and been banished by the Emperor Constantine for his part in the earlier Arian controversies, had been recalled from exile.

All mixed up

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXIII.e Apparently, Constantine is not the heretic Con accuses him of being. These five source links, [i - v] I’ve offered are all from the The New Advent, the Catholic Encyclopedia. I will acknowledge that later, 10 years later, at the end of his life, the same source acknowledges a Constantinian drift to Arianism, but nowhere in the text on this encyclopedic subject of “Arianism” is Constantine branded a heretic by the Holy Roman Church as Pro claims. Pro’s sources for his argument are, themselves, lacking scholastic sourcing, by their admission [see my R2, XIII,], or are Con accusations of opinion against my sourced facts [see my R2, XII], or simply miss Con’s claims of relevance to the Resolution [See my R2, XIII – XXII]
As has been established above, you are misreading your own material, getting passages mixed up, and people mixed up. The passage regarding Eusebius being recalled from exile comes paragraphs "after" the passage regarding Arius being recalled from exile, and your own source even states "Constantine now favoured none but Arians; ". If that is not a concession and a key argument loss, then I don't know what is.

Fauxlaws favourite source even begins with declaring Arianism a heresy which denies the divinity of Jesus Christ

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXIV.a Pro belabors the definition of Shakespeare’s Richard III’s  missing horse, whose name, of course, was Heretic. Just kidding, but from a position of barely defining terms in Description, they are in abundance, now. Even to the point of confusing Merriam-Webster’s version of “heretic” with “religion.” A curious juxtaposition.
It has already been established from round 1 that the Catholic church considers Arianism a heresy, which means their adherents are heretics. Do you require yet another citation?

Well let us look at your favourite religious source to see if Arianism is defined as a heresy or not. The Catholic new advent that you keep quoting even begins with defining Arianism as a heresy that denied the divinity of Jesus Christ, right at the top of the page.

heresy which arose in the fourth century, and denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ.
This "is" a concession from my opponent - Round 4, and he attempted to rebut Constantine jumping ship, and becoming an Arian sympathiser, but failed.

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXV.a Pro accuses Constantine of turning his back on the Nicene Creed. As I have already demonstrated, by virtue of the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia [see XXIII, above], that Constantine not only kept his britches on, but did not turn his back on the Creed, and, in fact, demonstrated his loyalty by convincing the alleged villain, Eusibius Nicodemia, to profess the supremacy of the Creed, and to have communion in Bishop Alexander’s church.[vi]  See my XXIII.d, above.
Read the above carefully, and digest it.
My opponent has used the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia to attempt to disprove my allegations that Constantine jumped ship and became an Arian.
Yet, as I have already demonstrated my opponent is not reading things clearly, and his own source completely refutes him, because his own source, as I have already demonstrated, states he became Arian.
I will produce it once more for those that missed it.
My opponent has attempted to rebut the accusation, but failed.

Constantine now favoured none but Arians; 

Constantine "was" a heretic

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.a Two portraits [yes, I purposely misspelled Pro’s version] of Constantine. Either he was a heretic, or, he was a mainstream Christian. Aren’t those really the only two factors in this debate? May we please stay on point? Does the Resolution identify any other factors, such as Constantine’s dad, his son, Helena, Clovis, Blovis, Beavis & Butthead, Arius, Pelogius, Gog and Magog, Gratius, Pontifex, clowns and weeds…  and now Tyche and an 8thcentury forgery [the “Donation  of Constantine”]?  It should be much more simple. It is. Let’s clear the clutter and the clowns, because, much as Pro wants to malign the Donation, specifically, as a forgery, the which I do not contest, it is a document post-dating Constantine by four centuries, so, what, pray tell, has it to do with the Resolution? Preposterous?  Caveat lector.
 
My opponent admits that the churches attempts to remove Constantine from Arianism was found to be a forgery. But does not see the importance, just like he does not see where it says in his own religious source that Arianism is a heresy.
The evidence that Constantine was a heretic is indesputable and irrefutable.
But let me see if I can gather some mere anecdotal evidence to support my irrefutable evidence, that Constantine "is" and "should be" considered a heretic. What support do I have?


Constantine turned his back on Nicene Christianity - fact

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.c  “Constantine did not consider himself a Nicene Christian,”   Pro claims, and further,  “The point you seem to be missing and skipping over is that Constantine would have also canonized Arian Christianity had Arius won the vote.”   Why miss ‘n skip over a history that did not happen? Uh, because it did not happen? Since it didn’t happen, Pro’s unsubstantiated opinion, notwithstanding, fails on that mic drop.
The fact that I have used "your" source to prove to you that Constantine abandoned Nicene Christianity in order to become Arian, and added to the fact that his very own relative was part of the council on the side of Arians, very much suggests that Constantine probably would have upheld a decree from Aryans.

Repeat argument

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.c.1 Let us recall that the Church Fathers attending Constantine’s requested council in 325 in Nicea, was to canonize [by the Fathers, not by Constantine, as Pro alleges], a doctrine: the Nicene doctrine that exists to this day. I’ve asked Pro to demonstrate the documentation that Constantine was branded a heretic by these same Church Fathers. Let’s add where, when, and why. We wait with baited breath.
My opponent is simply repeating an argument he already brought up earlier in this very round.
Quite simply, the church fathers did not brand him a heretic.
They instead forged and faked evidence that he was not an Arian, and lied that he was baptized by Pope Sylvester.
But do the Church fathers need to actually brand him a heretic? I think not. Arians and their followers are considered heretics. It would be hypocracy and injustice if the same rules did not apply to Constantine the Great. 

Heresy is not necessarily a bad thing

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.d “Jesus could be deemed a heretic,”Pro alleges Con said. Nope, I did not say that. What I said was that, from the perspective of the Pharisees, Jesus was a heretic. Heresy can by launched from any faction; it is not an exclusively Christian charge. It’s fine to misquote as a means to rebut a point, but the misquote carries no water and no weight if that is not what was said. Caveat lector.
As I have already said before, being considered a heretic could be something to be proud of.
I am not saying that Constantine the Great shoul be considered bad. He may have done the correct thing and stood by his edict of Milan out of principle.

My opponent has conceded that Constantine did build Pagan constructs whilst building churches

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.e Pro alleges that if Constantine both built Christian churches and pagan structures, he cannot be a loyal Christian. No? As a growing child in Brentwood [L.A.] CA, our next-door neighbor was a wealthy construction contractor, specifically of hospitals. He was a converted Christian from Judaism. He built a Shriners hospital [Shriners, formerly known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine].[vii]   If my neighbor was capable of such separate activities, I think the Emperor of an Empire could do at least as much without stirring controversy by an opinionator 17 centuries later. Let us recall one title Constantine bore, reminded of it by Pro: Pontifex Maximus. The meaning being “bridge builder,” I reminded in R2. I emphasize the words, both of them. Seems the Emperor wore the title well, recalling, after all, that we are not talking about one of the Church Fathers, who were dedicated to a singular religion, but an Emperor, who had to keep peace in a vast empire of several religions, cultures, languages, and people. Oh, by the way, he happened to profess to be a Christian. Given the dichotomy of even that denomination, as it is today, must we insist that Constantine, a political, and not a religious leader, declare by which he was most dedicated, if, as we have observed, by virtue of the Edict of Milan, his aim of a peaceful empire went beyond the confines of a single doctrine?
So, the fact that Constantine built Pagan buildings at the same time as building churches is yet another fact which I have provided that you do not rebut? Quite simply, you said in your original post that his building of Christian churches proved he was a mainstream Christian. Now you are saying that his building of Pagan constructs does not prove he was not a mainstream Christian? You appear to want it all ways. 

The charge of heresy is contrary to the Edict of Milan

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.f The Nicene Creed  “makes a mockery of the Edict of Milan,” Pro charges, without citation? Having demonstrated the Creed in total in my R2, and also having cited reference to the Edict of Milan, I challenge the evidence of mockery by the Creed. The former is a declaration of freedom of religion. The latter declares the doctrine of one of many religions, Christianity, which is referenced in the former document. What mockery? I see, in the Creed, nothing but affirmation of core beliefs of Christianity. The Edict acknowledges the hope of peaceful coexistence of all doctrines of all religions. The two documents seek separate purposes, but if Pro wants to argue that one of them dismisses the other, it is more correct by the evidence of their respective texts, rather than some anonymous modern academic’s opinion on which Pro builds his own opinion, that of the two, the Edict of Milan is the more generalized, and, therefore, dismissive of a specific doctrine.
The mere fact that a group were branded heretics with followers sent in to exile and confinement is against the principles of the Edict of Milan which protects against religious persecution and allows everyone to practise any faith they wish. This goes without saying, really!!

My opponent is struggling to understand what is relevant and what is not

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.g Pro: “Fakes and forgeries are not important.”  Once again, Pro misquotes to bolster his argument. Did I say these were not important? No, words mean things. “Important” is not the equivalent of “Relevant,” is it? I said they are not relevant because they are not featured as elements of the Resolution. Why must I be the one to keep Pro on track? It’s his Resolution. He’d best be about a BoP focused on the Resolution. But, Pro’s arguments are his to choose… Caveat lector.
The fakes and forgeries are extremely important regarding this debate. You asked earlier of Constantine was branded a heretic by Church fathers. And no he was not. Instead they tried to tie him to their form of Christianity through deceit and forgery. Do you see the relevance now?

Contradictions & Why Constantine does not have the same denomination next to his name as his mother

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.h Pro: “Why will my opponent accept Constantine’s Mother as part of the debate, but not father?”  Please refer to my R2, III.a question; “Is Helena a subject of the Resolution?” In XXVI.a, above, do I not essentially ask the same question? Please, let’s keep the characters Pro insists are Resolution-inclusive at bay. It calls out one character; the portrait we are attempting to complete. There are not enough colors on the palette to paint all the characters Pro wants to include.  Caveat lector.
You were willing to accept the Mother in to the debate and offer your opinion on her. Yet you were not willing to offer an opinion on the father. Extremely contradictory.
You must also understand the context and why they are being brought in to the debate. In the case of Helena it was to point out that Helena is recognised as Nicene Christian, whilst her own son is only recognised as Christian. I then said I would later explain why that was. As yet I have not done. But will do so now. It is because her son actually became a heretic Arian Christian. That is why!!

Anectdotal, circumstancial, irrefutable

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.j Pro: “Constantine’s semi-arian son…”  I refer my opponent to my R1, X.a.4 and R2, XVI.4, and repeat the above: There are not enough colors on the palette to paint all the contradicting 1,2,3 characters Pro wants to include.  Caveat lector.
I will bring three types of evidence to the table. Anecdotal. Circumstancial. Irrefutable.
Not all evidence I have provided is Irrefutable, though much of it is. But all evidence I have brought to the table lands under one of those three definitions, and all three of those definitions have a place in a debate.
Arian heretic Constantine having a son that became Semi-Aryan "is not" irrefutable evidence that Constantine "did" have an influence in his sons outlook. But it is anecdotal evidence that he might have. We can then weigh it up with other sources of information.
The main thing is however, you are not disputing that he had a Semi-Aryan son.

According to the dictionary a heretic is a member of a religion denounced as a heresy.. My opponent wishes to argue this fact

Fauxlaw wrote...
XXVI.k Pro: “Does being baptized by a heretic also make one a heretic?”   The question makes some assumptions. Let’s consider the chronology, according to the New Advent Catholic Dictionary:
The answer is, yes it does, by the dictionary definition.
If a religion has been denounced a heresy, then a member of this religion is a heretic.

a person believing in or practising religious heresy.
My opponent is completely wrong

Fauxlaw wrote...
1.     Eusibius Nocodemia, a Bishop, aligns with Arianism. At the time, its just another brand of Christianity. Of Nicene persuasion.. well, it doesn’t yet exist.
Nice try, but Arianism was denounced as a heresy at the Council of Nicaea. What Arianism was before this event is irrelevant. But it was after this event when Arius was recalled from exile and Constantine became sympathetic towards Arians.

Any short time Constantine spent as a Nicene Christian is not enough. His dying wish was to die Arian, and deny the divinity of Jesus Christ

Fauxlaw wrote...
2.     Constantine requests a council of Bishops to gather to Nicaea to consolidate a doctrine. Differing arguments are heard. Eventually, the Church Fathers assemble sufficient proponents of one doctrine, with noted dissenters, to publish the Nicene Creed.
Constantine spend most of his life as a Pagan. Becomes a Christian aged 40. Issues a decree. Turns his back on it. Gets baptized by the enemy. Then dies. Being seen as an Arian was his dying wish. Respect it. Any short time he may have spent under a guise of Nicene Christianity is not enough to suggest he should be viewed as a mainstream Christian. For the most part of his life he was not. He did not begin nor end his life as such. And it is debatable just how devout he was during what little time he may have spent as a Nicene Christian. Those are the facts. Constantine converted to a faith which denied the divinity of Jesus Christ.

4 &5 is a critical mistake by my opponent

Fauxlaw wrote...
4.     Constantine requests the Church Fathers re-admit Eusibius and offer him sacrament. The Holy Roman Church acquiesces.
5.     Constantine succeeds in his request to Eusibius to declare his allegiance to the Nicene Creed.
Err no they don't, and no voter will be able to find this information either.
As I explained above, you were horrifically mistaken. It was Arius that the source was talking about. And when Arius returned, he died. Suspected to have been poisoned.

But in actual fact, Athanasius the Nicene Christian was sent in to exile, and Arius sent to take his place.
Eusebius of Nicomedia does not even appear in the story.
You made a horrific error.


.[15] Though he never repudiated the council or its decrees, the emperor ultimately permitted Arius (who had taken refuge in Palestine) and many of his adherents to return to their homes, once Arius had reformulated his Christology to mute the ideas found most objectionable by his critics. Athanasius was exiled following his condemnation by the First Synod of Tyre in 335 (though he was later recalled), and the Synod of Jerusalem the following year restored Arius to communion. The emperor directed Alexander of Constantinople to receive Arius, despite the bishop's objections; Bishop Alexander responded by earnestly praying that Arius might perish before this could happen.[33]
Wrong - Whopping error by my opponent. Maybe alcohol

Fauxlaw wrote...
6.     At the end of his life, Constantine is baptized by Eusibius, who is no longer considered a heretic by Church Fathers.
Not you, nor any voter on the planet will be able to find evidence for this. You might have been under the influence of alcohol whilst doing your research. But what a whopper of an error.

Summary

  1. I have successfully confirmed that a heretic is a person of a faith deemed heretic
  2. I have successfully concluded that Arianism is to deny the divinity of Christ
  3. I have successfully used my opponents own source to show him that his own source states that Constantine turned to Arianism
  4. I successfully showed my opponent where he misread the information regarding Eusebius of Nicomedia, therefore his rebuttal was debunked
  5. I successfully showed my opponent that he was wrong about what his own source said, and that it refutted him, regarding Arianism being a heresy or no 
  6. My opponent has conceded that Constantine did indeed build Pagan temple.
I have ran out of characters.
However I will not be offering any new arguments in the final round, and I will not be rebutting any new arguments my opponent makes in the final round (unless essential),  and will be doing an extended summary only, therefore I will rebut the rest of my opponents argument at the top of round 5, minus any new arguments of my own.

Good luck Fauxlaw

Con
Resolution: Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic
 
XXVIII Rebuttal: Pro R4
 
a  Disrepect
 
a.1 What Pro calls “disrespect” accuses acknowledgement of Constantine’s dilemma of establishment and maintenance of peace in his far-flung empire of diverse peoples, cultures, and languages, as if I declared that his effort was impossible to achieve; therefore, “disrespectful.” Merely the fact that well after his life’s work was complete, Constantine legitimately earned the simple, but laudatory title of “Great” to add to his numerous titles while living. Disrespect? Pro is skimming Con, again. Quoting, yes, but as demonstrated in past rounds, misinterpreting.
 
a.2  Recall my argument that, while predecessors used a stick, Constantine successfully offered a carrot: Christianity. Whether Nicene, Arian, by the Holy Fathers or by pagan construction, according to his Edict of Milan, which was not mentioned, let alone maligned by the Nicene Creed, as Pro argued,  without evidence cited, but merely by opinion   [as this  italicized phrase is likely to be raised again, please accept the acronym  webo  to represent its use] Constantinian efforts by the Nicene Creed, and by his personal assurance given in the Edict of Milan, would not play favorites among the people of his empire. 
 
a.3  Recall that judgments of heresy were charged by the Church Fathers. Pro accuses Constantine. It is the only means be which Pro can charge that Constantine was a heretic, and Pro still cannot find a source that declares confirmation that the Church Fathers declared this judgment upon the Emperor. He cites sources which talk around the point, maybe, but those sources, themselves, by their own admission, commit  webo.[1]
 
a.3.A  Observe Pro’s source, cited in his R1: “Constantine ruled the Roman Empire as sole emperor for much of his reign. Some scholars allege…   launching the era of State church of the Roman Empire.[1][full citation needed] ” [2]
 
a.3.B  Observe the note: “[full citation needed]”  Pro’s source, Wiki, does admit from time to time of being unreliable, as in this instance of  webo  offering no support of Pro’s alleged argument. That is disrespectful to Constantine’s true portrait. The Resolution fails.
 
b  Constantine’s backside
 
b.1   Pro repeats the R3 argument that Constantine turned his back on the Nicene Creed, asking us, “Consider this. Constantine turned his back on the Nicene creed and became sympathetic to Arians…”   Why consider it? Pro does not bother to cite a source for the claim,  either in R3 or R4. Another  webo.  Then, Pro claims I have not rebutted his  webo claim.  Refer, please, to my R3, XXIII, including citations [ii], [iii], also my R3, XXV.a, including citation [vi]. Pro is skimming, not reading, and the Resolution fails.
 
c  Constantine’s relative, Eusibius Nicodemia, “the heretic”
 
c.1  True, Eusibius was the Emperor’s relative, and was branded a heretic, but, by the Church Fathers, and not by Constantine; a fact Pro ignores. Worse, Pro’s charge that I wrote,  “Constantine favored Arian Christianity prior to the timing of the Nicene Creed [pre 325 CE]…”   but manages to ignore that this statement is the first of two statements with the heading, in my R3, XXIII.b.1:  “XXIII.b.1  Pro’s argument has been that:…”  I am clearly not making this argument; it is Pro's.  Pro skims and does not read.
 
c.2  Pro then engages more supposition, apparently claiming it as a would-be fact, that Constantine would have… etc.  This is an apparent epidemic Pro suffers, because it did not happen. Arian did not win the day in Nicaea, so, by what credibility more than  webo  can Pro claim anything Constantine might have done something? It’s fine for general conversation, but this is an exercise of convincing by logical argument, meaning the history must reflect the claim. Where there is no history, there is no "was."  “Would have” is pure  webo.   I assure you, this will be revisited…
 
d  Donation of Constantine
 
d.1  How does the argument of a document that does not exist in Constatine’s lifetime possibly lend weight to Pro’s BoP? Four centuries pass before this document is even forged,[3]  so, what possible relevance does it have to the Resolution?  None. Pro is unable to justify its mention. I assure you, this will be revisited…
 
e  Council of Nicaea
 
e.1  Pro’s entire argument in this section is a repeat of above, c.1, wherein Pro confuses my assessment of Pro’s arguments with my own argument. Refer to the entire rebuttal  c, above. Pro skimming again.
 
f Denying the nature of Christ
 
f.1  Pro’s entire argument here is that I deny the nature of Christ. Most of Pro’s quotation [from my R3, XXIII.c] ignores that it is not my argument, by my citation of the source [iv],[4]  which does not deny the nature of Christ, either, but merely discusses the various historic Christian factions in Constantine’s empire. More skimming. I assure you, this will be revisited…
 
g Misreading
 
g.1  I acknowledge my error mistaking Eusibius for Arian as being “the Libyan.” However, Pro manages to ignore [skimming?] l  that I also acknowledge in R3, XXIII.d ;that,  “These five source links, [i - v][5]   I’ve offered are all from the The New Advent, the Catholic Encyclopedia. I will acknowledge that later, 10 years later, at the end of his life, the same source acknowledges a Constantinian drift to Arianism.”  However, I assure you, this will be revisited…  Is there a more proximate source to the events involved who may have a word or two of scholastic observation?
 
g.2  However, one must also acknowledge that these events occurred 13 years following the Nicene Creed [325 CE], to which Pro cannot cite a source that Constantine turned his back on that Creed, which does not mention Arians, and 25 years following the Edict of Milan [313 CE], which does not mention any religion but Christianity, void of any specific denomination, Arian, or otherwise, nor of Constantine’s devotion to any in particular. Perhaps, we see an Emperor in gradual transition [or was he?], and never sanctioned by the Church Fathers as a heretic, but by Pro’s  wego.  I assure you, this will be revisited…
 
h  All mixed up with concession
 
h.1  Pro claims, of my error, above, XXVIII.g, that. “If that is not a concession and a key argument loss, then I don't know what is.”   Pro cannot avoid mention of the c-word, appearing in the last 3 rounds, and expressed alternatively in R1. Well, that matter has been addressed. As to it being a “key argument” of mine, I’ll remind that the subject matter, Constantine’s continued devotion to Arianism, is not my argument, but Pro’s.  My rebuttal, including my R2, XXIII.d, and above, XXVII.g is a late-life drift to Arianism. But, let’s not mix Con’s mix-up with any mention of that word Con adores. 
 
j  Con’s [my] favorite source
 
j.1  Pro advises that my R3, XXIV.a is by a favorite source. I cite no source for that section of my R3 rebuttal. I rebutted in R2, XXIII.b.1 that Pro argued for Constantine’s long adherence to Arianism, but offered  webo  for evidence. But this Pro R4 section speaks only to Arianism as heresy, with no comment re: Constantine, who is the alleged Pro heretic, by Resolution. My “favorite source” says only that Constantine drifted into Arianism late in life, certainly after the Nicene Creed, at best.[6]  Where is Pro’s definitive source to the remove the stain of  webo  that Constantine was ever branded a heretic by the Church Fathers at any time in his lifetime? Because Pro says so?  Caveat lector.
 
k  A concession from Con
 
k.1  Pro cannot help it:  “This ‘is’ a concession from my opponent - Round 4, and he attempted…”   Memo to readers: This is my R4. I have not previously submitted an R4, but I have attempted – past tense, therefore already submitted, according to Pro – to rebut Constantine “jumping ship.”
 
I have admitted my minor error, confusing Eusebius with Arian. Pro? Not yet. My opponent is still offering squat but  webo,  and demanding by assumption my concession.
 
L Constantine “was” a heretic
 
l.1  “Was” when? Pro:  “My opponent admits…”  and launches into yet another discussion of the “donation of Constantine” as if, somehow, that 8th century CE forged document is somehow supposed to have convinced 4th century Church Fathers that they should not brand Constantine as a heretic. Neat trick, Time travel is Pro’s unintended argument. Have we not discussed this matter of propositions of something happening that don’t convince if the something did not happen? We’re back to “would be.”  As in, if the 4th century CE Holy Fathers had been given the forged document from the 8th century CE, they would have branded Constantine a heretic.
 
l.1.A  I ask, then: when did this scenario actually happen? And when did the Church Fathers brand the Emperor as a heretic? Yes, they declared Arianism a heresy, in Constantine’s lifetime. Arianism is not a person. Arian was, and he was branded a heretic, exiled, but Constantine argued for his return, and Arian, the Libyan, did embrace the Nicene Creed and was restored.[7]   Well, there may be some argument od Arian's sincerity, but none of that is relevant to the Resolution. Where is Constantine’s branding as a heretic, and to where was he exiled?  A Pro  webo.
 
M  Pro’s six new  webos– attempts at branding Constantine a heretic
 
m.1  Self-Educated American, featuring Robert F. Beaudine[8]   Who? Though the “editors” of this site call Beaudine “authoritative,” I have personal knowledge, being a freelance writer for over 40 years, that such bylines are typically self-written, and the byline lacks any scholastic ties whatsoever. Pro might as well have written this article himself.
 
m.2 CMF, [Christian Medical Fellowship], featuring Alex Bunn,[9]  a GP [physician]. Who? Not a historian?  This article actually titles Constantine a “hero,” noting only in the article that, “…in one sense, he was a heretic…”  but that is exactly what Pro claims, using this source as an unconvincing argument by another opinionator.
 
m.3  Catholic Herald, featuring Charles Coulombe,[10]   a writer with some academia behind him. However, his Pro-cited article features Arius, mentioning only that “…after Constantine the Great’s death…”  blah, blah... no further mention of our Resolution’s sole, intended entity, or his alleged heresy. 
 
m.4  Historum, a forum, similar to the DArt Forum, featuring a  webo, personified by the moniker, “Caracalla,”[11]    who posts, “I was watching a program (Byzantium: A Tale of Three Cities) and there was an interesting theory about Constantine I. He buried twelve relics (supposedly the twelve apostles) in a church and planned to have himself buried as the 13th.”   Yes, interesting theory, Caracalla & Nevets, but, what about heresy? Nope, it’s not mentioned.
 
m.5  Theonomy Resources, featuring Gunnar Larsson of Wikipedia,[12]   [the source is really blogspot.com], therefore, another  webo,  a long-winded read only to discover that the only discussion regarding heresy concerns Constantine’s “Edict Against the Heretics,”  and lacking any mention of heresy charged against Constantine. 
 
m.6  CT [Christianity Today], featuring David F. Wright,[13]   the only true academic scholastic shining star who has credentials among this otherwise sorry lot, does, in fact, discuss Constantine the Great, but [surprise], nary a single word regarding the heresy of anybody, including the Emperor. 
 
m.7  We must conclude by this review, m.1 through m.6, that Pro fails to support his claim that Constantine “was” a heretic.  More skimming, apparently, stopping at titles of some articles.  Memo to Pro: I actually read the sources offered.
 
n   Southern backside exposure, rev. 3
 
n.1  Pro has attempted to demonstrate Constantine’s backside on three separate occasions; twice in just this R4. For brevity, I’ll refer to my R3, XXV.a, and R4, XXVIII.b.
 
o  Repeat argument [quite simply]
 
o.1  Pro alleges a repeat argument of mine, but then  follows, saying, “Quite simply, the church fathers did not brand him a heretic.”  That sounds like my argument, and I thought Pro was quoting me. No, this string belongs to Pro; I’ve never written that word string until quoting Pro right here. Further, Pro alleges that I  “brought this up earlier in this round,”  but this round, R4, to date only has Pro’s argument, not mine. Nevertheless, I’ll agree with the argument: Church Fathers [which I always capitalize]  did not brand Constantine a heretic.  I assure you, this will be revisited…
 
p  Heresy not necessarily a bad thing
 
p.1  I admit to confusion, but it's not mine. In R2, XII.d, I argued that from the Pharisees’ perspective [no one else’s] Jesus was a heretic. I did not say he was. But. Somehow, Pro has interpreted this differently, over two rounds, as if I argued that Jesus  was  a heretic, and that’s a good thing, according to Pro? Skimming will leave different impressions than what is actually written. 
 
r Constantine built pagan and Christian buildings
 
r.1 Yes, he did, as an Emperor, as I argued in R3, XXVI.e. Let’s recall just what Constantine’s profession was: an Emperor having   “to keep peace in a vast empire of several religions, cultures, languages, and people,”   recalling that he was a political figure, not a religious leader.  Or, is Pro arguing that Constantine could not wear simultaneous crowns? Pro has not sold that argument. I don’t necessarily want it all ways, but I am not the subject of the debate. The point is, as Emperor, Constantine did want it all ways. Isn’t that what emperors do?
 
s  Heresy contradicts the Edict of Milan
 
s.1  That sounds like a nice argument, in a vacuum. However, Pro is ignoring two points:
 
s.1.A  First, Constantine did not declare heretics; the Church Fathers did.
 
s.1.B  Second, Constantine’s 313 CE Edict of Milan was an agreement, not between the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire and the Church Fathers, but between Constantine and the Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, Licinius, whom Constantine then summarily defeated eleven years later, unifying the Empire under Constantine. Meanwhile, Church Fathers were declaring heretics empire-wide. However, contrary to Pro’s  webos,  and Pro has not since been privy to evidence otherwise shared with us, they never declared it against Constantine. Isn’t such evidence the money of Pro’s BoP? Where is it?
 
t  Con’s struggle, and Pro’s re-visited forgeries
 
t.1  Are we circling back to this out-of-time forged document, and other fakery, yet again? How many ways must I say this? Con attempts to convince us that our 4th century CE Church Fathers obtain a forged document from 8th century CE brigands, demonstrating that Constantine “was” a heretic. Really? That’s an argument? With that skill, why didn’t the Church Fathers access the 1963 CE results of the World Series, when my LA Dodgers defeated the villainous NY Yankees in four-straight? They’d have made a killing! Do you see the relevance now? Neither do I. Caveat lector.
 
u Contradictions and Constantine’s parents, and the son, to boot, let alone heretics, and members of heretical religions… re-visited
 
u.1  Anyone feeling like a beaten dead horse?  Again, I have not contradicted. I have declared from R1,2,3, and now 4, that Con’s menagerie, including the Emperor’s parents [but I’m joking about Beavis & Butthead, and readers have captured that], are not party to the Resolution. So I mentioned a few words in passing regarding Mother Helena. Call it respect for mothers, damn it. Don’t they deserve it? 
 
u.2  Con includes son of Constantine. So bloody what?  The son is not party to the Resolution, either. While we’re re-visiting clowns, why don’t we include Fausta and her son? Constantine had them executed for intrigue against the empire; Constantine’s version of heretics. Drop it, Pro; it’s a dead horse! Tell me how, when, and why Constantine, the sole subject of the debate, "was" a heretic.
 
u.3  “If a religion has been denounced a heresy, then a member… is a heretic,”  Con declares. He is, of course, referring to Eusebius Nicodemia, the so-called [by Pro] “heretic” Arian, who baptized Constantine on his deathbed. I assure you, this will be revisited… now!
 
u.3.1  The re-visit: a later historian, Socrates Scholasticus,[14]  [we should all have such a name!] in 439 CE,  described the events of 325 CE, when the Council of Nicaea convened at the behest of Constantine, records that once the Nicene Creed was composed and issued for vote by the attending bishops, five bishops, in the presence of Constantine, including Eusebius Nicodemia, declined to agree. Eusebius, among others, including Arius, had earlier been recommended for excommunication as heretics by Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria [Egypt], but such excommunication had not yet occurred. The request was repeated upon the denial by Eusebius, who, upon an edict of exile by Constantine [not the Church Fathers], departed hence.  Not long after the agreement of the Nicene Creed, Eusebius, “…who had held aloof for a short time, after mature consideration whether he ought to receive this definition of faith  [referring to the Creed],  at length acquiesced in it,  and subscribed it with all the rest: he also sent to the people under his charge a copy of the Creed.”[15]  Following this change of heart, Constantine reversed the exile, and welcomed Eusebius back.[16]
 
u.4  Thus, Eusebius, forgiven, was not excommunicated, the declaration of heresy was withdrawn, and he subsequently, years later, baptized Constantine in full authority as a bishop.
 
u.5  With that, though Arianism may have been declared heretical by the Nicene Creed [though only in discussion by the assembled bishops, for the declaration is not within the Creed, itself, as quoted by historian Socrates Scholasticus.[17]   Therefore, I am not wrong, as claimed via Pro’s  webo,  with regard to Eusebius, and his subsequent officiating Constantine’s baptism, of which we read:   “Perceiving, however, that his illness increased, he  [Constantine]  deferred the use of the baths; and removing from Helenopolis to Nicomedia, he took up his residence in the suburbs, and there received Christian baptism.”[18]  There is no mention of Arius, devotion to Arian heresy, or denial of Constantine’s devotion to Christianity as had been conscripted by the Nicene Creed. That being, at the time, Nicene in nature. Therefore, the Resolution fails.
 
XXIX Conclusion of R4
 
XXIX.a I wrote, in R3,  XXVI.k  6.     At the end of his life, Constantine is baptized by Eusibius, who is no longer considered a heretic by Church Fathers.”
 
XXIX.b Con replies in his R4:  Not you  [he means me, Con, dear reader, not you]   nor any voter  [that’s you]  on the planet will be able to find evidence for this. You  [he means me, again]  might have been under the influence of alcohol whilst doing your research. But what a whopper of an error.”
 
XXIX.c Another fish story? I’ll refer to my XXVIII.u, above as my not-to-be-found-on-earth evidence, which was on earth all along... delayed in rounds until this moment.  I have consulted Mssr. Scholasticus before; a helpful fellow. I conclude, therefore, that Con’s accusation of my drunkenness is grossly exaggerated, not to mention inappropriate, since I do not drink alcohol, and I continue to resent the claim by Con as a desperate effort by argument of personal attack, lacking any other than by  webo.
 
I conclude R4, hoping for a clean rebuttal from Con.
 
 


[1]"Emperor Constantine's Edict against the Arians". fourthcentury.com. 23 January 2010. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
 
[6]ibid
[7]ibid
[15]ibid
 
[16]ibid
[17]ibid
[18]ibid

Round 5
Pro
Thank you Fauxlaw for yet another quick response.

In this round I am going to abandon quoting Fauxlaw in full, and merely quote his Roman numerals. The reason for this is I still have to make rebuttals at the same time as conducting a summary. I am also not going to respond to the more petty issues, and only rebut the key arguments.

XXV1.m.1 - Arianism denies the divinity of Jesus Christ and was branded a Heresy by the Nicene Creed

Fauxlaw appears to be arguing that there is some dispute to be had whether or not Arianism holds views that contradict mainstream Christianity.
It appears however that the scholars of Britannica encyclopedia have not consulted my opponent regarding the translations, as they appear to believe that Arius questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ, and certainly do not agree that Arianism is in any way compatible with mainstream Christianity.

Elsewhere My opponent confuses ungotten and begotten. Or at least tries to confuse the matter. However the confusion is his alone.
Britannica encyclopedia is quite clear on the matter.

Arianism is often considered to be a form of Unitarian theology in that it stresses God’s unity at the expense of the notion of the Trinity, the doctrine that three distinct persons are united in one Godhead. Arius’s basic premise was the uniqueness of God, who is alone self-existent (not dependent for its existence on anything else) and immutable; the Son, who is not self-existent, cannot therefore be the self-existent and immutable God. Because the Godhead is unique, it cannot be shared or communicated. Because the Godhead is immutable, the Son, who is mutable, must, therefore, be deemed a creature who has been called into existence out of nothing and has had a beginning. Moreover, the Son can have no direct knowledge of the Father, since the Son is finite and of a different order of existence.
XXV1.M.1

My opponent also appears to imply that Arianism did not exist at the time of the Nicene Creed, and therefore could not have been branded a heresy by the Church fathers.
However the Britannica encyclopaedia clearly states that Arianism was denounced as a heresy by the Council of Nicaea in 325.
What Arianism was before 325 is irrelevant. 

Arianism, in Christianity, the Christological (concerning the doctrine of Christ) position that Jesus, as the Son of God, was created by God. It was proposed early in the 4th century by the Alexandrian presbyter Arius and was popular throughout much of the Eastern and Western Roman empires, even after it was denounced as a heresy by the Council of Nicaea (325).
a.3

My opponent claims that because Constantine was not accused of heresy by name, that means he was not a heretic. However, It has already been established in this debate already using the dictionary definition, that the followers of a religion denounced as a heresy, are heretics.

g.1 - My opponent acknowledges his error regarding Eusebius of Nicomedia & "admits Constantine drifted to Arianism".

Fauxlaw wrote...
g.1  I acknowledge my error mistaking Eusibius for Arian as being “the Libyan.” However, Pro manages to ignore [skimming?] l  that I also acknowledge in R3, XXIII.d ;that,  “These five source links, [i - v][5]   I’ve offered are all from the The New Advent, the Catholic Encyclopedia. I will acknowledge that later, 10 years later, at the end of his life, the same source acknowledges a Constantinian drift to Arianism.”  However, I assure you, this will be revisited…  Is there a more proximate source to the events involved who may have a word or two of scholastic observation?
That was a terrible error. Not one error may I add, but two. Not only did my opponent try to suggest that Eusebius of Nicomedia became a Nicene Christian, which would have debunked my argument, but he also accused me of previously having been wrong about Constantine drifting towards Arianism.
Thank you for the honesty Fauxlaw.

u.3 - My opponent adds his own interpretation on to everything and gets things so wrong, again and again

My opponent claims that when I say a heretic is a member of a religion that has been deemed a heresy, I am talking about Eusebius of Nicomedia. But where did I say this? I never, my opponent just assumed this. Maybe I should have used the word "followers", which would include Eusebius, and Constantine in his later life, along with a whole host of others. But if my opponent wants to pretend not to understand the official English definitions of heretic, and heresy, then that is not my problem.

My opponent has just apologised for his two previous errors regarding Eusebius, and he goes and finds another source making the exact same claim, and he totally misreads and misrepresents this one as well !!

Fauxlaw wrote...
u.3.1  The re-visit: a later historian, Socrates Scholasticus,[14]  [we should all have such a name!] in 439 CE,  described the events of 325 CE, when the Council of Nicaea convened at the behest of Constantine, records that once the Nicene Creed was composed and issued for vote by the attending bishops, five bishops, in the presence of Constantine, including Eusebius Nicodemia, declined to agree. Eusebius, among others, including Arius, had earlier been recommended for excommunication as heretics by Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria [Egypt], but such excommunication had not yet occurred. The request was repeated upon the denial by Eusebius, who, upon an edict of exile by Constantine [not the Church Fathers], departed hence.  Not long after the agreement of the Nicene Creed, Eusebius, “…who had held aloof for a short time, after mature consideration whether he ought to receive this definition of faith  [referring to the Creed],  at length acquiesced in it,  and subscribed it with all the rest: he also sent to the people under his charge a copy of the Creed.”[15]  Following this change of heart, Constantine reversed the exile, and welcomed Eusebius back.[16]
 
u.4  Thus, Eusebius, forgiven, was not excommunicated, the declaration of heresy was withdrawn, and he subsequently, years later, baptized Constantine in full authority as a bishop.
My opponent is committing borderline plagiarism. He is quoting people and it is not clear whether my opponent is copying and pasting, or writing his own version. But whatever, he would be better getting the quote he is pertaining to and display it, rather than have people read through a link that is the size of a book.
However, I read through it, and again my opponent either just skim reads, or, deliberately misses out key points such as: CHAPTER XXIII: Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis Bishop of Nicaea, having recovered Confidence, endeavor to subvert the Nicene Creed, by plotting against Athanasius.

Do you see? The author has written that their promise to accept the Nicene Creed was subterfuge, and that they were actually plotting against the Creed.

Therefore, no, they were not, in the end, considered non heretic Nicene Christians. Most certainly not.



THE partisans of Eusebius and Theognis having returned from their exile, these latter were reinstated in their churches, having expelled, as we observed, those who had been ordained in their stead. Moreover, they came into great consideration with the emperor, who honored them exceedingly, as those who had returned from error to the orthodox faith. They, however, abused the license thus afforded them, by exciting greater commotions in the world than they had done before; being instigated to this by two causes — on the one hand the Arian heresy with which they had been previously infected, and bitter animosity against Athanasius on the other, because he had so vigorously withstood them in the Synod while the articles of faith were under discussion. 
I apologise for asking for my opponents concession, but there was a reason for it

Fauxlaw wrote...
u.5  With that, though Arianism may have been declared heretical by the Nicene Creed [though only in discussion by the assembled bishops, for the declaration is not within the Creed, itself, as quoted by historian Socrates Scholasticus.[17]   Therefore, I am not wrong, as claimed via Pro’s  webo,  with regard to Eusebius, and his subsequent officiating Constantine’s baptism, of which we read:   “Perceiving, however, that his illness increased, he  [Constantine]  deferred the use of the baths; and removing from Helenopolis to Nicomedia, he took up his residence in the suburbs, and there received Christian baptism.”[18]  There is no mention of Arius, devotion to Arian heresy, or denial of Constantine’s devotion to Christianity as had been conscripted by the Nicene Creed. That being, at the time, Nicene in nature. Therefore, the Resolution fails.
 
XXIX Conclusion of R4
 
XXIX.a I wrote, in R3,  XXVI.k  6.     At the end of his life, Constantine is baptized by Eusibius, who is no longer considered a heretic by Church Fathers.”
As shown above, my opponent is wrong about everything regarding what he has just written.
He already apologised for his first two errors regarding this attempt, he should have left it there, instead of skim reading a second source. Because he has only gone and made the exact same error a second time, as his second source also debunks Fauxlaws claims. My opponent in future needs to make sure he has read "everything".

Now I apologise to my opponent for asking for his concession. I did not do it out of malice. I done it because I knew this was going to happen as I could see he does not know the historical background of this subject. This was evident early on.

Summary

Round 1

  1.  The edict of Milan protected "all" religions from persecution - My opponent agreed with this. The Edict of Milan was an Edict which protected all religions, so it would have been wrong for anyone to suggest that this Edict was proof of Constantine devout Christianity.
  2. Attempts to provide evidence for Constantine the Greats loyalty to Christianity have been found to be lies, fakes and forgeries. How much can we trust the counter argument when deceit such as this is at play - My opponent did not dispute that the donation of Constantine is indeed a forgery which fakes evidence of his loyalty to the Pope. Though he did argue that because the forgery was a few hundred years after the death of Constantine, that it should not be considered evidence of anything. I slightly disagree however. If the Church had real evidence of Constantine devout loyalty, then why the need to forge anything, regardless of when the it was forged?
  3. At no point did Constantine the Great relinquish his Pagan position as high priest of the ancient Roman religion. Is this acceptable in Christianity, to have a loyal convert that is still acting as Pontifex maximus? - My opponent at no point disputed this fact, though simply questioned the relevance. I suppose it is a matter of opinion whether or not remaining loyal to the Roman religion at the same time as being friendly to Christians, makes him a devout Christian or not.
  4. Constantine the Great somehow managed to spawn a son that became a Semi-Arian. So on top of the lies, fakes and forgeries + the fact Constantine did not relinquish his title, I am to believe that it is just coincidence that his son became a Semi-Arian through no influence from his father? - My opponent did not deny that Constantine's son was a Semi-Aryan, but merely questioned the relevance, and claimed that the son has nothing to do with this debate. I must point out however, my opponent was willing to accept Constantine's Mother in to the debate, suggesting that one of the reasons Constantine may have became Christian, might have been because his Mother was a devout Christian. Do you see the contradiction?
  5. Constantine the Great was baptized on his death bed an Arian Christian. I am to believe that the fact that Constantine the Great was baptized an Arian Christian, and spawned a son who became a Semi-Arian, mean he should be considered a Nicene Christian? - My opponent tried to deny the fact that Constantine was baptized as a heretic Arian Christian, but he had to apologise for making two errors. Horrifically, he did not learn from his first two errors, but simply went to seek a different source, and made the exact same error with  that source as well. Once bitten, as they say !
  6. My opponent has on this occasion taken on a debate he should not be able to win. Quite simply, Constantine the Great and his son were heretics, and that is not up for debate unless one is delusional. - Fact - My opponent has almost admitted it is a fact, with his two failed attempts to disprove it.
Round 2

  1. I successfully showed my opponent why religion being a personal choice is only true in peacetime and in an ideal world, and in Fauxlaw Christianity.
  2. I successfully showed my opponent why he was wrong about Arianism simply becoming Catholicism. In fact, Catholicism was the continuation of Nicene Christianity, not Arianism. - My opponent claims that I misread him on this one. Maybe I did, but sometimes I find his style unclear.
  3. My opponent has conceded that Constantine was baptized by the heretic Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia in 337 - see Round 1, Summary 5 above
  4. My opponent appeared unaware that Constantine later dropped his support for the Council of Nicaea and became sympathetic towards the Arians. - My opponents second error was suggesting I have no evidence that Constantine drifted towards Arianism later in life. But I pointed out his error by pointing him to his own source, which said he did, and my opponent in round 4 conceded this fact.
  5. My opponent appeared unaware that the decision was made by the Council of Nicaea and merely temporarily upheld by Constantine - See round 1, Summary 5 & Round 2 Summary 4.above
  6. My opponent needs to provide the quote he is pertaining to where I ever admitted to Constantine converting wholeheartedly to Nicene Christianity, or I am confused about whether he converted to Nicene Christianity or Arianism.- This claim was dropped by my opponent and never brought up again, though it is not a key point anyway.
  7. My opponent was shown that  Constantine the Greats conversion to Christianity is under scholastic dispute, despite his claims otherwise. - My opponent dropped this claim and never challenged this, though is probably not a key point.
  8. My opponent sees no importance in a forgery faking evidence of Constantine's loyalty to the bishops. - See round 1, Summary 2 above
  9. My opponent claimed that Constantine was merely a bridge builder, which is almost 100% false. - My opponent reiterated that the etymology of Pontifex Maximus means "bridge builder". I let the issue drop as I do not see the relevance. Quite simply, Pontifex Maximus was a Pagan Roman high priest of the Roman religion and the words etymological root is meaningless, and my opponent offered no explanation for its relevance.
  10. My opponent wants to debate the definition of heresy, which is common knowledge in English speaking countries. - My opponent argues that I should be using the religious definition and not the dictionary definition, but I have shown him that even his own New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia highlights at the top that Arianism is a heresy. He does not appear to have rebutted this fact.
  11. My opponent fails to even understand how Constantine the Great having a son that became Semi-Arian "might" suggest that his own father may have had some influence. - See Round 1, Summary 4 above
Round 3

  1. In round 1 I claimed that the Edict of Milan protected all religions from persecution, and not only Christianity, and my opponent has conceded this point. - See Round 1, Summary 1 above
  2. My opponent has given an unsatisfactory response to the donation of Constantine forgery and his insistence that key evidence of Constantine's devout mainstream Christianity being faked is unimportant, is unsatisfactory - See Round 1, Summary 2 above
  3. My opponent appears to have conceded that Constantine remained the Pagan Pontifex Maximus - See Round 1, summary 3 above
  4. My opponent has conceded that his own son was Semi-Aryan - See Round 1, Summary 4 above
  5. My opponent has conceded that Constantine was baptised by an Arian bishop - See Round 1, Summary 5 above
  6. I claimed that my opponent was wrong about Catholicism being born out of Arianism, and he did not dispute this - See Round 2, Summary 2 above
  7. I have claimed that Constantine turned his back on the Nicene Council and became an Arian sympathiser, and my opponent has failed to respond to this - See round 1, Summary 5 above
  8. My opponent has dropped the argument about me admitting to Constantine being a mainstream Christian, or being confused about the differences between Arianism and Nicene Christianity, and the allegation was without foundation and was preposterous - See Round 2, Summary 6 above
  9. My opponent has dropped his argument about my claims regarding Constantine's devotion being under scholastic dispute - See Round 2, Summary 7 above
  10. My opponent has dropped his argument about Pontifex Maximus meaning anything else other than Chief Priest when taken in to context - See Round 2, Summary 9 above
  11. I have successfully offered a definition for heresy from the dictionary which precisely defines Constantine's unorthodoxy and baptism as heretic. As well as his loyalty to Roman religion. - See Round 2, Summary 10 above
  12. I successfully countered one of my opponents very few arguments regards to Constantine's building of churches, pointing out that Constantine also issued and commissioned Pagan constructs - My opponent claimed that the building of Christian churches proved that Constantine was a devout Christian. Yet when met with the rebuttal that Constantine also built Pagan temples, he would not accept that this means that building churches is not proof that he was a devout Christian.
  13. I successfully pointed out my opponents contradictions - See Round 1, Summary 4 above
  14. I successfully pointed out my opponents irrelevant argument regarding Gratian - My opponent accused me of bringing Gratian in to the mix. However I never mentioned Gratian once in this debate. Gratian was merely a person referred to in a link I provided, but what was being cited was not even concerning Gratian. My opponent did deny that this is the case in XVII.n. However he is merely quoting his own claim. He should not be quoting his own claim, but quoting where I ever brought Gratian in to this. It is however a petty trivial point. But still.
  15. My opponent needs to provide evidence that those he calls clowns can be accurately defined as such - My opponent has throughout this debate repeatedly referred to those that are not Constantine's Mother, as Clowns. Since he has made a claim, no matter how trivial or petty, he should be expected to provide proof for this.
  16. I successfully showed my opponent that Arius and Arianism has been condemned as a heresy - My opponent appears to deny this fact. Though my opponent chops and changes so it is sometimes hard to establish whether he denies something or not. But even if he did not, I provided him with the Britannica encyclopedia which clearly states that Arianism was denounced as a heresy in 325.
  17. I successfully showed my opponent where he was wrong about there being no scholastic evidence for the council of Nicaea, even though the council of Nicaea is his claim, not mine - Quite simply, the accounts of the Council were recorded by those that attended and historians. I don't think my opponent is contesting this fact, and if he does, it is because he has committed yet another misread.
  18. Out of 17 arguments of my own that have went unrebutted and unrefuted, my opponent has only really came up with two arguments of his own. That being Christian churches, which I rebutted and refuted. And his main argument the Nicene council being proof of Constantine's devotion to mainstream Christianity, which I have refuted by pointing out that he abandoned the council of Nicaea
Round 4

  1. I have successfully confirmed that a heretic is a person of a faith deemed a heresy - See Round 2, Summary 10, above
  2. I have successfully concluded that Arianism is to deny the divinity of Christ - My opponent offered a rebuttal for this fact, offering his own unorthodox interpretation and declaring Arianism non heterodox minus any scholastic support. I however produced the Britannica encyclopaedia which concludes that Arius denied the divinity of Jesus Christ and explains how so.
  3. I have successfully used my opponents own source to show him that his own source states that Constantine turned to Arianism - See round 2, Summary 4 above.
  4. I successfully showed my opponent where he misread the information regarding Eusebius of Nicomedia, therefore his rebuttal was debunked - My opponent admitted to this error. But did not end it there. Instead he went away and sought a new source and carried on with the claim and made the exact same error a second time, because his second source also refuted his claim, and my opponent simply did not read the entire link. This is a crucial point however, as it means that my opponent has failed to remove Constantine from the fact that he was baptized in to an Arian heresy on his death bed.
  5. I successfully showed my opponent that he was wrong about what his own source said, and that it refuted him, regarding Arianism being a heresy or not. - My opponent continues to ignore the facts regarding this, however I have produced the Britannica encyclopaedia which clearly states that Arianism was denounced as a heresy by the Council of Nicaea in 325. (Nicene Creed).
  6. My opponent has conceded that Constantine did indeed build Pagan temples. See Round 3, Summary 12 above.
Round 5

  1. In round 5 I have produced the Britannica encyclopaedia to show that scholastic opinion disagrees with my opponents own interpretations of what Arianism is, and the Britannica encyclopaedia is of the opinion that Arius denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. Perhaps in this last round my opponent might produce some scholastic evidence of his own to support his misinterpretation. And I don't mean scholastic evidence whereby my opponent simply quotes something and then offers an opinion on its translation. I mean scholastic evidence where the scholar "actually says" what my opponent is saying. Do you know what I mean? !
  2. My opponent denies that if a religion is denounced as a heresy, then its adherents are heretics. But the dictionary disagrees. Simply google definitions of heresy and heretic.
  3. My opponent attempted to suggest that Eusebius of Nicomedia was a Nicene Christian by the time he baptized Constantine, but as we see above, in this very page, he had to apologise for his error.
  4. My opponent then went and made the same error a second time, and so has another error to admit to in his round 5. Quite simply, he had just apologised for his first error, when he ran to another source making the same claim, and completely misinterpreted him also. His source specifically states that Eusebius of Nicomedia was merely "pretending" to be a converted Nicene Christian in order to destroy Nicene Christianity from within. And also please remember, this is the same Arian bishop that baptized Constantine.
  5. One last thing. My opponent also conceded that Eusebius of Nicomedia was a relative of Constantine.

Thank you Fauxlaw, and good luck in your final round.




Con
Resolution: Constantine the Great should not be considered a mainstream Christian, because he was actually a heretic
 
XXX Rebuttal: Pro R5: Another list of re-visited rebuttals
 
a.1 My Arian denial?
 
a.1.A  My opponent confuses his perspective of my denial of Arianism definition with my consistent argument that regardless of Arianism, Constantine converted to Christianity, even if including for political enterprise, delayed baptism as I demonstrated was a common belief in the 4thcentury CE that once baptized, they could not be forgiven for subsequent sins. Therefore, they delayed baptism to the deathbed. See my R1, I.b.1,[1]   R2, XII.b,[2]   R4, XXVII.u.5.[3]  Further, Pro argues by  webo that Constantine was baptized by a declared heretic [Esebius Nicodemia] which was refuted by Socrates Scholasticus.[4]  This will be revisited.
 
a.1.B  Under this section, Pro rebuts my argument of the Council of Nicaea conflict between the beliefs of Christ’s condition: begotten, or unbegotten; a key Arianism conflict with the ultimate decision of the Nicene Creed. To demonstrate the Pro position, Pro cites  https://www.britannica.com/topic/Arianism.  The problem is, the portion of this source quoted makes no mention of ‘begotten,’ or ‘unbegotten,’ so we can question why Pro cited an off-topic source. The Resolution therefore fails on both points.
 
a.1.C  Pro alleges my argument that Arianism was not existent in the period of the Nicene Council. Not just wrong; it is the complete opposite. My casual argument, which has no real calendar-significance relative to the Resolution, was that Nicene Christianity did not officially exist prior to the Nicene Council, which established, documented, approved, and distributed the Nicene Creed. Arianism existed prior to this event in 325 CE, and I have acknowledged that point in previous rounds.
 
b.1  My terrible error, and my being wrong, wrong, wrong “on… everything”
 
b.1.A Yes, I acknowledged my error of mistaking Eusebius for Arius, but Pro will not let it go, bringing it up round by round. May I remind that Pro realized an error he made in his R1 which he corrected in R2 regarding Gratian. My frame of R2 accepted his apology for the error, and I dropped the matter. Why does Pro not reciprocate? A sense of fair play would have it otherwise. Well, I did follow the acceptance with a rebuttal that Gratian was outside the scope of the Resolution, but Pro refuses to accept that, as well. Caveat lector.
 
b.1B  Pro’s irritation by my R1 acceptance of his definition of heresy, notwithstanding, Pro has wielded this argument in every round since that I oppose the definition. Are readers to think that, although Pro demanded my concession, and though I did not concede, they are to think I really did? For the last time [thank God!], I do not oppose the definition. What I oppose, clearly and succinctly, because my argument has never drifted from the Resolution, is that Constantine was not a heretic. That happens to be the second of only two BoP’s I have, yet Pro insisted over four rounds that my position, my BoP   “…is not up for debate unless one is delusional. – Fact” 
 
b.1C  Pro claims, My opponent is committing borderline plagiarism. He is quoting people and it is not clear whether my opponent is copying and pasting, or writing his own version.”   There are simple means to determine what is a quote, to me, and what is original writing: Quotes are designated by the surrounding grammatical symbols:  “xx,“ and original writing, unless I quote myself, is not. Therefore, what plagiarism? Further, unless I am quoting my opponent, which I always also put in quotes, and reference it as such as stipulated at the beginning of this paragraph, I cite my quoted source by specific, traceable reference, designated by a sequential, superscript numeral,x  which links to the bottom of my round entry. Must this really be explained to my opponent at this late hour of the debate?
 
b.1.c.1  My opponent highlights my cited source, Socrates Scholasticus,[5].  and summarily concludes, quoting the source [my [5]]: “CHAPTER XXIII: Eusebius Bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis Bishop of Nicaea, having recovered Confidence, endeavor to subvert the Nicene Creed, by plotting against Athanasius.”  Then, my opponent declares,  “Do you see? The author has written that their promise to accept the Nicene Creed was subterfuge, and that they were actually plotting against the Creed.”
 
b.1.c.2  My opponent has rightly quoted Mssr. Scholasticus, thus far, but, in his zeal to declare a plot to endure long enough to discount my argument that Eusebius had a change of heart, Pro ignores that the story of Eusebius Nicomedia and his relationship with Constantine does not end with Chapter XXIII. It is a simple matter to discover by reading following chapters. Is it just that Pro complains that my source is the length of a book? And, so? Either one is dedicated to appropriate historic research, or one is not. As it happens, though Pro denied it, and accused my lack of knowledge of this history, I am well familiar with Socrates Scholasticus’ writing, and thus needed but refresher consults to draw from this detailed historian my salient points. Whereas, contrary to Pro’s claim in my behalf, appears not so familiar with the historian, and did not fully read, but skimmed.  We’ve been here before. Familiar territory. Caveat lector.
 
b.1.c.2  My opponent thus ends his argument, but Scholasticus does not. In his chapter XXXVIII, he discusses Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia, and his continuing  departure from Nicene to Arianism, and raising a general ruckus in that regard. Pro is correct that Eusebius defects, again. However, contrary to Pro’s claims of Constantine’s defection, Scholasticus records,  “As the king grew more earnest in Christianity and confessed that the confession at Nicaea was attested by God, he rejoiced…”[6]  and subsequently traveled to Nicomedia [the city], and Scholasticus further records in Chapter XXXIX,   he  [Constantine]   took up his residence in the suburbs, and there received Christian baptism. After this he became cheerful…”[7]
 
b.1.c.3  Note that in Chapter XXXIX, Eusebius Nicomedia [the bishop] bears no mention; only the city, Nicomedia, and only the suburbs of that city. With the detail to which Scholasticus has heretofore been faithful, he does not mention that it is Eusebius, the Bishop, who performs the baptism, only that the Emperor is baptized, and subsequently dies in just days. Reading the text as given, are we to suppose that the Bishop is ignored by Scholasticus, or acknowledged, by absence of his name, that someone else, unknown, performed the baptism? And days up to his baptism, Constanitine declares his faithfulness to the Nicene Creed, not Ariansim.  Yes, this comes as a surprise in that I have earlier acknowledged other sources, distanced sources by hundreds of years, at least, relative to all matters concerning Constantine, Nicene Christianity, Eusebius Nicodemia, Arius, and Araiansm. So be it. There are, after all, 5 rounds in this debate. Who says I must fire all my guns in R1, and that some guns may have intentional blanks? Consider that Pro, if his word carried, objected to even my first round, demanding my concession in following rounds. Where does DArt prohibit misdirection, if, by at least the final two rounds, all is put aright?
 
Conclusion:
 
Therefore, Constantine’s alleged baptism at a heretic’s hand, and, therefore Constantine’s heresy by virtue of that heretical baptism, and Constantine’s alleged heresy by allegiance to Arianism, both constituting, together, the sum of Pro’s BoP, are thrown into complete doubt by virtue of the closest cited historian to these events that exists to date: Socrates Scholasticus.  Therefore the Resolution fails, and I need not address the laborious summaries of each round because they all are based on the disheveled two premises of Pro’s Resolution, and all of Pro’s menagerie of additional clowns and  webos cannot reassemble them. 
 
Pray readers, act well your part. After your consideration, I would be pleased to have you vote. Thank you.