Challenge to an athiest


#1

Hey all, this is a variation of the flip-flop threads we’ve had going here. The subject is Christianity, but we’re doing it in metaphor. For this, any professed Catholic must take the OP position (below), and any athiests or agnostics on board must take the defensive. Please keep all conversation charitable:

Hey all,
Just wanted to introduce myself. I’m a “history-athiest”. Just for the record, I went through years of public school, so I have some idea of where you are coming from, but here’s my belief:

I don’t think there was ever such a thing as the “Constitutional Convention” and FURTHERMORE, I don’t believe a guy named “George Washington” ever existed.

I think he is a nice idea held by those who want to “feel good” about their country, who want a sense of patriatism, and who subscribe to the idea of a Republic as we have it today. Much of what we know about good ole George, such as the “cherry tree” story has been shown to be false, so I imagine the rest is as well. Even if he did exist, he was not a Father of our country, but rather an intelligent man who has been raised to the level of President in order to justify these “successors” to the oval office that we have today. You Americans hold to this sacred “Constitution”, which is really just a nice work of fabrication. I’m sure you’ll tell me we have historical documentation of a guy named GW, but I’ll tell you they are all forgeries and fiction, created by a group of people who wanted to feel good and to “have someone” in power to “watch over them”. My belief is formed after a search for the truth. I believe that we will never know for sure where we got this organized system of goverment, but I certainly don’t go for “made up truths”. I challenge any of you to prove to me that George Washington or the Constitutional Convention actually existed. Thank you in advance.


#2

Hey, thanks for bringing up the dreaded George Washington topic so we can debate it in advance of what some people like to celebrate as a holiday.

It’s a good thing that they changed the celebration of George Washington’s birthday to Presidents Day instead. After all, while we can all see that there is currently a president in the White House, knowing what we do about politicians and their penchant for lying, how can we buy the legend about someone within the Beltway cutting down a cherry tree and then honestly fessing up to it?

Anyways, we all know that the real reason we celebrate Presidents Day is to get an extra day off from work and give in to our inner “consumer child” by going shopping! Sales galore, eh?

So, instead of even dignifying Presidents Day by calling it Presidents Day, why don’t we all just wish each other a Happy Holiday instead?

~~ the phoenix


#3

[quote=awfulthings9]Hey all, this is a variation of the flip-flop threads we’ve had going here. The subject is Christianity, but we’re doing it in metaphor. For this, any professed Catholic must take the OP position (below), and any athiests or agnostics on board must take the defensive. Please keep all conversation charitable:

Hey all,
Just wanted to introduce myself. I’m a “history-athiest”. Just for the record, I went through years of public school, so I have some idea of where you are coming from, but here’s my belief:

I don’t think there was ever such a thing as the “Constitutional Convention” and FURTHERMORE, I don’t believe a guy named “George Washington” ever existed.

I think he is a nice idea held by those who want to “feel good” about their country, who want a sense of patriatism, and who subscribe to the idea of a Republic as we have it today. Much of what we know about good ole George, such as the “cherry tree” story has been shown to be false, so I imagine the rest is as well. Even if he did exist, he was not a Father of our country, but rather an intelligent man who has been raised to the level of President in order to justify these “successors” to the oval office that we have today. You Americans hold to this sacred “Constitution”, which is really just a nice work of fabrication. I’m sure you’ll tell me we have historical documentation of a guy named GW, but I’ll tell you they are all forgeries and fiction, created by a group of people who wanted to feel good and to “have someone” in power to “watch over them”. My belief is formed after a search for the truth. I believe that we will never know for sure where we got this organized system of goverment, but I certainly don’t go for “made up truths”. I challenge any of you to prove to me that George Washington or the Constitutional Convention actually existed. Thank you in advance.
[/quote]

This is a joke, right?


#4

Note: Anything in quote marks is a paraphrase from another poster at another thread.

I just want to point out that I hope I don’t offend anyone with my views. I just happen to understand history another way, “the correct way”.
I am not a history agnostic, by the way. I simply believe there were no founding fathers or any sort of constitutional convention.


#5

Proof is a word we should not use much outside mathematics. Proof of anything is very hard to get. “Evidence” is a better word for this case. When comparing the two positions. #1. The important acts attributed to the Continental Congress and George W. did occurred, or #2. They did not occur. The preponderance of evidence strongly favors #1. Did GW chop down a cherry tree? Don’t know, but it’s irrelevant, i.e., not a very important event. Probably the most convincing evidence is that people who opposed the Continental Congress wrote some of the historical accounts of the period. When proponents write almost all historical accounts then objectivity can be questioned. However, if people who lived in the same period, and who were opponents write a significant number of accounts, then you have a better chance to determine what actually happened. I would guess there are historical documents written in Britain that would corroborate that a Continental Congress and GW existed. Probably could also find colony newspaper editorials from the period that were pro British. There is sufficient corroboration.

Other points:

  1. Generally the older the story the more skeptical we should be. Stories change when they are retold, interpreted, and translated. Sometimes the original meaning of a certain words is not the same today. The author’s intent, and motivation is harder to determine.
  2. The more unreasonable a story is, the more skeptical we should be. If period documents about the Continental Congress also said the Congress involved supernatural events or people, then that would raise considerable question about integrity of the documents.

MrWhy
doesgodexistanswer.net


#6

The history of our country is just that, history. It is universally accepted as fact because of the enormous amounts of documentation and monuments and wars that took place.

There is also a line of presidents. George W. Bush is the 43rd president, and in order for there to be a 43rd, there logically, throught documented evidence and handed down knowledge, must have been a 1st. president.

I know that there may not be physical evidence that George Washington existed, although it very well may be possible to dig up his remains, do a DNA identification, and after finding these results, match them up with the ancesters of Washington that are alive today. Since they match, and we can see that they currently exist, it is logical to conclude the Washington did as well.

But, back to the documentation. We have a constitution with signatures and a declaration of indepence and countless other documents that can describe this country’s history. The authors of these documents are known to be credible sources who did in fact exist, and documented the events as best they could. It is extremly unreasonable to suggest that someone, or some collaborative group, made up these countless documents and signatures, and built statues for fictitious characters to make up an infinately elaborate past.

God, does not have this stong evidence. There is nothing that reasonably suggests that god exists. The Bible or Koran or Torah cannot be taken as evidence, because we know nothing of the authors, what justifications they have for claiming to be right, and they seems to be a well-writen work of fiction, which has inspired many and caused them to believe them as the truth.

Even though they believe this, it is an illogical belief.

Thanks, predator.


#7

[font=Verdana]The first step in defining the existence of anything is to have a clear definition. I propose that the definition of President be this: A human being, born in the United States of America, who holds executive power over that country, and whose office is described in Article II of the Constitution of the United States (This might not be a great definition, I’m not an American. I know that Articles XII, XX, and XXV also deal with the president, but I believe these were later additions, and that not all presidents can correctly be described as being subject to these additions?) The definition of “First President” should be: the first person to hold the office of President[/font]

[font=Verdana][/font]

[font=Verdana]If a person accepts this definition of President, they accept that there is a clearly laid out criteria by which to calculate whether a person or thing falls within the category “president” or if a person falls outside the category “president”. George Bush currently falls within the category. The Tooth Fairy does not, for the Tooth Fairy is not a human being, she’s a fairy. Donald Trump is a human being, but he does not match the definition of president outlined in the constitution, so he falls outside this category.[/font]

[font=Verdana][/font]

[font=Verdana]This definition, as I stated before, is not perfect, and if someone else comes up with a new and better definition then we should adopt it. However, this new and better definition should 1) Have a firm test of whether a person or thing falls within this category 2) Have evidence to support it, as opposed to being arbitrarily created. [/font]

[font=Verdana][/font]

[font=Verdana]The first is important, because one could say that the president means, “love” or “existence” and thus anything and everything that exists would fall into the definition.[/font]

[font=Verdana][/font]

[font=Verdana]The second is important, because a person could chose a definition that only frogs would fall into. It would in no way relate to what we commonly consider a president. The definition must be common to at least the majority of people involved. A perfect definition would describe everyone who has ever held the post, and exclude everyone who has not.[/font]

[font=Verdana][/font]

[font=Verdana]If we can accept that definition, then we can start to prove whether there was such a thing as the first president. This would require that we believe that the history of the United States is of a finite length. There was a time that the office of the presidency did not exist. If this can be agreed on, then we can only assume that there was in fact a first president. Now, I could try and produce evidence that the first such president was George Washington, but unless a person is willing to acknowledge that documents or artifacts of that era are authentic, or at least somewhat reliable, then the attempts are futile. All I can propose is that there has yet to be an argument put forward that **by definition **prevents George Washington from being the first president. In fact, without an historical account, or artifacts such proof would be impossible.[/font]

[font=Verdana][/font]

[font=Verdana]Founding fathers are a little more difficult, because the term has not been codified. There may be some debate as to what constitutes a founding father. But the first thing in that process would also be to define what would include a person, and what would exclude someone from that position.[/font]

[font=Verdana][/font]

[font=Verdana]I think it is indeed impossible to prove beyond any doubt that George Washington was the first President. But I think it is possible to prove that it is possible for him to have been the president. Once we have established the possibility, then we can attempt to establish the relative probability.[/font]


#8

Not to be rude, but if you can’t even spell “atheist”, you probably weren’t much of one.


#9

[quote=clarkal]Not to be rude, but if you can’t even spell “atheist”, you probably weren’t much of one.
[/quote]

“I before E except after C, or when sounding like A as in Neighbor or …Atheist.” I know I always pronounce it Ath-aste :rolleyes:

Seriously, everyone misspells something at least once in their life, I’m sure you have too. :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

I am an American. Way back in grade school I read the Constitution and related documents regarding the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

BUT.

I don’t personally FEEL that George Washington was the president. It doesn’t impact my life in any way. Since reality as I know it comes through my thoughts, feelings, and perceptions, then how can anybody reasonably expect me to believe in George Washington if it’s impossible for me to FEEL that it was true?

As for the tooth fairy, I agree that concept doesn’t exist … in which case, the tooth fairy can be neither a he nor a she.

As for Donald Trump, now he strikes me as being a REAL president, because he’s a businessman after all … And we all know that the bottom line and earning top dollar are the REAL reasons for Presidents Day … er, I mean, the Happy Holiday in February that always falls on a Monday!

~~ the phoenix


#11

[quote=Lady Cygnus]“I before E except after C, or when sounding like A as in Neighbor or …Atheist.” I know I always pronounce it Ath-aste :rolleyes:

Seriously, everyone misspells something at least once in their life, I’m sure you have too. :stuck_out_tongue:
[/quote]

Hehe, I know I have, but three times in a row? If I did, I probably didn’t know how to spell it.


#12

[quote=predator CA]The history of our country is just that, history. It is universally accepted as fact because of the enormous amounts of documentation and monuments and wars that took place…
[/quote]

History can be in error. We discover mistruths all the time. There is also an enormous amount of documentation (more than we require for most history) supporting the claims of Christianity, including many monuments and wars that took place. Yet, if you can so easily dismiss these, why can’t I do the same for GW.

[quote=predator CA]There is also a line of presidents. George W. Bush is the 43rd president, and in order for there to be a 43rd, there logically, throught documented evidence and handed down knowledge, must have been a 1st. president…
[/quote]

There is also a line of popes. Benedict 16th is the 265th. In order for there to be a 265th, there must have been, logically, through documented evidence and handed down knowledge, a first - Peter. With a first Pope indicates that someone gave him that office, and that same documented evidence and handed down knowledge, even from non-Christian sources indicates that this was Christ.

[quote=predator CA]I know that there may not be physical evidence that George Washington existed, although it very well may be possible to dig up his remains, do a DNA identification, and after finding these results, match them up with the ancesters of Washington that are alive today. Since they match, and we can see that they currently exist, it is logical to conclude the Washington did as well…
[/quote]

I know that there may not be physical evidence that Jesus existed, yet, unlike GW, there was no way to test his remains because nobody - even those who hated him, seemed to be able to produce a body. This was confirmed even by Jewish sources who wanted to deny the resurrection. Wow.

[quote=predator CA]But, back to the documentation. We have a constitution with signatures and a declaration of indepence and countless other documents that can describe this country’s history. The authors of these documents are known to be credible sources who did in fact exist, and documented the events as best they could. It is extremly unreasonable to suggest that someone, or some collaborative group, made up these countless documents and signatures, and built statues for fictitious characters to make up an infinately elaborate past…
[/quote]

Back to the documentation. We have Scripture and 1st and 2nd century writings and countless other documents - even from those who wanted to deny Christianity that can describe this country’s history. The authors of these documents are known to be credible sources who did, in fact, exist and documented the events as best they could AND went to the death to verify them - talk about credibility! It is extremely unreasonable to suggest that someone, or some collaborative group, made up these countless documents (signatures are irrelevant and can be faked, too) and built statues for fictitious Gods to make up an infinitely elaborate past.

[quote=predator CA]God, does not have this stong evidence. There is nothing that reasonably suggests that god exists. The Bible or Koran or Torah cannot be taken as evidence, because we know nothing of the authors, what justifications they have for claiming to be right, and they seems to be a well-writen work of fiction, which has inspired many and caused them to believe them as the truth. .
[/quote]

Actually, Predator, I think you just made the evidence for me. Thanks!

[quote=predator CA]Even though they believe this, it is an illogical belief…
[/quote]

Seeing as how science can’t seem to explain what existed before the Big Bang and can’t reproduce the first molecule of life or explain where the first ingrediants came from. Considering that they can’t give an explanation for the “purpose” that unintelligent life, such as the Venus Flytrap, has in its design or the explanation for a first movement or a first cause, I’ll have to admit, friend, you have a whole lot more faith than I do. Talk about illogical beliefs.


#13

Couldn’t resist. Here’s my proofs that GW and the founding fathers actually did exist:

**Argument from design – **While historians like to explain the origin of our country from some “big-bang” of a conflict called the Revolutionary War, this theory doesn’t hold up. Our modern Republic is an intricately woven system of bribery and vote pandering such as no mere political explosion would produce. Surely some great designer is at work here.


**Argument from degrees of election – **Everything from non-denominationalism to reality television shows is based upon the idea of majority rules. Surely, this system of forming alliances and ganging up on the less popular has, as its model, a “perfect” election, which we would most definitely find at the foundation of our country.


**Argument from first pet-cause – **Every politician has his own pet cause, from saving the endangered oil tycoon to vaccinating the country against an outbreak of Christian morality. Yet, each pet-cause has, as its origin, another pet-cause. As it would be impossible for this to go backward into infinity, surely there exists some primary pet-cause.


**Argument from contingent and necessary political parties – **Anyone can agree that today’s political parties are mostly unnecessary, or contingent, serving no purpose but to perpetuate themselves. Democrats, Republicans, Green party, Libertarians … each, by its own inherent worthlessness, indicates that there must have been some “necessary” political party at the development of our country.


**Argument from first motion – **Finally, at any committee meeting, business progresses as members make motions and second these motions. The meeting is adjourned and another scheduled on the basis of a “motion”. As with first pet-cause, this string of motions cannot continue backward infinitely, thus indicating the existence of some first motion.



#14

Predator!

Actually there IS evidence of the Bible being the Word of God and overwhelming evidence that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. Sound nutty? Well read it for yourself!
The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel
Outstanding book that blew me away.
Also, The Case for a Creator by the same author is an excellent book for proving God’s existence.


#15

[quote=Mordocai]Predator!

Actually there IS evidence of the Bible being the Word of God and overwhelming evidence that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. Sound nutty? Well read it for yourself!
The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel
Outstanding book that blew me away.
Also, The Case for a Creator by the same author is an excellent book for proving God’s existence.
[/quote]

What do you think about the following book: amazon.com/gp/product/0968925901/qid=1134376834/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/104-4906729-1797567?s=books&v=glance&n=283155?


#16

I propose that everything we think to be is not true, and we are all just brains in a vat in some lab.


#17

[quote=Mordocai]Predator!

Actually there IS evidence of the Bible being the Word of God and overwhelming evidence that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. Sound nutty? Well read it for yourself!
The Case for Christ - Lee Strobel
Outstanding book that blew me away.
Also, The Case for a Creator by the same author is an excellent book for proving God’s existence.
[/quote]

There are only two types of information in a religious scrupture that would indicate the source was a supernatural god.

  1.  Specific detail information about early earth history that is confirmed by current knowledge. Early history that only an omnificent creator could know and revealed at the time scriptures were composed. 
    
  2.  Accurate detailed predictions/prophecies about current events. If these exist then they would be evidence that a god reveled them to those writing scriptures. There are claimed prophecies, but they lack specific detail, and require creative interpretation of the scripture in order to match any current event.
    

Other parts of scripture containing wisdom, moral lessons, even accurate history of the era are not evidence that scriptures were the revelation of a god. Mortal humans could have easily been the source of these.


#18

[quote=predator CA]The history of our country is just that, history. It is universally accepted as fact because of the enormous amounts of documentation and monuments and wars that took place.

There is also a line of presidents. George W. Bush is the 43rd president, and in order for there to be a 43rd, there logically, throught documented evidence and handed down knowledge, must have been a 1st. president.

I know that there may not be physical evidence that George Washington existed, although it very well may be possible to dig up his remains, do a DNA identification, and after finding these results, match them up with the ancesters of Washington that are alive today. Since they match, and we can see that they currently exist, it is logical to conclude the Washington did as well.

But, back to the documentation. We have a constitution with signatures and a declaration of indepence and countless other documents that can describe this country’s history. The authors of these documents are known to be credible sources who did in fact exist, and documented the events as best they could. It is extremly unreasonable to suggest that someone, or some collaborative group, made up these countless documents and signatures, and built statues for fictitious characters to make up an infinately elaborate past.

God, does not have this stong evidence. There is nothing that reasonably suggests that god exists. The Bible or Koran or Torah cannot be taken as evidence, because we know nothing of the authors, what justifications they have for claiming to be right, and they seems to be a well-writen work of fiction, which has inspired many and caused them to believe them as the truth.

Even though they believe this, it is an illogical belief.

Thanks, predator.
[/quote]

Oh boy where do I start?

You mentioned that because George W Bush is the 43rd President than there must be a 42 and so forth all the way back to the 1st George Washington.

The difference you will find in debating with a Catholic vs a Protestant is valid testamonies, a priesthood that goes all the way back to Peter our first Pope.

Now unfortunaltely there is a lot of history from many sources that is just not accurate or is dead wrong, we see it today in our media, where the Democrats call Bush a liar, which is just foolish, whether you agree or disagree about the war does not conclude that Bush lied. sadley when I die little kids might have it on their test did bush lie about weapons of mass distruction.

The democrats are foolish, the media unreliable, so you have to have some intelegence to see through all the lies.

You are on the website for a reason, I would just focus on Catholic supported information and not on all the other experts in our Church or faith.

Goodluck for whatever you are looking for at catholic.com


#19
  1. GW is a myth, as was Davie Crocket and Johnny Appleseed. The stories surrounding them are mythologized to such an extent that if a person with that name did exist, it’s safe to say that there is only a minimal resemblance remaining. Killing bears when 3 years old, planting all the apple trees in America, or never telling a lie - are any of these really believable? It’s pure myth, and any intelligent person can see that.

  2. The Constitution was a fabricated document, originating sometime after the conquering of the American territory by “President” Lincoln. This despotic regime attempted to impose its will on the independant territories of America, and was resisted by many. The result of this resistance was what we now call the Civil War (as if there was such a thing).

  3. The Constitution was fabricated in an effort to legitimize the “Presidency” of the usurper Lincoln. As the government is the documentor of its own history, history was re-written by the victors. Propaganda papers were circulated before and during the Civil War which attempted to link the cause to slavery on a massive scale, which we know through historically-critical study was not the underlying cause - it was the imposition of “federal powers” (propaganda key-words) by Lincoln. To justify his dominion, he produced the “Constitution” and invented the story of GW, loosely based on an alleged leader of the Revolution.

  4. While it is clear that there were leaders among the early country fathers (ECF), there was most certainly not a President - there were only true believers in independence, part of an intellectual community which was called “America”.

  5. Any DNA evidence is suspect, as it would neither prove that GW was in reality anything like the myth or that it actually was GW - the same DNA evidence could just as easily point to an alleged Mrs. Washington or a slave; neither would actually be GW. Therefore, the DNA argument is moot.

  6. As scientific dating techniques are unreliable for the accuracy required to date between the late 1700s and the late 1800s, the Constitution cannot be proven to date earlier than Lincoln. The burden of proof is on the claimant, which in this case are those who think the Constitution dates earlier than Lincoln or that GW was who he is claimed to have been.

  7. If you were born in Germany, you would believe in the Holocaust (also myth). If you were born in Mexico you would believe in Montezuma. It all depends on your cultural bias, which I am free from when I assert that GW was a myth.

Ameritheist Bless,
RyanL


#20

Does the order of creation count? Or perhaps quarantines, unknown to science until roughly the 1200’s (at the earliest)?

  1. Accurate detailed predictions/prophecies about current events. If these exist then they would be evidence that a god reveled them to those writing scriptures. There are claimed prophecies, but they lack specific detail, and require creative interpretation of the scripture in order to match any current event.

You limit it to “current events”…why? Why not past events (if you really want to be objective)? What about *Zechariah 12:10 *and Psalms 22:16? Rather specific regarding a form of torture that wasn’t in usage at the time, wouldn’t you say? Oh, well…I’m sure it was a fluke.

God Bless


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