In my recent interactions with Scott Windsor, over the forged Donation of Constantine, he actually went through every paragraph of that document to say, “yes, that was a lie,” or “no, that was not a lie.”
After doing so, he made the following bold claim:
To be clear here - I do not "defend" the forgery, I simply proved - quite succinctly, that the document is not "a complete lie" - as Bugay falsely charged. While its origin is not from the Emperor Constantine, many of the statements within the Donation of Constantine are quite true. To be "a complete lie" there could be NO truths within it. Mr. Bugay needs to realize his hyperbole has been called and his next step should be to acknowledge what I have said - there are SOME truths within the Donation of Constantine document. Yes, there are SOME false attributions in it, in fact the whole document is falsely attributed to Emperor Constantine - but to say it is "a complete lie" is not a truthful statement.Never mind that the mere intention to deceive is what makes the thing a lie. In the words of Augustine: “But the fault of him who lies, is, the desire of deceiving in the uttering of his mind (“De Mendacio”).
As I noted in my previous post, “the so-called Donation of Constantine was a thoroughgoing forgery, made for a specific purpose, at a particular place and time. It was the means chosen to achieve a specific end in a desperate situation.” (from Derek Wilson, “Charlemagne,” New York, London, Doubleday Publishing ©2006, pg 24).
According to Wilson, a secular historian, the forgers were “criminals,” and the individual who delivered it, Pope Stephen II, produced the document, with the intent to deceive, in order to persuade Pepin, King of France to defend himself and indeed Rome against Alstulf, the Lombard king.
J.N.D. Kelly notes that this document was indeed “drafted in the papal chancery.” Perhaps Scott will want to say that perhaps the papal chancery produced this document without any input from the pope. And he may say that “Pope Stephen” really didn’t hand that document to Pepin in the course of his negotiations with him.
But really, I tend to think that such things would be types of things that the six year old would say. In the real world, leaders are responsible for the doings of their underlings. In the real world, a real leader would take responsibility for his actions, instead of shifting the blame somewhere else. And after all, the intention to deceive is what makes a thing a lie, not the fact that there may be some truth imparted for the purpose of making the lie more believable.