The Instigator
JBeukema
Pro (for)
Losing
20 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
32 Points

Abortion is Murder (providing for exceptions in extreme medical emergencies)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/14/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,720 times Debate No: 7838
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (32)
Votes (8)

 

JBeukema

Pro

(A)
-noone who is sane wants to be murdered

-We define 'murder' as the intentional ending of human life by another individual when not done
--during war
--in self-defense
--as an 'assisted suicide'*
--as a last-ditch effort to save another life, in such a scenario where to refuse to terminate one life is to endanger another along with it**
--by the State, as capital punishment for grievous crimes

-We therefore call for the legal protection of all human life, save for the aforementioned exceptions. This has led to a social condemnation of murder (the individual ethical reasoning of the people are not important to this argument)

(B) Human life is defined as
-Being alive
-Being human

(C) A child, from conception is alive- at any point of development

Quote:
1. Homeostasis: Regulation of the internal environment (within the organism)

2. Organization: Being structurally composed of one or more cells, which are the basic units of life.

3. Metabolism: Consumption of energy by converting chemicals and energy into cellular components ...

4. Growth: Maintenance of a higher rate of synthesis than catabolism. A growing organism increases in size in all of its parts, rather than simply accumulating matter. The particular species begins to multiply and expand as the evolution continues to flourish.

5. Adaptation: The ability to change over a period of time in response to the environment....

6. Response to stimuli

7. Reproduction: The ability to produce new organisms. Reproduction can be the division of one cell to form two new cells. Usually the term is applied to the production of a new individual (either asexually, from a single parent organism, or sexually, from at least two differing parent organisms), although strictly speaking it also describes the production of new cells in the process of growth.
derived from
The question of sentience has no bearing on the classification of something as 'alive'

(D) Since a human child is, by definition, alive from conception, any purposeful destruction of that life is murder, as outlined in brief in (A) and cannot be allowed.

One cannot condemn murder and simultaneously condoning the killing of an unborn child (save for the noted exceptions), for that would be logically contradictory

*for those who support such a clause; this is currently a matter of debate

**such as rare forms of conjoined twins or the medical termination of ectopic or other medically dangerous pregnancy that endangers he life of mother and/or child

EDIT:: Before any of the libs call a baby a 'tumor'
-A tumor has the same genetic code as the host, adn is therefore their body
-A child has a different genetic code from with parent, therefore a child is not a part of a woman's body. Since the child is by definition alive, is genetically human, and is not a part of the woman's body, it is- by definition- a separate human life.
Danielle

Con

( Re: B/C/D ) Pro maintains that human life is defined as being alive and being human, and that "a child" from conception is alive at any point of development. In that case, OF COURSE a fetus is alive; the very sperm and egg cells that create the fetus are indeed ALIVE. In that case, the "killing" of every living that that has the potential to create life (i.e. a sperm cell) would be murder. So, the next time you lube up and spend a few minutes wanking off in a tube sock to the point of ejaculation, just know that you are committing murder, Pro, according to your definition of the term. If you (or anyone) disagrees, then these points must not be considered in affirmation for the Pro.

Remember that just because a zygote is alive, doesn't mean that it is subject to full human rights. Consider the fact that an ameba is alive, has DNA, and has all of the same characteristics as a human zygote except for the fact that it is not a potential person. However, that "potential" person is not equivalent to an ACTUAL person, therefore we have no moral obligation to defend the rights of a zygote any more than we have an obligation to defend the human rights of an ameba. Similarly, the cells that compose of the zygote are in fact human, as Pro pointed out, the same way that the cells on hair follicles are alive and human. In other words, a hair follicle from your head is just as human as a zygote (it contains the same unique DNA that Pro-Lifers claim make a zygote a person), and yet nobody would argue that you cannot cut or "kill" your hair.

In other words, a zygote is not a person. The definition of a person reads - being an individual, or existing as an indivisible whole; existing as a distinct entity. Clearly a zygote nor a fetus would fit this description. Furthermore, many would argue that a "person" doesn't even exist until the point of Consciousness, but I digress.

( Re: A ) I have several qualms with Pro's Point A:

First, Pro claims that there is a social condemnation of murder, and that the individual reasoning of the people are not important to this argument. Of course, this point is dripping in fallacies. I'll start with the main one: Argumentum ad populum - appeal to the general public; trying to prove something by showing that the public agrees with you. In that case, you'll have to consider the Argumentum ad numerum - appeal to numbers; the attempt to prove something by showing how many people think that it's true. However, regardless of how many people believe something, it doesn't necessarily make it true or right. For instance, even if 70% of people think that 1 + 1 = 3, it doesn't make that popular opinion correct. Additionally, it is the 'individual opinions' of the people that constitute a majority opinion in the first place, so I think the opinions of those people are actually completely relevant. .

Second, ethical reasoning is in fact pretty important. Pro calls for the LEGAL protection of all human life, but it is the moral and ethical codes that we wish to live by which determine what our laws should be. Even if you don't agree - even if you point out that, say, a Dictator is capable of making laws, then that only asserts the fact that what is legal isn't always what is morally sound (and vice versa), or what the majority people believe (even if you believe in a majority rule). Furthermore, morality or beliefs and opinions have a way of transferring from one generation to the next, regardless of what is "right." For instance, a woman is best suited to give birth at around age 15; however, many people in society look down upon such young women having children, that this biologically "right" characteristic is ignored based on the constraints of society (where it was accepted in the past).

That said, I question Pro's reasoning as to why the intentional ending of human life by another individual (when not done during war, in self defense, as assisted suicide, or capital punishment) is necessarily wrong. Consider the Objectivist view of abortion:

An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn). Abortion is a moral right, which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body? [ "Of Living Death" -- The Objectivist -- October, 1968 ]

Pro has the burden of proving why this view is wrong.

Additionally, Pro brought up the issue of sanity at the start of the debate. Personally, I'm skeptical to accept such a loosely defined (or non defined) description of what "sanity" is. However, if you do accept his presumption that nobody who is sane wants to be murdered, then it also seems reasonable to accept that nobody who is sane wants to murder. In that case, what about the soldiers who take pleasure in the killing of their enemies? Why does the act of being involved in a war make it morally permissible to kill? Pro is insisting that people follow (even immoral) orders blindly, without making an individual judgment on whether it is right or wrong to take another human life in a given situation. Clearly not everybody agrees; this is because sometimes individuals are held to a standard which maintains that they have to make their own decisions and not just do what they are old (see: Nuremberg Trials).

Outside of the boundaries of an accident, killing at ANY time should be wrong and considered murder according to Pro. The resolution states that it is murder providing for exceptions in extreme medical emergencies, but who is to determine what these "emergencies" are? What if a mother is subject to postpartum or depression, and having a child can send her in a downward mental spiral? Would that be considered a medical "emergency?" Moreover, what if a soldier kills a man during a time of war, even though he has no hostility towards that man and the war was considered unjust by a majority of people (i.e. the war in Iraq) - did that soldier commit murder?

My point here is that if murder (killing) can be justified at any point, then I don't see why it wouldn't be justified in terms of abortion, especially according to the facts: (1) Most abortions occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, when a fetus cannot live independently of its mother and cannot exist without her (2) Personhood =/= human life (3) An occurance where rape or incest results in a pregnancy, having a baby can have irreparable medical (mental) impacts on the mother, thus severely threatening the value of her life, even if it is not an "emergency" in that she can still survive without having an abortion (4) Civil rights (the right of women to govern their own bodies, independent of any social or legal obligation) .

Finally, I'll avoid the blatantly obvious fact that Pro spoke of murder only in regard to HUMAN rights, and didn't include anything about the intentional killing of animals for sport or (unnecessary) food, but again, I digress. I think I have successfully negated the resolution and all of Pro's claims up until this point without having to make such an obvious argument.

Back to you, Pro.
Debate Round No. 1
JBeukema

Pro

Con::
Pro maintains that human life is defined as being alive and being human, and that "a child" from conception is alive at any point of development. In that case, OF COURSE a fetus is alive; the very sperm and egg cells that create the fetus are indeed ALIVE. In that case, the "killing" of every living that that has the potential to create life (i.e. a sperm cell) would be murder. So, the next time you lube up and spend a few minutes wanking off in a tube sock to the point of ejaculation, just know that you are committing murder

Rebuttal::Neither sperm nor ovum:
(A)Regulates its internal environment
(B)'eat' or metabolize energy from external sources
(C)Grow or heal
(D)Reproduce

Therefore, neither sperm nor ovum meets the requirements for classification as Life. They are biological 'machines', if you will, and are incomplete by themselves.

Con:: Remember that just because a zygote is alive, doesn't mean that it is subject to full human rights. Consider the fact that an ameba is alive, has DNA, and has all of the same characteristics as a human zygote except for the fact that it is not a potential person

Rebuttal:: An amoeba is alive, but is not human. To state that an amoeba does not have human rights is self-evident and lends nothing to the discussion. This is a straw man, as you have addressed your own bastardization of my point, rather than any logical implication of what I have said

Con:: However, that "potential" person is not equivalent to an ACTUAL person

Rebuttal::The fact that you make this argument right after attempting to portray masturbation and ovulation as murder only serves to demonstrate the desperation with which you grasp at straws. Again, I have demonstrated that a zygote- to remove any trace of humanity, as you cannot face what it is you advocate and must hide behind some terminology- is, in fact, human, possessing a human genome. You have merely claimed the opposite, but have offered n o evidence or argument to defend your claim.

Con::Similarly, the cells that compose of the zygote are in fact human, as Pro pointed out, the same way that the cells on hair follicles are alive and human. In other words, a hair follicle from your head is just as human as a zygote (it contains the same unique DNA that Pro-Lifers claim make a zygote a person), and yet nobody would argue that you cannot cut or "kill" your hair.

Rebuttal:: I get the distinct impression that you did not read any of my points. You hair is a part of your own body, possessing your own genetic code and being a part of your biological systems. As such, you may do it it as you wish- just as you are free to cut your own body but not to cut that of another (wo)man. Do try to address the points I have made and stop using old and recycled attempts to bypass a meaningful response- something you have yet to provide for any of the points I have made.

Con then tries to claim Argumentum ad populum, apparently having no concept of social contract or the source of any ethical code affecting a group or population. The reason individual morality is irrelevant to the conversation is that we are addressing the issue of whether the 'abortion' of a human life fits the definition of murder- we are not at this time addressing the morality of such an act. We are simply demonstrating that any reasonable or logical definition or 'murder' would encompass the acts defined as 'abortion'- with the aforementioned extenuating circumstances.

Con::An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being.

Rebuttal:: I have demonstrated that that we are discussing human life. Until you demonstrate the contrary, you building a house of cards based on fallacies and ignorance- you cannot base an argument on a 'point' that has shown fallacious. Furthermore, you claim that 'child cannot acquire any rights until it is born ' yet give no reasonable defense of that position. Again, your entire 'argument' hinges on the claim I have already shown to be false. You hold the burden of proof- you must demonstrate that my reasoning is flawed and provide a logical basis for your claims. Attempting to say that I bear BoP is merely an attempt to avoid defending your position.

Con::if you do accept his presumption that nobody who is sane wants to be murdered, then it also seems reasonable to accept that nobody who is sane wants to murder. In that case, what about the soldiers who take pleasure in the killing of their enemies?

Rebuttal:: You have not demonstrated that killing times of war, as a part of conflict, is, in fact, murder. Until you do so, this entire line falls apart.

Con::Outside of the boundaries of an accident, killing at ANY time should be wrong and considered murder according to Pro.

Rebuttal:: Clearly you either did not read or did not understand (A). Again, a strawman follows.

Con::The resolution states that it is murder providing for exceptions in extreme medical emergencies, but who is to determine what these "emergencies" are?

Rebuttal:: Obviously, I posted the wrong draft. It was meant to read 'medical emergency in which the lives of both mother and child(ren) are at risk, such as ectopic pregnancy. In such a scenario, where one either allows both to die or sacrifices a single life to save another, we can only allow, in the spirit of the Hippocratic oath, the reduction of suffering and death. This is due to the doctor's oath and obligation to preserve life.

Con:: Most abortions occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, when a fetus cannot live independently of its mother

Rebuttal:: A child as old as five, if left to his/her own devices, will die. A toddler will starve, dehydrate, and die without a caregiver. The logical implication of your argument is that the young, old, sick, and weak all fail to be human or possess human rights

Con::Personhood =/= human life

…. Do you plan to defend or explain any of your claims, or simply state them as fact and assume everyone will accept anything you say?

Contract::(4) Civil rights (the right of women to govern their own bodies, independent of any social or legal obligation) .

I already proved this to be false, as a child is not a part of either parent's body

Con::Finally, I'll avoid the blatantly obvious fact that Pro spoke of murder only in regard to HUMAN rights, and didn't include anything about the intentional killing of animals for sport or (unnecessary) food

Pro:: murder is, by definition, applicable to human life only. One can speak out against cruelty to animals, but the life of no other species has ever been recognized or accepted as equal to our own

If you respond, please try to
\-address my points for a change
-defend your own

Else you are not debating, but merely repeating the same tired soundbites
Danielle

Con

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
JBeukema

Pro

I see that Con has not attempted to defend any of her claims or challange any of my evidence. Nor has she posted a comment to claim it was for any reason other than the fact that she cannot do either. I believe it is fair to announce this debate finished and the matter settled.
Danielle

Con

As discussed heavily in the Comments section of the debate, this resolution relies solely upon the agreed definitions of both parties. Because I do not deem a semantics argument to be advantageous to this discussion, I will try not to waste too much time in opposition of my opponents flawed definitions.

That said, I do have a problem with Pros propositions and must address them as such. First, Pro objects that sperm nor ovum are alive. That is blatantly false. Sperm is difficult to think of as alive; however, they have the energy to fertilize, making it a living thing. Further, it's true that a sperm cell cannot live on its own and will die within 72 hours if it does not fertilize an ovum. However, because the sperm cell will DIE means that it must first be ALIVE. It thus meet the criteria of sperm being alive and validates my argument. About 3.8 billion years ago, life began. Since then, all organisms have merely been copies of that original organism. Thus, both sperm and ovum are living , and my argument on this issue stands.

Re: My opponent's claim that I have straw manned his argument by mentioning the 'obvious' fact that an amoeba does not have human rights -- Pro has missed the point. I said that an amoeba has all of the same characteristics as a human zygote, so it is a potential human. Similarly, a human zygote is a POTENTIAL human. But POTENTIAL things are not deserving of the same rights as actual things. In other words, a potential human isn't worthy of human rights because it's not human, whether that potential thing was an amoeba or a zygote.

Additionally, let us address the blatant straw man my opponent stated in the previous round, in saying that I have "claimed the opposite," in other words, claimed that a zygote is not human. What I did do was state the fact that a zygote is a POTENTIAL human. This is akin to how a tadpole is not a frog; it is a tadpole, who has the potential - due to its genetic make-up - to one day be a frog. This is not similar to calling a baby cow a calf, because a calf is still a cow (while a tadpole is not a frog). A zygote is NOT a human. It does NOT have all of the necessary human functions for survival on its own, in order to be considered human.

Next, Pro states - and I quote it verbatim - "You hair is a part of your own body, possessing your own genetic code and being a part of your biological systems. As such, you may do it it as you wish." ... Ha. That's true, and that's exactly why a zygote - which is part of your own body, possessing your own genetic code, and being a part of your biological system (reproductive) is another part of you for you to do as you wish. It should be pretty clear by now that Pro is a huge fan of the style over substance fallacy or aspect of debating; his Texas Sharpshooting rings loud and clear when he says things like, "stop using old and recycled attempts to bypass a meaningful response" in reference to my valid arguments which he unsuccessfully disputes.

Pro stated, "You claim that 'child cannot acquire any rights until it is born ' yet give no reasonable defense of that position." To reiterate my previous points, a child cannot acquire any rights until it can survive on its own because: An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn). Abortion is a moral right �€" which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body? [1]

Re: You hold the burden of proof- you must demonstrate that my reasoning is flawed and provide a logical basis for your claims. Pro clearly is not familiar with the burden of proof fallacy, which very clearly indicates that PRO always has the burden of proof. Pro must prove that abortion = murder, but I have clearly falsified all of his premises.

Re: You have not demonstrated that killing times of war, as a part of conflict, is, in fact, murder. Until you do so, this entire line falls apart. -- Actually, by Pro's very own definition of murder (the taking of a human life), then killing - even in combat - IS, in fact, murder. To say that war is a justification for killing is absurd. Wars exist for immoral reasons all the time. In the case of justification, then one can justify murder in other instances as well, i.e. vigilante killing. The fact is, that once decisions have to be made about whether or not something is moral or justified in terms of killing , things become shady and unclear.

Pro sarcastically (and unnecessarily, and not so cleverly) asks: Do you plan to defend or explain any of your claims, or simply state them as fact and assume everyone will accept anything you say? I assert that embryos or aborted fetuses are POTENTIAL lives; not human lives, and therefore do not fit the appropriate definition of murder as suggested by Pro. My rounds explain why.

Finally, Pro maintains that this debate is about whether or not abortion (outside of several extenuating circumstances) fits the definition of murder. Obviously one only has to look in a dictionary to determine if that's true or false; this debate is clearly about if abortion SHOULD be considered murder. Again, a zygote CANNOT be considered of the same value as human life, because it is NOT human life - it is POTENTIAL human life.

I hate to use such a rigid analogy, but consider a bank bond purchased for $20. In ten years, the value of this bond may increase to $200. However, to say that it is valued at $200 today would NOT be true. It merely has the POTENTIAL to one day be valued at $200. Similarly, a human zygote - while obviously a very special, precious and necessary thing - is valuable, but not AS VALUABLE as an actual human life; a life that can perpetuate its own existence by itself. Murder is the taking of a HUMAN LIFE. Not the taking of potential human life. While that is bad - and you may even think JUST as bad - it is still not the SAME.

I have 1 minute to post this, so here goes...

Vote Con.

Source: [1] http://www.aynrand.org...
Debate Round No. 3
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Actually, I was looking for the one Abortion debate by theLwerd that I remembered commenting on. Apparently, I never actually commented.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
Are you on a scavenger hunt, mongeese?
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Wow, there are even Lwerd votes here.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
Ugh, poor arguments on both sides.
Posted by JBeukema 7 years ago
JBeukema
I never played semantics. I started with a descriptive examination of how society comes to criminalize homicide and then demonstrated that this reasoning, when extrapolated honestly, applies to abortion.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Pro hoped to win a semantic argument by providing a definition and then pointing to the definition provided. To prove that abortion is murder, the definition of "murder" would have to drawn from a recognized authority on the way language is used in society. Otherwise it is arguing "I define x to be y. Therefore any instance of y is x." That's a personal tautology, not an issue for debate.

Forfeiting a round loses conduct, but it doesn't forfeit the debate. Pro's case, without references to prove how language is used, was not prima facia.
Posted by JBeukema 7 years ago
JBeukema
I love how, in the final rounds, AFTER FORFEITING, con posts blatant lis and inaccurate statements like the child having the same DNA as the parent.

Not only were none of my points ever addresses, but Con's entire case rests on lies- just like Roe V. Wade, where the anti-lifers lied outright to use and spit in the face of all women who've ever been raped i order to push their agenda
Posted by JBeukema 8 years ago
JBeukema
What's lame is forfeiting a round, which means the debate is over, then using such a trick to post dishonest propaganda without giving the opponent a chance to respond
Posted by numa 8 years ago
numa
pro, adding another debate round to the comment section is pretty lame.
Posted by JBeukema 8 years ago
JBeukema
Con: That's true, and that's exactly why a zygote - which is part of your own body, possessing your own genetic code, and being a part of your biological system (reproductive) is another part of you for you to do as you wish.

Read my previous points. A zygote DOES NOT HAVE THE SAME GENETIC CODE AS THE MOTHER
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