The Instigator
Logos
Pro (for)
Winning
57 Points
The Contender
dairygirl4u2c
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

As it Stands, Atheism is the Logical Conclusion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,692 times Debate No: 2478
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (13)
Votes (21)

 

Logos

Pro

I have had this debate many times, both on this site and off. I hope someone will approach this topic seriously.

Put simply, my main argument is this: Until some demonstrated, repeatable evidence can be found that definitively proves a deity exists, it should be assumed to not exist. The burden is not on the atheist to prove that there is no God , but the other way around. If someone wants to claim that God does exist, they should carry some proof with their claims.

The classic example of this logic is know as Russell's Teapot. It states that, technically, one cannot prove that there is not a giant teapot orbiting Earth. But we don't assume that such a thing exists. Quite the opposite: Since no teapot can be observed in space, we therefore assume that there IS NO teapot in space. This analogy applies perfectly to the God question. Until a god can be observed, it's existence is no more than supposition or even superstition.

In logic, a statement must be proven before it is accepted as fact. Until the statement "There is a God," carries some empirical evidence behind it, it should not be taken as true.
dairygirl4u2c

Con

ost atheists don't even know what that means. atheism is actually faith in no God. there is soft atheism and hard, soft being a tendency and hard definitive. soft and agonosticism is the only rational beliefs other than theism.

second. i don't think you can prove God demonstratably, but there's plenty of circumstantial evidence to warrant belief. depending on how you define "prove".
here is an essay i wrote on that, cause the rabbit hole does get that deep.

-----------

Depends on the level of proof you want, and how you define God. But ultimately, if you define God in any meaningful terms, or with substantial level of proof, God's existence cannot be proven.

incidentally. I believe in God's existence, but I don't claim it's definitive proof.
(Faith is arbitrary; and the act of faith -- of its very nature -- involves man's free choice (libero arbitrio).)

CAUSATION
everything we know has a cause. but we also have to recognize that we don't come across God phenomenon everyday, so to speak. if the first cause is God, wouldn't he required a cause too? God doesn't necessarily solve the problem.
if God can just be, the universe can just be.

Atheists often talk about how the spaghetti monster disproves God, cause we could have been formed by it. This is not analogous completely, but it makes an important point. That an intelligence made is is reasonable, that something specific like spaghetti did is random. But, it's still the point that it's arbitrary, like the spaghetti monster, to say intelligence is necessary.

Now, It does make sense say something caused us. If you see a bike rolling, that something pushed it makes sense. Ultimately this analogy does not fly either though, because a bike is specific, whereas the world is something that could have always been. (if god can alway have been, the world could always have been)
So we have the spaghetti monster on the one side and the bike on the other, ha.

In broader terms, there is the argument a fortiori. if there's an unending chain of events back in time, something must have made that chian. perhaps as you were saying, if existance is, even if infinte, it has to be here as an effect of something.
but, as i was saying, not necessarily. If that can just be, so can God.

Some people insist there's "something" that just "has" to be. As Ronald Knox put it, you can add as many links and as large as you like to a chain, but at some point you have to have a peg to hang it on, reiterating the point of an infinite chain argument. Some people like to hang their argument on this "thing" that must just be.
it seems like this peg, or this thing that must just be regardless of existance is just extra fluff that theists use to say he must exist. cause if God an just be, existance can just be.
to say soemthing more needs to be is not necessary. ockham's razor, the simplest solution is prob right.
and even if there was oemthing more, it does't have to be God so much as the fabric of existance. it's just there and just is. that seems like part of existance to me, not soemthing separate from it. to use the metaphor, the peg is part of existance not soemthing separate from it.
and you can call it God, if it's even allowed to be argued that this just being is needed (which i don't think you can do) but that's not saying much.

now, the big bang actually helps verify the dogma of God's existence as certainty, because we stop talking about the never ending chain as much. But was there anything before the big bang? We shouldn't assume so, it seems sufficient proof to say at least as far as that goes, that there ws nothing before the big bang, and if scientists are allowed to make deductions like this as a degree of proof, deductive while not inductive, the theologian should be able to too.
So, we see empiracally that there was a first cause, the big bang. if the big bang just happened as it were, is the first particles or group of particles that pushed the next ones then God? Or if it was random chance, is that God? To make God's existence mean anything, that is not God. If you define God as some abstract first cause, you're not defining him as much if it could just be a bunch of particles or random chance.
So if particles and random chance are possible, then God's existence isn't proven. Even if we assume nothing before the big bang.

you'd just be stomping your foot saying that a first cause, ie God, can just be without a cause, cause he's the first cause and can't have a cause before him. it's like a leap of logic that's not necessarily warrnated or based on anything we've seen as humans empiracally.

definitive proof would be proving either logically that there was a first cause, beyond particles and random chance. proving that there wasn't anything before the big bang that went back on and on. as of now we just have evidence for God. like if you see a dark spot, you have evidence that it's a shadow and thus would need an object causing it, but it could also be a natural dark spot where the sun don't sun. (no i'm not saying in anyone's behind.....) i think it'd be techincally deductive proof, not inductive. i forget the meaning of those words or if they ar teh right words but it's one of those.

ORDER AND INTELLIGENCE
same for intelligence. that there is order to hte universe doesn't prove God.
First of all, you're arguing that something complex, ie existance, was created by something that would be presumably even mroe complex?
where'd that complexity of God come from?
ockham's razor. The simplest solution would be the most probable.

Order could just means that order happened to occur, if we assume random chance and particles.
if you define intelligence as order then sure, but that's not saying much. you have to give the intelligence consciousness to mean anything substantial.

same with somethign complex like a watch. it's just proof, even more proof, but not exhaustive. when you look at something complex like a watch, it didn't spring up out of nowhere. it got here as an end product of earth formation, and evolution, and trial and errors and all that. if it did just spring up, you'd have something.
if life can form from elementary particles, that would eventially give rise to evolution to complexity. as per the world being ordered, it seems like it just follows laws of entropy and order just happened to occur givne gravity and such. it's not an unreasonable argument. but i agree God makes most sense, just isn't proof.

but, order, to the magnitude that exists with humans etc, tends to be almost miraclous to some. i don't think it's unreasonable to argue that order is so complex as to be almost miracalous, and put it in the proof for God category. but, i think that it evolved to what it is supports the no definitive proof argument. I suppose here it'd be reasonable to say God exists, almost certainly, but I simply cannot see how you could say for sure.the ultimate question remains, that why would something complex require something even more complex?

order is indicative of inteligent consciousness but not a proof definitively.

OTHER ARGUMENTS
but it's not without evidence theisitc faith. miracles is one. nderf.org is too.
though, nderf is pretty shaky about who or what God is doeother than many claim he exists.
miracles that can be done over and over would be very good proof in itself but that is lacking.
you could argue that miracles are proof, but, still, why would something complex ie miracles require something even more complex, ie God? This goes with the argument about about order and how it's almost miraclulous…. It's not definitive proof but at least with miracles, it's much closer.

"God as existance". a catharisis so theists can certainly claim God exists. no one would deny existance, rational people anyway. and you can call that God if you want, but it's not saying much of anyt
Debate Round No. 1
Logos

Pro

"ost atheists don't even know what that means. atheism is actually faith in no God."

Charming stereotypes aside, I question your understanding of atheism. It is not "faith in no god", as it is not a belief taken from faith. Faith is accepting a truth without logical proof. Logic is the cornerstone of atheism, or at least the atheism I am defending.

Regarding your causation argument: If I am reading your statement, "if the first cause is God, wouldn't he required a cause too?" correctly, you are in essence disproving part of your own viewpoint. You have stated that "Everything has a cause" cannot used as part of a logical proof defending God's existence. I agree. I also quesiton why this was brought up. "if God can just be, the universe can just be." is not proof of anything. It is a hypothesis at best.

"Atheists often talk about how the spaghetti monster disproves God, cause we could have been formed by it. This is not analogous completely, but it makes an important point. That an intelligence made is is reasonable, that something specific like spaghetti did is random. But, it's still the point that it's arbitrary, like the spaghetti monster, to say intelligence is necessary."

The "Flying Spaghetti Monster" religion is related to Russell's teapot, but I am not sure that is what you were saying. In fact, I have no idea what you were trying to get at with this paragraph.

As to your referencing Ronald Knox: You already discounted causality in the first paragraph of your essay.(You yourself stated that, if everything has a cause, then God must have a cause, and since we don't know what that would be, we are back at square one.) Therefore, the idea of a "chain" metaphor is already discarded. (Even if we were to take the universe as a chain, you did not prove that the peg it hangs on would be God, only that a peg *might* exist.)

I would also like to respond to your Big Bang argument, but again I have no idea what you are talking about. In fact, I am having a great deal of trouble understanding any of what you are saying. I cannot for the life of me point to any proof of God's existence within your post. If you have some proof, please post it in an ordered, sensical manner. So far, all I have read here is a collection of "what-if" statements and supposition. Some of it even REFUTES the idea of proving God's existence, from what I could gather. ("So if particles and random chance are possible, then God's existence isn't proven.")

You said at the beginning of your post that you did NOT think God's existence could be proven. That is the crux of my argument! Without proof to back up one's reasoning, one cannot reach a logical conclusion.

Please proofread your next post. I had trouble seeing what some of your arguments were driving at, and I would not want to misinterpret you because of a grammatical error.
dairygirl4u2c

Con

you have absolutely no proof for the non existence of God. yet you don't believe in God. i question whether you understand what atheism means. most atheists when cornered say they are really agnostics. soft atheism is a phrase that means you only have a tendency to not believe in God. hard atheism means you full believe as a matter of faith andor fact etc that God does not exist.
even richard dawkins would admit taht he doesnt think God's existance is false.

are you claiming to have the proof to disprove God's existance?

the spaghetti monster thing and teapot thing. i don't know how to make it clearer. to say a spaghetti monster made us is a very specific thing... it's completely arbitrary. to say some intelligence made us... not relegating God to some sort of man in the sky... is not specific and so is different than God. you have a point... it's somewhat analogos.. that it's not necessarily the case that that intelligence made us and in a sense is random... but it's not fully analogous because intelligence is at least plausible. a spaghetti monster is completely ludicris and random, albeit admittedly there's a degree you even have to accept hat this might be true.

the main point of my essay... is mostly geared towards theists to tame their random beliefs. God's existance can't be proven as fact. it's not demonstrateable. i understand your arguments.... yet, there's circumstantial evidence which is permissible even in a court of law. that a reasonable jury could say indicates God.

to look at hte world's complexity... and see how intricate it is. yes i concede you could ultimately argue, it got here after much evolution and time, and the whole idea of a possiblity no matter how remote (ie existance and our complexity) is that it occur: which did here.
so it's not definitive proof.
but it's good enough to stake a belief on. to many, including myself, it's just short of miraculous. almost there.

proven is a mushy word. it can mean inductive proof which we don't have here. it can mean deductive proof.. which we arguanly have.
in a court of law the burden is sually... "preponderance of the evidence" ie more likely than not. given the complexity miracles visions etc, i'd say it's more likley than not. of course, as a jury disagrees,,,, you're more than welcome to disagree. bt the case has still been "proven"
the last thing you could be, to be rational, is an full fledged atheist.
Debate Round No. 2
Logos

Pro

"you have absolutely no proof for the non existence of God. yet you don't believe in God. i question whether you understand what atheism means. most atheists when cornered say they are really agnostics. soft atheism is a phrase that means you only have a tendency to not believe in God. hard atheism means you full believe as a matter of faith andor fact etc that God does not exist.
even richard dawkins would admit taht he doesnt think God's existance is false."

As I said in my introduction, atheists do not need to offer proof that God does not exist, any more than Russell needs to prove his teapot does not exist. (That was the point of the analogy.) My point, as I have stated quite clearly, is that it is unreasonable and illogical to assume God exists without proof. That is why I say the burden is on the theist to prove that their God exists.

My personal feelings on atheism should be clear, but I will clarify, since you asked. I consider the idea of an omnipotent deity the same way I consider ghosts, UFOs, and Santa Claus: Myths with many adherents and no proof towards their validity. I don't think about them as true or false, in the same sense most people don't think about Star Wars as true or false.

"the spaghetti monster thing and teapot thing. i don't know how to make it clearer."

These are two separate analogies. Russell's teapot is an example of why the "proof of absence" argument you seem to have made is flawed. The Flying Spaghetti Monster is the center of a joke religion used to highlight perceived absurdities in various religions. That does not seem to be the context you are using it in, however.

"that it's not necessarily the case that that intelligence made us and in a sense is random... but it's not fully analogous because intelligence is at least plausible. a spaghetti monster is completely ludicris and random, albeit admittedly there's a degree you even have to accept hat this might be true."

Saying something is possible or plausible is not proof! Simply saying "Anything is possible," without anything to back your claims up does not prove your point.

"God's existance can't be proven as fact. it's not demonstrateable. i understand your arguments.... yet, there's circumstantial evidence which is permissible even in a court of law. that a reasonable jury could say indicates God."

This is not a question of juries or "circumstantial" evidence. You yourself said that God's existence can't be proven. Without proof, it is not a logical idea. Taking the idea on faith is one thing, but this debate is intended for logical examination.

"to look at hte world's complexity... and see how intricate it is. yes i concede you could ultimately argue, it got here after much evolution and time, and the whole idea of a possiblity no matter how remote (ie existance and our complexity) is that it occur: which did here.
so it's not definitive proof. "

Again, you are not proving God's existence to be true. Your argument is that the universe is complex, and that it is unlikely to have formed as it did by random chance. But then you acknowledge the possibility that it COULD have happened randomly! You do NOT show why the Universe could ONLY exist as it does if there is a God. If it were impossible for the universe to exist as it does without divine intervention, your argument could hold water. But you just said that either God's hand or random chance are BOTH possible sources of the universe's creation. In essence, you invalidate your own point. And you take this a step further, and gladly share that this entire argument is NOT definitive proof, which is the POINT to this debate!

"in a court of law the burden is sually... "preponderance of the evidence" ie more likely than not. given the complexity miracles visions etc, i'd say it's more likley than not. of course, as a jury disagrees,,,, you're more than welcome to disagree. bt the case has still been "proven""

I have no idea what I said to indicate this was a matter of civil law, where a "preponderance of evidence" is required. The legal system is not the same as logical analysis, and this debate is centered on the latter. The "miracle visions" you bring up are not empirical data. Antedoctal evidence is not evidence, as it is not repeatable or verifiable. I also am not sure why you say "the case has been proven" when you have offered little to no evidence, and have yourself said that God's existence cannot be verified.
dairygirl4u2c

Con

it's just semantics then as far as "proof" goes.
you're right that it can't be ascertianed with absolute certainty.
i insist it's proven as a matter of conjecture that's required with civil law and many other things that are uncertain in our uncertain world. you can disagree with that conclusion of course.
i would conceded that theists have to be either hard theists or soft theists too.

i think you're making too little of things like miracles and nderf.org and the complexity.
i know people who have miralces, people know people. i know people who have seen visions. my only point simply being to substantite that proof that i was refering to with the eivdience i'm offering. and to state that this stuff is almost surely fact... the question is why, not whether it's true or not.
as a scientist etc, an intelligence/intervening force etc is entirely feasible (a spaghetti monster is random though, and there's no reason to think it).
i'd posit that these things happen to theists mroe than atheists, but of course i haev no data to make that statement and even if i did it'd be disputed, but it's still more evidence. since these are known, in a sense, the burden of proof shifts to the atheists to refute the presumption in favor of the theists. ...true, it could be their mind controling it... but we know the only distinguishing thing is that they're theists and have mind difference on that matter... so the atheist should show that either it's the mind, or that that happens to them too.
so.. it's not definitive proof. but it can be argued to have been proven. and... the presumption is actually against the atheists.
Debate Round No. 3
Logos

Pro

"it's just semantics then as far as "proof" goes.
you're right that it can't be ascertianed with absolute certainty. "

"Proof" would be any form of concrete proof that God exists. The proof would have to be definitive, not an issue of "there is probably a God." Without such proof, it is not logical to assume something is true. There is no "benefit of the doubt" in logic.

"i think you're making too little of things like miracles and nderf.org and the complexity.
i know people who have miralces, people know people. i know people who have seen visions."

Again, this evidence is not repeatable or even verified. And even if it were, it is not conclusive proof of a God, for several reasons. First and foremost, you do not say what these "miracles" are, when they happened, and why the event could ONLY have been caused by God. As for the near-death experiences....Even if these events WERE true (I'm not saying they are) they would only establish that some form of consciousness remains after death. Again, not proof of God.

My opponent has repeatedly stated that there is no definitive proof that God exists. In that, we agree. This debate hinges on whether it is reasonable to take an idea that lacks proof to back it up, and take that idea as a fact. Having "faith" is one thing: faith is taking something as true, proven or not. But this is not a debate of faith, it is a debate of logic. And in logic, nothing is assumed to be true without proof. Therefore, until there is evidence that God exists, the idea that he does exist is not a logical conclusion to reach.
dairygirl4u2c

Con

proof is known to have double meaning. it can mean evidence or conclusive proof. i'm using it in the former sense.

you've avoided the point that theists are known for being signled out for this phenomenon over atheists etc.

you're right that there could be explanations other than an intelligence that is causing all this (you could even insist if a wonder worker came and started doing miracles in the name of God that there might be another explantion, analogous to a degree to show the obstenance of your position given that this stuff happens to theists)
if people in gneeral had miracles etc then you'd have a point, but you don't have that.
the evidence is in favor of theists, and hte presumption is in favor of them. atheists have the burden to rebut that presumption.
if the thing that distinguishes them is their belief... then at best you could simply insist that it could be their mind or something. but, when the distinguishing variable is their belief, that's not the most obvious explanation.

the most straightforward explanation is their belief itself distinguishes them.... and so using my standard of proof, i rest my case.
Debate Round No. 4
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dabigdood 9 years ago
dabigdood
just wondering for those of you that believe in god. You all agree that he created EVERYTHING, right? Like all of the universes and such
Posted by spinaltap 9 years ago
spinaltap
Con ranted on and on about nothing.....never once offering even a hint or sliver or proof or evidence of the existence of any sort of God. I doubt he even knows what proof means. He sounded like Clinton..."it depends on what the definition of is is. Pro, on the other hand, actually made sense.

I believe in the Sun God...his name is "Sun God"...SG for short. He proves his existence every morning...rising over the horizon...bringing light to the dark world. Anyone want to join my religion? I prefer donations in Euros on behalf of SG...he doesn't like deal in US dollars. BTW - he says their are no other worthwhile gods because he's the only one showing up at the convention. He also said that if anyone can prove the existence of another god he will stand down and leave us to wallow in darkness and let the other god do all the heavy lifting of bringing light to the world. He's tired anyway and wants to hang on the beach and catch rays.
Posted by bobsatthepub 9 years ago
bobsatthepub
ummm... I'm fairly confident the law has more to do with stopping anarchy then the "fear of god" does.

"In an atheist society you have no right to tell another person wrong from right I.E. Anarchy"

Like Norway?
Posted by sadolite 9 years ago
sadolite
Religion and the belief in god was created for 2 reasons in my opinion. To explain ones exisistence to early man once he was able to understand that he was supurior in every wy to every other living thing on the planet. And two, it bruoght hope and rules so that man could live in relitive harmony. Atheisim was the way it was before the concept of god and religion. All of your personal freedoms come from religion. In an atheist society you have no right to tell another person wrong from right I.E. Anarchy
Posted by SJay 9 years ago
SJay
with God what can be the absolute moral standard? there is no doubt that there IS one, but how? if there really was no higher being then everyman would get to choose for himself, but yet everyman isnt there are moral standards.

do you know what i mean?
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
Personally, I think that if Con spent less time trying to validate intelligent design and more time focusing on the difference between hard and soft atheism, he would have won.

Atheism is not the logical conclusion. Agnosticism or soft atheism is, Con was perfectly right and the debate should have ended there.

We should not assume something DOES NOT exist without evidence (Atheism)

We should not assume something DOES EXIST without evidence (theism)

The only logical conclusion is that THERE IS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CONCLUDE THAT IT EXISTS (Agnosticism)

Pro, although I believe his argument lost, is still the better debater. He handled the responses better. Con's arguments just got weaker and weaker as they went along, which is probably due to a wavering position.

Good job Pro, my vote is for you.
Posted by Logos 9 years ago
Logos
I don't see any reason why the presence of "moral standards" necessitates the existence of a God. People can make decisions of morality whether or not there is an all-powerful deity out there.
Posted by SJay 9 years ago
SJay
i didnt read the whole thing, so sorry if this was mentioned. but im just wondering.

Pro person: is there is no God, then how do you account for moral standards?

(I'm not at all saying, that athesists have no morals, just how do you account for them?)
Posted by Lenfent 9 years ago
Lenfent
That's like saying it takes faith to say that there's no such thing as faeries.

I'd also like to point out that the classical arguments for the existence of God (such as causation and the like) are horribly flawed in that they explain nothing. In fact, such arguments raise more questions than they attempt to answer.
Posted by Renzzy 9 years ago
Renzzy
sorry... god, not gos. I hate character limits.
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