The Instigator
Ds201049
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
annhasle
Con (against)
Winning
100 Points

Christianity is greater Than atheism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 16 votes the winner is...
annhasle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,227 times Debate No: 13901
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (29)
Votes (16)

 

Ds201049

Pro

Christianity gives people a basis for living a good life, whereas atheism promotes a person to whom morality does not mean anything. Therefore, an atheist hating Christianity lacks solid reasoning, and Christianity is greater than atheism.
annhasle

Con

I thank my opponent for the debate challenge and hope this remains as enjoyable as possible for both of us.

Let's start my defining some terms:

Christianity - a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior

Atheism - a lack of belief in the existence of God or gods

Greater - more great; superior

Since my opponent offered no terms of his own or directions of what he expects in the first round, I shall assume that these definitions are sufficient and continue on with rebuttals.

xxx

- Rebuttal -

"Christianity gives people a basis for living a good life"

I will not argue that Christianity provides a basis for a bad life, but instead I am going to try and prove that not only is this an unfounded assertion but that it can be proven false by the following passages from the Christian Holy Scriptures (the Bible) along with analysis of the Christian core values and text.

Now, since my opponent has not specified which areas of Christian faith has led him to the conclusion above, I will try to incorporate a diverse selection of texts and experiments to show the error in his logic.

Let's start with the Old Testament. To be fair, I will concede that many Christians argue that the Old Testament (which will from here on out be referred to as "OT") should not be read literally and should instead be regarded as symbolic. Shall we see?

Starting out with the beloved story of Noah's Ark and how two of every animal was safely chauffeured onto the ark and into safety. But the underlying "symbol" or better yet message of the story is unsettling. God wasn't pleased with the humans, so he (with the exception of one family) ordered a massive flood to drown all of them, including the children and innocent animals who weren't rescued by the ark. For such a popular story, I struggle to see a positive message there.

Moving on, let's look at the story of Lot who was spared from the Sodom and Gomorrah destruction for being abnormally righteous. Two male angels were sent to Sodom to warn Lot of the oncoming destruction whereupon all of the Sodom men circled Lot's house and demanded that Lot release the angels into their possession so they could sodomize them as is evident in the Genesis passage, "where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them"(Genesis 19:5). And sadly, "know" does not mean to go grab a bite to eat and talk over dinner. So, if even the angels are sodomized in the Bible, what message is this sending to it's readers? A "good life" does not entail rape, does it?

Speaking of rape, that reminds me that the story doesn't end there! It continues on with Lot refusing their request by stating, "I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof" (Genesis 19: 7-8). And so the misogynistic ways of the Bible are shown in his refusal and his bargaining with the price being his daughter's virginity. Luckily it was all for not since the angels struck the men blind and helped Lot escape the town. But even with that bittersweet ending, one cannot help but still be perturbed by the apparent lack of concern for womens' welfare in comparison the mens'. And if you are thinking that this was an isolated incident, you are wrong.

In the Book of Judges, a priest is traveling with his concubine in Gibeah where they spent the night with an old man in his quaint home. When supper was served, the men of Gibeah came pounding on the door, demanding for the male visitor so that they may "know" him (remind you of something?). And, in the same fashion as Lot, the old man cries out, "Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house do not this folly. Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing" (Judges 19:23-4). Ah, once again the women are treated as pawns in the bargaining game to protect the man. The two women were gang raped all night and the concubine died the next morning. The priest then cut her body into twelfths and sent the pieces to the coasts of Israel. Now, is the subservience of women in the Bible a "good thing" that should be taught to children and others? If Christianity shows the basis for a good life, I see no way in which misogynistic standards can be counted as a "proper message".

Now, judging by your following sentence where you state atheism promotes a person to whom morality does not matter - which I will respond to later - I believe your implying that Christianity then promotes morality in a person. So far, the passages haven't been favoring that idea. But in all fairness, the OT is rarely shown to be tolerant. So let's see how the New Testament (NT) fairs.

One of the core tenants of Christianity is "Love thy Neighbor". In John Hartung's original essay Skeptic, he explains that "Love thy neighbor" was intended to mean "love thy fellow Jew". And even one of the most "sacred" of tenants, "Thou shalt not kill", was intended to mean, "Thou shalt not kill Jews" [1]. This kind of hostility towards members of other groups was enforced by Jesus, a man who has been portrayed to "love all". Well, obviously that isn't as true as we would like to think.

Let's move outside of the text and see how the Bible or Christianity directly affects those who are believers. Starting with in 2005, one of our cherished cities New Orleans was destroyed by hurricane Katrina. And America's best known Evangelist and former presidential candidate was reported blaming the hurricane on a lesbian comedian [Ellen Degeneres] who was chosen to host the Emmy's and since she happened to live in New Orleans, it was her fault.[2] Is this the tolerance or goodwill towards fellow man? No. And if you are to blame the destruction of an entire city caused by a natural disaster solely on the sexuality of another, how does this help you live a morally good life? What is the benefit? There is no justification for the hatred of the Evangelical clergy towards the homosexuals and yet the claim that they have the right to be unpleasant since it's a God given right found in the Bible. Is homosexuality immoral?

xxx

"Whereas atheism promotes a person to whom morality does not mean anything."

False. Since atheism was previously defined as "the lack of belief in God or any gods", there is no prerequisite to believe or not believe in morality. Although someone who is an atheist would not follow Divine Command Theory, they could still follow Moral Realism or Moral Relativism since a deity is not needed to believe in such a meta-ethical stance. Therefore, since meta-ethical stances exist that do not require the existence of a deity or the involvement of any god, atheism is not responsible for promoting an apathetic attitude towards morality.

xxx

"Therefore, an atheist hating Christianity lacks solid reasoning,"

I would define this person as an "anti-theist" which is different than an atheist. As Christopher Hitchens said, "I'm not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful."

Atheist =/= Anti-theist

xxx

"Christianity is greater than atheism"

Based upon my explanations above, this is simply not true. My opponent's assertions were unfounded and not explained. And this one is simply a non-sequitur.

Resolution Negated

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 1
Ds201049

Pro

Very well-reasoned and well-researched response. This is my first debate on debate.com so i'm not very familiar with the way these are supposed to be structured, but I guess I will respond to your points, and then bring about a new subject for you to attempt to respond to.
First of all of the stories fro the old testament are not supposed to be interpreted literally,which you stated, but then you went ahead and interpreted them literally. The story's may have subject matter what one would consider immoral and wrongdoings, but just because something is done in a bible story does not mean it is supported as part of the faith. Then again Jesus is tortured in the bible, that does not mean that the bible and Christianity support torture. You stated rape as being in the bible and stating that rape is not part of a good life. If you were to ever to go as far as to read the ten commandments or a christian morality book, you would know that Christianity strictly condemns rape, and that those who participate in such an action are punished with the harshest punishment in christianity, which is hell. Aside from me explaining and responding to a certain example, this part of your argument is insignificant, because the old testament is not meant to be interpreted literally.

As you stated, you believe that Jesus only commands us to love Christians. Read the ten commandments and you will see that we are meant to love all and not do anything harmful to anyone, no matter what they are. Just because John Hartung interprets something one way, does not mean it is true. Personally, I would rather listen to how the catholic church interprets what Jesus says. I'd say that's a little more reliable source than some biased man arguing against christianity.

Homosexuality is not immoral. Certain people may be chemically born with a desire toward the other sex. Therefore they are not at fault. I completely disagree with that evangelist. You can't be blamed for something you can't help. It is the homosexual acts that become immoral, because they do not subscribe to the qualities required for good holy sex.

About atheists not having a reason for morality, an atheist may be a good, moral person. However, it is not atheism that promotes this person to do so. If there is no judgment after you die, then there Is no motivation for morality within atheism. Atheism does not inherently cause someone to be good, whereas Christianity does. Christianity alone causes someone to strive to be moral or pay the consequences. Therefore, the chances of someone who believes in Christianity being moral is greater than someone who considers themselves an atheist.

A god must exist. If you were walking on a beach and you saw a watch on the ground, you would see how complicated and magnificent it was, therefore you would believe someone must have created it. The same applies for us. There must be something greater than us that created us. All things set in motions must have been set in motion by another, somewhat set everything in motion? Something that was above everything that created motion. It us greater to exist than to not exist, therefor god must exist.

Vote pro
annhasle

Con

Thank you for the timely response.

> "First of all of the stories fro the old testament are not supposed to be interpreted literally,which you stated, but then you went ahead and interpreted them literally."

No, I stated the passage and then tried to find the "symbolism" or "message" it was sending to the reader. Of course I viewed them literally at first but then I asked questions and made an analysis based upon what I thought the passage was trying to convey.

> " The story's may have subject matter what one would consider immoral and wrongdoings, but just because something is done in a bible story does not mean it is supported as part of the faith. "

Regardless of it being supported NOW, it is in the Bible - the holy text. And since it can be found there, I will analyze it as part of the Christian faith. But that does bring up another point which unsettles me. If Christianity is the basis of your morality and where your morals are found, how do you pick and choose which passages are "symbolic" and which ones are "literal"? Many theologians disregard the violent texts as "symbolic" since the texts are filled with what they consider to be immoral acts. But if the books of the Bible is the source for morality, then why do you not follow what God commanded? You say they are "immoral" and "wrong", but these are God's actions or orders, the very one you praise for morality.

I think John Hartung summed it up quite nicely:

The Bible is a blueprint of in-group morality, complete with instructions for genocide, enslavement of out-groups, and world domination. But the Bible is not evil by virtue of its objectives or even its glorification of murder, cruelty, and rape (Hartung, ms2). Many ancient works do that-The Iliad, the Icelandic Sagas, the tales of the ancient Syrians and the inscriptions of the ancient Mayans, for example. But no one is selling the Iliad as a foundation for morality. Therein lies the problem. The Bible is sold, and bought, as a guide to how people should live their lives. And it is, by far, the world's all-time best seller. [1]

> "Then again Jesus is tortured in the bible, that does not mean that the bible and Christianity support torture."

No. But within your holy texts, women are offered up as bargaining chips in a game to save men from being sodomized. It is considered noble to save the men by giving virgins to the men townsfolk.

And regarding torture, here's a passage from Revelations:

"He who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, I [Jesus] will give him power over the nations and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received power from my Father (2:26-27)…And I [John] heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel (7:2-4)…they were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green growth or any tree, but only those of mankind who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads; they were allowed to torture them for five months, but not to kill them. (9:4-5)." [2]

Here Jesus allows the tribes of Israel to torture the non-believers. So, it appears that even Jesus who was to be tortured, had no qualms with ordering such an action onto others.

> "You stated rape as being in the bible and stating that rape is not part of a good life. If you were to ever to go as far as to read the ten commandments or a christian morality book, you would know that Christianity strictly condemns rape, and that those who participate in such an action are punished with the harshest punishment in christianity, which is hell."

If the Ten Commandments condemns rape, then why is rape used as a tool in the Bible? Whether is be in Deuteronomy, Judges, Zachariah or Samuel, rape is condoned. Surely there would be consistency within society if God claimed rape to be immoral and punished those who committed the act.

And whether it is condoned in current Christian morality books is irrelevant. I'm showing the fallacy in what you claimed by using the Bible and how the passages are used to affect society.

> "Aside from me explaining and responding to a certain example, this part of your argument is insignificant, because the old testament is not meant to be interpreted literally.

Luckily I have been examining the messages of the text. But there's really no positive spin for misogynistic behavior, rape, or genocide.

"> As you stated, you believe that Jesus only commands us to love Christians. Read the ten commandments and you will see that we are meant to love all and not do anything harmful to anyone, no matter what they are. Just because John Hartung interprets something one way, does not mean it is true. Personally, I would rather listen to how the catholic church interprets what Jesus says. I'd say that's a little more reliable source than some biased man arguing against Christianity."

The Catholic Church is your unbiased source? Please. Hartung is actually Catholic so, if you had actually read my links, you would have known that he supports the Bible and Jesus. He is a widely respected Anthropologist who has centered his research on the in-group hostility of Jesus's actions and followers towards out-groups.

Unless you have proof that Jesus wanted us to love ALL, this point remains unchallenged. Hartung has significant proof pointing out that during the time Jesus (supposedly) was alive, there was a group mentality where the Jews were the faithful, God-loving people and the rest were heathens. And to love a heathen was unheard of. [3]

> "Homosexuality is not immoral. Certain people may be chemically born with a desire toward the other sex. Therefore they are not at fault. I completely disagree with that evangelist. You can't be blamed for something you can't help. It is the homosexual acts that become immoral, because they do not subscribe to the qualities required for good holy sex."

'Good Holy Sex'? I understand that the Church doesn't see homosexuals as depraved but their actions are morally depraved. However, how does anal sex become immoral? How is that a "good basis" for morality? This continues to enforce discrimination while aiding ignorance and spite between the Catholics and homosexuals. If Catholics argue that they want a "love all" society which is cohesive, than it would be expedient to retract their hateful position against homosexual behavior.

> "About atheists not.... someone who considers themselves an atheist"

So, Christianity is inherently better because it offers a reward which then motivates someone to do good? So, you won't be good for the sake of being good? Isn't THAT the basis of moral behavior? And if so, then the atheist is the one who is acting morally. For an atheist to act morally good, they do so out of goodwill for other humankind not out of fear of a God or to suck-up. And even if Christianity has a moral basis through the Ten Commandments, it does not inherently cause someone to be good. I direct your attention to this: http://markhumphrys.com... Here is a historical list of the killings in Christianity's name. Now, how is THAT moral?

> "A God must exist."

There MUST be something greater that caused us? How so? One word: Evolution.

This line of questioning however is too complicated for being in this particular debate and, in the future, feel free to challenge me to a debate about God's existence. But in this particular debate, we are debating whether Christianity is greater than Atheism and the proof of God is not important for your assertion. Truly, I would need about double the space just to answer this one paragraph.

> "It us greater to exist than to not exist, therefor god must exist."

Non-sequitur.

SOURCES:
[1] http://www.lrainc.com...
[2] http://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Ds201049

Pro

It is greater to exist then to not exist, therefore god must exit and you are wrong. End of debate

Vote pro
annhasle

Con

Since my opponent did not address any of my points, and they now remain unchallenged, I assume that means he concedes.

> "It is greater to exist then to not exist, therefore god must [exist]"

The ontological argument. Let's see:

I'm going to use Immanuel Kant's argument -

"Kant argued that the problem with the argument lay in its claim that existence is a predicate. A predicate term describes something done by a subject; so, in the sentence "John is eating" the predicate "is eating" describes something that the subject, John, is doing. Kant argued that existence cannot be a predicate because it does not add any new information to an understanding of the subject. To be told that John is bald, that he is eating, and that he is angry is to add three things to the stock of information about him. However, to be told that he exists does not genuinely communicate anything about him. Likewise with 'God'." [1]

So, in your argument, you are trying to use "exist" as a predicate when in fact "exist" is not a viable term since, as Kant pointed out, it adds no new information so although "exist" may be a logical predicate, it is in fact not a real predicate.

Also, Pierre Gassendi stated that "existence is a perfection neither in God nor in anything else; it is rather that in the absence of which there is no perfection." [2] So, existence is not a property or a quality. And so the ontological argument makes the mistake of stating that existence is greater "in re" than existence "in intellectu".

And if that isn't enough to make you skeptical of the validness of the ontological argument, I turn now to Gaunilo's Lost Island objection:

"In a second objection, Gaunilo posits a ‘Lost Island,' abundant beyond anything ever experienced. We can picture this "most excellent" island, and can accept that it exists in intellectu; but we would hardly say that it therefore exists in reality." [2]

> "you are wrong"

You have yet to prove that. Once again, your assertion is unfounded and easily refutable.

> "End of debate".

I believe we have two more rounds after this. Unless you have given up which in that case, I will be disappointed.

Vote Con.

Sources:

[1] http://www.lycos.com...
[2] http://www.philosophynow.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Ds201049

Pro

Usig the English language grammar to try toprove against tye fact it is greater to exist than not exist is irrelevant. You and I have an impact on the world today, simply because we exist. Our great great grandfathers do not simply because they cease to exist to us because they are gone from this world. Therefore it is greater to exist than to not exist, so god has to exist. If u truly believe atheism is better than Christianity, then why does Christianity have a billion followers all over the world with millions of churches, meeting places, holidays, traditions, radio stations, beautiful cathedrals, and the list goes on. You just need to accept it and begin to follow Christianity, because it is the way to eternal happiness. That is my advice to you.

Vote pro if you agree
annhasle

Con

Thank you for the fast reply.

> "Usi[n]g the English language grammar to try to prove against tye fact it is greater to exist than not exist is irrelevant."

No. Very basis of our debate is to try and prove each other wrong through the use of arguments and theories. By using the English language and it's grammar (the same thing you are doing), I am examining your argument and exposing the fallacies. That is to be expected within a debate. So, it is not irrelevant and in fact, quite necessary for this to be productive.

> "You and I have an impact on the world today, simply because we exist. Our great great grandfathers do not simply because they cease to exist to us because they are gone from this world."

We are ABLE to make an impact because we exist. But our existence does not guarantee an impact.

> "Therefore it is greater to exist than to not exist, so god has to exist."

Non sequitur. Again, I've already shown the fallacy of using "exist" as a predicate so this line of argument is useless unless you prove Immanuel Kant, Guanilo and Gassendi's arguments to be lacking or incorrect. You have not done so.

> "If u truly believe atheism is better than Christianity, then why does Christianity have a billion followers all over the world with millions of churches, meeting places, holidays, traditions, radio stations, beautiful cathedrals, and the list goes on."

Actually Christianity has 2.3 million. [1]

Rape is also prevalent in our world - does that make it "better"? Same with murder, theft, genocide, hunger, slavery, war, etc. Simply because something is ongoing within a society or on a global scale, does not make it "better" than the rest. You have to analyze it for it's merits; what pros and cons it brings to the society it is effecting.

Also, Islam is the fastest growing religion. [1] Does this make it increasingly better than Christianity - would you concede that?

> "You just need to accept it and begin to follow Christianity, because it is the way to eternal happiness."

I am quite happy with my non-belief and the stability along with happiness it brings me. Christianity is not something I will "just believe". I am very careful to analyze my beliefs along with what claims it brings - Christianity has remained illogical to me and for that very reason, I will not believe. Do I believe that atheism is "better" than Christianity? It's better for ME however, since that is completely subjective, I would not believe it is "better" on a global scale. That would be fallacious.

> "That is my advice to you."

Thank you for the advice but I'm content with atheism.

Vote Con.

Sources
[1] http://www.religioustolerance.org...
Debate Round No. 4
Ds201049

Pro

What if I changed it to it is greater to have existence then not have existence? Therefore there must be a supernatural being. It was interesting debating you, and I know I learned a lot and hope you did too.

Vote pro
annhasle

Con

Thanks for the debate, Pro. Hoe you had fun like I did.

>"What if I changed it to it is greater to have existence then not have existence? Therefore there must be a supernatural being."

"Exist" would still be the predicate since it is the root of the word. And it would still be refuted by my aforementioned (and unchallenged) arguments put forward by Immanuel Kant, Guanilo and Gassendi.

>"It was interesting debating you, and I know I learned a lot and hope you did too."

Feel free to challenge me again! And congratulations on finishing your first debate - hope you stick around.

Vote Con
Debate Round No. 5
29 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tvellalott 3 years ago
tvellalott
ann, you implied that sodomy was wrong, then you a5s fvcked this poor newb. :(
Posted by annhasle 3 years ago
annhasle
@ ASB

Would you care to point out where I could be wrong? I think I defended my contentions well and ripped apart his -- I could do it again against you. :)
Posted by ASB 3 years ago
ASB
Hmmm she won the debate... what if she is wrong ooooooo.
Posted by THE_OPINIONATOR 4 years ago
THE_OPINIONATOR
Hmmm very good debate CON obviously won and i dont think it was because of the Purple hair ;)
Posted by Vaughn 4 years ago
Vaughn
I am a young christian but i have listened and participated in better debates then this. Im sorry but in my opinion con one. We lost but It was an excellent debate for con. I commend you con. Pro i am dissapointed in you. you never fully debated the argument. To be a good debater you need to feel strongly about your side (which you did) but you also need to be open minded and listen to your opponent (which you didnt.) you did like alot of new debaters do you became arragonat and lost the debate over it. you fell back and be came defensive and in turn gave up the offensive portion of the argument.

So very good con. Pro i know this was your first debate but now learn from your mistakes.
Posted by Shtookah 4 years ago
Shtookah
Funny.. nobody seems to care about vote bombing if its obvious.
Posted by Ste93 4 years ago
Ste93
Well done con, you were certainly more patient than I would have been!
Posted by annhasle 4 years ago
annhasle
Thanks for the RFD, Freeman.

Before I saw your edit, I was like, "Pro made better arguments? Huh?" Scared me for a second. xD
Posted by Freeman 4 years ago
Freeman
Oops

I meant to say:

Who made more convincing arguments? Con, obviously

Who used the most reliable sources? Con, obviously
Posted by Freeman 4 years ago
Freeman
RFD:

Who had better conduct? Pro's turse responses that failed to adequately address Con's contentions were poor conduct, IMO. Point Con

Who had better spelling and grammar? Pro had poor syntax in some of his sentences. His punctuation and grammar was also somewhat poor. Point Con

Who made more convincing arguments?Pro, obviously

Who used the most reliable sources? Pro, obviously
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