The Instigator
rogue
Con (against)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
ErikMontague
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Drinking, sex before marriage, and drugs is a moral issue and engaging in them is immoral

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/2/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,016 times Debate No: 13878
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (9)
Votes (5)

 

rogue

Con

I believe drugs, sex before marriage, and alcohol are not moral issues because morals pertain to how you are affecting others. The way you handle these substances can be a moral issue, but merely engaging in them is not. It may be a judgement issue but not a moral one. Engaging in these activities does not make you a bad, immoral person. It may show negative characteristics about you decision-making but not decide if you are a good person or not.
ErikMontague

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for allowing me to debate this issue.

I am going to give definitions for some key terms in this debate, followed by a correlation between the three definitions provided, and ending with an argument using a combination of the three definitions in regards to the topic at hand.

Since my opponent did not provide sources for any of his definitions, I will provide a generic source definition of three key terms.

Moral: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Judgment: a formal utterance of an authoritative opinion (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Perceive: to regard as being such (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

To begin, my stance on this issue will be purely based on the idea of perception. As previously defined, one's perception is what they regard as being such. In layman's terms, this means one's interpretation of an idea, image, smell, sound, etc. Taking this idea into consideration, one can not perceive another's perception. Another's perception may influence one's perception, but one can not hold the exact same perception that another has. My opponent argues that drinking alcohol, premarital sex, and usage of drugs may be considered to display negative characteristics of a person, but does not pertain to the idea of being "morally wrong," as it were. However, if one were to dissect the idea of where a "judgment," as my opponent stated in his argument, comes from, he or she will find that judgments come from one's interpretation of a situation.

To scientifically touch a bit on the idea of morals can be a bit tricky, so I will only give my opinion on the idea of morals. Morals that we see in today's society come from a couple sources: family and peers; basically society in general. Because of this, many humans grow up and the ideas of society are instilled into their minds. When a human becomes older and is able to become more objective in regards to the ideas of morals, they then shape that new found knowledge and apply it to what they were conditioned to know when they were growing up. A person's moral fiber, though usually strong, is not completely standstill, meaning it can be changed through many means.

In relation to the debate, as I stated before a moral is considered to be of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior. Since one's morals are technically ideas in their minds in regards to how they view a situation, and since I defined perception, in layman's terms, as one's interpretation of an idea, image, smell, sound, etc., then one can obviously see that morals are based on one's perception, since a moral is technically an idea instilled in a person. Therefore, based on the logic I presented, my opponent contradicts himself in saying: "It may be a judgement issue but not a moral one," because technically judgments are directly correlated with morals.

Point in case: Technically when one makes a judgment of another, based on how they perceive it they are assessing their moral fiber in regards to the situation at hand, thus they use their moral judgment to formulate an opinion. You cannot make a judgment as to whether something is good or bad without morals coming into play. Also, based on your decisions, people perceive you as to how your actions accord to their moral fiber. If you perform an action, like drinking alcohol, premarital sex, or the usage of drugs, even if it is just engage in them as my opponent states, others will place a judgment on you as to whether or not you are a good or bad person. Thus, as the title of the debate suggests, "Drinking, sex before marriage, and drugs is a moral issue and engaging in them is immoral" because people make judgments based on their perception through a filter of morals, and I'm sure many people around the United States, or the world, would consider the aforementioned actions to be immoral, thus they are considered immoral. Alternatively, they are also considered fine morally, because many people consider the aforementioned actions to be just fine. So therefore, they can be both.

Do I perceive them to be immoral? No. But that is not the debate at hand. ;)
Debate Round No. 1
rogue

Con

There is one thing you are most definitely wrong about: I am not a he. :P

In my opening statement I actually did provide a definition for morals:morals pertain to how you are affecting others. In regards to what is right and wrong, affecting a person negatively would be deemed wrong and immoral and affecting a person in a positive way would so be right and moral. Even though people may see things through a moral filter, since the activity alone only affects the person who is engaging in them, the action cannot be deemed moral or immoral. The actions of the person doing such activities may be deemed immoral, but that does not change that the activity itself cannot be deemed a moral issue.

Great argument Pro, I actually agree with your statements and am honored to debate with you.
ErikMontague

Pro

In response to my opponent's rebuttal, I would first like to apologize for any of the "male" references I included in my first post. Sorry about that! :P I would also like to thank my opponent for the compliment, and I also am honored to debate you on this topic.

Secondly, I did not say you did not provide a definition for the word moral; I said you did not provide a source for your definition, thus, technically, you are just using your belief on how a word should be defined. If you could directly correlate your provided definition with a professionally accepted definition, then I would be glad to acknowledge that.

Now on to the actual topic at hand: My opponent states, quite astutely, that there are two arguments that are currently being debated. The first being: if a person does something that strictly affects only them, then is that technically a moral issue? The second being (and this is more hidden inside of the arguments): Does a person hold a moral fiber in regards to actions upon themselves?

For my arguments, I will first address how the first question should be answered yes, and then I will follow that up by answering the second question with a yes as well.

The first question presented is: If a person does something that strictly affects only them, then is that technically a moral issue? I would first like to state on the record that the probability of a person committing an action only to themselves without affecting another AT ALL is virtually impossible (unless they are some sort of recluse without any social interaction whatsoever). The fact that each action a person commits directly affects other actions that they will partake in the future and the past demonstrates that there is a link between actions, even if the action being argued in this debate is done to themselves without being viewed by another at the time. This directly connects to the idea that all actions do technically affect others in some form or another, thus, with this knowledge, even if one were to be in solitude whilst performing the aforementioned actions, their future actions will be directly affected from this decision, thus they will indirectly affect another person, whether that be good or bad.

To continue on from this, my opponent states that "the activity alone only affects the person who is engaging in them." With the previous argument in knowledge, one can see that any actions that occur in the future from this action of drinking alcohol, having sex before marriage, or the usage of drugs, will affect other's perception. Whether a person drives drunk after having alcohol and subsequently crashes into another car, killing the passengers, has a baby without being married to the person they had sex with, or becoming a drug addict and robbing from houses to feed that addiction, all of these actions will affect others negatively because people perceive those things as wrong. By arguing that the actions themselves does not hold any morality whatsoever is completely avoiding the other actions that result from the previous actions. To defend perhaps against a future argument, yes, something can be considered to be "moral" or "immoral" if that very thing opens a gateway and is linked to new actions that affect people positively or negatively, even if it doesn't affect anyone at the time of its performance. To view this in abstract, one finds that, technically, all actions are technically both moral and immoral, since all actions correlate with each other, which directly connects to an statement I provided in my first post.

On to the second question at hand: Does a person hold a moral fiber in regards to actions upon themselves? In short, yes. Based on the fact that a person's perception automatically connects with a moral fiber, to completely excuse any moral connection with an action being done on oneself demonstrates a lack of acknowledgment of the idea of perception. My opponent argues that morals only pertain to how you affect others, and yet provides no sources as to where she obtained her definition, thus demonstrating that her definition of the word "moral" came from her own mind, thus she could easily skew that definition to fit her argument. In my first post, I provided a reliable source definition of the word and associated it within my arguments. My definition was: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior. No where in that definition does it designate whether that has to be on others or on oneself. Thus, if a person believes that these actions are "wrong," and yet they still perform them, then they are technically assigning them with a moral perception, even if they only directly affect themselves at the time of doing so. On the other hand, if a person believes that these actions are "right," and perform them, they do the exact same thing, only in a more positive light. Thus, one's perception of the moral standing of an action still goes into play, making any action to oneself morally tied.

I hope my opponent did not find my arguments to attack her; that was far from my intention. Thank you for continuing with this debate!
Debate Round No. 2
rogue

Con

Thank you for continuing the debate, your arguments are wonderful. I do not think you are attacking me and I am glad that you have pointed out my lack of specificity(I'm new, sorry, when I posted this I didn't know you needed references, I've only debated casually) Anyway:

Since my definition was from my head (again sorry I was unprepared XD), in reality the debate is over since that renders my definition irrelevant and all the arguments irrelevant as well. (clap claps for Pro)

My opponent wisely pointed out two questions at hand. I am obligated to address the second question first seeing as the overall question is "Is drugs, drinking, and premarital sex and moral issue?", and I having admitted that these actions affect oneself must prove the answer to the second question to be no, because if it is yes, answering the first question in irrelevant.

My opponent argues that perception is unique to a person and that moral fiber is determines much of perception. My opponent also says that the perception of an action being moral or not determines the morality of the action. If the perception is that the action is not a moral issue, then it is not a moral issue. Thus, a person will chose to make the issue a moral one or not. True, this means that both of our arguments are now false now that we have established that the individual chooses whether to think of any action as moral or not.

But in retort to question one: We are not debating probabilities, we are debating possibilities and we are debating with what is in the situation a known fact: that a person has engaged in one of the three actions mentioned. It is possible that a person engaging in one of these activities will not contact anyone, or change the way they affect someone, and because that possibility is there, we cannot attribute any effect a person engaging in these activities has on another person to the activity.

As to actions of the person during engaging in these activities that affect others, because there is no evidence that can prove that one of the three actions had anything to do with the action, because the action that affected others may have happened without one of our three actions, the activity cannot be held responsible. Unless you want to state that everything you do affects everything you will do, you can never prove that one thing affected another, and thus future events cannot be affected for sure by the three events and so the three actions cannot be held responsible.

(I actually agree with you but my argument is technical so I think it works)
ErikMontague

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for responding.

First, my opponent states that the debate is over because she pulled a definition from her head. I would like to be fair in saying that she still has two more rounds after this to find another definition that correlates with her original definition, thus supporting her arguments.

Second, by suggesting that a person has the ability to assign a certain action or situation without some sort of moral thought behind it would mean that the person has absolutely no opinion on the issue or has no opinion on anything related to that issue, or has the capability to condition themselves in such a manner to not feel a certain way on an issue, which is downright impossible. No matter how one feels about a certain thing, even if it seems like complete indifference, there will ALWAYS be some sort of moral thought behind it, thus one cannot simply not assign a moral thought to it.

Third, by arguing for the exception, one simply does not hold a good argument. Sure there are always going to be a mix of situations that make debating worthwhile, but in this debate, if one can prove that one argument happens more often than not, then it would be feasible to give the person that argument. Therefore, if in fact there is someone who does something to themselves, and comes in contact with no other person, the likelihood of that occurrence would be rare as compared to normal society, thus it would not be feasible for one to put that into heavy consideration in regards to this debate topic.

Fourth, my opponent states: "Unless you want to state that everything you do affects everything you will do." In which, case, yes, I do want to state that: Everything you do affects everything you will do. Even in some small degree it indirectly affects it somehow, whether it be through some sort of physical way, or mental way like in the subconscious, everything we have done in the past ultimately affected our decisions today, and those, in combination with the things we do now, will affect everything we do in the future. Thus, your argument there has been refuted, based on what you stated.

Once again, my opponent is bringing very good points, and I'm glad to debate this topic with her! Sorry about the delay in response!
Debate Round No. 3
rogue

Con

Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find a definition that says specifically if a moral pertains to only how you affect other people or if it can reflect how you treat yourself. So fail for con XD(stupid newb)

But- I do have some counterarguments! (yay con!)

My opponent states: "Second, by suggesting that a person has the ability to assign a certain action or situation without some sort of moral thought behind it would mean that the person has absolutely no opinion on the issue or has no opinion on anything related to that issue, or has the capability to condition themselves in such a manner to not feel a certain way on an issue, which is downright impossible." I disagree. Not all situations and actions are necessarily moral issues, and you do not have to decide if something is moral or immoral to have an opinion. Someone tapping me on the shoulder might annoy me (an opinion) but that doesn't mean I think it is a moral or immoral thing to do and so it is then not a moral issue.

My opponent states that we ARE in fact debating about probabilities. I disagree, there is always a possibility that one action could have happened without another if done by the same person (this is not a possibility if an action is a reaction to an action by another person). For example, Harold flirting with Jane might have happened whether or not he was drunk(which he was in this situation) and we shall never know. Therefore we cannot absolutely surely attribute this action as a direct consequence of Harold's drinking.

Also, I stand by what I said before: Not everything you do affects what you will do. For instance: My eating a banana this morning does not directly or indirectly impact my decision to go to London for college.

No worries about delays I'm just happy to debate with you worthy opponent! ^_^
ErikMontague

Pro

To rebut the statement claimed by the pro, I will just go through each one of her claims, and discuss my opinion on the matter.

For her first comment, she explains that she cannot provide a definition for the word that she used previously in this debate. Therefore, all consideration of definitions shall go to the pro side.

Second, she states that "you do not have to decide if something is moral or immoral to have an opinion," assuming that I stated that one must decide if something is moral or immoral. However, I merely said "assigned" in regards to this context. A person will always have some sort of subconscious reaction to any sort of thing that affects them (and technically, everything affects them in some way), thus they do not decide consciously themselves, but rather their own instinct, or subconscious, if you will, does it for them (Freudian Theory). Therefore, each and every action that occurs on a person technically gets assigned with some moral judgment, whether the person consciously knows it or not.

Third, what I'm basically arguing is the idea of the Butterfly Effect in regards to our current actions affecting future actions (Multiple researches explain this). If I do one action now, even if it is indirect, it will have SOME sort of impact on the future, no matter how small. Therefore, yes, perhaps Harold will flirt with Jane whether or not he's inebriated, but the fact of the matter is, his previous decision did impact his future action in some way, in that he was loaded with liquid confidence, or he went high and dry into flirting with her. And subsequently, Harold will probably make a load of other decisions that will probably result from his previous decision.

Fourth, in regards to your banana-London argument, even though it may seem minuscule, the eating of the banana did play some part in your decision. Even though this is not the only argument I can use against this, if you want to talk about possibilities, then try this on for example:
Jane has had a very low potassium level throughout her life. She's been hospitalized a few times for it in the past, but it hasn't been too troublesome or dangerous. She is now in her senior year of high school and is making a decision on universities. The deadline to turn in her application for her dream college, located in London, is set on Wednesday. She realizes that all of the scholarships that she had accrued are only good if she goes to college the following year, no later, and she wants to have access to them, so she must go to college next year. Thus, she plans on filling out the application, and sending it in on the very same day, which will be on Tuesday. When she wakes up that Tuesday, she feels a bit woozy, but she doesn't really consider it to be that much. She looks at the banana, and ponders eating it or not. But then she thinks to herself, "Nah. I'd better not. I should start on the application." She then starts to fill out the application. She finishes the application, puts it in her backpack, and she heads out the door. Not even 10 feet in walking out the door, she collapses, and her neighbor notices this and calls the paramedics who then bring her to the hospital. She goes unconscious for two days, and the doctors diagnose that her potassium level was very bad, which is why she fainted, and if she even ate one single banana, she would have been fine for a few days. The day is now Thursday, and Jane has now lost her chance of going to that particular school in London because she didn't eat that one single banana, and she subsequently chooses an American school, because no other schools in London took her fancy.

That entire story demonstrates that something as small as a banana can affect something another action in that deciding to go to a London school. If you argue that this example is highly improbable, and should not be considered, then I would like you to allow the argument of possibility vs. probability to go to me. If you agree that this story is valid in this debate, then I would like you to allow the argument that small minuscule things such as eating a banana does make an impact on other things like making a decision for going to a London school to go to me.

Once again, thank you so much for this fun debate, and I hope that our final round is filled with an educated, and yet entertaining, discussion!
Debate Round No. 4
rogue

Con

First, "A person will always have some sort of subconscious reaction to any sort of thing that affects them (and technically, everything affects them in some way), thus they do not decide consciously themselves, but rather their own instinct, or subconscious, if you will, does it for them (Freudian Theory)." Everything does not effect everyone in some way. A kid eating a peach in China would not necessarily affect me or you in any manner. It may, but because there is a possibility of this not happening you cannot state absolutely that everything affects you in some way. Unless you can prove that every little thing and happenstance can affect every person in any manner, your statement is false. Also, the subconscious is a part of the human mind that science knows very little about and unless you can give proof that instinct or subconscious makes you make a judgement or moral decision about everything that affects you then I fail to see how your statement about the subconscious making moral decisions is true. I can also give a counterexample. A stick falling in front of me as I walk affects me but I do not make any moral judgement about it. Even if I did so subconsciously, there is no way to prove that I did. A theory made by Freud is hardly evidence unless other scientists have backed it up with experiments especially because Freud faked most of his data regarding his patients, he also only published information on 8 patients (little known fact found in the book "100 things your teachers don't want you to know").

Secondly, "what I'm basically arguing is the idea of the Butterfly Effect in regards to our current actions affecting future actions (Multiple researches explain this). If I do one action now, even if it is indirect, it will have SOME sort of impact on the future, no matter how small." If researches explain this I would like you to cite them in your arguments. Also, I fail to see how this can be proved seeing as we cannot know the future until it happens and I doubt everything that a person ever did was recorded so yeah. My counterexample is: If I decide to do one sit-up today, how does that affect the future in any way absolutely? I mean that yes, it MAY affect the future in some way but I can find no solid evidence saying that it has to affect the future because it happened.

In regards to your rebuttal to my banana-London argument, if I was talking about me(which I was but that's irrelevant), I have no potassium deficiency and so your argument would be meaningless to me and many other people. The only given in the situation of the example is that: this person will make the decision to go to college in London in the future and eats a banana in the present. Unless you can make a direct link on how the banana affects the London decision without using a something that is not a given in the situation(the potassium deficiency). Thus, I do not think this story is valid because you added a factor that may not occur. I can find no factor that directly relates to the givens that would absolutely prove that the banana would ALWAYS affect the decision to go to London no matter who the person(this includes everything about them physically and mentally and their situation).

I am quite intrigued by how this debate has become about something much bigger than what it was originally about and I think this is a sign of a good debate so thank you Pro.

But still vote Con. ;)
ErikMontague

Pro

To end this debate, I will first go through my opponent's final rebuttals, and then give a list of voters as to why the Pro has won this debate.

First, my opponent says in her argument against my statement: "Everything does not effect everyone in some way. A kid eating a peach in China would not necessarily affect me or you in any manner. It may, but because there is a possibility of this not happening you cannot state absolutely that everything affects you in some way. Unless you can prove that every little thing and happenstance can affect every person in any manner, your statement is false." A person is affected in some way by some sort of occurrence. They then affect the people around them, thus a community is affected. As a result, that community affects other communities, thus a society is affected. Because of this, that society affects other societies, thus a nation is affected. A nation then affects other nations as a result, and the whole world is affected. Thus, everything technically affects everyone in some way, even if it seems minuscule (which is probably why you're having a hard time accepting this fact).

Second, "Also, the subconscious is a part of the human mind that science knows very little about and unless you can give proof that instinct or subconscious makes you make a judgement or moral decision about everything that affects you then I fail to see how your statement about the subconscious making moral decisions is true. I can also give a counterexample. A stick falling in front of me as I walk affects me but I do not make any moral judgement about it. Even if I did so subconsciously, there is no way to prove that I did. A theory made by Freud is hardly evidence unless other scientists have backed it up with experiments especially because Freud faked most of his data regarding his patients, he also only published information on 8 patients (little known fact found in the book "100 things your teachers don't want you to know")." Fair enough, but in many hospitals around the world, there is something known as electroencephalography. That is where they are able to test the brain for thought, both conscious and subconscious, and they test this by doing a plethora of different actions upon the patient. So, even if you claim that Freudian theory is flawed at the time that Freud was around (which it may or may not be), current studies made today highly support many of Freud's claims, thus I can justifiably say that the subconscious is affected, and creates a moral assignment for everything that affects it (which is everything).

Third: "Secondly, 'what I'm basically arguing is the idea of the Butterfly Effect in regards to our current actions affecting future actions (Multiple researches explain this). If I do one action now, even if it is indirect, it will have SOME sort of impact on the future, no matter how small.' If researches explain this I would like you to cite them in your arguments. Also, I fail to see how this can be proved seeing as we cannot know the future until it happens and I doubt everything that a person ever did was recorded so yeah." If you want evidence, the researches are named: Dr John Bryden, Dr Sebastian Funk (now at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London) and Professor Vincent Jansen from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, University of London and Dr Nic Geard and Dr Seth Bullock from the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. All of which are either zoological doctors who study the functioning of animals and social cultures, as well as anthropologists, who basically study societies of people. And one cannot predict the future obviously, but one can, however, look at the past actions and see what occurred as a result. Also, they can use simulations to see if one thing in a scenario was subsequently taken out of the scenario, if it would affect it or not.

Fourth: "In regards to your rebuttal to my banana-London argument, if I was talking about me(which I was but that's irrelevant), I have no potassium deficiency and so your argument would be meaningless to me and many other people. The only given in the situation of the example is that: this person will make the decision to go to college in London in the future and eats a banana in the present. Unless you can make a direct link on how the banana affects the London decision without using a something that is not a given in the situation(the potassium deficiency). Thus, I do not think this story is valid because you added a factor that may not occur. I can find no factor that directly relates to the givens that would absolutely prove that the banana would ALWAYS affect the decision to go to London no matter who the person(this includes everything about them physically and mentally and their situation)." Alright I admit, it was a silly argument. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that yes, anything will affect someone else, whether it be through time, subconscious thought, or even through a direct link that affects it.

Thus to conclude this debate here are some key reasons to vote for Pro:

-The definitions were clearly on the side on the Pro, and in regards to the original focus of the debate, the Neg has no ground to stand upon since she clearly did not have good definitions to defend her side.

-A multitude of scientific theorems and studies have been brought on by the Pro, whereas hardly any scientific refutation has been brought about the Neg, which means that professionals on the Pros side automatically outweigh in regards to credibility.

-On multiple occasions, Neg has dropped arguments in a round, and in the debating world, silence on an issue is consent, thus another reason to vote for Pro.

-The Neg has specifically only argued for possibilities, which is unreliable in that possibilities doesn't even address the idea that it will actually happen. The Pro has made arguments that include probable effects that have happened in the past, thus the Pro's arguments are more reliable in that aspect.

-If I may remind, I did not say that I specifically believe that the actions in question are immoral in regards to my opinion; I am however saying that some people consider them to be immoral, thus they are moral issues, based on the aforementioned arguments on the Pro side.

I would like to thank my opponent for the great debate! It has been a very fun one with a lot of thought-provoking arguments!
Debate Round No. 5
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Cobo 6 years ago
Cobo
Ballot

Con-
I saw no substance in arguements.
Was a nice lady though

Pro-
Merriam Websters as a source was a triump card
Made excellente arguemente
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
i should rephrase it as sex before marriage
Posted by Koopin 6 years ago
Koopin
lol @ sex. I am pretty sure Christians have had sex before.
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
sky ace's comment is exactly right
Posted by Sky_ace25 6 years ago
Sky_ace25
What I understand is he's arguing that drinking, drugs,sex are not moral issues and one can not asses one's morality based on their participation in these activities.
Posted by ethopia619 6 years ago
ethopia619
@ rogue,
I mean, are you stating that drinking, sex, and drugs are moral, or the other way around?
Posted by annhasle 6 years ago
annhasle
I don't think that anyone here would be prepared to make a case against this resolution based upon the fact that engaging in sex is indeed not immoral itself like you stated but if they had this position, it would be the end of the human race. They COULD make a case against drinking and drugs (religious reasons) but I'd edit it so that sex is not part of the debate.
Posted by rogue 6 years ago
rogue
what do you mean "what am i on?"
Posted by ethopia619 6 years ago
ethopia619
What exactly are you on? That drinking, sex, and drugs are immoral?
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Cobo 6 years ago
Cobo
rogueErikMontagueTied
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Vote Placed by BillBonJovi 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Demauscian 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by ZackJarvis 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by gavin.ogden 6 years ago
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