The Instigator
jmlandf
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points
The Contender
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
47 Points

Each Atheist actually believes he/she is God

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/11/2008 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,707 times Debate No: 5358
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (36)
Votes (9)

 

jmlandf

Pro

Each Atheist actually believes he/she is God.

(Sorry for the 3000 character limit but I increased the rounds.)

Definitions
Atheist: One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

God:
a)A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
b)The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.

Worship: The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a sacred object.

Contention 1 Atheist only deny God because it opposes their view of them being God
Atheist often deny God, but in doing so they deny logic.

Contention 2 Atheist worship themselves
This is fairly obvious

Contention 3 Atheist define their own morals
Morals are typically defined by philosophical views usually in relation to a Deity. Atheist define morals by themselves, thus they are their own God.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
Contention 1 Atheist only deny God because it opposes their view of them being God
Atheist often deny God, but in doing so they deny logic."

Huh? Where's the logic for this? I for one sure as heck don't deny logic :D.
And I do not view myself as God by the above definition.

"
Contention 2 Atheist worship themselves
This is fairly obvious"
No, in fact it is not. I worship myself, no doubt about it. But Che Guevara was an atheist too... and he did not worship himself, he regarded himself as an object of contempt, much like many Christians:

"
I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man. - Ernesto Che Guevara (just before he was shot and murdered)"

It is certainly not very reverent to speak of one's own life in terms of "only."

"
Contention 3 Atheist define their own morals
Morals are typically defined by philosophical views usually in relation to a Deity. Atheist define morals by themselves, thus they are their own God."

This is a nonsensical definition of morality, first of all. It has nothing to do with relation to a deity.

Main Entry:
1mor�al Listen to the pronunciation of 1moral
Pronunciation:
\ˈmȯr-əl, ˈm�r-\
Function:
adjective
Etymology:
Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin moralis, from mor-, mos custom
Date:
14th century

1 a: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical b: expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior c: conforming to a standard of right behavior d: sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment e: capable of right and wrong action

Where on earth does any of this have anything to do with a deity? It implies, of course, that there must be a purpose on which the standard is framed, the purpose being, in my ethical system, oneself. It does not imply any reference to an omnipotent, omniscient, creator being.

http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Also, though again you've been lucky in picking an atheist who partly matches your description- I do indeed base morality around a purpose of benefit to the self- This is not an accurate descriptor of all atheists. Indeed, mine is an extreme minority view. Far more common among atheists is the view of "Relativism," which, ignoring the implication of a goal in prescribing a standard, holds that "Society" (not the self) is an arbitrary determinant in the matter-whatever it says is moral, is moral.

Of course, ultimately I need only point out the contradiction of your resolution. An atheist is one who believes that there is no God. They cannot simultaneously hold this and hold that they are God.
Debate Round No. 1
jmlandf

Pro

Thank you for taking the debate Ragnar_Rahl, I'm a fan.

C1
"Huh? Where's the logic for this? I for one sure as heck don't deny logic :D.
And I do not view myself as God by the above definition."

In order to deny God, one must believe in a replacement. The only replacement is another God. The God you deny may be omni this and that but the God replacing need only be a God by the simplest of definitions.

C2
"But Che Guevara was an atheist too... and he did not worship himself, he regarded himself as an object of contempt, much like many Christians:"I know you've come to kill me. Shoot, coward, you're only going to kill a man. - Ernesto Che Guevara (just before he was shot and murdered)" It is certainly not very reverent to speak of one's own life in terms of "only.""
Thank you for admitting you worship yourself.....while I admit it may not be obvious; it is still true. One need not be reverent to think himself a God, perhaps he believed himself a humble God, but still a God

C3
You have tried to discredit morals being based on a Deity but we all know good and well that morals are based on "something". That something can be various things like a Deity, or society, or an individual. Now Society and Individuals often arrive at conclusions based on a Deity, if you remove the Deity, you become it.

"Of course, ultimately I need only point out the contradiction of your resolution. An atheist is one who believes that there is no God. They cannot simultaneously hold this and hold that they are God."

This is like saying XXXX is a man who does not believe he exist. An oxymoron. I am suggesting that Atheism is an oxymoron. You have admitted to worshiping yourself, have you not? You claim to be an Atheist but you also claim to worship yourself. OXYMORON.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
In order to deny God, one must believe in a replacement."

A replacement for WHAT function of God?

"The only replacement is another God. The God you deny may be omni this and that but the God replacing need only be a God by the simplest of definitions."
That is known as the fallacy of equivocation. You already defined God with the full omni this and that. You cannot use the same term with two definitions in the same argument, logically.

"Thank you for admitting you worship yourself.....while I admit it may not be obvious; it is still true. One need not be reverent to think himself a God, perhaps he believed himself a humble God, but still a God
"
First off, you are presuming that worship of myself labels me a God. This is not true.

"wor�ship (w�r'shĭp) pronunciation
n.

1.
1. The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an idol, or a SACRED object. (emphasis mine.)
2. The ceremonies, prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is expressed."

"sa�cred (sā'krĭd) pronunciation
adj.

1. Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity.
2. Worthy of religious veneration: the sacred teachings of the Buddha.
3. Made or declared holy: sacred bread and wine.
4. Dedicated or devoted exclusively to a single use, purpose, or person: sacred to the memory of her sister; a private office sacred to the President.
5. WORTHY OF RESPECT, VENERABLE.
6. Of or relating to religious objects, rites, or practices."

It is by the fifth definition that I deem myself a sacred object- not necessarily a God. Furthermore, a "Humble God" is a contradiction. That which is omnipotent and omniscient cannot be humble, such humility would be a failure of knowledge about it's vast ability :D.

"
C3
You have tried to discredit morals being based on a Deity but we all know good and well that morals are based on "something". That something can be various things like a Deity, or society, or an individual. Now Society and Individuals often arrive at conclusions based on a Deity, if you remove the Deity, you become it."
This is nonsense. You do not become a deity by removing a deity. If I kill my father, do I become my father?

"
This is like saying XXXX is a man who does not believe he exist. An oxymoron. I am suggesting that Atheism is an oxymoron. You have admitted to worshiping yourself, have you not? You claim to be an Atheist but you also claim to worship yourself."
I worship myself, yes. Not in a capacity as a God, but as a "sacred object." In a thoroughally non-supernatural meaning of sacred. Just because religion has hijacked words like sacred, or exaltation, or reverence, or worship, for thousands of years, does not mean that the same concepts are not legitimate in a secular context. The noble soul hath reverence for itself.
Debate Round No. 2
jmlandf

Pro

First off, you are presuming that worship of myself labels me a God. This is not true"

You are failing to demonstrate how your elevated since of self worth fails to fit the definition of a God, mind there are two provided. Further your argument against worship not being for a God requires quite a lot of "side stepping" it is almost universally understood that worship is to a Deity or one which replaces a Deity.

"a 'Humble God' is a contradiction. That which is omnipotent and omniscient cannot be humble, such humility would be a failure of knowledge about it's vast ability :D."

I beg to differ, my kind sir. The most commonly known and practiced religion of Christianity regards Christ as Humble and as God. A Humble God is not a contradiction, of course it depends on which God you speak of. A Humble Allah God may be a contradiction but a Humble Christian God is not; both omniscient.

"This is nonsense. You do not become a deity by removing a deity. If I kill my father, do I become my father?"

If you kill your Father, more than likely you would accept that you have committed an immoral act, but no you would not become your father. The foundation of why it is immoral is of importance, however. If you remove a Deity, you have to replace the Deity. All relevant philosophical views on morals will boil down to needing a foundation on The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being, which is A definition of God. Morals are based on (a) God. An atheist determines what his morals will be thus he has made him/herself his God.

If an Atheist fails to recognize himself as God then he must accept another God; and can no longer be called an Atheist.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"
You are failing to demonstrate how your elevated since of self worth fails to fit the definition of a God, mind there are two provided."

Two? I see one definition of rekevance with two parts:

"a)A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions."

Your "b" definition is simply force, manifestation, or aspect of such a being, which holds the same requirements of an omnipotent, omniscient being.

"
I beg to differ, my kind sir. The most commonly known and practiced religion of Christianity regards Christ as Humble and as God."

And? Just because people happen to believe something, does not mean it is not a contradiction. The Bible claims your god is a Jealous God, not nearly humble enough to allow worship of other gods. It's hardly a sign of humility to demand that others worship you. :D

But here is the primary contradiction in divine humility. The Bible claims "God is great." If he is also omniscient, he knows he is great. Pride is the belief that one is good or great, true or otherwise. It is impossible for him to disbelieve it if it is true and he is omniscient.

"If you kill your Father, more than likely you would accept that you have committed an immoral act"
That would depend on what he did first :D

"All relevant philosophical views on morals will boil down to needing a foundation on The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being, which is A definition of God. Morals are based on (a) God.

Unproven nonsense. I have a specifically relevant philosophical view about morality that relies on no force, effect, or manifestation of that being. Specifically, that which enhances one's life is good, that which acts against it is evil. If I kill my father, and he is innocent, I have just demonstrated to everyone that being innocent is no means to be safe from me. Thus if they wish to be safe from me they have no alternative but to eliminate me. This is obviously not beneficial to my life.
Nowhere in this is any omnipotent, omniscient being, nor any force, effect, or manifestation of that being, needed.

Also, even if you could demonstrate this nonsense, which you can't, keep in mind that a small minority of atheists hold the "Amoralist" position, which would mean it is not applicable to them.
Debate Round No. 3
jmlandf

Pro

And? Just because people happen to believe something, does not mean it is not a contradiction."
This is only true if something, I don't know ABSOLUTE exist. Thought you were a relativist?

"The Bible claims your god is a Jealous God, not nearly humble enough to allow worship of other gods. It's hardly a sign of humility to demand that others worship you. :D"
Firstly God does permit worship of other Gods by the mere fact it takes place, which also negates your claim he "demand[s]" others to worship him. Secondly a Jealous God is not contradictory to a Humble God. Even man has a right to be jealous in some circumstances, for instance if you and your wife committed to a monogamous relationship but she repeatedly slept with other men, you have a justification for jealousy.

"But here is the primary contradiction in divine humility. The Bible claims "God is great." If he is also omniscient, he knows he is great. Pride is the belief that one is good or great, true or otherwise."
Are you suggesting a talented man can not be humble even when he is aware of his great talent; he must then always be prideful?

"[morals Based on GOD] Unproven nonsense.......This is obviously not beneficial to my life."
You have based your morals on benefits to your own life, rather than a Deity, you have replaced the Deity.....what replaces the Deity becomes yours, that's you. Amoralist also have based their view because they accept themselves to be God, whether they know it or not.

"Your "b" definition is simply force, manifestation, or aspect of such a being, which holds the same requirements of an omnipotent, omniscient being."
Obviously my resolution doesn't suggest an atheist believes himself to be an omnipotent, omniscient God. I do not
intend to prove this, because it is not true. If an atheist did believe, or anyone else for that matter, to be omnipotent and/or omniscient then they would likely be nuts; that's my Non-medical professional opinion. However I do intend to prove that atheist hold themselves as God.

If I may use the Christian Bible for reference in the matter. The ten commandment author writes God Says "Do not have any other gods before me." Exodus 20:3
This passage doesn't suggest there are actually other Gods but rather man can elevate or value things and beliefs above this God, thus making those beliefs or things their god. Atheist have a view/belief there are not Gods thus they have elevated themselves (their beliefs) to a god.

"Do not turn to idols or make gods of cast metal for yourselves." Leviticus 19:4
This passage reveals, per definition, cast metal can be a god. Certainly a cast metal object is not omnipotent or omniscient but still considered a god. The important thing that makes the cast metal object a god is because man has replaced another God with it. Man worships the metal, that's one sign of the god...and.... man replaces or honors it more than the other God, the second sign. Atheist have both.
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"This is only true if something, I don't know ABSOLUTE exist. Thought you were a relativist?"

When did I say that? I said the majority of atheists were relativists. Do I seem to you like someone who is often in the majority?
I'm an Objectivist, which is quite incompatible with relativism.

"
Firstly God does permit worship of other Gods by the mere fact it takes place,"

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:3 (Deuteronomy 5:7, Judges 6:10, Hosea 13:4)"

To be unable or unwilling to stop something is not the same as permitting it. Says right there pretty clearly you do NOT have his permission.

"Secondly a Jealous God is not contradictory to a Humble God. Even man has a right to be jealous in some circumstances, for instance if you and your wife committed to a monogamous relationship but she repeatedly slept with other men, you have a justification for jealousy."

For this to be a valid argument, you would have to assume that I assumed lack of humility was necessarily unjustified. I do not. In fact I am a big fan of arrogance. If you are humble, i.e, do not take pride in your value, do not hold yourself above other men on any question, you have no justification for differentiating yourself from other men in the consequences of value- for example, whether x person will sleep with you. To state "X should sleep with me and me alone," to actively accept such a commitment from someone, is to assume that you have a value to them another man does not- something you no doubt take pride in :D.

"
Are you suggesting a talented man can not be humble even when he is aware of his great talent; he must then always be prideful?"
YES. To be aware of one's greatness is pride. This is why, keep in mind, I do not hold that pride is a bad thing :D/

"
You have based your morals on benefits to your own life, rather than a Deity, you have replaced the Deity"
This is to assume that the "Deity" had any claim to that position. Unfortunately, that which is omnipotent and omniscient CANNOT be benefited by an outside source- nothing outside can be of value to them, since whatever they want or need or have use for they have. Since a deity by definition then cannot be a beneficiary of my actions, I am not replacing him. :D.

Furthermore, replacing a deity does not mean you become one. George Washington took a position previously held by King George, the position of the Head of State for an area now constituting the eastern edge of the United States. This does not mean that George Washington became the other George, nor that he became a King.

"
Obviously my resolution doesn't suggest an atheist believes himself to be an omnipotent, omniscient God."
It does in tandem with the definition you provided :D.

"However I do intend to prove that atheist hold themselves as God.
Contradiction. God is defined as omnipotent and omniscient, or a force, manifestation, or aspect of that which is omnipotent or omniscient.
out of characters, cont
Debate Round No. 4
jmlandf

Pro

God
-A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship in monotheistic religions.
-The force, effect, or a manifestation or aspect of this being.
-A being of supernatural powers or attributes, believed in and worshiped by a people, especially a male deity thought to control some part of nature or reality.
-An image of a supernatural being; an idol.
-One that is worshiped, idealized, or followed: Money was their god.
-A very handsome man.
-A powerful ruler or despot.

http://education.yahoo.com...

Well I suppose I could argue every atheist believes himself to be a handsome man and that in effect makes him a god, however there are probably a few women claiming atheism; and well I'd like to think myself handsome and I am not a god. Since you, my opponent, are stuck on the Definition provided, which seems legalistic to me,......I will set out to prove how every atheist actually believes he is omnipotent and omniscient. At least we can agree that every Atheist replaces a God with his belief. A Christian would hold that this/that in effect makes every Atheist their own idol, which is refereed to as a "little g",..god by several biblical authors.

Definitions
Omnipotent:One having unlimited power or authority
Omniscient: One having total knowledge.
The resolution doesn't require the Atheist to actually possess these attributes, but rather believe they possess these attributes. Certainly most atheist are somewhat arrogant, prideful, and "cocky", as evidenced by my opponent. These attributes certainly might signify a belief in ones own Omnipotence. Many atheist often are the "know it all" which could signify ones belief in total knowledge. Further one should not have such attitudes with-out having OR Believing they have omnipotent and omniscient attributes.

I would also like to say that many religions, including Christianity believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God. Those religions also equate replacement of that Deity with another god or idol, as evidenced in the sacred writings of those religions. I have provided a couple quotes from those sacred writings. Per my definition, which would also be shared with a Christian definition, why is it that they equate replacement of their God as being another god?

"Humble God"
It doesn't matter if a humble god can or can not exist for the purposes of this debate. My opponent mentions an Atheist that was humble, and thus my opponent discredits the ability to be humble and a God. Can we or anyone really prove this man was humble?
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

"Since you, my opponent, are stuck on the Definition provided, which seems legalistic to me"
When the terms of a resolution are presented with SPECIFIC definitions as an assumption., the truth of the resolution can only be judged on the definitions so presented. All else is the fallacy of equivocation.

"A Christian would hold that this/that in effect makes every Atheist their own idol, which is refereed to as a "little g",..god by several biblical authors.
"
The term "Idol" has the implication that the worship is unjustified. While a Christian would of course hold this, the debate is about what an atheist would necessarily believe, not what a Christian would believe.

Furthermore, the God of the resolution is big G. Not little g.

"
Omnipotent:One having unlimited power or authority"
Just power, not authority.

"Omniscient: One having total knowledge."

Total? Why not unlimited, like the other omni? I smell something fishy.

"
The resolution doesn't require the Atheist to actually possess these attributes, but rather believe they possess these attributes. Certainly most atheist are somewhat arrogant, prideful, and "cocky", as evidenced by my opponent."

First, the resolution isn't concerned with what "Most" atheists do, only what "Each" atheist does (i.e. what ALL do.) Furthermore, invalid induction. Just because I have those attributes does not mean "most" atheists do, in fact, if you pay attention to how often I'm in the minority, you find I have a tendency to be in the minority :D.

"These attributes certainly might signify a belief in ones own Omnipotence."

This is vaguely silly. Read some of my other debates. If I believed in my own omnipotence, why would I complain so much about what the government does? I'd simply go about stopping it from doing so with a snap of my fingers... and when I failed, I'd stand corrected :D.

"Many atheist often are the "know it all" which could signify ones belief in total knowledge."

Circular argument. You claim we often know it all therefore we believe we know it all. Without demonstrating the former (know many things =/= know it all).

And there are too many "Coulds" here, remember, you have burden of proof.

"Further one should not have such attitudes with-out having OR Believing they have omnipotent and omniscient attributes."
Why is that? The fact is I an prideful, but I do not believe I am omnipotent ( I believe I have significant power potentially, but it is severely limited, especially by time :D). The hypothetical significant power (intellectual power) is something to take pride in... and even were that true, this debate is about what we DO believe, not what we SHOULD.

"Per my definition, which would also be shared with a Christian definition, why is it that they equate replacement of their God as being another god?
"
Not per "Your definition." For the context of this debate, you have already acceded to a definition in the first round, one that contradicts thi
Debate Round No. 5
36 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by rofflewoffles 8 years ago
rofflewoffles
This debate was thoroughly depressing to read in that all jmlandf said was "No, you are incorrect because [insert statement here]" and, rather than support his statements, he just repeated himself over and over again. This was not a debate as much as a monument to the fact that repeating yourself is not in fact an effective way to do anything.
Posted by jmlandf 8 years ago
jmlandf
fair enough
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Can we or anyone really prove this man was humble?
"

He already openly and explicitly admitted his contempt for his own life. Why bother lying?

Furthermore, burden of proof for this debate is squarely on you :D
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"
It doesn't matter if a humble god can or can not exist for the purposes of this debate."
This is not true. The fact that "Humble" and "God" contradict has definite bearing, once the existence of at least one humble atheist is established.

"My opponent mentions an Atheist that was humble, and thus my opponent discredits the ability to be humble and a God. "

That was not the logical structure of my argument. The structure is- Humble atheist exists, Humble God does not exist, each atheist does not have to believe he is God to be consistent because some cannot to be consistent (your resolution requires implicitly that you demonstrate they have to believe it only "To be consistent," since the burden of proof is on you, and you cannot demonstrate what they believe without gathering information on every single atheist unless you make use of the law of non-contradiction and it's consequent field of deductive logic.)
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
I'd rather you not make generalizations that aren't in the objective definitions of whatever you're generalizing.
Posted by jmlandf 8 years ago
jmlandf
Would you rather me say Certainly most atheist are NOT arrogant, prideful and "cocky"?
Posted by jmlandf 8 years ago
jmlandf
I'm sure you aren't Rezzealaux, just trying to debate here. :)
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
"Certainly most atheist are somewhat arrogant, prideful, and "cocky", as evidenced by my opponent."

You should be a comedian when you grow up.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
And your point? A self and a God are both justifications of different value systems. But a fork is not a spoon, a self is not a god :D.
Posted by jmlandf 8 years ago
jmlandf
a fork and a spoon are both eating utensils.
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