The Instigator
Iamthejuan
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
justthefacts
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Fundamentalism is detrimental to society

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Iamthejuan
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/7/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 966 times Debate No: 43548
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (3)

 

Iamthejuan

Pro

I am arguing that religious fundamentalism of any sort is dangerous to society and counterproductive to progress as a species. I am not arguing that there is no God, no metaphysical, that we evolved, or etc. I only want to argue about fundamentalism and according to the general definition as defined by Merriam-Webster:

"a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles"

First round is acceptance. This is meant to be a 3 round debate. Posting an argument in the first round constitutes an automatic loss.
justthefacts

Con

I accept your challenge and await a spirited discussion, thank you for inviting me. I am assuming, that by fundamentalism, our focus will be on religion. I will be representing ( as best as I can ) fundamentalism from a Christian perspective ( I am ignorant of Judaism and Islam, for the most part ).
Debate Round No. 1
Iamthejuan

Pro

Thank you for accepting this debate Facts. Now we can have a real one! Troll free :)

I am arguing that fundamentalism of any sort is dangerous for a few reasons. Note I am not arguing that religion itself is inherently dangerous, but rather that it too often accompanies certain character traits which are counterproductive to constructive debating and problem solving:

1. A religious text which (in most cases) long predates our lifetimes is dictating how we think and interact with others in the modern world. This holds true for fundamentalists (vs. say, progressives), even when the manuscript contradicts science, reason, or itself. Sometimes, subcultures are even created around fundamentalism, and may even begin to supersede the teachings of the manuscript. Feed the poor, or yell at them? Educate our youth, or lock them up? Pay for prisons and bombs or pay for healthcare and education? These and issues like abortion, evolution, and "free marketL are all divisive issues right now, mostly due to fundamentalism.

http://infidels.org...

2. Fundamentalists feel that they are entirely right and that everyone else is wrong. If you don't eventually agree with them, they will dismiss you as heathen or infidel or Samaritan, or whatever. Most other people learn and grow from debating with others, but fundamentalists only converse with others with the single goal of converting people to their own faith. This also means that many potentially valuable and rewarding relationships are passed by due to prejudging based on one's own interpretation of what a book says.Jews and Muslims, Muslims and Christians, Catholics and "witches" (and little boys?)...

3. Fundamentalists segregate themselves from the rest of the world by going to "Christian" schools or "Muslim" schools, concerts, coffeehouses, bookstores, dating sites, and etc., where they surrounded themselves with people who only agree with everything their parents ever told them (who probably got it from their own parents). In this way, an entirely separate reality is created for that person which they believe is the reality that everyone else lives in as well. http://www.simplypsychology.org...

4. Fundamentalism is used to control people, and makes them feel as if they have control. "Super secret going to heaven club". It works so well, that many American "Christians" advocate war and protest helping the poor...doesn't Christian mean "Christlike"? Muslims, on the other hand, will blow themselves up for the cause, in order to reach the 70 virgins. Then you have people like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons who basically just waste years of their lives knocking on doors with the sole purpose of converting others to do the same, which does absolutely nothing to make the world a better place.

5. Fundamentalists believe in talking plants or a magic golden plates, and place all their eggs in such baskets. They sit around waiting for the kingdom or the empire or whatever instead of living to their full potential.

6. Fundamentalism gives people unrealistic hopes and expectations. Many people sit around waiting for God to "move" or "act" instead of solving the problem for themselves or seeking someone who would be more than willing to help (but maybe not of their own religion).

7. Fundamentalists agree with other people who are fundamentalists, no matter what they say or do. Their is never any objectivity in their relationships or perceptions. In some cases, the level on commitment is absurd. Mormonism was started because Joseph Smith couldn't get away with polygamy as a protestant, but look how many LDS there are today. The south park episode doesn't do this justice. http://www.shieldandrefuge.org...

http://buddhism.about.com...
justthefacts

Con

Well met.
Let us start by examining your claim, and thus we will establish your burden of proof. You stated:
"fundamentalism of any sort is dangerous".

I am a Baptist minister, and you could call my denomination "fundamental", I am actually an "Independent Fundamental Baptist". I teach and preach Orthodox Historical Christianity. I definitely qualify for a "fundamentalist". Your burden of proof will have to include that my particular religion is dangerous. Let's see if you have.

In your first claim #1 you said

"A religious text which (in most cases) long predates our lifetimes is dictating how we think and interact with others in the modern world. This holds true for fundamentalists (vs. say, progressives), even when the manuscript contradicts science, reason, or itself. Sometimes, subcultures are even created around fundamentalism, and may even begin to supersede the teachings of the manuscript. Feed the poor, or yell at them? Educate our youth, or lock them up? Pay for prisons and bombs or pay for healthcare and education? These and issues like abortion, evolution, and "free marketL are all divisive issues right now, mostly due to fundamentalism.".

None of these things you just mentioned have anything to do with my fundamentalism. I do not "yell at the poor, lock up the youth, argue about prisons, healthcare, education or bombs".
As for abortion, evolution and free market, these are all political arguments that DO demand a debate, but just because you are on one side of the debate and your opponent is on the other, does not make them "dangerous". As a matter of fact, a fundamentalist could say that your point of view is "dangerous" to the unborn child. That, is a different debate, that is already ongoing. I will leave that topic to its own debate.

You used this website as an appeal to authority: http://infidels.org... however, this is not a source of authority, it is a website based on opinion and fact. I would like to point out that nothing can be proved by opinion, or personal feelings.

In your second claim, the main thrust of your argument was:

"fundamentalists only converse with others with the single goal of converting people to their own faith."
My mother is a Mormon. There is no talking her into leaving that religion and following the Bible. I assure you that when I visit with my mother, my "only conversation" is not that of conversation. The same can be said for the rest of my non-Fundamental family and friends. I WILL tell them the Gospel, and I will pray that they come to Christ. After that, I leave it to God. The end.

My very presence on this site, as well as my account on Plenty of Fish and OkCupid ( both are secular dating sites ) refute your third claim:

"Fundamentalists segregate themselves from the rest of the world by going to "Christian" schools or "Muslim" schools, concerts, coffeehouses, bookstores, dating sites, and etc., where they surrounded themselves with people who only agree with everything their parents ever told them (who probably got it from their own parents). In this way, an entirely separate reality is created for that person which they believe is the reality that everyone else lives in as well."

I was unable to find an authority on the site that you listed "http://www.simplypsychology.org...; that was backing up your claim.

On to #4.

"Fundamentalism is used to control people"
I am not under any control, as an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church has no "leader". As a matter of fact, all of Orthodox Christianity is set up the same way. We have no Pope, Prophet, Leader, etc. We are a Priest before God with only Jesus Christ as the High Priest. We are under the control of God. That's it.

"It works so well, that many American "Christians" advocate war and protest helping the poor"
I have not met any Christians that do either of these things. "Radical" Christians go out and feed the poor. In my truck, at all times, I have a bag with food, water, toilet paper, clean socks and some other things that I hand out to homeless people. I do not know any other Christians that would not do the same. You are mistaken, or creating a straw man.

"Then you have people like the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons who basically just waste years of their lives knocking on doors"
This is a feeling you have, that they are wasting years of their life. Ask Presidential candidate of 2012 Mitt Romney if he wasted "years" of his life, when he was on his mission. He will say no. http://en.wikipedia.org...

This is just another opinion on #5: "Fundamentalists believe in talking plants or a magic golden plates, and place all their eggs in such baskets. They sit around waiting for the kingdom or the empire or whatever instead of living to their full potential."
Who are you to say what my full potential is? By the way, I am doing everything BUT sitting around waiting for the Kingdom. When I was a hopeless Atheistic drunkard, I was siting around waiting for death. As a Born Again Christian, I am active in the community, I feed the hungry, help the elderly, heck I even take stray shopping carts into the store with me when I go shopping.

This 6 "Fundamentalism gives people unrealistic hopes and expectations." You also mentioned that we sit around waiting for God to do something for us.
Christianity stresses that this life is all about the choices that you make. Free will. We believe that the outcome of a situation belongs to Him, however it is up to us to do the work. Have you ever heard the term "God helps those that help themselves"?

Finally, #7. "Fundamentalists agree with other people who are fundamentalists, no matter what they say or do." This is 100% untrue.
I do not agree with fundamentalist Islam, Mormonism, or any other religion. I conform my entire life to the New Testament of the Bible. We are under 2 laws:
Love one another & Believe in Jesus. That's it. Thank you for your time.
Debate Round No. 2
Iamthejuan

Pro

None of these things you just mentioned have anything to do with my fundamentalism. I do not "yell at the poor, lock up the youth, argue about prisons, healthcare, education or bombs.

We haven't even gone one round, and you have already made it personal. "your fundamentalism" is not the topic. Fundamentalism is the topic, and I have already posted the definition.

The issues which currently divide us a a society have everything to do with fundamentalism, because it is only fundamentalists who argue with everyone else about these things. Fundamentalists support slavery and hitting children based on scriptural interpretations. Non-fundamentalists can sit-down and talk and drink together and debate things, and remain friends --sometimes they even change their minds about things! Fundamentalists are incapable of maintaining relationships with people who don't share their beliefs and never change their mind about what they believe. This is comparable to saying you are inerrant, like God. This is what the word fundamentalist means BY DEFINITION: "strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles", and the term was coined by the very same people who push these same agendas.

"As for abortion, evolution and free market, these are all political arguments that DO demand a debate, but just because you are on one side of the debate and your opponent is on the other, does not make them "dangerous". "

--It is dangerous when fundamentalists constantly justify oppression based on their personal beliefs and nothing else --racism, slavery, segregation, women's rights, gay rights, income inequality, the war on drugs, the war on terrorism --all a bunch of b.s. that is primarily and most vocally defended (and perpetuated) by FUNDAMENTALISTS, who in the U.S. often call themselves "Christian" (see how that works?). Fundamentalists try to force their beliefs on others via legislation, which is unconstitutional and also dangerous when you are brainwashing innocent children in such a manner. Then let's not forget that fundamentalists in the U.S. recently attacked the new Pope for being too progressive AND collectively defended a celebrity bigot, all in the same week. And yet, you here you are lecturing me on how to take it when people disagree with me?

Challenge: Name 3 significant sociopolitical issues that you have changed your mind on in the past 5 years. Here, I will meet my own challenge first: Abortion, Welfare, Homosexuality. Can you name 3, or 1 even?

"a fundamentalist could say that your point of view is "dangerous" to the unborn child"

--Which brings me to my next point: fundamentalists will defend the rights of a fetus, but ignore the rights of people alive who are simply different from themselves. They think it is OK to deny marital benefits to working homosexuals, or mass incarcerate minorities for making personal decisions regarding substance intake. This is an example of what I said earlier about fundamentalists contradicting themselves and their own teachings. They defend the principles they are taught, not principles that are necessarily logical or desirable.

"You used this website as an appeal to authority: http://infidels.org...... however, this is not a source of authority, it is a website based on opinion and fact."

--The website quotes the Bible, and these are common arguments which can be found on many others. I just picked the top of Google. Your argument is ad homonim to begin with.

"I would like to point out that nothing can be proved by opinion, or personal feelings."

--You're telling me?

"My mother is a Mormon. There is no talking her into leaving that religion and following the Bible. I assure you that when I visit with my mother, my "only conversation" is not that of conversation. The same can be said for the rest of my non-Fundamental family and friends. I WILL tell them the Gospel, and I will pray that they come to Christ. After that, I leave it to God. The end."

Paraphrased: "I am delusional enough to believe that my delusions are better than my mother's and everyone else's". So you have already admitted you take the Bible literally.

So do you believe all of your family members who are "lost" are going to burn forever in hell or not? That is fundamentalism, and it is dangerous.

"My very presence on this site, as well as my account on Plenty of Fish and OkCupid ( both are secular dating sites ) refute your third claim"

You're very presence here proves my claim, as your last proposed debate was to compare jock sizes with a Mormon.

"I was unable to find an authority on the site that you listed "http://www.simplypsychology.org......; that was backing up your claim."

--Which brings me to another point; fundamentalists dismiss all evidence, no matter how empirical or logical, if it contradicts their own belief system. This is where cognitive dissonance plays a major role. For example:

"Saul McLeod Bio
by Saul McLeod, published 2011

"This site is written, designed and coded by me, Saul McLeod, and I am a psychology lecturer at Wigan and Leigh College. I have a degree in psychology and have recently completed a masters degree in research from The University of Manchester." --

Not only was my link valid, Con deliberately tried to deceive by reposting the link in a broken manner that takes you nowhere. Not to mention that McLeod is citing common knowledge and 100 level psychology at this point, unless you are a fundamentalist. -- http://www.simplypsychology.org...

http://www.simplypsychology.org...

"I am not under any control, as an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church has no "leader"."

--If you dictate your lifestyle (and the way you vote) based on the way you were taught to interpret a religious text, then yes, you are by definition under "control".

http://archives.politicususa.com...

"We have no Pope, Prophet, Leader, etc. We are a Priest before God with only Jesus Christ as the High Priest. We are under the control of God. That's it."

--You are telling me you're only leader is one you can't see? I suppose it is a coincidence that fundamentalists tend to vote Republican, even when against their own best interests?

http://www.alternet.org...

"Isaiah 10:1-2: Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!"

"I have not met any Christians that do either of these things (advocate war or protest helping the poor). "

Me neither, just lots of people claiming to be Christians.

http://www.antiwar.com...

http://politix.topix.com...

http://www.splcenter.org...

http://www.dailykos.com...#

http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

"This is a feeling you have, that they are wasting years of their life."

--You only get one life. Who knows-- that kid in the tux you see riding a bike might have invented time travel if he had been given different goals.

"Ask Presidential candidate of 2012 Mitt Romney if he wasted "years" of his life, when he was on his mission."

--Can't, he's busy dealing with a lawsuit. http://www.dailykos.com...

"Who are you to say what my full potential is? "

--I didn't claim to know your personal potential. I said fundamentalists sit idly expecting a magic helping hand or "justice in the next life". Imagine if Harriet Tubman had done the same.

"When I was a hopeless Atheistic drunkard, I was siting around waiting for death. As a Born Again Christian, I am active in the community, I feed the hungry, help the elderly, heck I even take stray shopping carts into the store with me when I go shopping."

--Very good. Lots of people who aren't Christians do these things also. Are they going to hell, or not, according to you?

"Christianity stresses that this life is all about the choices that you make. Free will."

"We believe that the outcome of a situation belongs to Him"

--Back to back contradicting statements?

"Have you ever heard the term "God helps those that help themselves"?"

--Yes, it is a counter to the cliche "be silent and wait" held by fundamentalists.

"I do not agree with fundamentalist Islam, Mormonism, or any other religion. "

--My fault on grammar. I meant they agree with other's who claim the same fundamental beliefs.

"Thank you for your time."

--There are 2 rounds left.
justthefacts

Con

Rather than refuting everything that you just said line by line, I will say this instead:

Take into consideration that your opening statement was "I am arguing that fundamentalism of any sort is dangerous ..."
Now, there is your burden of proof. I have just told you that I am a fundamental Baptist minister. Therefore, MY FUNDAMENTALISM is a "sort" of fundamentalism. I have shown that MINE ( meaning the type of people I am associated with ) is NOT dangerous. I have clearly shown that. You, on the other hand, have clearly ( and a bit rudely, at times ) shown that you have a lot of emotion wrapped up in this debate. Instead of showing us FACTS you are telling us how you feel about things. I am not here to debate your feelings. You are entitled to them, and God Bless you for them. However, the things that make YOU angry, or afraid, or disgusted, or bigoted against certain religions does not make them "Dangerous". Maybe scary to you, but certainly not dangerous. Now, your burden of proof is to show that "fundamentalism of any sort is dangerous". I have just given an illustration of a ( very, very large ) fundamental movement, called "Baptists", of which I am a minister, and you have to prove this "sort" of fundamentalism is dangerous. You have failed to do so.
You have painted it as:
Annoying ( to you )
Mean or Evil ( to you )
Hypocritical ( to you )
Scary ( to you )
I could go on, but you get the picture.
You have not shown us to be dangerous. The people on these debate forums aren't going to be swayed by your argument about how something makes you feel. You must show evidence.
Better luck next round.
Debate Round No. 3
Iamthejuan

Pro

"Now, there is your burden of proof. I have just told you that I am a fundamental Baptist minister. Therefore, MY FUNDAMENTALISM is a "sort" of fundamentalism."

--Yes, it is a sort of fundamentalism. Just one type. And all you are doing is extricating your own denomination from mainstream Christianity and saying "we aren't like that". Yet, you clearly identify yourself as a fundamentalist whilst also refusing to directly answer any of my questions or refute any of my points. But you obviously want a clear cut case of an independent baptist exhibiting disturbing behaviour (which is why you won't answer me, because your replies alone would sway the voters in my direction).

So hmmm... here's an ex-baptist talking about it and a crapload of articles on the IFB's ridiculousness (and I grew up a Baptist also, since we are "whipping out" our denominations now).

"IFB churches typically teach a kind of intellectual suppression where free thought and open mindedness is discouraged. There is an unfortunate mind set where philosophical questions are at best not understood and at worst not welcome." --

http://www.baptistdeception.com...

Here's some more stories. All Independent Baptists.

http://whnt.com...
http://www.chicagomag.com...
http://www.danielcharlesbrocktrial.com...(REDACTED%20VERSION).pdf
http://www.chicoer.com...

I know you thought you were making my BoP harder, but you actually made it easier. I just wanted to prove fundamentalism in general was dangerous, but your specificity just narrowed it down to Baptists.

I win.
justthefacts

Con

I have a gas leak in my house and I am confined to staying in a hotel right now, and cannot really participate from my work computer. I have had to concede out of my other debate. I would concede this debate, but I actually think that I might win if I just leave it as is, because you have not met your burden of proof. Some fundamentalism IS dangerous ( violent, cultish, etc ). Some is NOT.

Your claim was that ALL fundamentalism is dangerous. I have shown that your claim is not valid. Lets let the voters decide.

I would like to say your debate skills are good, and it has been an enjoyable debate, a bit of a roller coaster waiting to see your responses. Take care and thanks for a good debate.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by justthefacts 3 years ago
justthefacts
I still hold to my original position, but from the votes I am learning that my debate skills need work ( I am new at this ). Thanks for your participation, we will meet again I hope.
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
@ anon
"Con would have been better off trying to separate fundamentalism from conservatism, except we all know that isn't really possible."

That was a major point I was trying to infer.
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Thanks for your feedback wylt. I messed up my grammar on this one. What I was trying to say was "any" as in fundamentalism of any religious or non-religious nature is dangerous, but Con somewhat pigeonholed me into Christianity with his first post. I did not intend to focus on protestantism.
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Second, It seems to me that Pro fails to properly define Fundamentalist. And fails to make a clearly understandable thesis because of this.

"I am arguing that religious fundamentalism of any sort is dangerous to society and counterproductive to progress as a species." --(Line 1)

"a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles" --(Line 2)

"I am a Baptist minister, and you could call my denomination "fundamental", I am actually an "Independent Fundamental Baptist". I teach and preach Orthodox Historical Christianity. I definitely qualify for a "fundamentalist". Your burden of proof will have to include that my particular religion is dangerous. Let's see if you have." --(His own rules).
Posted by FluffyCactus 3 years ago
FluffyCactus
Both sides miss key idea, imo. Firstly, Pro got quite offensive with the Catholic comment about "witches" and little boys, which vastly misunderstands the culture of the old church and the modern problem that is currently facing the church.
Second, It seems to me that Pro fails to properly define Fundamentalist. And fails to make a clearly understandable thesis because of this.
For instance, I am a Catechumen of the Catholic Church. I am vehemently against abortion. I am on the fence politically because I think both sides have great points and benefits for the poor in different ways. I am both for and against gay marriage depending on the definitions we give related terms within the debate. On most things I agree with the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox teaching. I consider the way I read scripture as holistic, literal, historical, spiritual, etc. Though many would say that I read the scriptures incorrectly. I think evolution and big bang are nigh irrefutable, and I also think that this in no way contradicts a literal (as I understand the term) historical (") or otherwise reading of the scriptures. And so, I consider myself to be quite "fundamental",while others do in fact view me as far too liberal.

I don't know how Con would consider me.
Con, I thought, approached the argument well. He shows what I have noted above. That is to say, a person can consider themselves "fundementalist" whereas another person considers them not so. and vice versa. The whole is that Christianity is far too diverse and complex to be able to call one particular thing a "fundamentalist" view. For instance, the Catholic church would never say that the Genesis account of creation is not literal or historical, yet at the same time they do not take the same position as people who are often called "fundementalist creationists".
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Just saw this. Couldn't help but share.

http://www.addictinginfo.org...

I'm interested to see how Con feels about this type of common behavior which is most closely associated with IFB or "the Christian right".
Posted by Iamthejuan 3 years ago
Iamthejuan
Nobody said that. In fact I said the opposite, that not all people who are religious are fundamentalists. He specified Christianity so I focused there, though I did reference other faiths.
Posted by bubbatheclown 3 years ago
bubbatheclown
Ah, so anyone who's a Christian or a Conservative is a fundamentalist.

In that case tell me, how many Christians do you see these days beating women to death for exposing their faces? People mock Christianity 24/7 because they know they can get away with it. They're unlikely to receive a death threat, unlike if they desecrated a Quran.
If you think Christians are dangerous because of something in our past that we have stopped doing long ago, then you're deluded. Don't forget that men like Hitler and Stalin, if you combined them, have killed more people than "Christian" nations have killed in the name of God (excluding perhaps the Taiping Rebellion). And no, Hitler did not kill Jews in the name of Jesus.
So we're Pro-Life, so we oppose homosexual marriage, so we dislike excessive restrictions on firearms. Does that make us terrorists? Because it seems that's what you think.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by theta_pinch 3 years ago
theta_pinch
IamthejuanjustthefactsTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con; at least according to pro deliberately pasted the original link in a way that doesn't follow to the source. Con's only arguments were based around his experience as a fundamentalist and a single testimony is not representative of entire religions. Pro gets sources because they were not simply personal testimony.
Vote Placed by Wylted 3 years ago
Wylted
IamthejuanjustthefactsTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro set a pretty high bop on himself when he decided to prove ANY sort of fundamentalism is dangerous. He failed to prove that every sort of fundamentalism is dangerous so argument goes to con. Pro actually uses sources so he gets those points. Pro also gets conduct points. Cons last argument was Basically a forfeit of that round.
Vote Placed by Anonymous 3 years ago
Anonymous
IamthejuanjustthefactsTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro was sarcastic, but con was dismissive at best, so conduct is a tie. Pro convinced me of why I am agnostic. Con used no source except his own experience, as if being a pastor who is a good person changes the overall truth of what Pro was arguing. Con would have been better off trying to separate fundamentalism from conservatism, except we all know that isn't really possible.