The Instigator
Xera
Pro (for)
Winning
33 Points
The Contender
acetraveler
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points

In the United States, prostitution should be legal.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/1/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,128 times Debate No: 4565
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (17)

 

Xera

Pro

In the United States Prostitution should be legal. There are three main reasons I have for making this claim:

1) Our government should not be allowed to dictate a persons motivations for engaging in intercourse.

2) People in American society should have the right to do anything they wish to do, so long as no other person is harmed. Excepting harms caused solely by the existence of the laws prohibiting prostitution, no person is being harmed by the practice of prostitution.

3) Laws regarding prostitution have no basis other than religion. Our Supreme Court has ruled, and our Constitution states, that religion and government should never mix. Therefore laws regarding prostitution, should not exist.
acetraveler

Con

I'm not a person of your country, but anyway, I start my reply. I referred to this cite. (http://www.idebate.org...)

First, basically, government have no right to engage private life like intercourse. But if the benefit of public is bigger than the private right, the regulation was based on the legal step of the law, the regulation is based on serious and careful consideration, and they are not violating the essential parts of the freedom and right, government can also regulate right of people. Basically, the justice of prostitution is based on the right to decide of their own body. But, this right is also can be restricted because of violating the dignity of human. I have the intention to argue that prostitution can violate the dignity of human so regulation of prostitution should be needed even if the rule was made by the government in this debate.

Second, prostitution basically violate the rule of marry. The essence of the rule of marry is the exclusive right of the intercourse with a spouse. As long as the rule of marry remain the fundamental of the society, we should keep it. In addition, the use of a woman's body solely for the purpose of sexual gratification does not treat them as a person. This lack of respect dehumanizes both prostitute and client, and this situation can violate the dignity of both sex. So, the overwhelming of freedom also can harm to the society and individual. It should be well adjusted by individuals or even by the government in the some situation. And I can tell you more side effects of prostitution.

Finally, Laws regarding prostitution are also based on the serious consideration not only religion but also other aspects. I can show you this evidence by showing this site. - http://www.idebate.org... - The regulation of prostitution are not only based on the faith of religion. Violation of the right of prostitutes, the economic aspects, the side effects from the country which allow prostitute, and so many other aspects are also considered by the officials in the USA government.

I'll wait your reply.
Debate Round No. 1
Xera

Pro

Thank you, Acetraveler, for taking this debate. I have read other debates you have had, and I am sure that you will provide me with a good challenge, which is definitely something that I look forward to. I understand you are not from the USA, however I can only argue about situations in the US to support my resolution.

First I will refute your arguments then I will expand my own arguments.

"First, basically, governments have no right to engage private life like intercourse. But if the benefit of public is bigger than the private right, the regulation was based on the legal step of the law The regulation is based on serious and careful consideration, and they are not violating the essential parts of the freedom and right, government can also regulate right of people.."

If I understand this argument, basically you're asserting that the collective wellbeing of the many trumps the individual rights in question. I will agree that the collective well being is important, but I argue that it is not MORE important than individual rights. My arguments on this ground are

1)There is no evidence presented here that legal prostitution IN THE UNITED STATES is harmful to the overall, mostly secular, society in the United States.
2)The United States was founded on the ideals that individuals have the right to protection from unjust and arbitrary laws that were enacted for the purpose of bettering the majority of society at that time (the stamp tax, sugar tax etc. Were enacted without allowing the taxed to have adequate representation in Parliament, thus violating the rights of individuals in the colonies in order to support the well being of the larger English society in Brittan.) For further examples, a quick look at our bill of rights shows that, of the 10 original amendments to the Constitution, every one of them, in one way or another, upholds the tenant that individual rights are paramount.

"Basically, the justice of prostitution is based on the right to decide of their own body. But, this right is also can be restricted because of violating the dignity of human. I have the intention to argue that prostitution can violate the dignity of human so regulation of prostitution should be needed even if the rule was made by the government in this debate."

Almost anything can be twisted to harm the dignity of those involved in it. This does not invalidate the rights of the individual to choose to participate in those activities. Let me give an example of how the government actively has chosen NOT to uphold the dignity of women, because that is NOT THEIR BUSINESS.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com... Shows that the courts in the United States have ruled, if a woman is in public, and she wears a dress, she has no right to view her body as ‘private' and her image can be captured, and distributed without her permission, or knowledge. We should all be able to agree that this creates a situation of indignity for women in general. I mention this not to debate whether these laws are just or not, but to refute the idea that criminalization of prostitution is somehow done to prevent indignity, when the courts have shown an outright disrespect for the dignity of women in other much more recent laws. Obviously, women that choose not to be objects of sexual gratification have no right to expect that choice to be honored, while the laws on prostitution also invalidate a woman's right to choose under what circumstances her body will be used for gratification.

Further I will ask a question in regards to this argument. Who does society tend to view with a greater amount of dignity, she who obeys the law, or she who breaks the law? Some of the stigma and loss of dignity for prostitutes stems, not from the act, but from the law.

"Second, prostitution basically violate the rule of marry. The essence of the rule of marry is the exclusive right of the intercourse with a spouse. As long as the rule of marry remain the fundamental of the society, we should keep it."

I understand this to mean that you assert that prostitution harms marriage by promoting otherwise faithful men to seek out sex with another partner. I disagree. Cheaters are cheaters and they will cheat, whether they are paying for the chance to cheat, or not. Liars are liars and they will lie. The lack of legal prostitution does not stop infidelity. Please see the following web site for some statistics of cheating on spouses in the US. http://menstuff.org...

With nearly 1/4 the married people in the US participating in intercourse outside of marriage I hardly think we can consider faithfulness a fundamental aspect of American society. I would also challenge my opponent to describe how it might be possible for a prostitute, short of rape, which is not generally paid for, to actually cause a violation of the rule of marry? Isn't a larger part of the responsibility to maintaining that law of marry on those who are actually involved in the marriage?

I could also read this argument to say that it is or should be unlawful or at least wrong, to participate in intercourse outside the bounds of marriage. It is difficult to be sure because within the bounds of marriage could apply to either no intercourse before marriage or no outside intercourse after marriage. Either way, in the United States women are not expected to wait for marriage to engage in intercourse. Nearly half of girls age 17 have had sex, but don't marry until the mid 20s. This was taken from: http://marriage.rutgers.edu... Therefore this standard of virginity at marriage is not fundamental to American Society.

"in addition, the use of a woman's body solely for the purpose of sexual gratification does not treat them as a person. This lack of respect dehumanizes both prostitute and client, and this situation can violate the dignity of both sexes. "

Pornography is legal. This means that it is legal for a woman to have sex in front of a camera for pay, but take the camera away and it is illegal.

So, the overwhelming of freedom also can harm to the society and individual. It should be well adjusted by individuals or even by the government in the some situation. And I can tell you more side effects of prostitution.

Finally, Laws regarding prostitution are also based on the serious consideration not only religion but also other aspects. I can show you this evidence by showing this site. - http://www.idebate.org...... - The regulation of prostitution are not only based on the faith of religion. Violation of the right of prostitutes, the economic aspects, the side effects from the country which allow prostitute, and so many other aspects are also considered by the officials in the USA government.

Every one of the arguments at that website has a correlating response. I hold that the responses are clear and accurate and the rebuttals to your arguments at idebate.org are valid. However, the con stance presented does not show that the reason these laws were allowed to exist in the first place were for any reason other than morals (an extension of religious belief), The justifications I read here for the continuation of these laws seems to be primarily, "even if we made it legal and regulated it, some would still work outside of the law."

This is of course an oversimplification of the many many arguments presented, but the over feel of the arguments was such. My argument to this would be that I am not against licensure of prostitutes, regulations of the profession, or high penalties for those that operate outside the bounds of those regulations. Certainly there will always be those that operate a business in an illegal manner. There are illegal day cares even! All business are vulnerable to this. That in no way rebuts my resolution.
acetraveler

Con

First,
(1)As I know, approximately 2-third of Nevada only allow prostitution in USA. So, of course you and I cannot easily found the evidence presented there that legal prostitution in the united states is harmful to the overall, mostly secular, society in the United States. This thing are not effective objection against opposition of allowing prostitution because USA still prohibit prostitution in the most area. So, we do not know the effect of allowing prostitution, and we cannot deal with this problem related to this topic yet. Your pointing is missed.
(2)Public benefit means the profit of the more individuals. Of course, public benefit is often the second hand profit and individual right is often the first hand profit, but if the public benefit still bigger than private benefit, we should seriously consider these things. If the rights conflict each other, we cautiously think what rights are greater than others and we should choose the greater one if we cannot guarantee both of them. Do your bill of rights order you should not deal with this problem to this way?

In addition, although the example of 'http://seattlepi.nwsource.com......' shows 'the courts have shown an outright disrespect for the dignity of women in other much more recent laws.', it cannot justify 'to refute the idea that criminalization of prostitution is somehow done to prevent indignity.' First, it is a only one example. Although you can show me more examples, I cannot still have conviction it is the major trend in the USA judges because I don't know the percentage of this case than the whole case related with the dignity of women. Second, in this case, the attitude of supreme court should be changed first, not allowing prostitution that can do more violate the dignity of women. Your country should not mess more the dignity of women because of the attitude of judges.

'Who does society tend to view with a greater amount of dignity, she who obeys the law, or she who breaks the law? Some of the stigma and loss of dignity for prostitutes stems, not from the act, but from the law.'
No, as I have mentioned before, 'The use of a woman's body solely for the purpose of sexual gratification does not treat them as a person. This lack of respect dehumanizes both prostitute and client, and this situation can violate the dignity of both sex.'. Not only law but also the act can violate dignity of women. In addition, I cite more arguments from the site. (http://www.idebate.org...)
'The legalisation of the ‘Bunny Ranch' in Nevada did not prevent the majority of prostitutes from continuing to work outside of the licensed brothel, and remain dependent on pimps. This is because brothels are more expensive environments for prostitutes to work and clients to visit. Rent, health checks, and security, are some of the costs which make it uneconomic for some prostitutes to be employed in brothels. In Britain, where prostitution is virtually prohibited, some prostitutes use private apartments, whilst others work on the street. Legalisation of prostitution does not remove the street market, or the dangers associated with it. The dangerous street environment is generated by simple economics, not legal controls.'
Because of this, if your country allow prostitution in the whole country, the violating dignity of women can be more serious and can do more happen.

http://menstuff.org...
With nearly 1/4 the married people in the US participating in intercourse outside of marriage I hardly think we can consider faithfulness a fundamental aspect of American society. I would also challenge my opponent to describe how it might be possible for a prostitute, short of rape, which is not generally paid for, to actually cause a violation of the rule of marry? Isn't a larger part of the responsibility to maintaining that law of marry on those who are actually involved in the marriage?>
I agree your opinion in this part.

'I could also read this argument to say that it is or should be unlawful or at least wrong, to participate in intercourse outside the bounds of marriage. It is difficult to be sure because within the bounds of marriage could apply to either no intercourse before marriage or no outside intercourse after marriage. Either way, in the United States women are not expected to wait for marriage to engage in intercourse. Nearly half of girls age 17 have had sex, but don't marry until the mid 20s. This was taken from: http://marriage.rutgers.edu...... Therefore this standard of virginity at marriage is not fundamental to American Society.'
But, prostitution is not only a virginity problem. It is also the problem of the dignity of women. Do you really think virginity and dignity are the same mean?

'Pornography is legal. This means that it is legal for a woman to have sex in front of a camera for pay, but take the camera away and it is illegal.'
But, I want to know more USA have NOT ANY restrictions of allowing pornography. I want you elaborate this. In addition, even if pornography is legal in the current situation, I don't think it is the reason of agreeing allowing prostitution because the pornography can also be illegal because of the same reason. If not, there are more reasons can be existed.


First, What make you think morals are the extension of religious belief? Even though, if prohibiting prostitution is only based on moral and religious reason, if you still argue prohibiting prostitution is wrong because of these reasons, you have a serious mistake. Because, you didn't say why the religious belief and moral reasons that support prohibiting prostitution are wrong. Of course I think you can say 'As I have mentioned before, religion and government should never mix.' But, this reason must need more detail explain. In addition, don't you think 'individual right(freedom)' are also based on these mentions in the 'Declaration of Independence' - That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - Don't the 'creator' mean 'God or holly existence'? How can you explain this without the effect from religious belief to the government? So, What is the exact mean of 'religion and government should never mix'?

Finally, as I have mentioned before, I already showed you an example of Nevada in this writing against your argument to the way of dealing with the prostitution. And, I agree to 'Certainly there will always be those that operate a business in an illegal manner. There are illegal day cares even! All business are vulnerable to this.'. But, most of other jobs cannot be compared as prostitution in the aspects of human dignity because most of other jobs do not basically violate worker's dignity unlike prostitution. I can show you the reasons to the final round in my turn.

I'll wait your final reply in this debate.
Debate Round No. 2
Xera

Pro

I apologize for this taking so long. I just started a new job and had to really research for my responses, thank you Traveler for giving me a very good debate. I have enjoyed it, and now onto my final arguments:



Prostitution is legal in Rhode Island. http://www.anchorrising.com... Most never knew as long as it takes place indoors, it's legal. RI is not a hotbed of immoral activity. Good people live in RI and society has not been damaged. In fact it rates 44 out of 51 for violent crimes. http://www.statemaster.com.... Further it has one of the lowest divorce rates in the nation (4th lowest) http://www.divorcemag.com.... The mere presence of legal prostitution does not mean a bad society for American states.



These are two separate issues:

1)The greater good argument.

The criminalization of prostitution hasn't stopped it. For society to gain anything, the activity would have to be stopped.

2)In the Bill of Rights may say something that can be interpreted that way, but I don't see it.

. < I cannot still have [think] the major trend in the USA judges because I don't know the percentage of this case than the whole case related with the dignity of women.>

My point that women's dignity is not of concern in determining laws. I don't think degrading women is a goal for the court. If you read the article, the judge stated that he found the practice repugnant. But there was nothing he could do about it, because he could not stop the man's rights.

< This lack of respect dehumanizes both prostitute and client, and this situation can violate the dignity of both sex.'>

I will deal with the ‘dignity of women arguments' later.

<'legalization of the ‘Bunny Ranch' in Nevada did not prevent [most] of prostitutes from […] work outside of the licensed brothel, and remain dependent on pimps.' >

Doesn't matter and mostly incorrect. The BR is nearer to Carson City than to Vegas, and prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, where prostitutes have more business. http://reno.citysearch.com.... Thousands of people travel to Vegas every year, to buy sex there, they can't, but as you said, economics suggest that the workers will go were the work is at.. http://www.usatourist.com.... Considering how far the Bunny Ranch is from where the johns are, really this is more an argument FOR my case than against it.



I was saying that your argument on the rule of marry could also mean that virginity was the standard being violated by prostitution. I'm sorry I was unclear on that.



OK has strict laws on pornography, but I can still pay for the right to watch Jenna Jameson perform from my local cable network- The descriptions on my channel guide make the JENNA channel sound rather raunchy. Mostly, the only restrictions are that the workers consent & be over 18. The way it works in the US is that we use the "Miller test." This is a three part test that uses the standards of the community to determine if something is illegal. http://courses.cs.vt.edu.... This is different in each place, so I can't say there are no laws about pornography. Those I mentioned are standard for all states. It is legal in most states for a woman to have sex for money in front of a camera, but if the camera is removed it is illegal.



The first right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" http://www.constitution.org.... This issue was so important to the founding fathers; they put it in before any other of the rights guaranteed. Yes, mostly, the founding fathers were religious. Knowing that, why would they have made this the first of the rights guaranteed? Because they were able to recognize that the freedom to determine what one believes is so fundamental, that no law can change that, and attempts to would be met with resistance. There is no surer way to guarantee an unstable government than to attempt to regulate faith or beliefs. This is why, even though or forefathers were believers, they recognized and protected our right not to be forced into those same beliefs.



Now I will discuss the indignity of prostitution. It doesn't matter.. Prostitutes work in a field that is degrading and makes them use sex as a commodity for trading. That doesn't matter. Most of these women were abused or raped. They aren't on the streets because they chose to be sex workers. They are there because they think they have no choice.. Punishing them for doing what they can to survive is wrong. Wanna help? Give them a safe way of doing what they have to in order to survive. The fact that there will be some that won't follow the regulations doesn't matter, because there will be some that will.

Additionally Australia legalized prostitution and faced some of the problems you mentioned, because it was legal, the sex workers could do something about it, so they did. Legalization empowered them to act.
http://www.walnet.org...

The issue with the laws about prostitution for the benefit of the prostitute is no one else is harmed. Therefore it is immoral. It is in violation of the Harm Principle which states that, "His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinion of others, to do so would be wise, or even right." http://davidhildebrand.org.... Laws upheld by this principle are the only just laws; all others are immoral trappings attempting to coerce action without allowing for cause is wrong.

Creating laws for no reason other than to protect the dignity of the person affected violates that principle, and is immoral.

Ladies and gentlemen I have now concluded my case. I have shown:

1.Prostitution can be legal and not drastically harm the community
2.Violating individual rights where no harm is being done, for the sake of ‘the greater good' is wrong.
3.Laws harm the prostitute by creating a situation where they can not ask for help when it is needed.
4.Pornography is prostitution with a camera, and for the most part, it is legal
5.Laws regarding prostitution violate the harm principle and are immoral.

The only logical vote is a vote for PRO
acetraveler

Con

I admit this is clearly my lose to this debate. Everyone, please vote for Xera. She have right to win in this debate.
Your argument and logic is more well than mine so I cannot oppose some part of your opinions. But you have already opposed my every arguments. This mean you teach me well in this debate. Thank you for debating with me, Xera. See you next debate. I'll pay back you my debt later in the next debate!
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
I don't know what happened here. I logged in this morning to my account. Nobody else capable of spelling is awake in my home. Nobody could have logged me out but there it is. so I go to log my daughter back out, and log myself back in, but nooooo, doesn't work, it's still logged in as her.I apologize. I view this as God putting me in my place for being hateful.

What I said in the debate that regarded your statement was that about 25% of married people cheat anyway, with the vast majority being husbands cheating on their wives, with co-workers and friends. Only about 1% of infidelities are with a prostitute. Since there is such a huge number of infidelities while prostitution is illegal, it seems unlikely that making prostitution legal would really make that big of a difference in the family.

Further it is the responsibility of those that make promises to keep them, it is not, and should not be, the job of the rest of society to make it easier by restricting the rights of others so that weak willed people won't be tempted to make their vows into lies.
Posted by Im_always_right 8 years ago
Im_always_right
Last night I made allownances that perhaps since there was so much information presented, you just forgot one or two facts shown. I don't want to give anyone the benifit of the doubt today. I'm not in as good a mood. sorry.

If you are not going to bother to read the debate, then at least, before posting, assume that MAYBE my opponant would have thought to use the single most obvious argument at his disposal (the destruction of family values, fidelity, and home). Since he was a very good opponant, and he made good reasonable arguemnts,seems likely your argument might be answered somewhere in the debate?7
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
The difference is that if legalised, it will be more likely that he will be approached by some who is a professional at seduction.

That's the difference.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
If my husband is unfaithful to me with ANYONE it is harmful to my marriage bonds. Whether he pays for it or not. If he turns out to be a liar, and a cheat then my marriage will be over and it doesn't matter who it is with.

Why would the fact that it was a prostitute he cheated with make any difference at all? Adultery is not illegal, and THAT is what causes the damage, not the choice of floozy the lying cheats mess around with.
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
If your husband is persuaded sex with a prostitute, surely this will weaken your marriage-bond?
Therefore it is harming someone else beyond the people involved?

A bit like saying we should legalise drugs.
It's all very well if we're all separate adult individuals, but when it's your son/daughter/husband is becomes clear that one is not quite so separate.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
I just wanted to say, thank you Acetraveler for taking this debate and for your graciousness. I am finally at a loss for words, which happens very rarely. You have been an excellent opponent and made me work very hard for every point I was able to make. I have rarely enjoyed a debate as much. I look forward to debating you again.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
lol, well I go back and read what I wrote now and wonder, why nobody thought to smack my self-righteous, holier-than-thou face for that one. Wow I sounded condescending. The fact is that there are two issues present. "God said it is a sin." True, don't deny it. Jesus said,
"Let he who is among you without sin cast the first stone,"

"Judge not lest ye yourselves be judged,"

"That that you have done unto the least of my brethren ye have done also unto me,"

"Remove the plank from your own eye before removing the speck from your brothers."

and other various statements of the sort which make me believe that I am not the one to say what is right or wrong and it is sinful for me to try. Thats all.

I'm not trying to say I'm better than people that interpret the bible differently than I do, but I just can't think I should be the one telling people how to live and what to do.

I think it is my place to try to show them how much better life is with God than without him. I can teach and speak, but never judge. I know I do judge, I just know I shouldn't.
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
I can understand tolerance, but here is what I don't get...

This is said with all due respect of course...

How can you possibly be "tolerant" of something which God Himself calls a sin? Gos says clearly in the old and new Testament that homosexuality is a sin.
Posted by Xera 8 years ago
Xera
Renzzy,

I appreciate your question and the vein in which it was asked. I support the rights of the church to choose if it will offer marriage as a function to homosexuals because I do not believe that the government has the right to forbid the church anything short of actual physical and substantial harm to a separate party.

Further I believe, spiritually, that Jesus wiped away the laws of the Old Testament, as evidenced by the old stand by: "Let he who is among you without sin cast the first stone." I am more a believer in the doctrine, "That that you have done unto the least of my brethren ye have done also unto me." I take that to mean that whatever I do to someone I may or may not agree with, I had better be willing to give justification for any stance that I take that causes harm to another. I think the most Christian thing I can teach and demonstrate is tolerance. AS soon as I learn some I will certainly get to the teaching and demonstrating it portion :D (JK I have some understanding of tolerance, but I do need help in gaining more)

Hope that helps somewhat,

Xera
Posted by Renzzy 8 years ago
Renzzy
Xera,

This has nothing to do with the debate at hand, but I always find it interesting when it comes up.

Your profile says that you are a protestant, and your daughter's profile says that she is a Christian; both of you I assume taking the same stand on issues concerning religion.

I myself am a protestant, and find it interesting that both of you support gay marriage. I would like to know how you think the Bible supports gay marriage, and how you find it compatible with God and Christianity.

I am in complete opposition of the idea that the Bible supports gay marriage, and would simply like to know why you think the way you do.

Thanks!

Renzzy
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brian_eggleston
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