The Instigator
InsertNameHere
Con (against)
Winning
49 Points
The Contender
Cerebral_Narcissist
Pro (for)
Losing
48 Points

Islam is a direct threat to civilization.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 19 votes the winner is...
InsertNameHere
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2010 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,162 times Debate No: 11650
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (133)
Votes (19)

 

InsertNameHere

Con

This is based off a comment on Cerebral's profile: "Islam is a direct threat to civilisation and progress and efforts must be made to restrict Islamic immigration and to encourage progress in Muslim counties." This got me thinking and as a muslim I would like to challenge this statement. I will intend to argue that Islam has been progressive in ways both past and present, thus isn't a threat to society.

Threat: a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment, injury, etc., in retaliation for, or conditionally upon, some action or course; menace.
An indication or warning of probable trouble. http://dictionary.reference.com...

Civilization: an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached. http://dictionary.reference.com...

I'll post my first argument once my opponent posts. I look forward to an interesting debate! :)
Cerebral_Narcissist

Pro

Thank you for the debate challenge, before we begin I would like to make clear that I hold InsertNameHere in high regard, my issues are not with her, nor with most individual Muslims, but with the net results of Islam as a political and cultural force. In addition, as I have indicated in the comments section and as my opponent has accepted I specifically regard it as a threat to 'western liberal civilisation' (which I regard as higher civilisation). A purely semantic interpretation would deny the obvious fact that Islamic countries do have civilisation.

I would like to like to offer the following definition for Islam.
"1.the religious faith of Muslims, based on the words and religious system founded by the prophet Muhammad and taught by the Koran, the basic principle of which is absolute submission to a unique and personal god, Allah.
2.the whole body of Muslim believers, their civilization, and the countries in which theirs is the dominant religion. "
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Arguments
1: Islam is anti-democratic.
A key feature of western and indeed higher civilisation is democracy. Islam is however anti-democratic.

This is according to Islamic Scholars.
http://www.jihadwatch.org...

If we are too look at every country with an Islamic majority we will see that they are by and large dictatorships or 'faux' democracies.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Turkey is possibly the most democratic of the Muslim majority countries, but is secular, spent it's first 20 or so years as a single party state, has suffered four military coups and has survived two attempted military coups in the past two years.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Conversely France, which can be taken as an example of an unstable western democracy has retained democracy since 1871 (apart from the short lived Vichy period).

In most situations Islam will create dictatorial countries, with all the abuses of civil rights and personal liberty this entails. This put it at odds with western civilisation.

2: Islam is unequal.
Though true equality is impossible due to differences in wealth, ability and personality, western civilisation is based on the assumption of equality in the eyes of the law. This is a key feature of what we regard as civilisation, and has actually been regarded as a vital facet of civilisation for some time. Islam rarely acknowledges the equal legal rights of men and women. By dismissing and disenfranchising just over half of its population it is clear that it is in opposition to western civilisation.

This is shown by their attitude to the education of women.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The widespread practice of honour killing.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

3: Islam is spreading in the west.
Points 1 and 2 would be irrelevant if Islam was neatly confined to it's own section of the world. It is however growing in the west due to immigration and conversion.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Islamic Crimes Against Civilisation
To emphasise my argument I would like to provide examples of where Islam has actively harmed civilisation.

The Library of Alexandria
Though several people have been accused of damaging the Library of Alexandria, the final act of destruction was performed by Muslims. This atrocity may have permanently damaged the progress of human civilisation.

http://www.shekpvar.net...

The Buddhas of Bamyan, destroyed by the Taliban.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Parthenon, used as a gunpowder store by the Turks.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

It is for these reasons that I defend my claim that Islam is a threat to both western civilisation and higher civilisation.
Debate Round No. 1
InsertNameHere

Con

Thank you Cerebral_Narcissist. :)

Firstly, my opponent states that Islam contradicts the western value of democracy.
Democracy: government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. http://dictionary.reference.com...

Sure, democracy isn't really the most islamic value, but in many ways it can be justified. Many "democratic" governments in the west can often be easily corrupted. Corporations can buy political influence, votes can be tampered with(although this one rarely happens). Nigeria is an example of corruption under the democratic system. http://www.thefreelibrary.com...
Russia is also another state that flies the democratic banner, but in reality it's quite undemocratic. http://www.washingtonpost.com...
So in reality, oftentimes, democracy really isn't all that superior. At least in an authoritarian system the people are kept under control.

Secondly, my opponent argues that Islam promotes inequality between the sexes. This too, is inaccurate. Women in Arabia started to enjoy many more rights under Islam than they ever did before.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.mwlusa.org...
http://www.answering-christianity.org...
Islam outlawed many of the practices such as arranged marriages and infanticide of newborn females. These practices when performed in Islamic countries are usually cultural. Arranged marriages can also happen in Non-Islamic societies.
http://www.answering-islam.com...

My opponent also points out that Islam is spreading in the west. This is true. However, when atrocities do occur, once again, they have little to do with Islam. It is an understandable fear that westerners living in an overall Christian society wouldn't want "Islamization" in their society. It is justified as you don't see western, christian influence coming into Islamic countries. Religious freedom, however, is a right.

Next, my opponent states that Islam has committed crimes against civilization. Couldn't the same be said about western, Christian societies? During the Spanish Inquisition thousands of Jews and Muslims were forced to convert.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
The Holocaust was also carried out by people who claimed to be christians. http://en.wikipedia.org...

I'll leave it at this. I look forward to my opponent's rebuttal. Good luck to both of us!
Cerebral_Narcissist

Pro

I apologise for the delay in posting. My opponent concedes that Islam and democracy can not be reconciled, though they attempt to refute this by indicating that there are flaws in democracy, they do not contend the contention that democracy is a major desire of civilisation, a cornerstone of western liberal civilisation and a general indicator of an advanced and advancing civilisation.

As clarified I regard Islam as a threat to western civilisation, or rather my civilisation and my personal liberty. As my opponent has accepted that Islam and democracy can not be reconciled, what will be the result if the currently growing Islamic population reaches a majority of the electorate and a majority in parliament what will occur to my democratic liberties.

The desire of even moderate Muslims to achieve this Islamification of Britain is indicated here,
http://www.bing.com...#
(at least I think it is, I am without speakers).

Further on the point of democracy my opponent cites Nigeria and Russia as examples of the flaws and corruption of democracy. Those these are otherwise good examples, the comparison should be between liberal western democracies and Islam. Nigeria is majority Muslim and so has already been referenced, Russia is still transitioning to democracy having been a dictatorship in one form or another for centuries and is not a liberal western state.

Therefore I refute my opponents counter-arguments with regards democracy.

With regards Islam and women's rights. My opponent may argue, and may do so successfully that women in Islam were granted rights by that religion that they did not previously have. However she has not, and can not argue that Islam grants equal rights which is the key issue. I have demonstrated a pattern of female oppression that my opponent has not refuted. In addition though Islam may have granted rights to Arab women they did not previously have, this may have simply been inspired by the contemporary Roman/Byzantine culture already in existence.
http://byzantium.seashell.net.nz...

Therefore I refute my opponents counter-arguments with regards women's rights.

"My opponent also points out that Islam is spreading in the west. This is true. However, when atrocities do occur, once again, they have little to do with Islam. It is an understandable fear that westerners living in an overall Christian society wouldn't want "Islamization" in their society. It is justified as you don't see western, Christian influence coming into Islamic countries. Religious freedom, however, is a right."

My opponent concedes the fact that Islam is spreading in the west which is necessary if my former arguments are to have any weight. However my opponent offers no evidence that atrocities committed in the name of Islam have anything to do with Islam, though I can accept that not all Muslims would support all Islamic atrocities the actions of some Muslims are at least indicative of the personality of some Muslims. Lastly my opponent contends that Religious freedom is a right, indicating that I should not seek to restrict Islamic growth in the west.

However by what criteria does she assert it is a right? Does she argue as I would, that religious freedom is a vital freedom of a civilised democratic state? Then why do Islamic countries do not accept such freedom.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com...

Lastly my opponent fails to refute or justify any of the three crimes against civilisation that I listed.
Instead she counters with the Spanish Inquisition.

This is not a valid comparison, the modern Spanish state is a tolerant liberal western democracy. To draw comparisons from 500 years ago, when it had just finished a war with Muslim aggressors is hardly fair. In any case even if my opponent successfully paints a picture of Christianity as a negative force, it does not follow that Islam is a positive one that it is not a threat to my civilisation.

The holocaust is a better example, as that was conducted by an advanced western society with Christian overtones... however again this simply paints Christianity, Germany and western civilisation in a poorer light, it should not effect how we view Islam.

It must also be shown that Islam co-operated with the holocaust, and would do so again.
http://en.wikipedia.org...(1st_Croatian)
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.adl.org...

Thank you for an interesting debate thus far.
Debate Round No. 2
InsertNameHere

Con

I also apologize for my delay in posting. My opponent still insists that Islam is a threat to his civilization and liberty. However, if this was true wouldn't it make sense for there to be less western converts to Islam? http://www.islamfortoday.com...
I also would like to point out that Islam is only as much as a "threat" as people want it to be. My opponent fears that Islamization will occur in Britain thus taking away many of his freedoms. While this is true, to a certain extent, wouldn't it be safer and healthier if certain things were taken out of society? For example, about 40% of all vehicle accidents in the US are contributed to intoxication. http://www.articlealley.com...
Surely the number of vehicle accidents could be reduced by 40% if people stopped drinking? That is a significant percentage and many lives that could be saved. Alcohol can also have negative effects on the family as explained in this article: http://allpsych.com...
Under a truly democratic system issues like these are rarely properly addressed(I stand that democracy is inefficient). The Islamic system wants the well-being of everybody. Also, if the majority of the population of a country is muslim wouldn't it make sense and be democratic to accommodate them if they vote in favour of an Islamic policy? With growing immigration and conversion rates this could become a reality.

My opponent argues that Islam doesn't grant equality to men and women. This is indeed incorrect. Women are very much equal to men, but are treated differently. Men and women are biologically distinct individuals who have different needs. For example, men are usually physically stronger so should be responsible for more physical labour. As childbearers, most women have natural maternal instincts which generally make them better for raising children. There are also many other factors to consider while looking at the differences between the two sexes. http://peoplerelationships.syl.com...
Even the Qur'an doesn't say women are inferior.
Qur'an 3:195- I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other.
Qur'an 4:124- If any do deeds of righteousness - be they male or female - and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them.
Qur'an 40:40- Whoever does an evil deed will not be recompensed except by the like thereof; but whoever does righteousness - whether male or female - and is a believer, such will enter Paradise, being given provision therein without limit.
Qur'an 16:97- Whoever works righteousness, man or woman, and has Faith, verily, to such will We grant a good and pure life, and We will bestow on such their reward according to the best of their actions.

My opponent points out that my comparison involving the Spanish Inquisition was unfair. I'll like to counter with another comparison. America. Wouldn't America invading Islamic countries be a threat to Islamic civilization? Why the double standard, especially when thousands of innocent civilians are being killed by western invasions? The amounts of people who are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is more significant than the numbers of those killed in terrorist attacks against the west.

Thank you and I look forward to my opponent's next rebuttal.
Cerebral_Narcissist

Pro

That is fine I am just happy you slipped in before the time ran out!

My opponent questions that,
"My opponent still insists that Islam is a threat to his civilization and liberty. However, if this was true wouldn't it make sense for there to be less western converts to Islam?"

I counter that this is a non-sequiter. Religion is a powerful force, fulfilling deep emotional and spiritual needs, it is likely that such considerations of 'secular' or mortal freedom are irrelevant to converts. In addition Islamic conversion in the west tends to be more common amongst the disenfranchised or poorer sections of the community, such as the prison population who in any case have been denied such liberty. http://www.radicalislam.org...

"My opponent fears that Islamization will occur in Britain thus taking away many of his freedoms. While this is true, to a certain extent, wouldn't it be safer and healthier if certain things were taken out of society? For example, about 40% of all vehicle accidents in the US are contributed to intoxication."

If this is true 'to a certain extent' as my opponent concedes that she must also concede that my argument is true to a certain extent. The consumption of alcohol is a major aspect of my culture. Very few people are teetotal, and alcohol serves a central function to social gatherings and special occasions. I consider it my right to consume alcohol. I fully concede that it may be bad for my health, I will not question the existence of drunk driving but the negative effects of alcohol are a separate issue.

Alcohol consumption is (tenuously I grant), an aspect of my civilisation. If Muslims reach a majority it will almost certainly be outlawed or at least greatly restricted. The number of Muslims as a proportion of the total population of my country are growing. Therefore Islam poses a threat to my civilisation. Alcohol is but a small matter, this can be extrapolated to the whole range of personal liberties that I enjoy.

"My opponent argues that Islam doesn't grant equality to men and women. This is indeed incorrect. Women are very much equal to men, but are treated differently. Men and women are biologically distinct individuals who have different needs. For example, men are usually physically stronger so should be responsible for more physical labour. As childbearers, most women have natural maternal instincts which generally make them better for raising children."

I do not deny that the genders are different, this however is a departure from the relevant point. A bricklayer and a theoretical physicist are different, but they are both accorded equality under the law.

The rules of divorce in Islam do not accord both genders legal equality. It is easier for a man to divorce his wife, than for a wife to divorce her husband, http://www.islamonline.net....

This shows clear inequality between the genders.

"Even the Qur'an doesn't say women are inferior."

It even goes so far I believe as to say men and women are equal. However two issues need to be considered.
1: We are discussing the nature of the Islamic religion, which though derived from the Koran is not the Koran, but rather the net result of humans reading, distorting, interpreting, successfully and unsuccessfully following it's rules or what they believe to be it's rules. My opponent has not challenged my examples of gender inequality in Islam.
2: Despite the claim that the genders are equal the koran lays down rules for a man to beat his wife, it does not lay down rules for a wife to beat her husband. This is therefore inequality. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com...

Therefore as the practice of Islam denies the equality of the genders, and as the practice of Islam is growing in my country it represents a direct threat to the personal liberty of half the population and a threat to the very nature of my civilisation which is built on egalitarian and democratic principles.

"My opponent points out that my comparison involving the Spanish Inquisition was unfair. I'll like to counter with another comparison. America. Wouldn't America invading Islamic countries be a threat to Islamic civilization? Why the double standard, especially when thousands of innocent civilians are being killed by western invasions? The amounts of people who are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan is more significant than the numbers of those killed in terrorist attacks against the west."

Though my opponent raises an interesting point, it is obvious that my refutation or concession of this point has no bearing on the resolution. My civilisation is not threatened in this context accept by reprisals by Muslims, so it can only serve to support my claim.

In my opinion my opponent has not refuted any of the points I have made thus far.
Debate Round No. 3
InsertNameHere

Con

Yep, just made it by a few hours. :P Haha.

Although alcohol may be intrenched into western culture, my opponent fails to address that alcoholism can be a serious issue that can tear families apart, result in rapes, drunk driving, etc. Surely this kind of thing should be avoided? However, this is a minor issue compared to some of the others brought up here. Moving on...

My opponent mentioned the issue of divorce. While it's often the case that men can more easily divorce it's usually justified. Men traditionally have a higher income so are expected to provide for their wives. http://career-advancement.suite101.com...
Many single women, especially those with child often have a difficult time getting back on their feet after a divorce. The Qur'an wants fairness, but not necessarily "equality" as women and men are clearly not equal, not even in western society.

My opponent also addressed a greatly misunderstood aspect of Islam. While Islam does permit beating a disobedient wife(we see domestic violence in western society all the time) it is to be done lightly.
Qur'an 4:34- As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly) ...
Wouldn't a woman want to obey to avoid being beaten? As the person providing for somebody wouldn't you want to be obeyed. It's like in a workplace. If your employee does a bad job you fire them.

Another claim by my opponent is that there is equality in the west. True equality in the truest sense is impossible. In a truly equal society everybody would be living in the same standards and making the same amount of money.

Now to my opponent...
Cerebral_Narcissist

Pro

I am just glad you are still here!

My opponent states,
"Although alcohol may be intrenched into western culture, my opponent fails to address that alcoholism can be a serious issue that can tear families apart, result in rapes, drunk driving."

Indeed it is sometimes remarked that were alcohol to be discovered today, it would have been immediately banned, along with hard recreational drugs. However it is an ancient part of my culture and civilisation, my right to drink it is part of civil liberties, my civil liberties are a key part of my culture and civilisation, the act of drinking is a key part of social interaction, so again key part of my culture and my civilisation.

The fact that it may be harmful, the question of if I should or not consume it is a separate one. It does not actually have any relation to the resolution. For the same reason I will not bring up the issue of the health benefits of moderate alcoholic consumption nor the terrible human cost of organised crime that will be created by prohibition.

Alcohol is part of my civilisation, if/when Muslims reach a majority in Britain it is likely that to be outlawed or restricted.

On the issue of divorce,
"While it's often the case that men can more easily divorce it's usually justified. Men traditionally have a higher income so are expected to provide for their wives."

The Koran does not state that it should be easier for the higher income earner to divorce the lower income earner. It simply states that the man has more rights than the woman. This is a clear gender imbalance, the two genders are not equal in the law. You may find ways to defend this sexual inequality, but nonetheless this does contradict with the western civilisations fundamental desire for gender equality in law. Should Britain become an Islamic state women will most likely have to accept that they subservient to their husbands and second class citizens in the eyes of a divorce court. This conflicts with western civilisation.

Re: Wife beating,
"My opponent also addressed a greatly misunderstood aspect of Islam. While Islam does permit beating a disobedient wife(we see domestic violence in western society all the time) it is to be done lightly.
Qur'an 4:34- As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly)"

I accept this, from what I have read of the koran it does actually lay down sensible (though not always agreeable) rules. Be it war, wife beating, divorce and so on and so forth. It is a much maligned and distorted book. However carefully or thoughtfully written the rules on wife beating are they represent a clear inequality between men and women.

Should there be a passage in the koran that states
"Wives as to those husbands on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) arrange with your male kinfolk or a local court to beat them (lightly) ..."
Then we would see gender equality.

Until we do so, which is not going to happen as the koran can not be so casually re-written, and given that Islam is increasing in the west we must conclude that Islamic values is a threat to western values, hence western civilisation.

My opponent states
"Another claim by my opponent is that there is equality in the west. True equality in the truest sense is impossible. In a truly equal society everybody would be living in the same standards and making the same amount of money."

I believe I made some attempt to qualify this claim of equality in my first round.

Quote from round 1
"Though true equality is impossible due to differences in wealth, ability and personality, western civilisation is based on the assumption of equality in the eyes of the law."

So that is to say, a billionaire tycoon and a homeless junkie have in theory equal rights before a Judge. The issue of money distorts this equality, but equality it is a key aspiration. Islam places Men above women, Muslims above Christians. It is unequal and therefore conflicts with western values.

I ask observers not to vote according to whether or not they like Islam, irrespective of their opinion on Islamic values, irrespective of the complex issues of terrorism, but purely on who has made the best argument.

In conclusion
Can it be assumed that should Muslims become a majority in Britain (or any other liberal western democracy) that the citizens of that country would continue to enjoy gender equality, democracy, freedom of religion and so forth. As no Islamic country enjoys all these rights I must suggest no. Therefore as Muslims are increasing in the west, the only sensible conclusion is that Islam ultimately poses a threat to western civilisation.

Therefore I strongly urge a vote for PRO.

PS: I would also like to thank and congratulate my opponent for choosing to remain an on the site.
Debate Round No. 4
133 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Atheism 6 years ago
Atheism
French, you fail for ruining my memetical 'the game' fun. =[
Posted by frenchmoosetwo 7 years ago
frenchmoosetwo
by winning the game
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
InsertNameHere
Wow, I won by 1 point... How does that work? lol
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
I consider I have won it, but it depends how people vote. It's pretty close now.
Posted by tBoonePickens 7 years ago
tBoonePickens
Well, it's not about "feeling" it's about thinking.
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
InsertNameHere
Losing this debate just doesn't feel right... :(
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Hehehe
Posted by InsertNameHere 7 years ago
InsertNameHere
No... I can't lose this debate... I don't care if I lose any other ones as long as I don't lose this one. :(
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Marauder how does that vote make any sense?
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
Digamma, I am happy to debate you on this or a related point.
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