The Instigator
baggins
Pro (for)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
MrMarkP37
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Islam provides a framework for world peace.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
MrMarkP37
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/5/2009 Category: Religion
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,726 times Debate No: 8519
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (61)
Votes (7)

 

baggins

Pro

This debate is a challenge to bluefreedom23 based on his earlier debate http://www.debate.org.... I will throw it open, if he declines or suggests unacceptable alterations.

There are few special rules for this debate, listed at the end. Accepting this debate implies that the Con agrees with them. Voters are requested to judge accordingly.

The first round is not meant for actual arguments. We will just use this round to list what are our main points.

1. I will argue that Islam provides a framework for ensuring a peaceful and just society. I am not talking about a society where everyone is free to blaspheme. I am talking about a society which ensures that everyone is free to practice their religion and lead their life without any discrimination or fear.

2. I will also show that Muslims have historically been true to these ideal and established relatively peaceful and equitable societies, wherever they have been in power.

3. I will point out that the main cause of current conflict between the western world and Muslims is irreligious Islamophobia and irresponsible fear mongering.

Notes:
1. When I say Islam provides a framework for peace, it does not mean that other religions do not provide it. In fact, I am sure that most religions have equivalent concepts and Muslims would love to use them wherever needed. However I cannot defend other religions, primarily because I am not competent to do that.

2. I do not associate Islamophobia with any religion. Instead, it is based on deception which is despised by all faiths.

Rules:
1. Normally the burden of proof lies with instigator. In this case, it lies with both. Other way of saying it is that my opponent must believe in opposite of at least one of my statements and argue accordingly. For example, he might argue that Islam promotes terror rather than peace. Yet another way of saying it is that, Con cannot be neutral towards Islam. He cannot take a stand that it is neither good nor bad.

2. If voters think, that neither side has been able to prove its case, both sides appeal to them to vote for a tie.

3. All words have usual meanings. No syntax based arguments will be permitted.
MrMarkP37

Con

I am happy to accept this interesting debate and I agree to the parameters listed by my opponant.

I intend to show that Islam can, and is, easily used to promote terror in the world. I also intend to show that while Islam may have several good qualities and that there are people that practice the good of Islam, that Islam (nor any religion) is not a framework to build peace and tranquility around. I yield the floor to my opponant and will save the bulk of my argumentation to the second round.
Debate Round No. 1
baggins

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for accepting the debate. I will get to the task directly. I am numbering all my arguments for easier reference.

1. The framework of Peace
First I will discuss - how Islam promotes peace, equality and justice among various nations and cultures. In second stage, I will show how it establishes peace based on equitable terms between various faiths.

1.1 Quran says:
49:13 (Y. Ali) O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

Since all humanity comes from a single pair - everyone is part of a single fraternity. So no one is better or worse before Allah on basis of birth. Moreover, It is Allah who has made tribes and nations (this includes culture, language etc). If we love our culture, language and nation - it is perfectly OK. But these are meant for identification only. We have to know that other cultures are as important as our culture.

1.2 Islam's approach towards other religion: Islam invites other faith to live with Muslims as per common terms. But in case they do not accept that, Islam provides a simple and equitable method for coexistence.

1.2.1 Quran says:
3:64 (Y. Ali) Say: "O People of the Book! come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah." If then they turn back, say ye: "Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah's Will).

While the direct address is to People of the Book (the Book = Bible. It also means knowledgeable/educated people) - it provides the method Muslims should adopt while approaching other religions. Rather than talking about differences, we should focus on similarities.

1.2.2 Quran says:
2:62 (Y. Ali) Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the jewish (scriptures), and the christians and the sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

People who meet the criteria to go to heaven will go to heaven, irrespective of what they are called. Islam is focused on the message rather than identity.

1.2.3 During initial phases, Islam encountered extreme hostility from other religions. Islam does not teach pacifism. Quran gives lots of instructions about defense and reward for people who die during them.

Often these verses are extracted, ignoring the context, collected and used against Islam. Quran is quite explicit that these verses are meant only for people who fight against Muslims

60:7 (Y. Ali) It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
60:8 (Y. Ali) Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.
60:9 (Y. Ali) Allah only forbids you, with regard to those who fight you for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (for friendship and protection). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.

1.2.4 Muslims are forbidden from insulting anything held sacred by people of any faith:

6:108 (Y. Ali) Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest they out of spite revile Allah in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.

Note the logic. It is not required to respect idols or people held sacred by others. Muslims are not asked to dilute the strong faith in One God. Muslims are asked not to abuse them - so that they do not get any excuse for abusing Islam. This order is valid in case of conflicts also.

1.3 Justice: Islam insists very strongly on justice. Quran says:

4:135 (Y. Ali) O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well- acquainted with all that ye do.

1.4 Thus Love, mutual justice and reciprocation define the framework, based on which people of different faith can live together and freely practice their religion.

2 Where everMuslims have ruled, they have ruled with justice. I will provide the example of Jerusalem and Spain. Jerusalem is home of three major religions. Whenever, it has been under Muslim rule, followers of all religions have been free to live there and practice their religion. This is in special contrast to the situation today. Spain was under Muslim rule for more than 800 years. People of all faith lived there peacefully. It was the home of Science and arts, and a sanctuary for peace, while the rest of Europe was reeling under the dark ages.

2.5 It is not my case, that Muslims have never violated these ideals. But I still insist that Muslims have been very close to the ideal throughout history. The Christian and Jewish Arabs, the Zoroastrians in Iran, the non-Muslim Indians, they all provide a living testimony to this.

3. Deception and Isalmophobia
But doesn't Islam promote terror? What is the purpose of history, when the truth of Islam is before our eyes? We will address these questions now. First I will highlight the rationale which is used by terrorists. After that we will look at the root cause for this problem, which is deliberate deception.

3.1 It is important to define terrorism. If civilians are targeted, irrespective of the ideology or causes concerned, I call it terrorism (which is always wrong). But if the target is military, it should not be covered by term terrorism in any case. It may be for a right or wrong cause, but it is not as bad as terror.

3.2 Terrorist - who call themselves as Muslims - justify their actions in two stages:
(a) They are killing your women and children - so your duty is to kill there women and children. Only when they feel the pain, they will understand what they are doing.
(b) If you do your duty, you will be rewarded by God (and go to heaven).

The first part of the argument is a perfectly secular one - and is flawed. But it is not easy to argue against it. I invite my opponent to use whichever moral standards he follows (if any) and explain the flaw. If he cannot - or refuses - I will explain in next round. The second part of argument is religious and correct. Even for people who oppose religion, I assume that they consider doing their duty as a good thing.

3.3 Let us now turn to the root cause of terrorism. The fact: 'they are killing your women and children'. This is a message from Afghanistan, which has been NATO's colony for past 7-8 years. http://www.rawa.org...

3.4 All the techniques learnt from old colonial days and Nazi period are being used against Muslims. Dubious dictators are supported for selfish end. Favorite pupils become excuses for invasion. A very good example is Saddam Hussain. Was there was any lesson to be learnt from holocaust? The only lesson Zionists have learnt is the effectiveness of propaganda. Conflicts are created out of scratch. Shias and Sunnis had never fought each other in Iraq earlier! Cluster bombs and drones are used, despite full knowledge that they are error prone and kill
MrMarkP37

Con

My argument is a simple one, but I hope that it is not judged by its breivity but by the truism that it holds.

I hold no ill will towards devoted Muslims, or people of any faith. I do not believe that terrorists represent the true Muslim culture and I will not use them in my argumentation.

My argument is this:

Islam (nor any religion at all) cannot provide a workable framework for world peace. The reaons are these

1. Any religion perports that there book is the word of God
This leads a problem. People hold their God in the highest esteem and believe that whatever their God says is absolute truth. People, by human nature, will defend the wod of their God to non-believers and believers alike. This can, and has, led to wars, genocide and violence.
2. Religious books are read by human beings.
We are not God, we cannot know what God is thinking. We can only read God's words (if you believe any book contains God's words) and try to decipher the meaning. As human beings we will, and do, make mistakes. These mistakes of interpertation lead to terrorism, the crusades, the inquestition, the violation of human rights and wars.
3. You spend a great deal of time talking about Islam's respect of those with religious convictions other than Islams, but what about people of no faith? Atheists were the only demographic to increase last year. People of no faith exist in the world and if Islam (or any religion) does not respect them then it cannot provide a framework for world peace.

My last point is not limited to Islam but rather a statement of the human condition. There will never be world peace. No book, religion or idea can provide a workable framework for it because it is a pipedream, like the perpetual motion machine.

Human beings are violent and terrorial by nature, this cannot be changed. There are always reasons to fight and so the fighting continues. It doesn't matter if it's for land, resources or religious reasons. We have volent natures, thus we will be violent.
Debate Round No. 2
baggins

Pro

My opponent has not provided direct rebuttal to any of my arguments as he holds no ill will towards Muslims and does not associates terrorism with Islam. I respect this. However, I hope he realizes that, the only left to debate are is his own arguments.

1: Any religion perports that there book is the word of God
"This leads a problem..."

But what if the book teaches peace and justice! If people consider such a book to be the word of God, wouldn't that lead to world peace?

2. Religious books are read by human beings.
"We are not God, we cannot know..."

Of course, books are books and can be misinterpreted. And I agree they have led to wars and conflicts. But in such cases, the flaw lies with the followers and not the religion. A good example of such a flaw is there in the terrorist logic, which I will discuss as promised.

I would like to assert - it is difficult to make a genuine mistake in interpreting these books at a scale where one can justify evil deeds, as long as the person is sincere in his efforts. What is more usual is that few people deliberately distort and misinterpret books to justify their selfish ends. Quran warns such people with a very heavy punishment.

3. "You spend a great deal of time talking about Islam's respect of those with religious convictions other than Islams, but what about people of no faith?..."

I will treat it more as a query rather than an argument. For Islam, atheists and agonistics are just another faith. They are always welcome to accept Islam. If they do not want to do that, they can still exist peacefully as long as they agree to abide by same restrictions that apply to people of all religions (including Muslims).

---

I was amazed by the pessimism of the con's concluding observations! He believes that, "There will never be world peace". Unfortunately, there is no law which says that cynics cannot be correct.

That brings us to the flaw in terrorist argument that I had promised to cover later. Normally, I should have dropped it, as my opponent does not associate Islam with terrorism. Surprisingly, it is now relevant in a way I had never imagined.

I had stated the usual terrorist justification for there acts.
(a) They are killing your women and children - so your duty is to kill there women and children. Only when they feel the pain, they will understand what they are doing.
(b) If you do your duty, you will be rewarded by God (and go to heaven).

The flaw lies in the first argument, which is perfectly secular. The logic is correct as per most atheist moral standard. The flaw is apparent only when the statement is examined in light of Islam.

Muslims do not have any culture or nationality in common. The only common link is that we all believe in Islam. Muslims cease to exist as a community, the moment they abandon Islam. Islam forbids killing innocent people and that is why killing innocent people is wrong. All revenge must be directed against people directly responsible for those deeds or the corresponding military. Thus terrorism is wrong - only because of Islam.

And that provides us a great insight. Human beings would indeed descend into great disharmony and oppression on its own. Only the presence of religion can prevent that.
MrMarkP37

Con

"And that provides us a great insight. Human beings would indeed descend into great disharmony and oppression on its own. Only the presence of religion can prevent that."

Well I disagree with this statement. I believe that common sense morality would still exist without religious influence.

I did not mean my last statement (in the previous argument) to be taken as if are existence is doomed. My meaning is that despite the civilization that we have built up over the years we are still war-like creatures and always will be.
Our great intellegence and our possession of a conscience, which helps us tell right from wrong, has led to great improvements both in mankind and our treatment of others. So we possess a capacity for love and peace, however, I think that it should also be pointed out that humanity also possesses a war-like and destructive mentality. In most modern societies the good will wins out most of the time, but that destructive nature is always lurking under the surface and it comes out throughout history.

My basic statement remains the same.
1. People take religion very seriously
2. people are flawed and have a war-like mentality inside them.
If people didn't take religion so seriously (seriously enough to kill and die for) or if people had no war-like natures then I would agree with your statement.
Since people do take religion so seriously and since people do have war-like natures there is no way that religion can be used to create a peaceful society.

This in no way means that everyone who is religious uses it to do horrible things. What I'm saying is that group of people from all religions will use their faith to create wars and spread terror.
Thus, no religion can provide a framework for world peace.
Debate Round No. 3
baggins

Pro

Earlier you said:
"My last point is not limited to Islam but rather a statement of the human condition. There will never be world peace. No book, religion or idea can provide a workable framework for it because it is a pipedream, like the perpetual motion machine.

Human beings are violent and terrorial by nature, this cannot be changed. There are always reasons to fight and so the fighting continues. It doesn't matter if it's for land, resources or religious reasons. We have volent natures, thus we will be violent."

And now you say:
"I did not mean my last statement (in the previous argument) to be taken as if are existence is doomed."

I think anyone reading it, would conclude that you consider humanity as doomed.

You also said:
"Well I disagree with this statement. I believe that common sense morality would still exist without religious influence."

Why do you disagree with my statements? You have not explained any reason! I agree with you that 'common sense morality' or 'conscience' exists. It is important in religions also. It is the first line of defense against evil. However, it can be breached easily. I am sure you can think of countless examples yourself. You have not explained how a society is going to work on basis of common sense morality.

You have repeated your statements, ignoring my rebuttals completely. Let me repeat my answers:

1. If people take religion seriously, that is a good thing. Most religions (I have proved it in case of Islam) recommend establishment of peace and justice. A person who is ready to 'die for' his religion (a good thing) is unlikely to kill others, because killing innocent people (bad thing) is prohibited in most religions.

2. Sure, people are flawed. But this problem is much bigger in an irreligious society, since there is no well defined moral system as a guidance. Religions like Islam provide the only hope for countering the flawed side of human nature.

---
Conclusion

Let us recap the sequence of debate till now.
Round 1: Introduction
Round 2: I presented the framework that is used by Islam to established peace and justice. The Con made general assertions that no religion can establish peace. He did not argue against the framework I presented.
Round 3: I countered his pessimistic outlook. He repeated his assertions without providing any answers to my rebuttals.

I think the result should be clear. Vote PRO.
MrMarkP37

Con

My opponent has accused me or not refuting his points. On the countrary I have refuted the very heart of his point, that Islam (or any religion) could provide a framework for world peace.

My opponent also has said that my statement about the nature of humanity (a statement his has not and cannot refute) means that I think that humanity is doomed. This is not true, humanity has existed and will exist with this part of them inside of them. However, it does mean that such a thing as world peace can never be achieved. This doesn't mean that we will end up destroying our world, only that we will continue to fight against each other.

It is impossible for me to refute any of the points that you mentioned from the Quran as those statements are neither provable or disprovable. They are matters of opinion and faith.
If someone were to say to a Muslim, well I don't believe that and I don't believe in your view of God, you might say that you respect their opinion but disagree, other Muslims might not take that so well.

It is this difference in humanity that makes a world based on religion so dangereous. Remember when Denmark published those pictures of Mohammad and the Muslim world protested. Some of the protests even turned violent. These were not terrorists, but devot Muslims protesting.
This is what happens when people take something so unprovable, something that has such a difference of opinion, as religion so seriously.

Throughout the history of humanity people have used religion for purposes of violence rather than purposes of good works. As I mentioned before: Terroism, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquesition, the hatred of Jews, the like goes on and on.

You claim that a society that wasn't based on religion would crumble, I think just the opposite.
For the most part, the United States is a country whose laws are not based on religious morality. Laws such as murder, rape, robbery and the like don't come from any bible, but from the common sense morality and civility that I talked about earlier. Things worked pretty well that way.
What happened when we got a devoted religious person in office as President? We got embroiled in a costly (both in lives and money) war in Iraq for no reason, we decided to wage war against Muslim terrorist, using the broadest possible language, which in turn angered all Muslims. It, in fact, lead to the Islamaphobia that you were discussing earlier.
In essence, we were plunged into a holy war, the first in the history of the United States. Why did this happen? Because of religious thinking by a devoted religious person.
As you can see, religious devotion can (and often does) lead to war, not peace.

Peace between religions (let alone world peace) will never be achieved until people start treating their religious beliefs as ideas rather than absolute truths that can't be disputed. Because when you believe something is an absolute truth and you can't be proven either right or wrong it leads to bad things. As we've seen throughout history.
Debate Round No. 4
61 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by m93samman 7 years ago
m93samman
@unlikely: ur a fu***** retard.
1) islam came before the 8th century
2) islam doesn't endorse violence, war, or "bronze age death cults"
3) phobia means fear. its derived from latin and english
disregarding ignorant rednecks...

Baggins wins because the resolution was upheld. although the debate evolved more so into a pure justification of islam on the real world without practical applications, the resolution says "provides". insofar as Con didn't refute the framework provided in the Qur'an provided in the 1AC, affirmative wins. I don't know who voted, but I know they're not the most intelligent, and they're islamophobes
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
Thanks for the votes :-)
Posted by bluefreedom23 7 years ago
bluefreedom23
After reading this debate I have reached the same assessment as Lexicaholic has done, which results in a tie, based on points that is... quite unsatisfying. ;-)
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
Debate analysis:
(1) Agreed with Con and still did by the end, although for reasons other than those stated by Con.
(2) Conduct=Tie
(3) Baggins clearly had the better spelling and grammar.
(4) Both arguments were equally tied to statements of belief with few real world references to support the belief. Tie.
(5) Baggins used the Qu'ran, which is relevant. Con used nothing. Point to Baggins.
Posted by unlikely 7 years ago
unlikely
Islam ...Peace???????? Islam is an unreformed 8th century reinterpretation of Bronze aged death cults. Its attempts at an explanation for why we are here etc have been shown to be sorely lacking....
It seems peaceful so long as you dont question it when you do...its anything but peaceful..Quite violent in fact.
As for islamophobia..its a marketing phrase. Probably stolen from homophobia. But the distinction is important ..Islam is a belief system
We must always preserve the right to criticise a belief system. Christianity, judaism, atheism etc...All open to criticism....Islam just has to get use to it.
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
"The resolution is not clear."

That is intentional. I wanted to both Pro and Con to be able to give desired direction to this debate. Read the special rules.

" That's like arguing the virtues of Christianity under the assumption that all Christians obey the Ten Commandments all the time. "

That would be similar to what I argue in point 1. I have proved 3 points. In the next points I prove the practical aspects.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
The resolution is not clear. What is a "framework for peace?" The Koran as interpreted by most Muslim states does not compel religious tolerance, human rights, or democracy. Consequently, the framework for peace would have to be based upon Muslims adopting an interpretation far different than they now do. That's like arguing the virtues of Christianity under the assumption that all Christians obey the Ten Commandments all the time.

The notion is that there can be peace so long as other religions are respectful. That's like 'bears won't harm you if you don't annoy them" -- only the bear's opinion counts as to whether or not he is annoyed.
Posted by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
KeithKroeger91
Islam is a very violent religion and is definately not the answer to world peace. World peace is not possible, even if Islam or all religion's in general disapeared off the face of the earth, there would still be wars.
Posted by baggins 7 years ago
baggins
I would like to see a Quaker's reaction to this.
Posted by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
Lexicaholic
@ baggins

What about Quakers who, though they have always been fairly open-minded and tolerant as sects go, are that way because they believe God can divinely inspire people in any number of ways, including questioning accepted religious practices? To a Quaker it could literally be a divine experience to proclaim that "Allah is a false God and should be denounced" just as it would be to proclaim "The God of Islam and Christianity is one in the same and should be respected equally." There are no rules for the 'rightness' of it, which is what allows for them a culturally respectful dialogue.

Quakers are kind of awesome by the way, historically proponents of peace ... it would be a shame if they were excluded from your Utopia.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by untitled_entity 7 years ago
untitled_entity
bagginsMrMarkP37Tied
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Vote Placed by bluefreedom23 7 years ago
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bagginsMrMarkP37Tied
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Vote Placed by Lexicaholic 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by Conor 7 years ago
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
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bagginsMrMarkP37Tied
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Vote Placed by KeithKroeger91 7 years ago
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bagginsMrMarkP37Tied
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