The Instigator
zach12
Pro (for)
Losing
50 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Con (against)
Winning
51 Points

Resolved: Affirmative action should be practiced in college admissions.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/1/2009 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,391 times Debate No: 7177
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (39)
Votes (16)

 

zach12

Pro

I stand in affirmation of the above resolution. (This is a debate for the tournament on Cazoic.com)

First, a definition of Affirmative Action: –noun
The encouragement of increased representation of women and minority-group members, esp. in employment. (dictionary.com)

Affirmative action presents a unique opportunity and represents progress in the modern world for people of disadvantaged races and gender. It should be practiced in college admissions so that the world can give blacks, Asians, and other ethnic groups a chance to prosper in the New Economy.

As it is, if two equally qualified men apply for the same job and one is white and one is black, the white man will get the nod almost every time. This holds true for highly selective colleges as well.

If Affirmative action was practiced in colleges, it would have dramatic effects on minority society, especially the "slums" of big cities. Young blacks right now have only a handful of options, if that many. The first option is to make it into professional sports. This is such a strong goal for so many black children that it has caused the NBA and even major division 1 college basketball teams to be predominately black. Despite the numbers of black people being successful in basketball, the vast majority of blacks don't make it and stay in the slums and in that hostile environment turn to drugs, violence, and crime. It's a devastating cycle which is almost impossible to escape.

But if affirmative action was practiced, it would give blacks another avenue of escape, academics. If blacks were given equal opportunity more and more of them would be given the gift of an education and blacks would lose the unfortunate stereotypes applied to them. Successful professionals could return to the community and improve it. Malcolm Gladwell writes in his excellent book "The Tipping Point" that if around five percent of a given community are professionals or what the government considers "high quality" jobs we suddenly start to see an immediate plummeting of crime and high-school dropouts.

If Affirmative Action was practiced, we could eradicate the ghettos and the slums and the hotbeds of crime and drug use.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Right now only a portion of our potential academic workforce is being utilized, the whites. If we utilized our whole spectrum of minorities, it would attract more and more high tech companies to the United States which would help our economy recover and increase jobs and raise our overall GDP.

In conclusion, if Affirmative Action did not devolve to preferential treatment and only equal treatment for minorities, It would greatly increase the great culture and professionalism of the United States and the world.
Logical-Master

Con

I'm gonna start with my case and then move onto my opponent's

===========================================================================
CONTENTION #1: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROMOTES INEQUALITY:
===========================================================================

If all men are considered equal, then surely all men ought to have an equal opportunity to get into college, right? Unfortunately, with affirmative action, this can by no means be considered the case. I would like for you to take note of the following court case that was instigated due to the so-called "good" which my opponent happens to be in favor of: http://en.wikipedia.org...

In Grutter v. Bollinger, we had a Caucasian female who worked as hard as she could and had a most noteworthy academic background no doubt superior to many individuals. How was the defendant from this case rewarded for her achievements? How was she rewarded for abiding by the system our society ENCOURAGES (to work your hardest to get results)? She was rewarded with a non-acceptance letter simply due to the fact that she wasn't a minority. How on earth is this considered fair? What is the point of trying so hard and giving it your all, only to be rejected based on matters which you have no control over (in this case, 'race' being that matter). This isn't fair play; this isn't promotion of equality; this is simply countering discrimination with discrimination. In other words, it's unjust and hypocritical. Most importantly, it only creates as many problems as it destroyed.

============================================================================
CONTENTION #2. QUOTAS ACTUALLY ENCOURAGE RACISM
============================================================================

Alright. Even if affirmative action actually promotes inequality, it is still putting a stop to racism, right? See the posted vid for the answer to this question.

Ladies and gentleman, please direct your attention to the words of the only African American Justice of the supreme court; here's what Clarence Thomas had to say on the matter: http://www.cbsnews.com...

As we can note here, Justice Thomas was ostracized when he had participated in Yale due to affirmative action and also had a hard time getting a good job (in spite of a YALE degree). Those around him wouldn't take him seriously due to the belief that he only got into Yale because he received a handout due to affirmative action. Hardly anyone actually believed that he had worked hard enough to get in by his own abilities.

Although I disapprove of this mindset, there is plenty of reasoning that supplements it given that students are merely being allowed into schools based on being in the minority whereas hard working individuals in the majority don't have as much as an opportunity. Obviously, this causes bitterness and even prejudice to a great extent given that people become inclined to think of minorities as possessing inferior talents and only succeeding because the system enables them to. If our goal is to impede racism, ought not to be used as the means given the harm it brings about.

============================================================================
CONTENTION #3. THERE IS A SUPERIOR ALTERNATIVE TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
============================================================================

If the government wishes to get involved, it could just as easily simply insure that minorities are not denied on non-academic bases. In other words, students could either send their college admissions in, only for their admissions to be transferred to the government. The government would check all facts concerning the students academics and would send these to colleges . . . to which colleges would determine who gets in and who stays out solely based on academics (sports are related to. I'm just insisting that no irrelevant matter be provided). Once the colleges approved of all the satisfactory academic admissions, the government would inform them of the identities of the students they received (in other words, they wouldn't know anything extra about the students until they had already accepted them).

Of course, there may be some possible factors which colleges would NEED to know about before measuring all of the potential students' academic records (such as whether or not the students have a criminal record), but nothing concerning race, gender or anything of the sort. Basically though, this isn't a method which would promote inequality or racism (as is the case with affirmative action). All students would actually be earning their acceptances into college based on their abilities alone

ONTO PRO's CASE:

RE: "As it is, if two equally qualified men apply for the same job and one is white and one is black, the white man will get the nod almost every time. This holds true for highly selective colleges as well."

Interesting . . . however, with affirmative action, the roles are merely reversed. The African American individual gets the nod whereas the Caucasian individual gets the boot as is the case in "Grutter v. Bollinger." Even if the individual that represents the majority is better qualified, he/she still gets the boot. In other words, affirmative action doesn't really solve a problem. Rather, it encourages it.

RE: "If Affirmative action was practiced in colleges, it would have dramatic effects on minority society, especially the "slums" of big cities."

Correction. Affirmative action IS practiced in colleges and yet we are still seeing minorities at the bottom of the economic food chain. As I mentioned earlier, affirmative action encourages racism and promotes inequality. The problems which my opponent is positing are actually the result of this. We need to shift our society to a point where race and other similar factors DO NOT MATTER. Affirmative action simply suggests the opposite.

RE:"If blacks were given equal opportunity more and more of them would be given the gift of an education and blacks would lose the unfortunate stereotypes applied to them."

Cross Apply my second contention here.

RE: "Malcolm Gladwell writes in his excellent book "The Tipping Point" that if around five percent of a given community are professionals or what the government considers "high quality" jobs we suddenly start to see an immediate plummeting of crime and high-school dropouts."

This works for my case. If a given community does not find itself impeded based on matters concerning race or other uncontrollable traits (which can be applicable to both minorities and the majority, as I've already explained), every member will have the opportunity to fall under the aforementioned percentile (of course, with every member of the community being taken into consideration, the percentile would no doubt increase). This can be accomplished through relying on alternatives to affirmative action as it is an alternative that relies only on the abilities of the potential students.

RE: "If we utilized our whole spectrum of minorities, it would attract more and more high tech companies to the United States which would help our economy recover and increase jobs and raise our overall GDP."

With affirmative action? No chance. We're just swapping out some members of the majority and giving those jobs to the minority. In other words: No net gain. It would be far more logical and ethical to simply utilize our whole spectrum of those who qualify themselves.

"In conclusion, if Affirmative Action did not devolve to preferential treatment and only equal treatment for minorities"

Affirmative action did not devolve into preferential treatment. It IS preferential treatment. Equality is only possible when race/gender/etc is no longer a factor

And that'll do it for now.
Debate Round No. 1
zach12

Pro

Thank you Logical-Master for posting your argument in the nick of time, my post is going to be pretty close-cut as well.

I like the youtube video by the way.

My opponent's first contention gives an example of one white woman who was denied admission to a law school despite the fact that she had better credentials than her minority counterparts. My opponent is looking at single people instead of the community as a whole. Yes, it seems unfair that a white person with equal or possibly even better credentials gets pushed aside because she is not a minority. But we need affirmative action because in America's colleges right now because racism is alive and well. Despite promises that they would give no regard to race, if affirmative action wasn't practiced, these colleges would fall right back into being almost purely majority.

This is a fight which will have a few casualties, like your Barbara Grutter. When there have been civil unfairness, like during the civil rights era, we have always succeeded in overcoming this discrimination. We need to do this again. If we can eventually reach the point where the amount of blacks and minorities in colleges is proportional to the amount of minorities in society, we will see many benefits.

Then my opponent's second contention also regards a single case. But if we brought up the amount of blacks in universities, they wouldn't be so discriminated. Because there were so few blacks in Yale, Thomas was mistreated.

My opponent's third contention is that there is a better alternative to affirmative action, that people should only be judged on their academic performance with government intervention. This seems ok in theory but in practice it wouldn't hold up.

As we see in http://www.heartland.org...

Blacks are being left behind. There are more than twice as many whites proficient in various subjects than minorities, particularly blacks. They are victims of stereotypes. A smart black person is unheard of and they would be ridiculed in any middle or high school. This is why they need the boost from affirmative action. If blacks were lifted up into colleges despite the fact they are disadvantaged from the start, a smart black would no longer be unheard of. The number of proficient blacks would soar until it is about even with whites.

>>> Correction. Affirmative action IS practiced in colleges and yet we are still seeing minorities at the bottom of the economic food chain. As I mentioned earlier, affirmative action encourages racism and promotes inequality. The problems which my opponent is positing are actually the result of this. We need to shift our society to a point where race and other similar factors DO NOT MATTER. Affirmative action simply suggests the opposite. <<<

Affirmative action needs to be practiced for a longer period of time than it has been so far. If we can get this to work and there is a proportional amount of all ethnicities in universities (for example, if 30% of the nation were blacks, 30% of students in colleges were black) then we can do away with affirmative action.

I feel like my opponent did not understand my point regarding the book "The Tipping Point." We need to get 5% of the population of slums to be professionals. This can only be accomplished if black professionals move there, and at the moment there is a severe shortage of professional blacks.

>>> With affirmative action? No chance. We're just swapping out some members of the majority and giving those jobs to the minority. In other words: No net gain. It would be far more logical and ethical to simply utilize our whole spectrum of those who qualify themselves. <<<

There is a huge net gain. As I said, if we can pull blacks up and have them be on level footing as whites then we will have fewer high school dropouts, more people who successfully graduate from college, and more colleges will spring up, creating a ton of net gain.

>>> Affirmative action did not devolve into preferential treatment. It IS preferential treatment. Equality is only possible when race/gender/etc is no longer a factor <<<

But this cannot be achieved without some middle factor. Affirmative action is like a band-aid that will only stay so long as the body can continue without it.

That will do for now
Logical-Master

Con

===========================================================================
CONTENTION #1: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROMOTES INEQUALITY:
===========================================================================

1) My opponent's only objection to my contention here is that the example I've given focuses on a single person whereas his concern is the community. In other words, he values utilitarianism. However, in pleading in favor for this value, my opponent has doomed his entire argument: If it is reasonable to ignore the minority and focus on the majority, then I could just as easily turn my opponents argument around and claim that we should ignore minorities and focus on benefiting what is essentially 90% of the US (the Caucasians). Racist and unfair? Sure thing, but it is my opponent who cares little for fairness to even ignore a single person of a different race only to benefit whom he perceives as being the majority. In other words, his argument violates the law of non contradiction.

2) My single example was all that was necessary to demonstrate my point; I only needed to make mention of a single example to prove that affirmative action promotes inequality. Seeing as how my opponent has provided no arguments against the notion that the Barbara Grutter case proves that affirmative action promotes inequality, my job has been done. This is not to suggest that the legal case I cited has been a single isolated incident or else there wouldn't be nearly as much controversy as there is now. Of course, for clarification purposes . . . if opponent IS claiming that there has only been a single case like the one which I've pointed out, I would like for him to say so in the next round so that I my properly address this objection.

3) We need affirmative action because racism is alive and well in America's colleges? As I've pointed out, judges, not only do we have affirmative action at the moment (hence showing it to be pretty ineffective against racism), but as I've further shown, it actually encourages racism.

============================================================================
CONTENTION #2. QUOTAS ACTUALLY ENCOURAGE RACISM
============================================================================

Again, my opponent counters my example merely by pointing out my decision to cite a single case, but as I've pointed out previously, I need only a single example to demonstrate how affirmative action promotes racism. If my opponent acknowledges this, then I've done my job. Of course, if my opponent is insisting that there has merely been a single case, I would like for him to state so directly so that he will not attempt to get around me hitting him with more examples just to pacify his argument. Finally, see what I've said on the matter of utilitarianism and how it actually harms my opponent's case (which favors the minority).

As far as the amount of blacks in the universities goes, this is completely irrelevant as the fact of the matter is that even with more minorities, there'd simply be more people who would be inclined to devalue the efforts of minorities based on the fact that they are being given a handout (as even my opponent acknowledges with my citing of the Barbara Grutter case) whereas non minorities need to work their way into universities and often times pay an exceedingly large amount of money (which, incidentally, would show affirmative action to be especially unfair to lower class caucasians). Furthermore, PRO's argument fails on the grounds that more minorities means nothing if they are STILL the minority.

============================================================================
CONTENTION #3. THERE IS A SUPERIOR ALTERNATIVE TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
============================================================================

PRO attempts to counter my alternative to affirmative action by pointing out that african Americans would fail on the basis that stereotypes wouldn't hold them down, but as I've pointed out, my system detracts racism severely, thus most of these stereotypes concerning African American individuals would disappear.

Of course, PRO brings up an interesting point. In his system, blacks are disadvantaged from the start. If this is the case, then my opponent is actually insisting that affirmative action merely sets most blacks up for failure (after all, if you don't actually have the skills in the first place and are merely being given a handout, you can't really expect an individual to progress further based on nothing). Essentially, this negates his own argument.

RE:"Affirmative action needs to be practiced for a longer period of time than it has been so far. If we can get this to work and there is a proportional amount of all ethnicities in universities (for example, if 30% of the nation were blacks, 30% of students in colleges were black) then we can do away with affirmative action."

Even if we were to assume that affirmative action needs to be practiced for a long amount of time in order to insure results, that still doesn't change the fact that not only would my system be effective instantly, but that it would also not bear the problems which affirmative action as (inequality and racism). In short, affirmative action is a waste of valuable time.

"There is a huge net gain. As I said, if we can pull blacks up and have them be on level footing as whites then we will have fewer high school dropouts, more people who successfully graduate from college, and more colleges will spring up, creating a ton of net gain."

In exchange though, for ever black that is given a handout, there are more people (many who have actually earned their positions) who lose positions in colleges as well as jobs. Hence, no net gainl
Debate Round No. 2
zach12

Pro

My opponent has quoted me out of context. He said >>> if it is reasonable to ignore the minority and focus on the majority, then I could just as easily turn my opponents argument around and claim that we should ignore minorities and focus on benefiting what is essentially 90% of the US (the Caucasians). <<<

I never said it was reasonable to ignore the minority and focus on the majority, I said you need to focus on the community and not a singular person. The minority is not a single person.

Showing one case of unfairness or a hundred or a thousand doesn't disprove the resolution. Blacks and women have been unfairly treated in the past for hundreds of years. They deserve and need an extra push to get them level with whites in our "civilized" nation.

When a case of unfairness occurs, the Supreme Court will settle it and I'm not promoting direct and deliberate unfairness but when 2 similarly qualified candidates apply for a job or a college admission spot, the college or company needs to give the minority or woman the spot. The majority candidate will most likely not have trouble finding employment or education elsewhere. This is not the case for the woman or minority if affirmative action is not practiced.

>>> PRO attempts to counter my alternative to affirmative action by pointing out that African Americans would fail on the basis that stereotypes wouldn't hold them down, but as I've pointed out, my system detracts racism severely, thus most of these stereotypes concerning African American individuals would disappear.
<<<

I didn't say your system would hold blacks back based on stereotypes, please read my posts correctly. I said that the truths about most black's predicaments would hold them back. Most blacks live in an environment that is not conducive to education. But if more blacks were succeeding in college, which might show the young blacks that going to college is worthwhile and attainable. And as for my opponent's second paragraph in that contention, a lot of blacks are intelligent, they just haven't been given the opportunity to succeed, college is that opportunity.

My opponent's system may have no racism, but it is very unfair. Blacks need and deserve a boost. As we have seen in the course of history, continuing on the course we are currently on will do nothing to solve the problems of inequality and racism. Something must be done.
Logical-Master

Con

===========================================================================
CONTENTION #1: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROMOTES INEQUALITY:
===========================================================================RE:

PRO has accused me of quoting him out of context and has claimed the following in attempt to clarify:

"I never said it was reasonable to ignore the minority and focus on the majority, I said you need to focus on the community and not a singular person. The minority is not a single person."

However . . . my fair judges, my opponent is STILL saying exactly what I accused him of saying. Indeed as the minority is not limited to multiple people. Minority merely means the individual or individuals whose characteristics in question are the least common amongst the group. To support my claim, I offer you with the following definition from the oxford dictionary:

"minority

• noun (pl. minorities) 1 the smaller number or part; a number or part representing less than half of the whole. 2 a relatively small group of people differing from the majority in race, religion, language, etc. 3 the state or period of being a minor."

The first definition makes it clear that anything representing less than half is considered the minority. Given that one person is less than half, 1 would most certainly be considered the minority.

Unfortunately, I'm running low on time, so I'll just leave you with this cited wiki article indicating other cases of affirmative action legal disputes as well as how controversies have centered around it positing discrimination (to pacify PRO of course): http://en.wikipedia.org...

For a quick recap, my opponent's case is contradictory. At one moment, he is arguing that we should help the minority by giving it a boost. However, when I provide an example of what he perceives as the minority betting kicked down, my opponent merely responds by saying the majority is more opponent. In short, he kicks his own case in the groin.

RE:" When a case of unfairness occurs, the Supreme Court will settle it "

If the Supreme Court is to truly settle unfairness, affirmative action must be rejected. Otherwise, as I've shown, it creates unfairness. Even if you look beyond my example of an individual with superior qualifications losing to a minority who is hardly qualified, the fact of the matter is that judging individuals based on their own race is still inherently unfair (as I've pointed out previously) as the color of own's skin or gender is matter which one most has little to no control over.

============================================================================
CONTENTION #2. QUOTAS ACTUALLY ENCOURAGE RACISM
============================================================================

As you can see, PRO drops my arguments here. Pull this contention all the way across.

============================================================================
CONTENTION #3. THERE IS A SUPERIOR ALTERNATIVE TO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
============================================================================

RE:"I didn't say your system would hold blacks back based on stereotypes, please read my posts correctly."

PRO misunderstands me. I'm saying that the predicaments of most African Americans and minorities is brought about through racial prejudice (which is where many stereotypes sprout out at). As we speak, racial prejudice is being spouted due to the unfairness which individuals feel minorities are the cause of. Whereas minorities are getting handouts, other individuals are required to work much harder merely based on their own skin color. It's very much similar to the individuals who hate illegal immigrants due to them getting many jobs. If this sense of unfairness were removed, there would be no racial tensions in the first place, hence removing minorities from the predicament which PRO speaks of.

RE: "And as for my opponent's second paragraph in that contention, a lot of blacks are intelligent, they just haven't been given the opportunity to succeed, college is that opportunity."

Odd. Earlier, PRO was advocating that it was rare to find and intelligent black individual yet is now urging that lots of African Americans are intelligent. Even ignoring the subtle change in his position, it still fails to overcome my argument which eliminates racial tension. If my system is enforced, these intelligent black individuals can use their intelligence to succeed academically rather than rely on handouts and contribute to racial tension.

VOTE CON. Sorry for the lack of a conclusion, but I'm outta time. :(
Debate Round No. 3
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Yraelz 5 years ago
Yraelz
A well worded response tribefan011. Though I'm mildly inclined to disagree with your last line. In my opinion, one who claims to be a logical-master would have a firm grasp of logic. This grasp would not be limited to things considered true, on the contrary, it would span the entire plane of logic which would inherently include logical fallacies. If I were to assess an entity which was a "logical master" I would assume that the entity would be well versed at employing logical fallacies along with logical truisms. But that's just my take.

Ultimately Logical-Master is really just a screen name, and as worldly names don't really mean much, I doubt that "Logical-Master" really is meant to describe him in any way. But hey, you could always ask him.

On a separate note, Logical, lo siento for skipping out on our debate yet again. Ironically I was at a debate camp in California at the time learning some interesting things. I've also just come to the realization that all of my notifications have been turned off for some time now. This has been rather conducive to my apparent desire to forfeit debates. Anyways, I turned them back on, if you're still up for a debate with me I think I may be able to keep up with it. Your choice, I'd be willing to debate on just about anything. I have a new job now that encourages me to take a break every now and then from writing code. So I have some time during work and probably a bit at home.

Sorry Again!
Posted by tribefan011 5 years ago
tribefan011
No, it was not my intention to start a heated fight. Affirmative action is an issue that means a lot to me. I feel the United States government is obligated to continue the policy. And I get tired of the same straw man arguments used over and over again against affirmative action. It's obviously apparent that I can't tell whether you did believe what you wrote. Yes, your opponent is to blame, but it's somewhat arrogant to have the nickname "Logical-Master" when that is clearly not always the case.
Posted by Logical-Master 5 years ago
Logical-Master
No, it doesn't. In fact, when I argued in favor of my opponent's position in the following tournament round (as well as when I had done this debate more recently), I specifically argued based on an argument which didn't rely on quotas (just scroll through my profile and you should find it).

See, I'm hardly ever actually interested in the truth when I do these debates, not to mention that this debate was officially a tournament debate, hence debated for the purpose of competition.

There is no one to blame but my opponent for not closely adhering to the definition of affirmative action and realizing the fault in my position. With that said, I was well prepared on the off chance he had tried to do so during this debate as there are ways to insure the idea that quotas are necessary in terms of affirmative action. :D

Whereas you may find my perceived fault as humorous, I cannot express the same emotion in terms of yours. However, I will offer you a piece of advice: There are many who would not take too kindly to how you've presented yourself in your comment. If it was your intention to start a heated fight, ignore my words. However, if it was not, I must say that it would be far better to approach the matter constructively so that you both may adhere to intelligence rather than end up adhering to belligerence.
Posted by tribefan011 5 years ago
tribefan011
Kinda late commenting on this, but I find it humorous that someone named "Logical-Master" attacks the straw man argument that is the racial quotas. Read affirmative action law. It does not require racial quotas.
Posted by zach12 5 years ago
zach12
didn't change, said before it was rare to find a black who has realized their potential, not that they weren't intelligent
Posted by Logical-Master 5 years ago
Logical-Master
PS: I had no idea the movie was 3 F**king hours long.
Posted by Logical-Master 5 years ago
Logical-Master
Oh yeah . . . and thanks for the debate. :D
Posted by Logical-Master 5 years ago
Logical-Master
http://www.askoxford.com...

Whoops. That link should lead you to the definition of minority. Sorry I didn't provide that in the round. I also apologize for not providing any voting issues, but I got dragged into seeing Watchmen and got back here with (yet again) less than 10 minutes to respond. If you have been following the debate in the previous rounds (and hopefully, the way I organized my contentions should contribute to that), a recap really isn't even necessary. Fortunately, PRO hadn't really provided any voting issues either so that's up to you. :D
Posted by SchinkBR 5 years ago
SchinkBR
very interesting debate so far
Posted by Logical-Master 5 years ago
Logical-Master
No deal. Johnicle said he may allow something like that for the next tournament, but not this one. :(
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zach12
zach12Logical-MasterTied
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zach12Logical-MasterTied
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Vote Placed by CHS 5 years ago
CHS
zach12Logical-MasterTied
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