The Instigator
RedEye
Pro (for)
Losing
23 Points
The Contender
Tatarize
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Resolved: Unwanted Pregnancy Abortions are unjust and should be banned in the US.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/12/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,185 times Debate No: 4400
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (12)

 

RedEye

Pro

Resolved: Unwanted Pregnancy Abortions are unjust and should be banned in the US.

Definitions:

UPA: Abortions due to the not wanting of a child. Not due to health reasons or possible death of the mother.

unjust: not giving each their due.

Banned: Made illegal.

Case:

Value: Justice - Giving each their due.
Value Criterion: Right to Life

The Thesis of this case is that justice can only be achieved if rights are not violated. When determining between two conflicting rights, the right to life must always supersede on the fact that all other rights spring from it. The obligation of the government is to make sure rights are protected.

Contentions:

I. Abortion violates the right to life.

According to a report given out in 2007, the scientific community has unanimously agreed that life begins at implantation. This is 10-12 days after fertilization. Therefore, once fertilization occurs, the embryo is considered a living being. Once a person is "alive", he/she is guaranteed the rights and future rights of the constitution. The right to life is the first and foremost right granted to each human-being. Murder, is the violation of the right to life. Abortion is therefore murder. Murder is illegal, thus abortion should be illegal.

Supporting Syllogism:

1) Violating the right to life is murder
2) Abortion violates the right to life of a baby passed the implantation stage
3) Therefore, abortion is murder

II. Abortion is genocide.

According to the UN charter, genocide is an international crime and must be suppressed in all countries. Genocide is defined as the systematic extermination of a specific group. The group is the unborn, the extermination is the abortion. Sometimes babies are called parasites. Thats exactly what Hitler called the Jews to justify the Holocaust. Why should the US be like the Nazis? We, as an enlightened society is above that. Abortion is genocide, and therefore should be illegal.

Supporting Syllogism:

1) Genocide is the systematic extermination of a group
2) Genocide violates international law
3) Abortion is genocide
4) Therefore, abortion violates international law

III. Abortion violates the Social Contract by John Locke.

John Locke is the most influential philosopher in US politics. He claimed that life is an inalienable right given to all peoples. If a government violates this "given/inherent" rights, then that government is violating the tacit agreement between People and State. We as the people must speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, the unborn. We must protect their rights, and create a true Social Contract between us and the State.
Tatarize

Con

Abortions are not unjust. Abortions should not be banned.

Pro suggests that justice cannot be achieved if rights are violated and abortion violates the right to life. Pro suggests that violations to right to life are murder. Pro suggests that violations of groups of unborn individuals is genocide. Pro suggests that abortion violates social contracts between the people and the state. I commend my opponent for these arguments. However, they all pivot on a single assumption which is not duly established. A fetus is not a person. This said it therefore follows that, a fetus does not have rights. and a fetus is not part of a social contract.

--

Part I. The scientific community doesn't unanimously declare anything. A ovum and a spermatozoa are both alive as is the zygote they form. Implantation is a completely arbitrary and worthless bit of demarcation in a determination of "life". As such, I demand a citation here because the claim being made is completely wrong. You follow up this bizarre claim with the claim that therefore life begins at fertilization (10-12 days earlier). Beyond being completely illogical it doesn't follow from the previous statement.

I will not dwell on this point because the entire process is alive as it deals with living cells. A declaration of life is not a declaration of rights. A plant is alive as is an unimplanted zygote.

The primary mistake in part I is the declaration that "Once a person is 'alive, he/she is guaranteed the rights and future rights of the constitution." -- The error here is that you say "once a person" whereas we are dealing with a rather small clump of cells to a single cell at this point which could not be qualified as a person. Further, the rights of the constitution are specifically granted to the citizenry of actual people. There are a number of qualifications, programs, rights, and services granted to persons with children, none of these rights exist without a birth.

A clump of cells is not a human being.

Your supporting syllogism is based on the unstated and unacceptable premise that a fetus has rights including the right to life.

Abortion is not murder.
A fetus is not a person.

--

Part II, Genocide is the destruction of a specific group of individuals along racial lines. One could conduct genocide via abortion by forcing all members of any particular group to have abortions until the group dies out. However that is a very specific example which does not apply here. Fetus do not count as a racial group. Fetus do not have rights. Whereas in part I it was simply an objection based on the underly premise that a fetus has rights, this argument is flawed in an additional way. Genocide does not apply in this case because you are tweaking the definitions. The UN charter is established in order to "to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person" which does not apply to small clumps of cells inside a uterus as that is not a human person.

Abortion is not genocide.
A fetus is not a person.

Further, this part fails on the grounds that: fetuses are not a racial group.

--

Part III, Social contract theory is a fairly common philosophical point of view, however as you noted Locke believed that all persons have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property and these rights are given to all peoples. Fetus are not peoples. The right to govern is given by the consent of the people to be governed. Fetus do not consent to be govern because consent is a neural function and they don't have even mildly developed brains. Further at earlier stages they don't have any neurons at all. The tacit agreement between people and state applies only to people, not to fetuses.

Abortion does not violate social contracts.
A fetus is not a person.

--------------------------------

All three of your arguments can be broken down to a single premises which we properly disagree on. You believe that that a tiny clump of cells is a person and therefore has rights. If we were talking about actual people your arguments would unneeded. If one allows for the premise that a fetus is a person the arguments against killing a person are quite clear. As such, to move the argument forward I concede the following points:

I) Murdering people is wrong.
II) Murdering groups of people is wrong.
III) The state allowing people to be murdered is wrong.

I strongly object to the idea that a clump of cells is a person. A person is a human being and the operative word is "be". We view sentience as a very critical point of "being human" of "being" in general. It is the proper demarcation line between "it is" and "I am". As such, those things without sentience, though alive, are of some value, however the value of a human being is greater. This view informs all of our moral theories and our moral understandings. I think therefore I am. A fetus doesn't think and is not.

Plants are live even prior to sprouting but this doesn't give them a right to life under the social contracts. This distinction is lost in your arguments as they apply just as easily to plants or dogs as they do to a fetus. A dog is alive, a dog has a right to life, killing a dog is murder. You have carefully ignored why people have rights instead suggesting that it only has to do with the concept "being alive". Life is not the line between without rights and with rights. Further it isn't simply the DNA which gives us those rights or something intrinsic to us as a species. Rather our brains are developed to the point where we adeptly live in large social groupsand have established laws and societies which function in such a way to disallow certain behaviors as judged by the people as being worth giving up in exchange for our own safety and betterment (I give up the right to kill people in order to have the right to life, the right to steal in order to have the right to property, the right to imprison and force in order to have my right to liberty).

An unthinking, undoing, growing clump of cells does not fit into this tapestry of existence which requires rights and contracts, the UN or the Constitution.

-------------------------------------

Let me further note that we are dealing with a person in the form of the woman. The woman has the right to her life, liberty and property. She has the right to do with her body what she well. She has a fully functional brain. She has a place in society. She is a human being. If she choses to have something removed from her body she is well within her rights to do so. It would be a violation of her rights, as an individual for the state to devalue her by forcing her against her will to incubate a non-individual. She has a right not to endanger herself by carrying a pregnancy to term. She has a right to do with her body what she will.

We do not say that cows have a right to life. And a cow has billions of neurons. A fetus during the very early stages has a couple hundred cells in total. Any theory of rights of fairness and justice would require that cows be placed in higher regard than an early stage fetus.

On the grounds of rights, we are forced to side with the actual person who has rights rather than a clump of cells of less moral concern than a fly.
Debate Round No. 1
RedEye

Pro

Ok, instead of going through every contention and reponse I will simply go through my opponents general attacks:

1) Fetus is not living, therefore doesn't have rights.
2) Genocide is racial, whereas abortion doesn't go against any specific race.
3) Social Contract doesn't apply to fetuses on the fact of objection #1.

My responses to objections:

1) My opponent believes that a fetus isn't living. He doesn't agree to my point about implantation, so as my response I will do a science lesson.

A) Argument of Embryology:

I will name prominent scientific individuals and what they said about the beginning of life. Alfred M. Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania; Dr. Jerome LeJeune, professor of genetics at the University of Descartes in Paris; Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic; Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth, Harvard University Medical School; Dr. Watson A. Bowes, University of Colorado Medical School; Dr. Landrum Shettles, obstetrician-gynecologist at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Al of these scientist, were asked to meet with the Senate in 2007. The Conclusion of the meeting was this: "Life begins at implantation; when the egg cell attaches to the uterine-lining of the female." Only one pro-abortion scientist testified in front of the Senate, his conclusion: We don't know when life began. So either way, the leading scientists in the US unanimously believe that life begins at implantation. And even if you don't but this argument, the only pro-abortion stance is, we don't know. Ok, so isn't it better that we don't know and VALUE LIFE because it could be a living being.

B) Argument of 8 characteristics of life:

1. Response - After implantation the embryo has the ability called nerve net.
2. Growth - Even before implantation, the embryo has the ability to grow.
3. Ability of Reproduction - The embryo has the ability in the future to reproduce.
4. Energy - The embryo uses up energy from metabolism.
5. One or more Cells - The embryo after implantation is made up of human cells.
6. Genetic Code - The embryo has the genetic make-up (Genetic code) of a human.
7. Evolution - The embryo has the ability to evolve.
8. Homeostasis - The embryo after implantation has a set homeostasis in it's body.

-- You can drop my opponent's objection to the fetus isn't alive. (Unless he can provide evidence that life only occurs after birth.)

2) My opponent believes that genocide is only racial, and can't be applied to fetus.

Extend: Extend that the fetus is living from my above objection, to this argument here.

Ok, my opponent seems to not understand what genocide is.

Definition: The Systematic extermination of a group due to race, ethnicity, national or any other specific factor.

As you can see, genocide is not only racial, so drop my oppoent's point.

Ladies and Gentleman, if you don't buy this, then here is an argument proving my opponent's RACE objection.

Planned Parenthood: The largest abortion agency in the country. Founder was Margret Sanger. Do you know why she created Planned Parenthood? I'll give you a hint first: all planned parenthood's are in areas with the majority-minority. I.e. areas without white people. Get it? Well, as you should see from this, the purpose of planned parenthood was a Nazi idea to get rid of blacks and other minorities. Jesse Jackson, a civil rights activist, also a democrat, is against abortion for this reason.

So, overall analysis: Abortion is genocide because it is the systematic extermination of a group, i.e. the unborn. Also, it is a racial genocide because the primary purpose of the biggest activist on abortion, i.e. planned parenthood is to kill off minority babies.

3) Social Contract doesn't apply to fetuses.

Again extend my first response to this. My opponent's whole objection is that he says fetuses aren't alive because its a bunch of cells. It's because they are cells, cells is defined as any living being, that they are living. My opponent has a clear misunderstanding on science.

Now specifically, the social contract. Fetuses are alive, meaning they have the right to life. It's an inalienable/natural right, given to all people.

My opponent brings up the rights of animals and plants. HA, these things have more rights then unborn babies. E.g. It is unlawful to kill a walrus on the fact your violating it's RIGHT TO LIFE. Also, its unlawful to cut trees down because they are essential for living. EVEN VEGETATION HAS MORE RIGHTS THEN THE UNBORN.

Ladies and Gentleman, I will now reiterate the premise of my case.

1) Murder is the violation of the right to life. Abortion is murder, since it violates the right to life. Therefore, abortion is murder.

2) Abortion is genocide on the fact it is the systematic extermination of a group. Taken from the UN charter:

"Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, religious group, or any other group as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III: The following acts shall be punishable:

(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide. "

3) Abortion violates the right to life, therefore violating the social contract.
Tatarize

Con

My opponent in his response completely misrepresented my position so I will quickly note make out our difference here.

I completely agree with the following points:

- Murdering people is wrong.
- Murdering groups of people is wrong.
- The state allowing people to be murdered is wrong.
- Fetus are alive.

My objection is purely that fetuses aren't people.

My opponent never responded to my argument attempting to prove again one of those four points which I aptly conceded as true. His argument in round two (and round one) was trying to assume that there is an obvious connection between "murdering people is wrong" and a "fetus is alive". My claim is specifically that those two premises do not fit together. Life is not the sole criteria for personhood.

-------------------------

I will also do a point by point rebuttal of my opponents counterarguments even though they missed the mark.

There is only one point of contention. Your arguments all argue more or less that killing people is wrong. My point of contention is that a embryo/fetus/blastocyte isn't a person.

>>1) Fetus is not living, therefore doesn't have rights.

This is categorically false and a complete and utter farce. Do not lie about my position. A fetus is living. An ovum and spermatozoa are also alive even before conception long before implantation. All of these are alive. My contention is that a fetus isn't a person and therefore has no rights. Likewise, plants are alive... cows, birds, bacteria... etc. Life doesn't equate with rights.

>>1) My opponent believes that a fetus isn't living. He doesn't agree to my point about implantation, so as my response I will do a science lesson.

I believe that a fetus is living. I said this repeatedly. All living cells are alive and a fetus is composed of cells. My claim was that life doesn't equal personhood. That we give and honor the rights of others because they are sentient.

Your "science lesson" is unneeded as my background in science is such that I understand that the entire process is conducted with living cells and tissue. I never argued that it didn't. Further, citing a bunch of nutty prolife professors hardly counts as "the scientific community has unanimously agree[ing]" -- Furthermore they don't. There's nothing special about implantation. A egg sticks to the uterine wall... that's it. And again, prior to sticking and prior to conception the egg is already alive in the biological sense.

Life doesn't begin any of those places, from meiosis to fertilization to implantation to differentiation the entire process is alive. You cannot say here is non-life, here is life. My entire argument is predicated on personhood not life.

Next you offer another argument for something that I again, never disagreed with. Although, here again there are massive mistakes. Embryos have no ability to respond via "nerve net" they are all undifferentiated cells and have no nerves. They obvious grow they are microscopic and need to be about 8 pounds nine months from that point.

Point 5 and 6 of your second argument has an implication which is at the very least on target. We consider a cell human because it has human DNA but that doesn't make it a human, a person, an individual. The reason we have people and people have rights has nothing to do with the parts and everything to do with being more than the sum of those parts. People interact in a society and rights help a society to be civil. Simply having human DNA does not make that apply.

The remaining points are also wrong but besides the point. Evolution isn't development or growth it probably refers to biological evolution which doesn't occur at the individual level and a couple cells is not homeostatic in it's body because it doesn't have a body... etc.

>>You can drop my opponent's objection to the fetus isn't alive. (Unless he can provide evidence that life only occurs after birth.

I never once objected to a fetus being alive. NEVER. In fact, I was far more open to the suggestion as there is no line between life and non-life. There is no non-life at any point. My contention is however that personhood occurs only after birth.

>>Ok, my opponent seems to not understand what genocide is.
>>Definition: The Systematic extermination of a group due to race, ethnicity, national or any other specific factor.

That is exactly my point. Abortion doesn't specifically apply to a race, ethnicity or nationality. It would be okay to make the argument that abortion is democide or the less than systematic killing of large groups of people without specific racial, ethnic or national factors. My objection was again that fetuses don't possess personhood. The objection that you don't understand what genocide is was simply auxiliary.

Planned Parenthood is not a devilish Nazi plot to wipe out black people. Planned Parenthood is an organization dedicated to reproductive freedom. There are certainly Planned Parenthood places in urban and suburban places but their doors are open to those who need them.

Jesse Jackson was pro-life about 40 years ago. Now he is quite aptly pro-choice. He is not against abortion for that or any reason.

The unborn are not a racial, ethnic or national group. Your libel about planned parenthood is sadly typical but completely inaccurate.

>>3) Social Contract doesn't apply to fetuses.
>>My opponent's whole objection is that he says fetuses aren't alive because its a bunch of cells. It's because they are cells, cells is defined as any living being, that they are living. My opponent has a clear misunderstanding on science.

No. Please reread my original argument. All cells are alive. Life != person. Life != rights.

>>Fetuses are alive, meaning they have the right to life. It's an inalienable/natural right, given to all people.

Fetuses are alive. This does not mean they have a right to life. They are not alive in the sense that my mother is alive. They are not thinking, feeling, knowing members of society who engage in social aspects and give consent to be governed. A fetus is a living clump of cells but certainly not a person.

>>My opponent brings up the rights of animals and plants. HA, these things have more rights then unborn babies. E.g.

No. My argument concerning plants and non-human animals was specifically they are alive. By your argument without the distinction between being alive and being a person then your arguments likewise apply in those situations. Aptly then we can see that your argument is absurd and missing something.

-----------------

Further allow me to point out once more that when dealing with abortion we are dealing with a person: the woman. She has the right to make her own choices about her own body and what she chooses to do with it. We have no right to force her to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. Just as we have no right to force anybody to make medical decisions they do not agree with.
Debate Round No. 2
RedEye

Pro

Ok, the debate comes down to this: Is the fetus alive?

He says the life is not the only characteristic of being alive. However, he never says what the other characteristics are. So, you can essentially drop that attack.

He then says that my argument of embryology doesn't stand.

First off, he never says why the scientists I use aren't credible sources. I would assume since the Senate choose them, that they are.

He keeps on saying that he agrees the fetus/embryo is alive. YOU CAN AFFIRM RIGHT HERE, SINCE HE NEVER CLAIMS ANY OTHER WAY TO DETERMINE LIFE.

He essentially agrees with my whole case.

"This is categorically false and a complete and utter farce. Do not lie about my position. A fetus is living. An ovum and spermatozoa are also alive even before conception long before implantation. All of these are alive. My contention is that a fetus isn't a person and therefore has no rights. Likewise, plants are alive... cows, birds, bacteria... etc. Life doesn't equate with rights."

Ok, he essentially argues that living doesn't give you rights. He believes that rights come when you are "born". This is completely false. By him agreeing that its living, then we need to give him/her right to life. My opponent misses one key issues and part of what encompasses the right to life.

The right to life is: The right to a life, right to be BORN, the right o not have your life shortened, and the right to die naturally.

For this reason, you can drop my opponents whole argument on the fact the right to life includes the right to be born.

He then attacks my genocide point with his racial argument, which I clearly refuted in my previous round. He failed to respond to my planned parenthood attack sufficiently. He says it's a good place and its a place for "reproductive freedom." ok, look up the history of planned parenthood, look up Margret Sanger. Don't twist history my friend. Genocide is a systematic extermination, abortion is just that.
===============================================================================

Voting Issues:

1) Since murder is the taking away of life, and abortion does this, then abortion is murder. My opponent agrees to the taking away of life.
2) Abortion prevents the right to be born, a sub-sect of the right to life. Therefore, it's murder.
3) Since my opponent agreed with my VS, then thats the criterion for the round. He has failed to actually address it. On all accounts of the right to life, the Aff upholds it more. Therefore, upholding my set premise for the round, i.e. Justice.

Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
Tatarize

Con

>>Ok, the debate comes down to this: Is the fetus alive?

No, no it doesn't. My entire objection was personhood I made a point of spelling out that a fetus is alive... repeatedly. However alive doesn't mean 'has rights'. Rights come with responsibility, with being a part of society, with reasoning to your own ends, with being a citizen of the world, of BEing a human, sentient existence in a moral landscape filled with other sentient existers.

>>He says the life is not the only characteristic of being alive.

No. I said that life isn't the only criteria for having rights, if it were plants would have rights.

Life is the only criteria for being alive.

--------------------------------------------

Further had I not repeatedly explained this concept in my first and second arguments you would still not be permitted to "drop that attack". Even had I not spelled it out in every argument the objection that "fetuses aren't people" is sufficient to establish that your argument does not meet the burden of proof.

Your argument doesn't stand. I don't care to refute the sources, even though I find their names repeatedly plastered on many pro-life site across the internet (probably a good way to get a phone call from a pro-life senator). Rather, my own scientific knowledge suffices to say that they are wrong. Implantation is not the demarcation point between life and non-life. Prior to implantation the zygote is alive, the ovum, the sperm... there's no non-life in the process anywhere in recorded history.

>>He keeps on saying that he agrees the fetus/embryo is alive. YOU CAN AFFIRM RIGHT HERE, SINCE HE NEVER CLAIMS ANY OTHER WAY TO DETERMINE LIFE.

I repeatedly stated that a fetus/embryo is alive. I have maintained this position from the first round to this round. My entire argument is predicated on the point that life is not the sole criteria needed to say something is a person or is sentient or has rights.

>>He essentially agrees with my whole case.

The only thing I disagreed with is the unstated problem. Fetuses aren't people. This isn't to say that fetuses aren't alive but rather to say that they aren't a living breathing thinking knowing feeling existing sentient human being.

>>Ok, he essentially argues that living doesn't give you rights. He believes that rights come when you are "born".

This marks the first time you've even grasped my argument. Living doesn't equate to "has rights".

>>This is completely false. By him agreeing that its living, then we need to give him/her right to life. My opponent misses one key issues and part of what encompasses the right to life.

No. I agree that plants are alive and do not need to give it rights. I agree that a cow is living and has no rights.

>>The right to life is: The right to a life, right to be BORN, the right o not have your life shortened, and the right to die naturally.

You have no right to be born. I have a right to life. However I have no right to be born. I was born. I'm thankful to my mother for putting up with me then and now, however you're simply trying to define it into existence. A fetus doesn't have rights. You needed to have established that at some point.

>>For this reason, you can drop my opponents whole argument on the fact the right to life includes the right to be born.

No it doesn't. That has been my entire point.

>>Genocide is a systematic extermination, abortion is just that.

Genocide is systematic against a race, ethnicity or nationality and fetuses are neither people nor people of a specific race, abortion, or nationality. My primary objection: fetus != people takes primacy in this instance. I only point out your flawed use of inflammatory language for the sake of accuracy.

--------------------------------------------

>>1) Since murder is the taking away of life, and abortion does this, then abortion is murder. My opponent agrees to the taking away of life.

A fetus isn't a person. Murder violates the right to life, it doesn't "take it away".

>>2) Abortion prevents the right to be born, a sub-sect of the right to life. Therefore, it's murder.

There is no such right. You are pulling things out of your a-s-s.

>>3) Since my opponent agreed with my VS,

I have made a profound objection to your entire set of arguments. Fetuses aren't people. This objection alone shows that every argument you tried is unsound. I made a point to concede such obvious points as "murdering people is wrong" and "the state allowing you to be murdered is wrong" simply to get those out of the picture and allow people to focus on the core objection: fetuses aren't people.

--------------------------------------------

My opponent never actually addressed my argument. He constantly focused on points which were not in contention and probably still thinks I somehow view fetuses as "not alive" when I was very clear about my position. Further, he never addressed my point that there is a woman involved in this issue who does have rights. That ultimately we are talking about her and her rights. She is the important part of this and it is her rights we are respecting by allowing her to make medical and life decisions about her rights.

Fetuses aren't people. To succeed my opponent needed to have established that fetuses are people and have rights. He insisted that proving that they were alive sufficed as evidence that they have rights; it is not.

His only argument concerning rights was that of the social contract. The moral theory establishes that rights are possessed by all peoples and the rights of the government are given by the people by their consent to be governed. By this, and most other theories, fetuses do not have rights as they are neither people nor consenting to anything. They simply do not fit into the equation. The mother however, fits into the equation, and is, as far as rights are concerned, our primary concern.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by JoeBob 8 years ago
JoeBob
I oppose abortion, but RedEye just failed left and right in conducting this debate. You need to pay attention to the actual arguments on the table!
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Vote Placed by brainsnapper33 8 years ago
brainsnapper33
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Vote Placed by Dorian 8 years ago
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Vote Placed by TheRaven 8 years ago
TheRaven
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